You might think that Shawn McClain would have no time for celebrating Thanksgiving. The 42-year-old chef runs two Chicago restaurants, Spring (precise yet luxurious Asian-inspired seafood) and Green Zebra (hyper-innovative vegetarian dishes that have won over a city of carnivores). And he’s opening Sage at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
© John Kernick
But despite McClain’s workaholic-chef ways, the happiness of his domestic life—revolving around a wife, a baby girl and a new house—has inspired him to create a Thanksgiving dinner that’s both delicious and easy. I know this because I helped him prepare it, sort of.
When I arrived at McClain’s house in the hip Logan Square neighborhood at 11 a.m., he had not started a single dish and was lazing around the kitchen wearing jeans and a black t-shirt. Which surprised me. We didn’t have forever! And we didn’t have a staff of 20.