A Florida Twist on Thanksgiving Fare with Southern Roots and Caribbean Flavors

Article Courtesy of Chef Bren Ankrum – Culinary Editor

This year allowed us an unusual five days in a row respite during the Thanksgiving holiday from the responsibilities of the day to day world. Thursday would be spent as a traditional Thanksgiving close family event hosted by my sister in law, with the usual suspects in abundance, turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, gravy, pumpkin pie, and more served family style and all at one time. There was an abundance of food, flavors, with food comas to ensue

We were to have a gathering of nine of our closest foodie friends on the following Saturday and did not want to duplicate Thursdays style as we knew the Saturday guests had spent Thursday similarly engaged in the traditional fare. Knowing that help would be plentiful to assist, assemble and clean,  and as most of the guests are relatively proficient in the culinary arts, we conjured up a kind of deconstructed Thanksgiving feast in a five course, tapas like, style which everyone helped prepare or construct. Of course this is Florida and consequently seafood would naturally have made an appearance among the more traditional ingredients.

The following is the menu for Saturday that we shared with local friends, family, and a couple of guys I worked with in the restaurant business in Philadelphia that came to visit us for the holiday weekend. It is a blend of traditional and non-traditional flavors with fun presentations. Recipes are not included, however, some are already posted and are hyper linked to the recipe, and the rest will be posted shortly.


Grilled Jerk Marinated Gulf Shrimp, Yellow Tail Tuna Sashimi with Wasabi Dressing


Soup Duo

Curried Sweet Potato and Apple Bisque and Chipotle Roasted Red Pepper Bisque


Fresh Mozzarella topped with Smoked Cherry Tomatoes & Basil Chiffonade,

Hearts of Palm Tower topped with Roasted Beets, Raw Sugar and Cinnamon and Mandarin Section Side,

and Fresh Butter Lettuce with Roasted Red Pepper and Olive Salad.

All drizzled in a Olive Oil and Lemon Pesto dressing.


Snow Crab, Hickory Smoked in Banana Leaves

Tapas portions of Country Style Mac and Cheese, Herb Infused Sage Dressing,

Cranberry Relish, Black eyed Peas with a Curried Apple Pear Relish, and Fresh Green Bean Casserole

With a

Brussels Sprout, Greens, Grains Salad with vinaigrette


Apple Pie with a Ginger Cheddar Crust



Cabernet Sauvignon



Pinot Noir

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Andrea Bogle says:

    THIS IS SOOOO AWESOME! Hey guys, I am ready to cook with you all. Let me know when we can gather in your kitchen and drink wine. Miss you all and been thinking about you guys. Hugs, Andrea

  2. tanyab1990 says:

    Quite a beautiful meal! I would have loved this!

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