Still struggling to make a juicy, crowd-pleasing turkey? Wondering how to keep that stuffing moist and mouthwatering? On Wednesday, Nov. 7, famed chef Brian Malarkey hosts Thanksgiving Feast: Recipes and Ideas at Farmer & The Seahorse in Torrey Pines.
In the span of two hours, guests will get an insider lesson on developing a gastronomic feast, including turkey, stuffing, green beans, and gravy. After a drool-worthy demonstration, everyone will gather on the heated outdoor patio for a family style dinner complete with dessert.
In addition to memorable munchies, Food & Beverage Director Chris Simmons will create a complimentary cocktail for thirsty guests.
Ahead of the event, PACIFIC chatted with Malarkey to find out more about the event and his top tips for an enjoyable Thanksgiving.
PACIFIC: Fill in the blank: Besides the turkey, no Thanksgiving table is complete without...
BRIAN MALARKEY: A lot of wine (laughs). I am a traditionalist, I think green beans, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. I made green bean muffins one time that were out of control.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
It’s always families and friends. A wise person told me you have to invite a social bumper, that’s friends that don’t have anywhere to go. Then everyone has to be on their best behavior.
What’s the scoop on the Thanksgiving Feast event?
Think of it as interactive dinner theater. We are trying to create a more personal touch with guest interaction and provide a fun experience. The whole idea is not to make it overly worked, but to celebrate life over food, and while yes food is the attraction, it’s really about the stories that happen around the food.
Give us a teaser for what to expect...
We are going to cook turkeys three different ways. One is a deep fried turkey that we will cook outside and it’s foolproof. Another way is to flat roast the turkey and it’s super easy to carve. Then we are going to roast a whole turkey, but start it upside down. The flavor will soak into the breast and then we’ll crisp it up. Besides gravy, we’ll also be making citrus mustard chimichurri, and cranberry nut relish.
What’s a common mistake people make in the kitchen at Thanksgiving?
I think people take on too much and end up with a bunch of “B” or “C+” dishes. It’s better to do less and have “A” dishes. Assign dishes to people in the family. It's fun to get a crew in the kitchen and not take on all responsibility by yourself. It’s hard to cook for that many people.
Professional tip on your favorite dish?
I smoke my turkeys. It takes a lot of preparation, but you can buy a smoked turkey and toss the chunks into your stuffing or your dressing or green beans, it adds so much flavor, and it’s super moist.
There is one secret piece called the turkey oyster. It’s where the thighs go into the back, there are two luscious clumps, with the most divine texture and moistness of the turkey.
Word of encouragement for making the day a success?
Don’t take it too seriously. Worst case scenario, you go to eat roasted duck like A Christmas Story. Get your friends involved, have fun, do a cooking competition show and ask, “Which was better?”
If you could invite anyone (living or dead) to Thanksgiving who would it be?
I would have to say my grandparents and my father, those closest to me that have passed away.
What are you thankful for this year?
I am thankful that I have wonderful family that is healthy and that my restaurant family is well, and I live in San Diego, California. Oh, and that Troy Johnson named Herb & Wood Restaurant of the Year.
Any last thoughts?
We want you to cook Thanksgiving dinner!
Thanksgiving Feast: Recipes and Ideas will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Farmer & The Seashore. Tickets are $100 and available for purchase purchase here.
10996 Torreyana Rd. #240, Torrey Pines, 858.260.5400, thealexandria.com/farmer-the-seahorse