3 Hudson Valley Chefs on How to Plan the Perfect Thanksgiving

Whether you need a last-minute, modern, or vegan menu, look to local pros to make Turkey Day a breeze.

The Chef: Alex Burger, The Amsterdam

The Take: Modern

The Menu: “I think the idea of modern cooking is taking things that are comfortable and pushing the boundaries of what you can do with it. Starting with the foundation of tradition and building on that to do something new. I love a hot smoked turkey, cranberry sauce with oranges, and roasted squash with garam masala spice.”

The Recipe: Autumn Grilled Brussels Sprouts Salad

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Note from the chef: “What I like about this recipe is that it gets you outside to grill, which is fun to do even as it gets colder outside, and something I love to do with my family.”

Chef Alex Burger / Photo by Jennifer May
Chef Alex Burger / Photo by Jennifer May

The Chef: Joey Berben, Berben & Wolff’s

The Take: Vegan

The Menu: “I think it’s safe to say that no one on earth thinks light and healthy when planning their Thanksgiving meal. Taking a vegan approach to Thanksgiving is no different, and the same hearty, classic, ‘stick to your ribs’ kind of food can easily be made by altering your shopping list. Here is an example of what would generally be enjoyed in my household: garlic mashed potatoes with kale, smoked porcini and chickpea gravy, butternut mac and cheese, grilled asparagus, cashew-based cheesecake, and plant-based holiday roast of your choice.

“There are dozens of companies making incredible meat-free holiday roasts that you can find at your local supermarket or co-op. Some of my favorite brands include: Field Roast, Tofurky, and Gardein. Berben and Wolff’s will also make a stuffed holiday roast available for purchase.”

The Recipe: Butternut Mac and Cheese

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Joey Berben / Photo provided by Joey Berben
Joey Berben / Photo provided by Joey Berben


The Chef: Linda Laestadius, Grounded Catering

The Take: Last-Minute

The Menu: “Lemon and herb-stuffed roasted whole chicken, preferably local, organic, and/or free range. As for sides: cheesy creamy grits; rosemary, roasted fingerling potatoes; haricot verts almondine; classic gravy made from the drippings; cranberry and orange sauce; and honey roasted butternut squash with sage.” (And if you’re super short on time, you can always call a caterer.)

The Recipe: Haricot Verts Almondine

Linda Laestadius / Photo by Nancy Donskoj
Linda Laestadius / Photo by Nancy Donskoj

Related: Hudson Valley Chefs Reveal Their From-Scratch Cooking Secrets

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