Local restaurants catering to smaller Thanksgiving gatherings

Updated: Nov. 22, 2020 at 3:05 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Restaurants across the region are hoping to give families a break in the kitchen this Thanksgiving.

Several top chefs will be pre-preparing meals for those who will no doubt be holding smaller gatherings due to COVID-19.

Bringing home some James Beard award-winning sides for Thanksgiving has become a tradition for many families over the years, but this has been a nontraditional year.

Chef Frank Brigtsen says Louisiana’s relationship with its food has always been part of the culture, and 2020 has been no different, even though family gatherings this holiday season will be smaller because of the pandemic.

“We have emotional attachments to certain dishes. Like my mom’s oyster dressing, or the filet gumbo on Thanksgiving weekend. We’ve been going at it pretty strong. Sales are up, and I think that has a lot do with the stay-at-home philosophy that people are adopting,” said Brigtsen.

Zack Shelton is the manager at Cochon Butcher.

He says offering Thanksgiving meals is the shot in the arm that many restaurants need right now who have spent most of the pandemic struggling. Shelton says they’ve also seen a big change in clientele support.

“Historically we would have a line down the block with people visiting from out of town, but the locals have propped us up, and obviously Thanksgiving orders are primarily coming from locals. I’m grateful that we’re still open. I’m grateful to live in such a beautiful city and be part of an amazing vibrant community that loves food.”

And while 2020 is the year very few of us are thankful for, these cooks say it’s still important to remember what the holidays are all about.

“Food is out medium, but it’s really a people business and it’s the guests that eat with us, but it’s the staff and that’s what I’m most thankful for,” Chef Brigtsen said.

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