Name: Chef Kurt Eichenberger
Restaurant: Fleming’s Steakhouse
A group of us culinary students planned our first Thanksgiving away from home, and I was responsible for the turkey. I had never cooked one, so I called my mom who suggested using a turkey bag. I forgot to spray the inside of the bag with pan spray and the turkey skin stuck to it. That was the last time I used a bag to cook a turkey.
Name: Chef Lisa Storey
Restaurant: Roux World Kitchen and MaMa Lisa’s Little Italy
Many chefs aren’t excellent bakers because of our desire to enhance a dish with extra ingredients. When fulfilling a family request for pound cake, I decided to “Lisa-fy” it, adding extra butter and lemon extract. This instead resulted in a pancake—completely flat. My husband now makes the pound cake, along with organizing the pantry and putting the soup cans in alphabetical order.
Name: Chef Jose Espinoza
Restaurant: Trestles Coastal Cuisine
I grew up in a Hispanic household where Thanksgiving was tamales and pozole—never turkey and stuffing. The first Thanksgiving I attempted a turkey, my guests and I cut into it to find it raw in places. Putting it back in the oven when everything else was already on the table was not an option, so I carved the raw turkey, fried it, and we had turkey tacos with stuffing!