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25 Celebrity Chefs Share Their Favorite Holiday Recipes

Nancy Silverton, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Bobby Flay, Enrique Olvera, Emeril Lagasse, and many more of the world's greatest chefs share the dishes they're whipping up this Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah.

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The 2020 holidays are in a constant state of flux, with travel plans constantly changing and gatherings continuously getting smaller and smaller. But there is one constant, through all the logistical madness: the joys of holiday food. At-home cooks save holiday recipes all year in anticipation of Thanksgiving sides, seven seafood-inspired courses on Christmas Eve, and over-the-top New Year’s Eve desserts. And so, to add a little extra merriment and je ne sais quoi to your holiday feasts, the Departures digital editors tapped their favorite celebrity chefs for their go-to holiday recipes. Here, our favorite chefs—from Mashama Bailey to Bobby Flay—on what they’re making this season. Start with appetizers from Emeril Lagasse and JJ Johnson, and move along to sides, main courses, and desserts from more top talent.

JJ Johnson’s Fresh Baked Cornbread

Chef JJ Johnson, whose culinary talents have graced both the small screen and kitchens across the U.S., is known for his James Beard Award-winning take on African diaspora-inspired cuisine. From his extensive travels in Ghana and across the African continent, to working under chef Alexander Smalls at Cecil, to opening his own ventures, Johnson has built a following for his pan-African cuisine that led to his latest outpost: Fieldtrip. Fieldtrip opened in 2019 in Harlem and is where Johnson has been sharing his culinary gift as of late. This year, he’s eyeing fresh baked cornbread for the holidays, a recipe he shared with Departures here:

Fresh Baked Cornbread

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1¼ cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or you can use ancho chile powder)
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square or 9-inch round cake pan with some of the melted butter.

  • In a large bowl, beat the remaining melted butter, milk, and egg with a fork or wire whisk until well mixed. In a separate bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, Aleppo pepper, and salt. Stir into the egg mixture and blend until the flour is just moistened (the batter will be lumpy). Gently fold in the cheese and set the batter aside to rest for 5 minutes.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan; use a rubber spatula to scrape batter from the bowl. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.

  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Emeril Lagasse’s Butternut Squash Soup

Emeril Lagasse is no doubt busy managing his 10 restaurants scattered across the county and preparing for his first at sea—Emeril’s Bistro 1396–which will open in 2021 on Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras ship. But, the TV personality is eager to help others prepare chef-worthy holiday meals. That’s why he teamed up with Sur La Table to host an online cooking class that reveals the secrets to Thanksgiving staple dishes like a turkey roulade, pan gravy, and butternut squash soup, as well as a special cranberry cocktail. And he happened to share that classic soup recipe with us.

Butternut Squash Soup

4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3-inch chunks
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black or white pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups chopped onions
½ cup chopped carrots
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup brandy
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
4 cups water
Crème fraîche, for garnish (optional)
Herb oil of choice, for garnish (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Place the cut squash in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Transfer the squash to the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the squash is lightly caramelized and tender. Remove it from the oven and set aside.

  • While the squash is roasting, melt the butter in a 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the brandy, cook for 5 minutes, and then add the stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

  • Add the roasted squash to the pot, and remove it from the heat. Discard the thyme sprigs.

  • Blend the soup using an immersion blender, or in several batches in a blender until it is completely smooth. Transfer the blended soup to a decorative soup pot or to individual serving bowls. Serve hot, garnished with a dollop of crème fraîche and a drizzle of herb oil if desired.

This recipe serves eight to 10. It is reprinted with permission from “Cookbook: Farm to Fork,” copyright by Emeril Lagasse.

Tanya Holland’s Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls

Brown Sugar Kitchen’s Tanya Holland is known for taking soul and comfort food to another level, and that goes just the same for her Thanksgiving-ready, perfectly golden sweet potato dinner rolls. Want more of the chef’s hit recipes? Catch her new series Tanya's Kitchen Table, which explores the beauty of "cooking local while thinking global” on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

1 small orange-fleshed sweet potato (6 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus about 3 tablespoons melted for brushing
4 cups (about 1 pound, 2 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
1 envelope instant yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs

  • In a small saucepan, combine the sweet potato with enough water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and gently boil until the sweet potato is very tender when tested with a knife, 10 to 13 minutes.

  • Drain and transfer the sweet potato to a mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork. Add the buttermilk and butter.

  • If using a stand mixer, beat the mixture with a paddle attachment at medium-low speed until the mixture is fairly smooth. Add the flour, yeast, sugar, eggs, and 1½ teaspoons salt and mix on medium-low speed, scraping bottom and sides of bowl as needed, until the dough is smooth, sticky, and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 8 minutes; add a little more flour if the dough is very sticky.

  • If making by hand, beat the sweet potato, buttermilk, and butter with a whisk until smooth and no lumps remain. Add the flour, yeast, sugar, eggs, and 1½ teaspoons salt and stir with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are well combined. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes; it will be slightly sticky.

  • Transfer the dough to a clean, greased bowl. Cover, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for about 1½ hours, or until more than doubled in size.

  • Turn out dough onto a clean, ungreased surface and divide it into 15 equal pieces (a kitchen scale works well here). One at a time, cup each piece of dough beneath your palm and work in quick, circular motions to form a tight ball, with only a tiny seam along the bottom. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish and arrange the balls in even rows. Brush with butter, loosely cover, and set aside in a warm place until puffy, doubled in size, and they fill the pan, about 1 hour.

  • About 15 minutes before the rolls are ready, preheat the oven to 375 F. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the dish to a wire rack. Brush gently with a little butter. Let cool for 10 minutes, then turn out the rolls onto the rack, and invert again so they are bottom-side down. Let cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

This recipe yields 15 rolls.

Chef Douglas Rodriguez’s Seven Fishes-Inspired Seafood Ceviche Salad

Douglas Rodriguez, who is now helming the new Hotel Haya’s flagship restaurant Flora Fina, is a James Beard Award-winning chef specializing in Latin American cuisine. In addition to serving as executive chef at Flora Fina, he runs Cafe Quiquiriqui in Ybor City, Florida, which has a Cuban-centric menu. This year, inspired by the quintessential Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes, Rodriguez is making a light but flavorful seafood ceviche salad:

8 ounces shrimp, lightly poached
8 ounces calamari, lightly poached
8 ounces octopus, poached and shaved
4 ounces mussels, poached out of shell
4 ounces lemon juice
2 ounces lime juice
2 ounces celery juice
3 ounces celery, finely diced
3 ounces EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 sprigs oregano
1 ounce Fresno chilis
1 ounce flat leaf parsley
1 ounce pomegranate
1 ounce pistachio, toasted and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


  • Mix seafood with oil and citrus juices

  • Add salt and pepper after a few minutes of marination, followed by parsley and oregano mix

  • Garnish with pomegranate and chopped pistachio

Nancy Silverton’s Okinawa Sweet Potatoes with Green Onion Crème Fraîche

It’s hard to keep track of prolific California chef Nancy Silverton, because the American Express Global Dining Collection chef and the co-founder of LA’s Osteria Mozza is always working on a myriad of new projects. The James Beard Award winner is also the executive chef of The Centurion Lounge at LAX, which debuted in March 2020, and is celebrating the winter season by hosting an elaborate truffle dinner at Ojai Valley Inn, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property. For the holiday season, she loves to serve Japanese sweet potatoes as a side dish and shared one of her favorite takes on the versatile vegetable.

Okinawa Sweet Potatoes

12 Okinawa Sweet Potatoes (3 to 4 inches in length)
24 ounces butter
3 cups olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 sprigs of sage
2 ounces parmesan
2 ounces chives, minced
Flaky Sea Salt, such as Maldon Salt

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.

  • In a 4-quart sauté pan with a lid, add olive oil and butter.

  • Start with medium heat to melt the butter.

  • When the butter is fully melted, add the Okinawa sweet potatoes. The butter and olive oil should fully submerge the potatoes. Add kosher salt and sage.

  • Bring the pan up to a simmer and then cover with a lid. Simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes.

  • Test the sweet potatoes with a knife or fork, it should go in with little resistance.

  • With a slotted spoon, remove them from the oil and onto a sheet tray.

  • Allow them to cool until they can be enough to handle with your hands.

  • Make a small slit on the top of the sweet potatoes and pinch them together to open the potato.

  • Place into the oven for 8 minutes.

  • Transfer the sweet potatoes to a serving dish.

  • With a microplane or grater, grate the parmesan over the potatoes and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

  • Top with a dollop of green onion crème fraîche in each sweet potato and garnish with a sprinkle of chives.

Green Onion Crème Fraîche

½ cup crème fraîche
¼ cup scallions, minced
¼ cup shallots, minced
1 garlic, microplaned
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ lemon, juiced

  • In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Keep refrigerated until ready for use.

This recipe serves four.

Michael Solomonov’s Pumpkin Broth with Fideos

American Express Global Dining Collection chef Michael Solomonov’s Philadelphia-based restaurant, Zahav, has been one of the most sought-after seatings in the mid-Atlantic since it opened its doors in 2008. Since then, the James Beard Award-winning chef has channeled his deep love for Israeli cuisine through a series of Philly restaurants, opened alongside his business partner Steve Cook. Fan favorites include—but aren’t limited to—Federal Donuts, Goldie, K'Far, and Merkaz. His most recent debut is Laser Wolf, an Israeli skewer house that opened in February of this year. Ahead of the Jewish holiday, the chef will be offering his annual free Chanukah cooking demonstration, airing Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. or Monday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.—you’ll want to register here. This holiday season, he’s making pumpkin broth with fideos.

Pumpkin Broth with Fideos

1 onion, halved
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 red kuri or acorn squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces, skin and seeds reserved
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 cinnamon stick
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, sliced
4 cloves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup fideos
2 cups shredded kale
1⁄2 cup pearl onions

  • Heat a cast iron pan over high heat until smoking, about 3 minutes. Add the onion halves, cut side down, to the pan and cook undisturbed until the onion has a black layer of char across it, about 5 minutes. Reserve.

  • For the broth, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the squash skin and seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until the color darkens and some squash residue begins sticking to the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes.

  • Add 2 quarts water, the reserved onion, tomatoes, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Strain, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible, and return the broth to the pot.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F. Toss the fideos with 1 teaspoon of the oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until the fideos have darkened in color and smell a bit nutty, about 4 minutes. (Watch them closely; they go from perfectly toasted to burned quickly.) Set aside.

  • Toss the squash with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, arrange on a baking sheet, and roast until dark brown but not fully cooked, about 15 minutes.

  • Return the broth to a simmer and add the kale and pearl onions. Simmer until the vegetables just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted squash and toasted fideos and cook, stirring, until the soup has thickened and the fideos are tender, about 4 more minutes. Serve immediately in bowls.

This recipe serves four.

Jordan Kahn’s Whole Roasted Celery Root in an Aromatic Salt Crust

There is no reservation harder to come by in LA than a table at Vespertine. Touted as a multisensory, high-concept culinary experience, Vespertine aims to “disrupt the course of the modern restaurant”—as does founder and executive chef Jordan Kahn. Chef Kahn has always brought big Noma and Alchemist energy to the table, with the de rigueur fusion of architecture and food, and is set to open Ephemera, an al fresco Vespertine-like art and culinary experience in LA this winter. It stands to reason that his unconventional dining take would translate into his holiday side dishes; Chef Kahn shared his inventive salt-crusted roasted celery root with us.

Salt Crust

2 ½ cups (500 grams) kosher salt
2 ½ cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups (300 grams) water
30 grams dried juniper berries, tasted and crushed
Mix the salt, flour, water, and juniper berries in a mixing bowl until a dough forms. Knead this dough for 2-3 minutes until the dough is homogenous and elastic.

Celery Root

1 large celery root, scrubbed vigorously with a hard-bristle brush
8 wild california juniper boughs, cut into 3-inch pieces
Reserved dough from above


Whipped crème fraîche (homemade is best)
Coarse smoked sea salt
Minced chives
Grated black winter truffle
Brown butter
Fresh yuzu, sliced into wedges.

  • Roll out the dough to a 12-inch diameter circle and about ¼-inch thick.

  • Lay the juniper boughs around the dough and distribute evenly.

  • Place the celery root stem side up on the disc of dough with the juniper.

  • Pull the edges of the dough up toward the center of the celery root to completely surround it with the dough. The celery root should be totally encapsulated with the stems sticking out the top center.

  • Place the celery root in a hearth or wood burning oven in a place with ambient temperature, farthest from the flame.

  • Turn the celery root every 20 minutes for 5 hours, so that the celery root cooks evenly.

  • Remove the celery from the hearth and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

  • Crack the salt crust with a hammer until the pieces can be pulled off of the celery root.

  • Slice the celery root into even wedges, slicing away the skin the way you would remove the skin of an orange.

  • Arrange the celery root on a plate and sprinkle with the smoked salt and chives.

  • Spoon the brown butter over the celery root.

  • Squeeze a portion of yuzu over the celery root.

  • Garnish with freshly grated black truffle and whipped crème fraîche on the side.

We’ve converted this recipe in accordance with the imperial system, but the chef’s original metric system measurements remain in parentheses.

Chef Nyle Flynn’s Cast Iron Sweet Potatoes

Nyle Flynn, who hails from Detroit but trained under a renowned butcher in France, has a background specifically in sustainable meats. This year, however, he’s showcasing in-season vegetables with his classic cast iron sweet potatoes. The chef, now heading up the culinary program at newly open Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis, shared his sweet potatoes recipe with Departures here:

4 sweet potatoes
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 tablespoons butter (cut into small cubes)
½ lime
4 tablespoons pecans
Sage, a few leaves


  • Place sweet potatoes on a roasting rack and cook at 350 F for 45 minutes to an hour. When toothpick pierces all the way through with no resistance, they are done. Let sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle.

  • Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into ½ inch disks.

  • Lightly drizzle with blended oil and season with salt and pepper.

  • Starting with a hot cast iron pan, place your potato disks in and reduce the heat to medium. Flip the disks when you see char on the outer edge and add maple syrup and chili flakes.

  • Once the syrup starts to froth, turn off the heat and add the diced butter and stir in to make an emulsified sauce. Finish with the juice of half a lime. Note: using cold butter and stirring in when the pan is off heat will help make a better emulsified sauce.

  • Place the charred sweet potato onto your serving dish and drizzle some of the maple sauce on top.

  • Finish with a sprinkle of chopped pecans, a few sprigs of chopped sage, and a pinch of sea salt.

Stephanie Izard’s Green Bean Casserole

Many know author and American Express Global Dining Collection chef Stephanie Izard from it-restaurant Girl & the Goat (Chicago and LA) but this James Beard Award-winning chef is owner of not one but four restaurants, alongside a cooking product line, a meal kit service, and two cookbooks. Top it off with accolades like Iron Chef and Top Chef (the first female winner), and we’ve got a veritable culinary powerhouse on our hands. This year, Izard has swiveled toward sweets, debuting a new Chicago-based bakery, Sugargoat, which features a menu with whimsical items, like a pie inspired by a Wendy’s Frosty and french fries. For the holidays, though, chef Izard is going a little more traditional. Below, she shares Girl & the Goat’s green bean casserole recipe—and it’s the quintessential side dish for any Thanksgiving spread.

Green Bean Casserole

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
¼ cup This Little Goat went to Southeast Asia sauce
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
2 pounds green beans, cleaned and blanched
Kosher salt
2 cups crispy onions, store-bought or homemade

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.

  • Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the mushrooms. Sauté until tender, about 3-5 minutes.

  • Add Southeast Asia sauce and mix until mushrooms are well coated. Stir in the flour until evenly distributed and no large chunks remain. Cook flour for about 1 minute, then whisk in the heavy cream. Allow sauce to thicken for about 2 minutes.

  • Add green beans and a pinch of kosher salt to the pan and toss to evenly coat with sauce.

  • Pour green bean mixture into a casserole dish. Bake until hot and green beans are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven, toss the green bean mixture to distribute the sauce and return to the oven.

  • Continue cooking until the top is bubbly and golden, about 5-7 minutes more.

  • Garnish with your favorite crispy onions and serve hot.

This recipe serves four to six.

Edouardo Jordan’s Candied Sweet Potato Yams With Sorghum Chili, Pickled Raisins, and Pecan

Global Dining Collection chef Edourdo Jordan, a James Beard Award winning chef from the Pacific Northwest, now owns two Seattle restaurants, Junebaby and Salare. From coming up in the most impressive culinary ranks in the country (he did stints at both The French Laundry and Per Se), to running his own kitchens, Jordan is a revered chef across the U.S., known for translating the African diaspora into a culinary experience at Salare and bringing an element of American history into his Southern fare at Junebaby. Those Southern flavors come into play when he cooks for the holidays, especially in these candied sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes

2 pounds sweet potatoes
Olive oil

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel and medium dice sweet potatoes. Dress with olive oil and season with salt. Place on a baking sheet pan and roast in the oven until fork tender, but not mushy. Allow to rest at room temperature..

Sorghum Chili Sauce

½ cup (100 grams) sorghum syrup
¾ cup (150 grams) vermouth vinegar or similar vinegar
½ cup (100 grams) water
2 ⅖ teaspoon (10 grams) smoked chili seeds or mild smoked chilis chopped
1⅗ teaspoons (8 grams) salt

  • Place syrup, vinegar, water, and salt into a small pot, and bring to a simmer until reduced by half. Add in chili seeds and simmer for a minute longer. Remove from heat and save for later use.

Pickled Raisins

⅘ cup (160 grams) golden raisins
⅖ cup (80 grams) champagne vinegar
⅖ cup (80 grams) water
⅕ cup (40 grams) sugar
⅗ teaspoon (3 grams) salt

  • Bring vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small pot to dissolve. Add in raisins and simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature in a non-reactive container (stainless steel, ceramic, etc).

Toasted Pecans

½ cup (100 grams) pecans, shelled and halved

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Toast pecans in oven, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.

Fried Sage

10 fresh sage leaves
Cooking oil (canola is what I use)

  • In a medium pan, heat a shallow layer of cooking oil in the pan to 325 F. Drop in sage leaves for 1 minute, stirring to ensure even cooking. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel. Season with salt.

To finish
In a large pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add in cooked sweet potatoes and toss. Add in half of the sorghum sauce and reduce over high heat to coat the sweet potatoes with the thickened syrup. Strain raisins and toss in a handful. Continue cooking to tighten and glaze sweet potatoes. Serve hot, garnished with pecans and fried sage.

We’ve converted this recipe in accordance with the imperial system, but the chef’s original metric system measurements remain in parentheses.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Butternut Squash with Balsamic and Chili Panko Crumbs

The culinary powerhouse that is Jean-Georges never ceases to amaze with his awe-inspiring recipes, and when it comes to holiday dishes it’s no different. Owner of some of the world’s greatest restaurants, like The Mark, JoJo, and ABC Kitchen, Vongerichten is known for elevating even the most simple of ingredients. Here, he brings a decadence to an oft-overlooked sidedish: butternut squash. By combining balsamic vinegar and Parmigiano-Reggiano, Vongerichten brings a nice depth to the delicious dish without overpowering the main course.

Butternut Squash with Balsamic and Chili Panko Crumbs

1 large butternut squash (about 2 ½ pounds)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup panko crumbs
1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Add the whole squash and cook, partially covered, until tender, about 45 minutes. (A knife will pierce the flesh very easily.) Drain, cool slightly, then remove and discard the stem and peel. Reserve the seeds, removing and discarding the strings.

  • Transfer the flesh to a large serving dish and mash with a fork into an even layer. Drizzle the vinegar and 2 table­spoons of the oil over the squash, and season with salt and pepper.

  • Heat 3 tablespoons of the squash seeds in a large skillet over medium-low heat until dry. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and a pinch of salt and toast, tossing occasion­ally. When the seeds begin to pop, partially cover the pan. Continue toasting until golden brown, about 3 min­utes, then transfer to a plate.

  • In the same skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat, then toss in the crumbs. When well coated, stir in the thyme, chile, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Toast, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and toasted seeds. Spread the crumb mixture over the squash in an even layer and serve immediately.

This recipe serves eight.

April Bloomfield’s Duck Fat Potatoes

April Bloomfield is known for her hip NYC restaurants, but the British chef decided to return to her country roots this fall and oversee the culinary operations of the Mayflower Inn & Spa, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, in Washington, Connecticut as their newest chef-in-residence to celebrate the property’s 100th anniversary. She reimagined and developed menus highlighting her heritage for all on-site dining venues, including a tasting experience at the redesigned Garden Room restaurant. The James Beard Award winner loves a twist on traditional tavern food and shared her duck fat potatoes recipe (one of her holiday staples) with Departures.

Duck Fat Potatoes

2½ pounds russet (baking) potatoes (2 large, halved lengthwise, or 4 small), rinsed
Kosher salt
2 cups rendered duck fat, gently warmed until liquid
Maldon or another flaky sea salt

  • Put the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover them by an inch or two. Add enough kosher salt so the water tastes just a little less salty than sea water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer. Cook the potatoes just until you can poke the fattest part with a butter knife without much resistance. (But don’t get poke-happy, or they’ll get waterlogged.) It’ll take 15 to 20 minutes from when they reach the boil, depending on the size of your potatoes.

  • Drain the potatoes well in a colander and gently shake it so the potatoes knock against its sides and get a bit fluffy and powdery looking on the outsides. It’s okay if they break up a little, but you don’t want them to get too crumbly. Let them sit uncovered while you heat the fat so some water escapes as steam. That way, they won’t sputter and splatter when you fry them.

  • Preheat the oven to 450 F.

  • Pour the duck fat into a flameproof baking dish or deep cast-iron pan large enough to hold the potatoes in one layer with some room to spare. Set the pan over high heat until the fat begins to bubble a little, about 5 minutes. To test whether it’s hot enough, gently touch one of the potatoes to the fat. It should crackle, sizzle, and bubble rapidly straightaway. (If the fat isn’t hot enough when you add the potatoes, they’ll stick to the pan.) When it’s good and hot, gingerly add the potatoes. Cook them in the fat until they crisp up a bit on all sides and get golden at the edges, turning them over occasionally once the first side is crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Carefully put the pan into the oven and cook, checking on and turning the potatoes over every now and then, until they have an even deep-golden, crispy crust all over, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes to a plate, and immediately sprinkle them with sea salt, crushing it lightly between your fingers. Spoon on a little of the fat from the pan, if you fancy.

Marcus Samuelsson’s Harissa-Crusted Turkey

From judging Chopped to sharing Black culture through food in his book “The Rise” (To buy: $34,, Marcus Samuelsson uses his culinary skills to educate. The Swedish-Ethiopian chef has restaurants from Miami to Sweden, but is perhaps best known for his soul food at Red Rooster, which started in Harlem and has since expanded to London, with a forthcoming third outpost in Miami. This Thanksgiving, Samuelsson is helping feed the Newark community with Newark Working Kitchens. In that spirit, he shared the Thanksgiving pièce de résistance with Departures: his turkey recipe.

Harissa-Crusted Turkey

1 (12-pound) turkey (neck and liver reserved)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves, quartered
2 red onions, quartered
2 cups cubed (½ inch) peeled sweet potatoes
2 sprigs fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
1 cup plus ½ tablespoon Harissa
½ cup olive oil, plus more for the liver
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
All-purpose flour

  • Season the turkey liberally, inside and out, with salt and pepper. Put it on a baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.

  • Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400F

  • Toss the garlic, onions, sweet potatoes, and thyme with ½ tablespoon of the Harissa. Stuff the vegetables into the large cavity and close with a wooden skewer

  • Combine 1 cup Harissa with the olive oil and generously rub over and under the skin of the bird. Fold the neck skin under the body and secure it with a small skewer; tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string; and secure the wings to the body with small skewers. Put the turkey and the neck in the roasting pan and tent the breast with foil. Roast for 20 minutes. Pour 2 cups of the broth into the pan and stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Roast the turkey for 40 minutes. Remove the neck from the pan. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F. Add the remaining 1 cup broth to the pan and continue to roast the bird, basting occasionally with the pan juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 165 F, after 1 ½ to 2 hours. Remove the foil during the last 20 minutes of cooking. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes.

  • Skim the excess fat from the juices in the roasting pan, then set the pan over medium-low heat. Add the water, stirring to dissolve any browned bits, and simmer the pan gravy until it reduces and thickens slightly.

  • Heat a slick of oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, dredge the liver in flour, add it to the skillet and sear until cooked through but still pink, about 5 minutes. Chop the liver and pull the meat from the neck. Add the liver and neck meat to the pan gravy.

  • Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy and the vegetables in the cavity.

Thomas Keller’s The Whole Bird

As the owner of two of the world’s greatest restaurants, Per Se and French Laundry, chef Thomas Keller is sure to whip up some impressive dishes for the holiday season. And with the release of his new cookbook, aptly named The French Laundry, Per Se, home cooks can follow in his footsteps to create a thoroughly impressive holiday spread. Here, Keller breaks down all of the delicious ways to feast on ‘the whole bird.’

For step-by-step instructions to Keller’s The Whole Bird recipe, click here.

Daniela Soto-Innes’ Lobster and Chorizo

The chef behind Atla, and a partner at Cosme and Elio alongside her mentor, Enrique Olvera, chef Daniela Soto-Innes has achieved culinary prodigy status. The American Express Global Dining Collection chef, who turned 30 this year, won the James Beard Rising Star Chef Award at age 25. For the holidays, Soto-Innes is bringing flavorful seafood to the table with her revelatory lobster and chorizo recipe:

Lobster and Brine

1 to 1.5-pound lobster from Maine (American lobster caught in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Georges Bank, and Canada with traps or pots is a good alternative)
4 quarts water
1 cup (200 grams) salt

  • Separate the knuckles and claws from the lobster body, reserve for another project.

  • Cut the lobster in half lengthwise and clean out the head, discard contents.

  • Brine the lobster tail (including shell) for 1 hour.


⅗ cup (115 grams) guajillo, no seeds, toasted
⅗ cup (115 grams) ancho, no seeds, toasted
3/10 cup (60 grams) garlic, minced
1 ½ (300 grams) onion
4/5 teaspoon (4 grams) cumin
4/5 teaspoon (4 grams) coriander
⅖ cups (80 grams) paprika
1 teaspoon (5 grams) oregano
A dash (1 gram) bay leaves
1 ⅖ (7 grams) Mexican cinnamon
⅕ teaspoon (40 grams) salt
3 ⅖ (17 grams) black pepper
2 cups (415 grams) white vinegar
4 ½ pounds (2,000 grams) ground pork

  • Toast all spices separately to ensure they are cooked evenly.

  • Toast chiles at 325 F until fragrant, around 2 minutes, rotating every minute.

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, add chiles, and cook for 5 minutes until chiles are soft. Strain chiles from water, saving the liquid.

  • In a Vitamix, blend the chiles, spices, and vinegar until smooth, add a small amount of reserved liquid from the chiles if needed for ease. Pass through the chinois.

  • In a robot coup, process the onion and garlic until fully blended and smooth.

  • Combine the onion and garlic paste with the ground pork and blended chiles.

  • Once combined, cook chorizo mixture off in grapeseed oil on a high heat. It is important that the pan be very hot so the chiles are toasted again and bring out more flavor. Adjust the seasoning of the cooked chorizo with salt. Excess chorizo and spice blend can be frozen in small batches for later use.

Chorizo Oil

⅗ cup (115 grams) guajillo, no seeds, toasted
⅗ cup (115 grams) ancho, no seeds, toasted
4/5 teaspoon (4 grams) cumin
4/5 teaspoon (4 grams) coriander
⅖ cups (80 grams) paprika
1 teaspoon (5 grams) oregano
A dash (1 gram) bay leaves
1 ⅖ (7 grams) Mexican cinnamon
2 ½ cups (500 grams) grapeseed oil

  • Toast all spices separately to ensure they are cooked evenly.

  • Toast chiles at 325 F until fragrant, around 2 minutes, rotating every minute.

  • Infuse in oil over low heat for 2 hours. The oil should maintain a temperature of 200 F to best extract the flavor from the chiles and spices.

Salsa Verde Crudo

3 cups (600 grams) tomatillo
¾ cup (150 grams) white onion
1 ounce (30 grams) serrano
1 ounce (30 grams) cilantro

  • Blend all ingredients together in a Vitamix. The salsa should still be slightly chunky and have texture (not blended until smooth)

  • Season to taste


1 lobster
¼ cup (50 grams) chorizo oil
1 cup (200 grams) chorizo
1 cachete
⅖ cups (80 grams) salsa verde crudo

  • Set oven to broil

  • Brush the lobster tail with chorizo oil

  • In a cast iron pan, cook lobster halves, still in shell, under broiler until almost cooked through, this should take around 3 minutes.

  • Remove the lobster from the broiler and fill the head with cooked chorizo.

  • Finish cooking the lobster with the chorizo, this will take around 1 minute.

  • Season with a squeeze of lime.

  • Serve the dish with salsa verde, cachete, and enjoy with tortillas or on its own.

We’ve converted this recipe in accordance with the imperial system, but the chef’s original metric system measurements remain in parentheses.

Bobby Flay’s Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Scampi Sauce

Bobby Flay is all about elevating overlooked ingredients this festive season, so much so that the New York chef has partnered with Misfits Market, an “ugly produce subscription service” to promote new ways of utilizing these veggies for home cooks. “It always takes a trendy restaurant to bring underrated vegetables to the forefront, it’s usually all the ingredients that we were taught not to like as a kid because they weren’t so beautifully prepared,” Flay explained to Departures. This holiday season, he’s using spaghetti squash to make a savory, seafood pasta.

Spaghetti Squash with Scampi Sauce

1 medium-large spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil
12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
1 small shallot, finely diced
⅓ cup white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F. With a large, sharp knife, carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and stringy flesh with a spoon and discard. Brush the cleaned squash halves with oil and season with salt and pepper.

  • Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil to help the squash soften. Roast for 1 hour or until the flesh is tender and the cut side is golden brown (you should be able to pierce the skin with a fork). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Using a fork, scrape the squash out of its skin into long, spaghetti-like strands. Move the fork across the squash crosswise, following the grain for longer strands. Set aside and reserve for the scampi sauce.

  • Heat a few tablespoons of canola oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Season the shrimp on both sides with salt and pepper and sear the shrimp, in batches until lightly golden brown on each side and just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining oil and shrimp.

  • Remove the shrimp to a large plate and return the pan to the burner.

  • Make sure there is a tablespoon of fat left in the pan; if not, add canola oil. Add the shallots and crushed garlic and cook for one minute but until no color is achieved. Add the wine and lemon juice, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon, and cook until reduced to ½ cup, about 3 minutes.

  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, and slowly whisk in the butter, tablespoon by tablespoon, and continue cooking until emulsified. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add the shrimp, and the accumulated juices on the plate back to the pan and cook just to heat through about 20 seconds. Add the reserved spaghetti squash and toss with cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

This recipe serves four.

Niklas Ekstedt’s Venison Meatballs With Red Cabbage Salad and Blackened Apple

“In Sweden, we make these meatballs with elk, our most famous game meat,” chef Niklas Ekstedt told Departures. “Reindeer meat or venison will work equally well. You will need to prepare the raw red cabbage salad a day in advance. We usually serve these with lingonberries; alternatively, serve with preserved redcurrants.” If you and the brood are taking on an outdoor Thanksgiving this year, don’t sleep on the acclaimed chef’s newest book, The Nordic Art of Analogue Cooking (To buy: $27,, which has some seriously delicious smoky, open-fire recipes inside.


½ cup butter
1 onion, finely chopped
5 teaspoons fresh breadcrumbs
6 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons double (heavy) cream
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon finely ground juniper berries
1½ pounds coarsely minced (ground) venison, elk, or reindeer meat
10 ounces minced (ground) pork
3½ cups frozen lingonberries mixed with 4 ounces (or a generous ½ cup) caster (superfine) sugar, to serve

  • To make the meatballs, heat half the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the onion, and sauté until soft but not colored. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  • Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl, add the milk and cream and leave to soak for 5 minutes.

  • Combine the onion, salt, pepper, and juniper, then add both meats and mix well (but don’t overwork, otherwise it will get too warm and split). Cover and store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 300 F. Wet your hands and shape the meat mixture into small meatballs. Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the meatballs until golden brown all over. Transfer the meatballs to a baking tray and cook through in the oven for about 10 minutes.

  • Serve the meatballs with caramelized red cabbage and raw red cabbage salad, blackened apples, mashed potato, and lingonberries.

Raw Red Cabbage Salad

1 pound red cabbage
2 tablespoons salt
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¾ cup sugar
1 star anise
2 cloves
1 small cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf

To make the raw red cabbage salad, slice the cabbage thinly—easiest on a mandolin—and rinse in cold water. Drain and place in a bowl with the salt. Mix well, cover with clingfilm, and store in the refrigerator for 3–4 hours. In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, and spices in 5 ounces or a generous ½ cup of water and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, leave for 10 minutes, and then strain to remove the whole spices. Leave to cool. Rinse the cabbage in cold running water for 5 minutes. Drain well. Place in a bowl, add the sugar and vinegar liquid and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Caramelized Red Cabbage Salad

1 pound red cabbage
2 tablespoon butter
1 red onion, sliced
¼ cup soft brown sugar
4 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf

  • To make the caramelized red cabbage salad, cut out the core of the cabbage and cut the cabbage into roughly ¾ inch cubes. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage and onion and sauté until soft. Add the sugar, vinegar, and bay leaf and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated and the mixture starts to caramelize.

Blackened Apples

2 apples
2 tablespoons butter

  • To make the blackened apples, cut each apple into 16 wedges. Spread the apple in a cast-iron pan and place over medium-high heat. Roast until the apples begin to release liquid. Turn up the heat and caramelize the surface until almost burned. Remove from the heat, add the butter, let it melt, and mix it around with the apples.

Mashed Potatoes

6 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons double (heavy) cream
1 bay leaf
3 black peppercorns
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
skin of ½ onion
1 pound potatoes, peeled
4 tablespoons butter

To make the mashed potato, heat the milk, cream, bay leaf, peppercorns, nutmeg, and onion skin in a saucepan over medium heat to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat, cover, and leave for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in salted boiling water until tender. Drain and leave in the pan with the lid off until the steam disappears. Strain the creamy liquid. Mash the potatoes, add the liquid, and whisk to combine; whisk as little as possible to prevent the potatoes from becoming gluey. Add the butter and season with salt to taste.

This recipe serves four.

Mashama Bailey’s Smoked Lamb Shoulder and Potato Cake

James Beard Award-winning chef Mashama Bailey is from the Bronx, but specializes in Southern cuisine. The Grey, where Bailey is the executive chef and a partner, is an American foodie favorite in Savannah, Georgia. Bailey is returning to her NYC roots this year, as she brings her Southern culinary feats from The Grey to Intersect by Lexus NYC, in the Meatpacking District, when it reopens on Dec. 3. The Grey will be Intersect’s fifth restaurant-in-residence, and as a result, Bailey will be sculpting a new Southern-inspired menu for New York City dwellers this holiday season. With that in mind, she shared the recipe for her smoked lamb shoulder, which she’s serving alongside her potato cake this December.

Lamb Shoulder

20 pounds bone-in lamb shoulder
1 ½ tablespoons (23 grams) ground black peppercorn
½ cup (105 grams) salt, kosher

  • Rub the lamb shoulders with the salt/ pepper mixture

  • Set on racks and refrigerator overnight

  • With a grill, use the charcoal snake method:

    • Place first layer of briquets unlit in a circle around the grill

    • Sprinkle wood chips on top of the briquets

    • Light hot briquets and place on the head of the snake

    • Using an aluminum pan, fill it with hot water in the center of the snake.

    • Once it starts, add more wood on top if need be.

  • Smoke at 200 F-250 F for 12–14 hours

  • Carefully remove the bones, tendons, and excess fat pockets.

  • Wrap in cling film tightly and press.

  • When cool, portion into 6-ounce pieces.

Potato Cake

2 quarts clarified butter
5 Idaho potatoes, peeled
Salt and ground black pepper

  • Mix two parts salt and one part ground black pepper and place in a stainless steel shaker.

  • Melt the clarified butter and hold in a half hotel pan.

  • Line the bottom of a quarter sheet tray with parchment paper.

  • With a mandolin or deli slicer, slice translucent slices of potato and place inside the clarified butter.

  • Shingle the potato slices so they cover the bottom just touching. Sprinkle a light layer of the salt/pepper mixture.

  • Start the layer on top of that one with the shingles starting the other way at a 90-degree angle and season with the salt and pepper. Repeat this until you have 10 full layers.

  • Place another piece of parchment on top of the top layer and cover with another quarter sheet tray. Place this setup on top of a full sheet tray. Place a weight on top of the top sheet tray, such as a stack of small cast iron pans.

  • Place in a 300 F oven until cooked all the way through, 1–1 ½ hours. Cool in the fridge, weighed down.

  • Cut into nine squares.

We’ve converted this recipe in accordance with the imperial system, but the chef’s original metric system measurements remain in parentheses.

Calum Franklin’s Beef, Stilton, and Onion Pie

“This is a pie for wintry days when the roads are blocked and you are snowed in,” chef Calum Franklin explained. “It is rich, decadent, and best followed by a nap on the couch.” The executive head chef is known as the “pie king” at the Holborn Dining Room, tucked within the Rosewood London, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property. Savory pie fans can find 79 more of his show-stopping creations available in the chef’s new book “The Pie Room” (To buy: $30,

Pastry Dough

1 ½ cups (300 grams) rough puff pastry (or shop-bought puff pastry)
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for brushing

For the Filling

3 cups (600 grams) beef chuck steak, cut into 4cm dice
½ cup (100 grams) plain flour
1 3/10 ounces or 16/100 cup (40 milliliter) vegetable oil
4 Spanish onions, peeled and halved but with the roots left on
2 cups (400 grams) chestnut mushrooms, halved
1 teaspoon table salt
1 ¼ cup (300 milliliter) red wine
2 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs
2 liters beef stock
½ cup (100 grams) Stilton cheese, broken into 2-centimeter nuggets
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Pie dish (25 centimeters long and 5 centimeters deep)

  • Preheat the oven to 465 F (240 C).

  • To prepare the filling, put the beef in a roasting tray, dust with the flour and toss the beef until all the flour has been absorbed by the meat. Add half the vegetable oil (20 milliliters) to the tray and toss well to make sure the meat is evenly coated. Put the tray into the preheated oven and roast the beef for 20 minutes until browned and any juices released during cooking have evaporated.

  • While the beef is roasting, cut each onion half into six wedges through the root to leave petals. Put a large frying pan over medium heat, add the remaining half (20 milliliters_ of vegetable oil, and warm for 1 minute. Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until the onions have started to brown. Add the mushrooms to the pan with half the salt and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes until the mushrooms have just softened. Next, add the red wine, bay leaves, and thyme and bring to a simmer.

  • After 20 minutes, remove the beef from the oven and check it is nicely browned. If not, return it to the oven for a further 5 minutes. When the beef is ready, tip the onions, mushrooms, herbs, and red wine into the roasting tray over the top of the meat. Put the frying pan back on the heat and pour in the beef stock—half at a time, if necessary—and bring to a simmer. Add to the tray with all the other pie filling ingredients.

  • At this stage, take the time to make sure the beef is not stuck to the bottom of the roasting tray: using a wooden spoon, dislodge any caramelized chunks of meat. Working carefully as the tray is hot, tightly cover the top of the tray with aluminum foil. Return the tray to the oven and continue to cook at 464 F (240 C) for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 356 F (180 C) and set a timer for 1¾ hours.

  • While the filling is braising, prepare the pastry. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 5-millimeter thick circle large enough to cover the pie dish. Slide the rolled-out pastry onto the lined tray and chill in the refrigerator for at least 25 minutes. Set aside any pastry trimmings for decoration.

  • After the beef has been braising for 1¾ hours, remove the tray from the oven and, using a dish towel to protect your hands, carefully peel back a corner of the foil. Spoon out one chunk of beef and check to make sure it is tender. It is okay if the beef has a little bite left in it, but it should not be chewy. If necessary, pop the tray back in the oven for a further 15 minutes and check again.

  • When the beef is ready, carefully remove all the foil from the roasting tray. Place a colander over a large bowl and tip in the filling. Let the mixture strain for a couple of minutes, then place the contents of the colander back into the tray and spread around to cool down. Transfer the strained liquid from the bowl to a large saucepan, bring to a simmer over a medium heat and cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with the pepper and the remaining salt, adding a little at a time, stirring and tasting until it has the correct level of seasoning. Pour the reduced liquid over the mixture in the tray and set aside to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to speed up the process. Once the mixture is cool, transfer the filling to the pie dish and level the surface. Nudge the nuggets of Stilton into the filling, distributing them evenly across the surface but avoiding the sides.

  • Increase the oven temperature to 430 F (220 C).

  • Brush the rim of the pie dish with the egg wash, brushing about 2.5-centimeters down the sides of the dish. Lay the pastry circle centrally across the top of the dish, allowing it to rest lightly on top of the filling. (The pastry lid should not be taut as it may droop during cooking and tear.) Press firmly down on the pastry against the egg-brushed rim of the dish to seal all the way around. Lightly brush the pie lid with more egg wash and decorate however you prefer using the reserved pastry trimming and then brush that with egg wash. Return the pie to the refrigerator and chill for a further 20 minutes.

  • Place the dish on a rack in the center of the preheated oven and bake the pie for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the core temperature of the filling has reached at least 158 F (70 C) on a digital probe thermometer. Alternatively, poke the tip of a knife through the pie into the middle of the filling and leave it there for a few seconds—it should be hot to the touch. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the dish around in the oven to ensure an even bake. Serve the pie simply with some boiled new potatoes and slow-roasted carrots.

This serves four to six people. We’ve converted this recipe in accordance with the imperial system, but the chef’s original metric system measurements remain in parentheses.

Nicolas Abello’s Foie Gras Terrine for Christmas

Executive chef of L'Appart at Brookfield Place, a Michelin-starred New York City restaurant with French flair and only 28 seats, Nicolas Abello has spent his culinary career around French cuisine—he was at Daniel before heading up the L'Appart kitchen, and likes to stay in the French culinary camp when thinking about Christmas delights. As such, he shared his exceptionally luxurious foie gras terrine recipe with Departures.


2 pieces of foie gras lobe grade-A from Hudson Valley
Seasoning for 4 ½ pounds (2 kilograms) of foie gras
3 ⅕ teaspoons (16 grams) of salt
⅘ teaspoon (4 grams) of nitrite salt
1 ⅕ teaspoons (6 grams) of ground black pepper
3 ounces of your favorite rum, Armagnac, or Cognac.

  • Leave the foie outside for an hour.

  • Separate the small part to the big part. With a knife, cut nice pieces: 8 to 10 slices for the big one, 4 or 5 for the small one.

  • Place your slices in a dish or tray. Season all the foie gras pieces with the mix of the two salts and the pepper and add the liquor.

  • Wrap your tray with plastic wrap and add foil paper to protect your foie from any light.

  • Keep it for 24 hours.

Cooking method:

  • With a non stick sauté pan, to the high flames on the stove, color each piece of foie on each side. Don’t cook it through. Strain the fat (keep it for cooking potatoes or finish a nice ribeye with it).

  • Place each piece of pan-seared foie gras inside a terrine; wrap the terrine in plastic wrap prior to packing with foie gras

  • Build your terrine to the top and press the foie gras with a piece of wood or whatever you have to extract all the liquid fat.

  • Put your terrine in the fridge with some weight on it. Leave it for 2 to 3 days.

  • After that, your foie gras terrine is ready to be served. Cut a nice piece, add some fleur de sel and ground pepper. You can accompany it with some Sauternes wine jelly, a sweet onion vinegar marmalade, and warm toasted brioche.

We’ve converted this recipe in accordance with the imperial system, but the chef’s original metric system measurements remain in parentheses.

Daniel Boulud’s Gingerbread Chestnut Trifle with Orange

Daniel Boulud’s Michelin-decorated culinary empire reaches across the globe (Miami to Toronto to Dubai and beyond). True to form, American Express Global Dining Collection chef Boulud is offering an elegant tasting menu for the Thanksgiving holiday this year, Give Thanks With Daniel Boulud, at his famed NYC outpost Daniel. The menu will be available as a to-go meal or as a socially distanced indoor or terrace dining experience. Lucky for Departures readers, the iconic chef shared his recipe for gingerbread chestnut trifle with us. “This trifle is not only delicious, but also a beautiful centerpiece for your holiday table,” said Chef Boulud. “The flavorful layers of the spiced honey gingerbread cake, sweet candied chestnuts, tangy orange, and fresh ginger-infused Chantilly complement one another perfectly.”

Gingerbread Cake

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1 teaspoon star anise, ground
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon cardamom, ground
3 cloves, or 1 pinch ground
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ⅓ cup clarified butter

Chestnut Whipped Cream

4 cups heavy cream
1 cup chestnut cream, or crème de marron (we recommend Clement Faugier)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, microplane and squeeze the juice out using a towel, discard the pulp

Grand Marnier Syrup

¼ cup water
¼ cup Grand Marnier
¼ cup syrup from the candied chestnuts


4 oranges, peeled and sliced thinly for garnish, zests candied
1 cup candied chestnuts in syrup, diced

Gingerbread Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking tray with non-stick cooking spray and line it with parchment paper.

  • Bring the honey, water, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in and infuse the spices and the zest of one orange for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and reserve.

  • In a mixer with the paddle attachment, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix at low speed while adding the infused syrup. Then follow with the clarified butter and mix on medium speed until smooth and combined, 2-3 minutes. Pour into the prepared tray.

  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotate the pan, and continue baking another 5-7 minutes. The cake should be golden and if you insert the tip of a knife into the center it should come out clean. Let it cool at room temperature.

  • Once cool, flip the tray of gingerbread onto a cutting board and discard the parchment paper. Cut two circles out of each pan of gingerbread using a sharp knife tracing around the edge of your trifle dish. Dice the leftover cake into 1-inch cubes for the bottom layer.

Chestnut Whipped Cream

Whip the heavy cream in a mixer with the whisk attachment on high until you have stiff peaks. In a separate bowl, gently fold half of the whipped cream into the chestnut cream using a rubber spatula. Once it is combined, fold in the remaining cream and ginger juice, transfer it into a piping bag. Keep the chestnut whipped cream refrigerated until you are ready to use it.

Candied Orange Zest

Using a peeler, remove the zest of the three remaining oranges and julienne the peels.

Bring them to a boil with 1 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. After it boils, strain the water off and return the zest to the pot with another cup of cold water. Bring the water back to a boil over medium heat. Finally, finish cooking the zest with 1 cup of cold water and 3 tablespoons sugar and simmer, until tender, for 20 minutes. While the zest is cooking, peel the remaining orange rind off all four oranges evenly and cut them in even slices, reserve.

Grand Marnier Syrup

Bring the water and syrup from the chestnuts to a boil and stir in the Grand Marnier. Let cool to room temperature. For a non-alcoholic version, you can substitute the Grand Marnier with one tablespoon of ginger juice.


Place a layer of diced gingerbread into a single layer on the bottom of an 8-inch trifle dish. Arrange the orange slices vertically against the glass slightly overlapping one another and form a nice layer along the bottom. Pipe an even layer of chestnut cream up to the level of the orange slices and spread it evenly. Drop one layer of cake carefully over the chestnut cream and pour half of the syrup evenly over the cake, sprinkle a layer of candied chestnuts and top it with another layer of cream. Top it with the final layer of the cake and the rest of the syrup. Using a star pastry tip, pipe some small dollops of the cream in varying sizes along the top and arrange the candied zest around. You can decorate the trifle with gold leaf if you have it or, if you want to add a layer of cranberry or berry compote, that would be delicious and festive, too.

Enrique Olvera’s Buñuelos

Chef Enrique Olvera, long known for founding Mexico City’s Pujol and Cosme in New York City, opened a new restaurant in October 2020 in Los Angeles: Damian. This is the American Express Global Dining Collection chef’s second restaurant opening of the year—he also opened Elio at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, with chef Daniela Soto-Innes in March 2020. Chef Olvera is, evidently, not taking a break any time soon. This past November he opened Carao, a Mexican restaurant with modern flavors at One&Only Mandarina in Riviera Nayarit. For the holidays this year, chef Olvera shared one of his favorite desserts with Departures.

“Buñuelos are a crunchy dessert you can easily find in Mexico’s public squares during the weekends,” said the world-class chef. “I like them when served with guayaba sirop on the top, and you can eat them while drinking a champurrado.” His unique take on Buñuelos involves serving them with passion fruit cream, which was inspired by his current paradisiacal surroundings on the Riviera Nayarit.

Buñuelos Puff Pastry

1 ¼ cup (250 grams) flour
½ cup (125 milliliters) of water
1 coffee pot of salt
9/10 cups (180 grams) unsalted butter

  • Mix the flour, water, and salt until you get a homogeneous dough, let it rest for two hours. Roll out the butter and fill in a similar way to a puff pastry.

  • Make two single rounds and one double, taking care to have a cooling space between each turn.

  • Once you have the dough, stretch perfectly, leaving the dough 1.5 millimeters thick. And cut 1-centimeter wide slats.

  • Roll up the slats and freeze.

  • Once well frozen, fry at 374 F (190 C).

  • Go through the puff pastry with absorbent paper and add sugar and cinnamon.

Passion Fruit Cream

¾ cup (150 grams) of passion fruit pulp
¼ cup (50 grams) brown sugar
1 ¼ cups (250 grams) of whipping cream
3 gelatin sheets
1 ½ cups (300 grams) of whipped cream

  • Mix the passion fruit with the cream, sweeten, and dissolve the previously hydrated gelatin sheets. Leave in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, break the gelatin, and add the whipped cream. Mix until you have a well-aerated mousse and place in the sleeve.

Almond Topping

¼ cup (50 grams) peeled almond

  • Place the churros on a plate with absorbent paper. Arrange the mousse in a bowl and grate the almond with a microplane

We’ve converted this recipe in accordance with the imperial system, but the chef’s original metric system measurements remain in parentheses.

Jake Leiber and Aidan O’Neal’s Pumpkin or Kabocha Squash Pie

Chefs Jake Leiber and Aidan O’Neal are a force to be reckoned with on the New York City culinary scene. They’re currently heading up Le Crocodile, within the très chic Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, but still have roots at Chez Ma Tante, their Montreal-inspired NYC restaurant. Rather than making their favorite Montreal smoked meat or sharing their take on Saint Viateur bagels this holiday season, they’re instead serving a classic with a twist. It’s a pumpkin pie you can make with—wait for it—no pumpkin at all.


1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
⅓ cup water, cold

Cut the cold butter into 1-inch cubes. In a food processor, blend the flour, sugar, salt, and butter until the butter is pea-sized. Turn out into a bowl, add the water, and mix until just combined (it may seem dry, but it will hydrate as it rests). On an unfloured surface, flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. After chilling, roll the dough to a 12-inch circle on a floured surface. Place the dough onto a 9-inch pie pan. Fold the edges, then crimp the dough using both thumbs and index fingers. Freeze the shell for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the pie shell with parchment paper, fill with dried beans or rice, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the parchment paper/beans, and bake for another 5 minutes. Let cool.


2 cups *kabocha or sugar pumpkin puree
3 eggs
¾ cup heavy cream
​2⁄3 cup light brown sugar
1 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1½ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¾ teaspoon salt

  • To make the squash puree: preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut a 3½ to 4 lb squash in half, scoop out the seeds, place on an oiled baking sheet and roast for 45-50 minutes, until soft. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and blend in a high-speed blender, or a food processor.

  • Pie filling: Measure 2 cups of the puree into a mixing bowl. Whisk in the eggs and heavy cream. Then whisk in the brown sugar, spices, and salt.

  • To bake the pie: Preheat the oven to 300 F. Pour the filling into the baked pie shell. Bake for 45-50 minutes, the center will jiggle slightly. Cool completely. Serve with whipped cream.

Judy Joo’s Nurungji Rice Pudding

“I used to fight for the crispy layer of rice on the bottom of the rice cooker, that had caramelized nicely into a flat, round crisp perfect for snacking on,” Judy Joo explained to Departures. “Now, you can buy this golden roasted rice 'cracker' in bags, capturing that toasted rice flavor, which makes for the most moreish rice pudding.” That crispy rice has inspired the chef’s delectable rice pudding, a perfect holiday dessert:

28 fluid ounces (800 milliliters) milk
1 oksusu cha (roasted corn tea) tea bag
3 ounces (75 grams) pudding rice
5 ounces (150 grams) nurungji (scorched rice)
3 ounces (80 grams) caster sugar
2 fluid ounces (50 milliliters) double cream
7 ounces (200 grams) condensed milk
a splash of milk, if needed

To Serve

Nurungji, dusted in sugar
Maple syrup

  • Put the milk and oksusu cha tea bag in a medium saucepan, bring to the boil gently, then remove the pan from the heat and let it infuse for 15 minutes.

  • Remove the tea bag and squeeze it out as much as you can to get the flavour. Add the pudding rice and nurungji to the same pan. Give it a good stir and bring to boil, then immediately turn the heat down to low. Cook gently for 30–40 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it does not catch on the bottom of the pan; the rice should be plumped up and tender. Add the sugar, cream and condensed milk and stir until it’s soft, then remove the pan from the heat. Loosen the rice pudding with an extra splash of milk before serving, if needed.

  • Serve the rice pudding with figs, sugar-dusted nurungji and maple syrup drizzled on top.

This recipe makes six servings. We’ve converted this recipe in accordance with the imperial system, but the chef’s original metric system measurements remain in parentheses.

Tal Dekel-Daks, Sean Flynn, Maya Kachroo-Levine, Ellie Nan Storck, and Jordi Lippe-McGraw contributed to this article.


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