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The Globalist’s Thanksgiving

New York’s top ethnic chefs take the holiday meal international.

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Thanksgiving is arguably the most traditional American holiday. Its mores—turkey, football, family—form a kind of national secular holy trinity. That’s all well and good—we’re all for tradition—but there are other deeply embedded American values we hold dear in this town, too. Like the idea that this is a country of immigrants. And the notion that every American has an inalienable right to a tasty meal. To that end, we enlisted a handful of the city’s top ethnic chefs to do New Yorkers and food-loving Americans everywhere a favor, and add a dollop of globalism to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Each of the chefs—Marcus Samuelsson (African), Joe Ng (Chinese), Laurent Tourondel (French), Fabio Trabocchi (Italian), and Zarela Martínez and Aarón Sánchez (Mexican)—was given a simple set of instructions: Start with the basic building blocks of the Thanksgiving meal—turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans or Brussels sprouts, and pumpkin pie—and reinvent them using the flavors, techniques, and traditions of their own cuisine. The result is a kind of postmodern multicultural buffet—a collection of meals uniquely suited, one could say, to internationally minded, food-mad New Yorkers. To those who might cry sacrilege, we offer this Civics 101 reminder: The pilgrims? Immigrants.


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