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Cook Thanksgiving Like a Pro With These Local Chefs' Recipes

  • Brian Riggenbach was born in Illinois, raised in Florida and has traveled the world entrenching himself in global cuisines and fine arts. Brian studied at Florida State University, independently in Paris and Northern Italy, then formally again at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He moved to Nashville from Chicago in 2016 to open The Mockingbird. Brian had the chance to showcase his skills on Season 24 of the Food Network's award-winning show "Chopped." He not only walked away the victor, but he also reconnected with long-time friend Maneet Chauhan and the concept for The Mockingbird was born. He's since been on Food Network's "Bite Club" where he came out the champ, as well as "Beat Bobby Flay" where he battled viciously and was also featured on HGTV's "House Hunters" while he and Mikey searched for their Nashville home!

Brian Riggenbach's Oaxacan stuffing
*Yields a supple 2 qt

12 oz. piece whole wheat bread, cut into 1⁄2" cubes (about 7 cups)
14 TBL butter
2 ea white onions, chopped
2 ea celery ribs, chopped
1 ea fennel, cored and chopped
4 ea apples, cored and chopped
4 ea cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 ea poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
6 oz. pitted prunes (about 26), halved
3⁄4 tsp ground cumin
3⁄4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, plus more to taste
1⁄2 c flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 TBL chives, finely chopped
1 TBL orange zest
TT Kosher salt
3 ea eggs, lightly beaten

Heat oven to 400 ̊. Spread the bread cubes on a large baking sheet and bake until slightly toasted and dry, about 15 minutes; transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
Melt the butter in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, and fennel and cook until soft, 15–20 minutes. Add apples, garlic, and poblano chiles and cook until apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the prunes, cumin, pepper, parsley, chives, orange zest, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until hot, about 2 minutes.
Transfer mixture to the bowl with the bread cubes; gently stir until combined. Let cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Transfer stuffing to a 2-qt.oval baking dish and bake until browned and bubbly, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

  • Aqui Simpson Hines is a serial entrepreneur with a guilty pleasure of hot chicken. She started her restaurant, 400 Degrees Hot Chicken, as a storefront location in a small strip mall on Clarksville Highway in North Nashville. For 16 years, she had been thriving and expanding to include moving to a larger location with dine-in capabilities in a building that she owns. She also opened a second location in March of 2021 in Nashville’s BNA airport Concourse C. During this Thanksgiving season, Aqui desires to operate in a spirit of compassion, giving thanks for her many blessings by feeding 400 families and giving gifts to 400 children.

Aqui Simpson Hines' Cranberry Relish
Prep time: 20 mins

* 2 cups rinsed raw cranberries
* 2 peeled and cored tart green apples, cut into thick slices.
* 1 large, whole (peeps on) seedless orange, cut into sections.
* 1 to 2 cups granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you would like your relish.

1. Push fruit through grinder: Push the cranberries, orange sections, and apple slices through grinder. Include the orange peel! Alternate the fruit as you push through the grinder so the different fruits get ground together.
2. Add sugar: Stir in the sugar. Let sit at room temperature until sugar dissolves. Store in the refrigerator until serving.

  • Maneet Chauhan is a celebrity chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, television personality, and philanthropist who’s most well known as a featured judge on “Chopped” on the Food Network. She’s also a local Williamson County resident, and philanthropy in her community is vitally important to Maneet.

Morph Hospitality's Maneet Chauhan's Shakarkandi Chaat (Sweet Potato Chaat)
from Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India
By Maneet Chauhan & Jody Eddy

*3 large sweet potatoes
*Vegetable oil, as needed
*Kosher salt
*2 star fruit, thinly sliced crosswise
*2 teaspoons chaat masala, or more to taste
*1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro
*½ teaspoon red chile powder
*Juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Rub each sweet potato with oil and prick all over with fork, then sprinkle them all over with salt. Wrap each potato individually in foil and roast until tender, 45 to 55 minutes. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut them into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the star fruit, chaat masala, cilantro, chile powder and lemon juice until everything is well coated. Serve while the potatoes are still warm, preferably with toothpicks.

  • Chef Carter Hach, executive chef and partner of the venerable Hachland Hill and forthcoming Streetcar Taps & Garden, is no stranger to baking and always cooks with the seasons. Carter grew up cooking with his grandmother, the legendary chef Phila Hach, and recently released his debut cookbook “The Hachland Hill Cookbook” which tells her story and is chockfull of recipes that are close to home for him. The product is a culmination of original recipes from Phila and Carter, and his adaptations of some of her biggest hits. Streetcar, the newest venture from Hach and longtime friend and partner on the project, Henry Beveridge, will be located on Charlotte Avenue between the bustling Sylvan Park and Nations neighborhoods. The gastropub and beer garden will have a seasonally driven menu with southern and German influence as a homage to Hach’s culinary pedigree. The menu starts with a “Larder” section where you will find his White Bridge Wheat & Streetcar Butter. The wheat bread and whipped butter will change with the seasons. Hach chooses a locally sourced pumpkin to define his bread for this Thanksgiving. He smokes the pumpkin whole over pecan wood then purees its flesh and folds that into the dough for the most amazing depth of nutty, hearty Fall flavor. The butter for this occasion draws right from his cookbook which is full of so many other recipes for entertaining. The honeyed, beefy butter, with its rich notes of bone marrow and sorghum, perfectly complements his artisanal bread.

Carter Hach's White Bridge Wheat & Streetcar Butter (Thanksgiving-style)
(Serves the whole family!)

Ingredients for the bread:
3 1⁄4 cup bread flour
1 cup + 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 1⁄2 cup rolled oats, divided
400ml water
140ml whole buttermilk
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 1⁄2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 flat white boer pumpkin
coarse salt
light brown sugar
white pepper
smoked sea salt

Use a heavy knife to cut a circle on top of the pumpkin, wiggling the blade to create space until
you can pull away a cap. Use a spoon to scrape out the pumpkin’s seeds and innards.
Generously rub the inside with coarse salt, light brown sugar and white pepper. Load your
smoker’s firebox or a fire pit with your favorite wood and cook down to embers (Carter favors pecan
logs for this recipe). Add the coals to your grill or smoker and place the pumpkin just to the side
of direct heat and cook until its outer skin is tender. Add more prepared wood as needed (wet
some raw wood chips and put them over your embers below the pumpkin for more smoke).
Remove the pumpkin to cool at room temperature, then scrape its meat into a food processor.
Discard the skin. Purée the pumpkin until smooth, reserve for later. Preheat oven to 375
degrees. Lightly toast all of the oats in the oven, then set aside to cool. Combine half of the
toasted oats, whole wheat flour and water in a bowl and soak for about 30 minutes. In the bowl
of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the oat-wheat flour mixture from
before, bread flour, milk, honey, vegetable oil, and yeast. Mix on low speed for about two minutes. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook attachment, then add the salt to
the mixture and mix on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. Add the pumpkin purée to the dough
and mix to incorporate. Turn the dough out into an oiled bowl and place in a proofing cabinet or
oven on that setting to proof for about one hour. Turn, fold, and de-gas the dough, then return it
to the proofing cabinet or oven for another 20 minutes. Divide the dough into two pieces, and
shape them into rounds on a floured work surface. Brush the dough rounds with water, then
coat each piece with the remaining toasted oats and sprinkle with smoked sea salt. Place your
loaves onto a parchment paper lined sheet tray, and proof for 1 1⁄2 hours. Once proofed like fat
frisbees, place the loaves in the preheated oven to bake for about 35 minutes. Remove from
oven and allow them to cool completely on the tray.

Ingredients for the butter:
8 marrowbones, cut in half lengthwise
Salt and pepper to taste
1⁄2 cup softened unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sorghum
1 tablespoon garlic powder

Raise oven temperature to 420 degrees. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread bones
marrow-side up. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until marrow is
bubbly and gelatinous. Set bones aside until cool enough to handle. Reserve rendered beef fat
from tray. Scrape the bone marrow into a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients. While
pulsing everything together, slowly pour the rendered beef fat through the tube until the mixture
is smooth and spreadable. Refrigerate until ready to use, but rewhip in a mixer fitted with a
whisk attachment until fluffy.
Slice the bread, and toast if desired. Spread the butter like a boss, and gobble, gobble!

  • Chef Star Maye grew up in small-town Alabama and as a child, she enjoyed cooking soul food with her grandmother. From her early years, she realized that she had a talent and a passion in the kitchen. A graduate of Culinary Institute of America in New York, Maye has over 20 years of culinary experience and has since worked her way to becoming the Executive Chef and a co-owner at Anzie Blue, located in Hillsboro Village. In June 2022, Star Maye self-published her cookbook biography, A Star Among Us: A Chef’s Story, featuring authentic, Southern recipes found on the Anzie Blue menu. Star is also in the midst of a cooking series guiding guests through traditional Thanksgiving family recipes. On November 2, the chef will teach guests to make Rosemary Roasted Chicken and Brown Sugar Ham, then on November 16, the class will focus wholly on Turkey. Gussy it up with her homestyle cranberry sauce recipe. 

Chef Star Maye's Cranberry Sauce


*¾ cup sugar
*½ cup orange juice
*½ cup water
*12 oz fresh cranberries rinsed and picked through
*pinch of salt
*1 cinnamon stick
*1 piece of orange peel

Combine sugar, orange juice, and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine. Add cranberries, salt, cinnamon stick and orange peel. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Continue cooking, about 10 minutes, or until most of the cranberries have popped. "I like to leave a handful of berries whole," says Star. Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
*Can be made up to three days in advance.

  • Chef Matt Bolus graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor of science in business administration, but Matt chose instead to pursue his love of cooking. Bolus attended Le Cordon Bleu in London where he received the Grand Diplôme in 2003. Before moving to Nashville, Chef Bolus worked as a butcher and fishmonger at the James Beard award-winning FIG in Charleston, SC, and at sous chef stations at The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary Hotel in Kiawah Island, SC, and Little Star in Knoxville, TN. As executive chef of The 404 Kitchen in Nashville, TN, Bolus relishes his role. Bolus takes a hands-on approach to his cuisine, insisting upon seeing, smelling and tasting every ingredient that comes through the door. In addition to the 2014 James Beard nomination for Best New Restaurant, The 404 Kitchen has been named Best Restaurant by Eater Nashville, writer’s choice Best Restaurant in Nashville Scene, one of the 25 Best Restaurants in Thrillist and The Tennessean, and one of the Best Whiskey Bars in America by Travel + Leisure.

    Matt Bolus' Butter-Injected Turkey on the Big Green Egg

"I have read countless times, and probably tried it just as many, that rubbing butter under the skin of the turkey adds flavor and juiciness to a turkey when cooking it. It is a difficult task at best to get butter rubbed evenly under the skin without tearing the skin which makes the final cook not look as nice.  So, I decided to take it even further and inject the legs and the breasts with butter.  

My thought was it would achieve the same desired results and potentially make it even better. I was right!!  For cooking the turkey I love to do it low and slow on a Big Green Egg.  I want to keep the temperature around the 220 F region and slowly cook the entire bird to a measured internal temperature of 168 F.  I know this sounds high but by cooking the meat so gently you will end up with a very juicy turkey.  I also like to add a few chips of cherry wood into the coals for the last 20 minutes or so of cooking.  

I start by letting my turkey come to room temperature before cooking.  This could take several hours so plan accordingly. I then heat the butter up until it just melts. You don't want the butter to be hot when you inject it or it will start cooking the meat and could potentially burn you. I like to infuse the butter with garlic, rosemary, thyme, and bay as it melts.  Carefully inject as much butter as the meat will hold into the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks.  Make sure to keep some butter to brush the outside of the turkey with. Once you have injected all you can and brushed it all over, generously season the entire bird with salt and pepper (I prefer to use white pepper for turkey, but that is just me). A sprinkle of garlic powder and paprika finishes off the seasoning. Then the bird goes onto the preheated Egg (remember, no higher than 225 F) and cooks until the legs and breasts temp out at 168F.  Pull the turkey off the Egg and allow it to rest for about 15 minutes before carving. " -  Matt Bolus

  • Carter Hach
  • Carter Hach
  • Shakarkandi Chaat (Sweet Potato Chaat) from Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India  By Maneet Chauhan & Jody Eddy
  • Maneet Chauhan
  • Star Maye
  • Matt Bolus
  • Aqui Hines
  • Brian Riggenbach