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  • Writer's pictureRose Bud

Chef Fish's Thanksgiving Pop-up Was Not Like My Momma's




Over the years Americans have gotten creative preparing their Thanksgiving turkey, from deep fried to bacon wrapped. What's the most far out cooking method or recipe you've heard of?

For one, my family makes a traditional Thanksgiving dinner while adding chipotle or Tapatio hot sauce to a homemade gravy... not so traditional. This minor switch-up does not transform the theme of the dinner, only adds a bit of heat to it. On the Spicy Barometer from 1-10, its usually a 2-3. I really appreciate the hint of spice as it makes my taste buds go "hmmmm." Shout out to my mom, who makes the best turkey, year after year. She really does.

This November, Chef Daniel Fish held his third pop-up restaurant in the city of Murrieta, California called Not Your Momma's Thanksgiving. His favorite holiday happens to be Thanksgiving so he created a special menu which introduces us to turkey prepared four different ways. Talk about getting creative.

The five course dinner included an appetizing charcuterie spread. Guests helped themselves to assorted meats, cheeses, nuts, chocolate, fruit and a pour of wine. Mrs. Fish poured additional non-alcoholic beverages like cranberry ginger ale.

First Course: Smoked

The intimate dinner bagin with smoked turkey topped with a sweet pineapple glaze. A candied sweet potato serves as the base for the protein and is surrounded with charred Brussel sprouts. The clever presentation was nothing like my momma's. It looked as though the sweet potato was a slice of toast.

Second Course: Roasted

The second course greets us with a rustic take. Tender roasted turkey breast is served with baby carrots, fingerling potatoes and topped with gravy. My momma would take any opportunity to cook rustic style. This course was probably the more familiar and classic of all them all.

Third Course: Sous Vide

Sous Vide Turkey seemed to be the biggest hit. This method is chef's favorite and his passion translates in his food whenever he applies it. One thing I know for sure about my momma is that if you ask her about sous vide, she'd think you might be speaking Chinese to her.

The moist Lemon Herb Turkey, velvety mashed potatoes and green beans were gold! A simple ingredient like toasted slivered almonds, in this dish really stood out... in a good way. The almond garnish was a small touch with big effect. It added texture complexity and hint of nuttiness.

Fourth Course: Deep Fried

Whenever I see videos on social media of people deep frying a turkey, it's usually a man. The big bird and hot oil might be too much for most mommas. In any case, I salivate at watching people pull out a beautiful golden bird from a fryer.

I have always wanted to try deep fried turkey and I finally did! Delicious fried turkey is plated with stuffing that has been formed into a patty and also fried. A bright butternut squash puree compliments the dish while ruby red cranberry garnish, with jello consistency, adds an interesting touch.

Fifth Course: Dessert

Dinner properly concludes on a sweet note. Chef presents us with Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie with homemade vanilla ice cream.

Prior to meeting Chef Fish, I had only seen "deconstructed" food on cooking shows and not by any means, at any momma's trendy kitchen. TV chefs basically take a traditional item like pumpkin pie and rebrand it by separating the components and presenting them together in a dish—sort of like taking on a new dimension. I really appreciate it when he plays around like this.

Happy Thanksgiving!

For more on Chef Daniel Fish, check him out on Instagram and Facebook.


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