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The Art of the Feast

A master class in holiday dining from the city’s most maximalist chefs.


Photographs by Zachary Zavislak

The over-the-top feast has become a fixture of New York dining. Though once a friends-of-the-chef-only event, family-style bacchanals are now available to anyone with ten or so dining companions, a formidable appetite, and the forethought to snare a reservation well in advance. It is a style of eating that feels particularly apt right now: What could be more fitting for the holidays than extreme communal eating? We asked chefs April Bloomfield and Andrew Carmellini, both at the forefront of the feasting trend, to each share a festive—yet feasible—large-­scale spread. Their efforts, on the following pages, deliver delicious dishes that could satisfy a small army, or at least one ravenous extended family.

Andrew Carmellini’s Thanksgiving Feast

Feasts are nothing new to Andrew Carmellini of Locanda Verde and the Dutch, who began dishing out family-style dinners to his most regular of regulars at Café Boulud in the nineties. “You could order a tasting menu anywhere,” he says. “But large-format dinners brought a new level of social interaction: Diners using their hands, passing platters, serving themselves as much as they wanted.” The infatuation eventually evolved into a modernized Italian abbondanza feast at Locanda Verde and now, for the Dutch’s first Thanksgiving, an all-American turkey blowout. His advice for perfecting such a mammoth bird? “Time and brine”—soaking the turkey in maple brine the day before the feast, then stuffing it with a spicy Cajun cornbread-and-andouille mix for the final oven stretch.

See the Recipes:
Serves 12
Oyster Chowder With Beer and Bacon
Slow-Cooked Roast Turkey With Cornbread-Andouille Stuffing
Mom’s Collard Greens
Wild-Rice-and-Quinoa Pilaf With Pecans, Green Onions, and Dried Cranberries
Cauliflower With Pears, Sage, and Hazelnuts
Sweet-Potato Meringue Pie With Pecan Crust

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