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Ultimate Holiday Guide

Holiday Burlesque and Other Star Chef Party Traditions

Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Chef Marcus Samuelsson Photo courtesy of Food & Wine

Here, star chefs reveal their holiday party traditions.

Talent Show
"At Red Rooster, we hold an American Idol–style talent show for our holiday party. We give our staff the chance to shine—our hostess is an incredible rapper, a waitress bloomed into a burlesque performer. They are total stars."—Marcus Samuelsson, Red Rooster, New York City

A Very Melty Holiday
"Whether it's queso fundido or Cheez Whiz, everybody loves hot, bubbling cheese, so I host a fondue party every year. I make mine with Comté and Gruyère and serve it with bread and charcuterie. It's basically an inverted grilled cheese: Who doesn't like that?"—Ken Oringer, Clio, Boston

South American–Style
"Growing up, I loved my Brazilian nanny Dia's holiday party. She'd make a feast with feijoada, cheese bread and brigadeiros candies. These days, I serve suckling pig and cheap caviar; I learned from Dia that good food doesn't need to be fancy—it'll be delicious as long as it has a lot of soul."—Gerard Craft, Niche, St. Louis

Cookie Overload
"We celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Though the seafood is amazing, the main attraction is the cookies. My auntie, who's 90, makes at least 30 kinds: butter balls, cardamom filberts and pizzelles, which are like sweet snowflakes that melt in your mouth."—Georgia Pellegrini, author of Girl Hunter

Related: Holiday Entertaining Tips from Star Chefs
Ultimate Guide to Christmas Cookies
Gift Picks from Star Chefs

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