Imagine if the pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock hadn't been English. Instead of creating a Thanksgiving meal with simple, comforting flavors, they might have prepared a bolder, zestier meal. But here's something to be thankful for: Immigrants from around the world and their children are bringing their own heritage to this holiday and enriching American traditions in the process. In this Thanksgiving issue, we catch up with some extremely talented chefs and cooks whose cross-cultural dishes we hope will become your family's new holiday favorites.
In our story "East by Northeast Thanksgiving," Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Café and Myers + Chang restaurant in Boston marries the Asian flavors she grew up with and the classic dishes her husband's New England family loves. She roasts a turkey with a soy-honey glaze borrowed from Peking duck (our cover recipe), makes a squash soup spiked with Thai red curry and bakes green-tea fortune cookies with funny Thanksgiving messages inside.
The Palestinian roots of the Mogannam family behind Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco are evident in their holiday menu. So is a sense of place that reflects where the Mogannams celebrate Thanksgiving now: on their Sonoma farm. As you'll read in "A Farm Fresh Thanksgiving," they grow many of the ingredients for the meal themselves. You have to try the carrots, which get a Middle Eastern twang from a tahini dressing.
If you are in an Americana kind of mood after your Thanksgiving meal, we've collected recipes from the fantastic New York City chef Andrew Carmellini, inspired by his road trips across the US. He's taken local flavors and refined them just enough to make them universally deliciousfrom Hawaiian pork fried rice to smoky Texas chili. If only the pilgrims had invented dishes like these.
Where I'm Coming From
Notes from My Trip to Singapore:
At a sushi-style counter, I ate a delightful eight-course meal with a festively reimagined smoked-fish-and-caviar combo.
No Signboard Seafood
The best white-pepper crab evermeaty, spicy, messyserved at a chaotic, casual outdoor restaurant.
Hawker-stall expert K.F. Seetoh brought me to this place in the former red-light district for a quintessential Singaporean meal of coffee and kaya toast (topped with butter and a custardlike spread).
Follow me on Twitter@fwscout.