• UMassD Eats

Bringing Thanksgiving To the Table

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By: Marketing Manager, Kendall for UMass Dartmouth, Michaella Lesieur

Thanksgiving a time to give thanks for all the wonderful family and friends that are in our lives. A time when everyone comes together for a home cooked meal. Also, a time that launches the holiday season. This Thanksgiving we sat down with Executive Chef from UMass Dartmouth Dining, Kevin Gibbons on what creates a beautiful sustainable dinner for your guests.

Change up your meal and offer something a little bit more than your average turkey and gravy. “When I cook for my family on Thanksgiving, I usually have to play it safe with seafood, meaning nothing out of the box,” said Gibbons. “I always do fish on the holiday's and one of the underutilized species I would use is hake. Hake is a mild white fish similar to haddock or scrod. It is easy and simple to cook, a bed of raw spinach, layer the fish, couple pads of butter, sprinkle of breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and white wine.”

This dish already has our taste buds drooling. Holiday dishes are the best and there is nothing quite like the taste of what makes the holidays the holidays. It is like taking a bite of comfort. So why not incorporate some of the freshest ingredients that are local?

Gibbon’s has a long history of preparing menus and always look’s back for inspiration. “I look into some of my old cookbooks or my recipe book. I have a notebook that I have been collecting recipes for years and I label some of the menus such as "Christmas 2009.” I can remember that menu and draw inspiration from that,” he said.

Accompanying those dishes something sweet makes the perfect side dish. “The fall season is full of hard squashes and apples, simple cookery for side dishes,” said Gibbons.

Looking to reduce the holiday stress of creating a meal everyone will enjoy, the secret to the perfect holiday menu is to prep. “I usually start building my menu a week out, I begin making stocks three days out, soups the day before, prep the main dish and execute the day-of.”

Of course, there always has to be a festive drink to pair. “I don't have a special drink, but my wife will pick that up, cold beer is always good!”

From our kitchen to yours, Chef Kevin wishes everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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