David McIntyre, our executive chef at CUT at 45 Park Lane, shares the joy of celebrating Thanksgiving in true American style. Read his wonderful insight into this memorable time of year.
Where does the tradition come from?
It’s believed to have originated in the 1600s when Pilgrim settlers celebrated a harvest feast with Native Americans. Today the tradition celebrates a time to give thanks for all our blessings in life and is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends. When I was growing up in California it was always my favourite time of year.
What food is traditionally served at Thanksgiving?
Most American families like to enjoy a roast turkey lunch or dinner, complete with stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and plenty of delicious gravy. Other additions include candied yams, cornbread and green bean casserole. When it comes to dessert it’s all about the pie – both apple and pumpkin pie are firm favourites.
Tell us about the recommendations
It’s a wonderful excuse to decorate your home and that includes colourful table settings. The theme is usually inspired by autumn, or ‘fall’ as we call it, with lots of rich rustic tones such as yellow, orange and green. Pumpkins and other harvest produce are often scattered around too as seasonal decorations.
Are you doing anything new for thanksgiving?
I recently launched a new American afternoon tea at 45 Park Lane called CUTcakes & Tea. For Thanksgiving I’ve incorporated some seasonal flavours including fried turkey and buttermilk bisquets, maple and bacon macarons, and caramel apple and candied pecan cake pops. I think it’s a great way to celebrate!
What drinks do you recommend at Thanksgiving?
At BAR 45 we’re mixing up a special Negroni this year, which we’ve nicknamed Holly Spirits. It’s made with nutmeg, clove and vanilla, infused homemade soda and served with a dry orange and clove garnish ‒ a fresh twist on our signature Negroni cocktail. Other tempting seasonal alternatives include apple cider or one of our pumpkin-flavoured lattes.
What entertainment is there?
Television plays an important role. There’s always a major NFL football match to watch, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and plenty of old films to get you in the festive mood. In more recent years it’s become popular to volunteer to help out at a charity soup kitchen or to take part in a Turkey Trot, a local run aimed at balancing out all that eating!