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3 Chefs From The Palm Beaches Share Their Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes And Traditions

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a chef on Thanksgiving? Do they prepare their meals like they would at their restaurants? What traditions do they hold near and dear to their hearts?

We were curious about these questions, and decided to ask three local chefs in the Palm Beaches how they like to celebrate the holiday. They also shared their favorite Thanksgiving recipes with us so that you can cook like a true professional this year.

Keep reading to find out why Lee Morris cooks salmon instead of turkey, how to make Clay Conley’s apple streusel and what Marco Barbisotti’s favorite things are about the fall season.

Main Course: Mustard-Crusted Cedar Plank Salmon

Photo courtesy LibbyVision.com

Recipe courtesy of Lee Morris, 1000 NORTH

“As a kid, we did the traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, both at my house and at my grandmother’s in New Jersey. We spent a lot of time on the coast, so our stuffing was oyster stuffing. My dad, who was the family foodie, would make it using either cornbread or brioche,” says Morris. “When the family moved to South Florida in 1993, Dad decided to lighten things up. He started cooking cedar plank salmon on the grill for Thanksgiving. So, that became the family tradition. At Thanksgiving, the main dish is still salmon at our house.”

2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

2 tablespoons Grey Poupon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons local honey (run under hot water to make it easier to work with)

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced

1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

1 salmon side with skin, trim the tail piece about 6 inches from the bottom and save for lunch on another day (that piece overcooks and burns easily, and should not be used for this dish)

1 cedar grilling plank

Soak the plank in water for one to two hours before grilling. Keep it immersed with a plate or something heavy. Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal grill. Stir together the mustards, honey, rosemary and zest. Season the flesh of the salmon liberally with salt and pepper.

Using a rubber spatula, spread the mustard mixture on the flesh side of the salmon, and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Put the salmon skin-side down on the plank. Grill covered with lid down until the salmon is cooked through and the edges are browned (about 13 to 15 minutes).

Note: If the plank catches fire, do not panic. Let the fire extinguish on the grill with the vents closed.

Use a spatula to carefully remove the salmon from the grill. Keep the salmon on the plank. Let the salmon stand on the plank for five minutes before serving. Dish serves well with a glass of white wine.

Side Dish: Sweet Potato With Caramelized Apple

Photo courtesy of LibbyVission.com

Recipe courtesy of Marco Barbisotti, Sant Ambroeus

“I really love this time of the year when the season changes and colors turn to fall,” says Barbisotti. “Especially here in the U.S., it’s ideal for spending some time with your family picking pumpkins and having a wonderful dinner together.”

8 sweet potatoes

4 apples

250 grams butter

Juice from 1 orange

Salt and pepper

Five-spice at your taste

Cook the potato unpeeled in the oven until it’s soft, then cut in half and scoop out the potato with the spoon. Put the potato in the food processor with butter, some orange juice, salt, pepper and the five-spice and work until smooth. Peel and core the apple and cut into eighths, then sauté in the butter and sprinkle with five-spice. Top the sweet potato purée with the buttered apple and enjoy. 

Dessert: Grandma Millie’s Apple Streusel

Photo courtesy of Buccan

Recipe courtesy of Clay Conley, Buccan

“We had a large apple orchard at our house in Maine as a kid,” says Conley. “I remember my grandma, Millie, making some version of this and letting me ‘pinch’ the streusel on top and it brings me back fond memories of her.”


1 homemade or store-bought pie crust

Blind bake the crust in a 350-375 F oven. It is best to use immediately when the dough is still hot.


1 cup flour

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon corn meal

6 tablespoons butter, softened 

Combine all ingredients with a fork until crumbly texture is achieved.


2 tablespoons butter

2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Zest of 1 orange

Pinch of salt

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup heavy cream

Melt butter in a large sauté pan. Add apples, sugar, cinnamon, zest and salt, and sauté until soft. Add the cranberries and continue to cook until apples just start to break down. Remove apples with a slotted spoon, leaving juice behind. Add the cream and reduce until thick and nape. Combine with apples.

In warm, partially baked pie crust spread apple filling in shell. Top with pinches of the streusel and then bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.

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Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa’s Executive Chef Gives Us His Family Recipe For Thanksgiving Stuffing

Thanksgiving is not only a time to be grateful for the blessings in your life, but also a time to be a little gluttonous and feel no shame about it. After all, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the turkey, pies and all the side dishes, right? 

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa executive chef David Viviano provided us with his family stuffing recipe as a Thanksgiving gift to our readers. The stuffing recipe, created by Viviano’s grandmother Sylvia, was passed down by his stepmom Irene, and will be passed down for generations to come. 

The Recipe

.5 lb. ground pork

.5 lb. ground beef

.5 lb. ground veal 

One tbsp. olive oil

Two cloves garlic, minced

One onion, diced small

Two cups button mushrooms, sliced

Four cups cooked long grain rice

One cup Italian bread crumbs

One cup parmesan cheese, shredded

One egg

One can diced tomatoes (14 oz.)

Salt and black pepper to taste

In a large saute pan brown beef, pork and veal until fully cooked. Remove from pan to a large bowl. In the same pan add oil and saute garlic, onions and mushrooms. Add to large bowl.

Add cooked rice, bread crumbs, cheese and egg to the bowl. Using your hands, mix together until fully incorporated. Add tomatoes and continue to mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Stuff in the turkey and cook until internal temperature of stuffing is 165 F or put in a baking dish covered and cook at 350 F for about 45 minutes.

Irene and David

For more information on chef David Viviano, or to find out what Eau Palm Beach will be serving at its Temple Orange Mediterranean Bistro on Thanksgiving day, visit eaupalmbeach.com.

Photos courtesy of David Viviano 

What To Do In Palm Beach For Thanksgiving 2016

The chaos of the holidays is almost here, and local restaurants want to help you make Thanksgiving as easy as possible. After all, it’s OK to let others do the cooking every now and then.

Here are places in the Palm Beaches that are serving up delicious eats for Turkey Day. 


III Forks

Enjoy a feast almost as good as mom’s at III Forks in Palm Beach Gardens. The restaurant will be serving a four-course dinner, featuring options like tenderloin tomato soup, lobster bisque, spiced-rubbed holiday turkey, beef tenderloin, maple-glazed Atlantic salmon and more. Go nuts with a dessert spread of sweet treats. For reservations call 561.630.3660.

Nov. 24, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; III Forks in Palm Beach Gardens; $48 (adults), $18 (children 12 and younger) 


Avocado Grill

Go gourmet with a lighter, healthier Turkey Day dinner. Enjoy a three-course meal with starter options including jumbo lump crab, crispy green tomatoes, fish tacos and kale salad. For the main course, choose among turkey served with quinoa, braised kale and sweet potatoes; turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and Brussels sprouts; mussels and fries; grilled hangar steak; salmon; risotto; and more. Then dive into desserts like pumpkin pie, peanut butter chocolate macadamia nut brownie, or cinnamon white chocolate bread pudding with pina colada sauce. Reservations strongly recommended by calling 561.623.0822. 

Nov. 24, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Avocado Grill in West Palm Beach; $47 (adults), $25 (children) 



Give thanks by giving back with a decadent feast to benefit Pie It Forward: Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches. Guests can enjoy a Thanksgiving buffet that includes assorted fine cheeses, organic salads, a variety of meats and fish, sushi, turkey and more. Choose from a selection of pies, of which a portion of sales will go toward charity. Reserve a spot by calling 561.540.6444.

Nov. 24, noon to 7:30 p.m.; Brandon’s inside Kimpton Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa in Palm Beach; $75 (adults), $45 (children 13 and younger) 

City Tap House

Head to this new CityPlace spot for a Thanksgiving buffet sure to please the pickiest eater. Indulge in roasted turkey breast, confit turkey leg, and potato dishes galore—from au gratin to sweet potato casserole. Desserts include pumpkin cheesecake and an assortment of cupcakes. 

Nov. 24, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.; City Tap House in West Palm Beach; $35 (adults), $15 (children 6-12)

Eau Palm Beach 

Whether you’re looking for turkey to-go or a Thanksgiving feast at the oceanfront property, Eau Palm Beach has you covered. Keep the kitchen spick and span by ordering a ready-to-eat turkey meal ($295) with seasonal sides like roasted butternut squash soup and chestnut-cornbread stuffing, plus dessert. Orders must be placed by Nov. 20. 

Want to celebrate outside your home? Join Eau’s culinary team from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a grand buffet in the Salon Ballroom, featuring seafood, sushi, salad, prime rib, ham, turkey and a variety of sides and dessert. Adults can enjoy the feast for $95, while kids dine for $40. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank of Palm Beach. Dinner will also be served at Temple Orange Mediterranean Bistro (5 p.m. to 10 p.m.) and Angle (5 p.m. to 10 p.m.). 

Nov. 24; Eau Palm Beach in Manalapan


Hippocrates Health Institute

Calling all vegans. This Thanksgiving feast is for you. Head to the natural wellness center to enjoy a scrumptious dinner featuring plant-based appetizers, entrees and desserts. Enjoy live music with hot apple cider and egg nog. All proceeds will benefit the Hippocrates Scholarship Fund. 

Nov. 24, noon to 4 p.m.; Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach; $40 (advance), $50 (at the door) 


Ironwood Steak & Seafood

Put on those stretchy pants, and head to PGA National Resort for a Thanksgiving buffet sure to rival others. Enjoy parsnip blue crab; arugula and roasted beet salad; poached shrimp; and Sriracha-dusted yellowfin tuna, along with more traditional offerings like turkey, honey ham, stuffing, maple-roasted yams and more. Rest assured that a decadent dessert spread will be available. Bonus: Enjoy live entertainment in the lobby from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Nov. 24, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Ironwood Steak & Seafood at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens; $78 (adults), $30 (kids ages 6-12) 


Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa

Opt for a decadent meal at this waterfront property. Enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving spread at the buffet in the Grand Ballroom (11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), which will feature a carving station, raw bar, savory sides and at least eight different desserts. Or head to Sinclair’s Ocean Grill for an a la carte dinner (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) that will feature options including roasted duck, lemon rosemary turkey and Chilean sea bass. Want to stay the night? The hotel is offering a special package that includes daily breakfast for two, plus a $50 resort credit. 

Nov. 24; Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa in Jupiter 


Spoto’s Oyster Bar

Put yourself in a Thanksgiving food coma after enjoying a spread fit for a king. Executive chef Dan Bair’s menu includes holiday favorites, such as the Traditional Roasted Turkey Dinner (with turkey sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet mashed potatoes and garlic green beans), and seafood-centric dishes like the Pretzel-Crusted Grouper (stone-ground mustard sauce, mashed potatoes, and sautéed garlic green beans). Expect other options, including lobster risotto, filet mignon, crab cakes and more. End on a sweet note with desserts like carrot cake and bread pudding. 

Nov. 24, noon to 7 p.m.; Spoto’s Oyster Bar in Palm Beach Gardens; prices vary 


(Image via Facebook/III Forks Prime Steakhouse

Where To Get Thanksgiving Dinner In The Palm Beach Area

Let’s be honest: Cooking an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner isn’t for everyone. 

Luckily, there are several area restaurants that are more than happy to prepare a decadent spread that’s sure to include all your favorite side dishes—and plenty of turkey.  

Check out who’s whipping up Thanksgiving dinner this year: 

Avocado Grill 

Skip the heavy traditional fare altogether, and head to Avocado Grill, which is offering a mix of signature small plates and entrees with a creative twist on seasonal favorites. The three-course meal is $39 per person. 

For those not too keen on skipping the turkey, the restaurant is also offering two Thanksgiving dinners. One with turkey, quinoa, braised kale, roasted tomatoes, green beans and sweet potatoes, and the other with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and green beans. Each meal will include an appetizer and dessert. 

Reservations are strongly recommended and are available through OpenTable.com or by calling 561.623.0822. 

125 Datura St., West Palm Beach


Café Boulud

Celebrate the season’s best ingredients with turkey prepared three ways, sweet potatoes, cranberry compote, collard greens and a selection of traditional desserts at the newly renovated restaurant. The prix-fixe menu will be available from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. An a la carte menu will be available in the bar and lounge. 

The Brazilian Court, 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach, FL


Eau Palm Beach

Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal by dining at the resort’s ballroom while feasting on bountiful entrees, side dishes and desserts, or head over to Angle restaurant for an elaborate four-course dinner. The best part? A portion of the proceeds from both dinners will benefit the Palm Beach County Food Bank. 

Looking to stay home but skip the cooking? Executive Chef Josh Thomsen and his team will be offering chef-curated favorites, such as apple and pumpkin pies, pistachio orange cake, roasted Brussels sprouts with smoked bacon, and chestnut-cornbread stuffing with apples and thyme.

After you’ve recovered from the decadent feast (or perhaps hours of Black Friday shopping), head over to the award-winning Eau Spa for a Snickerdoodles and milk massage ($205+) or a Kentucky pecan pie pedicure ($75). 

100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan


Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach

Guests dining at this luxe resort on Thanksgiving Day will have several options to enjoy. Head over to Graze restaurant for a buffet (from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) that includes holiday favorites like turkey, crispy mac and cheese, soups, salads and mashed potatoes, alongside more unconventional Thanksgiving selections like dim sum, sushi and chilled seafood. Or, if you’re looking for a more traditional set up, head of to Jove Kitchen & Bar, which will be serving up roasted turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pan gravy and cranberry sauce from 4 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. 

If you’re simply looking to have your feast catered, the resort is offering its annual Thanksgiving to-go option, which includes a choice of a whole roasted free range turkey or boneless breast and leg sous vide, with side dishes including candied sweet potatoes, thyme mushroom bread stuffing, yukon potato purée, creamed corn, garlic creamed spinach, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, and assorted freshly baked rolls and cracker breads. Feed a family of six for $389, or just order the turkey and gravy for $150. 

2800 S. Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach


Meat Market

Enjoy a decadent feast of holiday-inspired favorites including a Bell and Evans fresh turkey leg roulade stuffed with sour dough, house-smoked pork belly and Peruvian corn ($32); a wood-grilled citrus- and vanilla-marinated sous vide turkey breast with cauliflower puree and candied bacon ($35); or sample the turkey leg and sous vide breast with an American bison short rib crusted with walnut praline demi and bone marrow flan ($42). Oh, and don’t forget dessert—a seasonal Jack Daniels caramel pecan tartlet with candied pumpkin ice cream and vanilla crema awaits. For reservations, call 561.354.9800, or reserve a spot on OpenTable

191 Bradley Place, Palm Beach


The Breakers

This Palm Beach resort has a variety of Thanksgiving activities—such as pumpkin patch bingo and fall carnival—taking place from Nov. 25 through Nov. 28. But those looking to feast on Turkey Day will have two options: a Thanksgiving buffet at the Ponce de Leon Ballroom ($140 per person) or a three-course holiday meal at Flagler Steakhouse ($120 per person). Reservations are recommended. 

125 Datura St., West Palm Beach

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12 Thanksgiving dinners, events and specials in Palm Beach

Here are just some different things taking place this holiday weekend in Palm Beach County. There are hotel specials for the travelling, dinner cruises for those who want a quick escape and 5k races for the athletics who are making room for that Thanksgiving dinner from home or a local restaurant.


(image via)