Thanksgiving dinner countdown

Thanksgiving plate

It’s just three days before Thanksgiving and I have a long list of things to do. My guest list of twelve includes food and wine aficionados from Michelin starred Los Angeles restaurants, two respected wine retailers, and a wine-collecting rock star. With an attendee’s list like this, I have to stay organized, not get overwhelmed (or intimidated), and bring my A game.

After three years of hosting Thanksgiving dinner for restaurant orphans—a term I coined for restaurant professionals that are unable to go home to their families because they are expected work through the holidays–I’ve learned a lot. When serving Thanksgiving dinner to a table of restaurant pro’s you’ve got to share the work load, buy more wine than you think is needed, and most importantly, stay organized. For Thanksgiving dinner 2008 I will rely on my guests’ strengths—be it in the kitchen or in the wine cellar—to contribute dishes that showcase their talents and passions.

I’m excited to announce that Food Woolf will be one of 24 food blogs featured in‘s first annual Thanksgiving Dinner event. As a featured publisher on Foodbuzz, I’ll be blogging about my Thanksgiving dinner within 24-hours of the day. It’s an exciting opportunity to share recipes, photos of what promises to be a wonderful meal, and insights into what happens when the people that make food and wine happen in Los Angeles have a day off to celebrate.

This year, I’ve planned out the three days leading up to Thanksgiving. Each day has its own shopping list, cleaning schedule, kitchen prep, and cooking needs.

It’s all about the Mise en Place

As it is in restaurant dining rooms and kitchens, everything must be organized and in its correct place in order for a successful dinner service to occur. And so it will be in my home.


buy the turkey from Healthy Family Farms at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market. Prep and dry brine my 24.5 pound turkey.

Healthy Family Farms Turkeys

Decorate: Buy Satsuma oranges and arrange for an edible table display

Thanksgiving Dinner 2008 prep


Buy an extra large roasting pan for the turkey

Thanksgiving Dinner 2008 prep

Buy some wine and digestivos for the dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner 2008 prep

Tomorrow: turn our Los Angeles apartment into 12 seat restaurant and lounge!


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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. jesse
    November 25

    Your preparation looks beautiful… those satsumas are just gorgeous. Can’t wait for your Thanksgiving post!

  2. matt wright
    November 25

    bloody hell! good luck with that!! Makes my 6.5lb turkey look, er, like a quail!!!

  3. Leah Greenstein
    November 25

    Wish I were coming; I know it will be an amazing feast. Happy Turkey Day!

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