15 Celebrity Chefs Share Their Favorite Tips For Easier Thanksgiving Prep
Thanksgiving is the biggest dinner of the year for many households. This is also true for celebrity chefs. The difference being, of course, that chefs know all the best tips for saving time and making everything from prep to presentation a breeze.
Prep Like A Chef
Ever wonder how a complex restaurant meal comes together within several minutes of ordering – not to mention the fact that multiple dishes can be perfectly timed to hit the table simultaneously?
“It’s all about proper mise en place, or having everything ‘in place’ before the dishes are cooked and assembled,” said Michael Laiskonis, Creative Director at the Institute of Culinary Education who has been a judge on Food Network on shows such as Beat Bobby Flay and Money Hungry.
A large Thanksgiving feast can be daunting for even well-seasoned cooks, but planning ahead and breaking up the prep work into manageable tasks can make the day less stressful. “After planning the menu a few days prior, separate those parts of the meal that must be attended to on the big day, from those that can be started a day (or two) before. I like to do all of my knife work, for example, the night before – whatever it may be – chopping onions or mincing garlic or picking herbs,” said Laiskonis. This advance work means that when Laiskonis starts cooking in earnest on Thursday morning, everything is ready for its respective dish. “It helps keep the refrigerator (often overstuffed at this point) relatively clean and organized,” said Laiskonis.