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For the Love of Food

From the perfect turkey to new twists on old favorites, Jefferson City chefs know how to make a memorable dinner.

Dark wooden table adorned with eucalyptus garland, small white pumpkins, a pomegranate, candles and a metallic geometric decor items and appetizers on white plates.

The Starters

Whether passed or displayed on a buffet, appetizers are an opportunity to liven up the party and tease your taste buds. To keep things simple, choose finger foods that can be prepped in advance.

“We’re all busy during the holidays, and one of the easiest ways to remove the stress the day of is to create your apps a day ahead of time,” Sweet Chipotle Catering’s Patrick Miller says. 

He also encourages at-home cooks to be mindful when selecting ingredients: “Cranberries and pomegranates are your freshest options, and the color is a beautiful way to bring in the season.”

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Dark wooden table adorned with eucalyptus garland, small white pumpkins, a pomegranate, candles and a metallic geometric decor item, a turkey, mashed potatoes, casseroles, cranberry sauce.

The Main Event

While trying new recipes with your appetizers gives a meal variety, your main course is likely created with staples and traditional expectations. Think melt-in-your-mouth turkey, rich and creamy loaded mashed potatoes, and flavorful stuffing. Steve Whitener at Hy-Vee Catering does traditional best. He’s been cooking since he was 12 years old, and here he shares his main course recipes, each with their own twist. 

Get the recipes


Dark wooden table adorned with eucalyptus garland, small white pumpkins, a pomegranate, candles and a metallic geometric decor items, cherry pie, pecan pie, apple pie and pumpkin pie.

The Finishing Touch

Save the best for last with a classic pie — pumpkin, pecan, cherry, or apple — or one of each. Joan Fairfax, the owner and baker at Chez Monet, has been taking pie orders since 1991 and perfecting them along the way. 

“I can remember back to when we made pumpkin pies at home growing up,” Joan says, “which is why I enjoy making them now. There’s one key ingredient: a can of Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin. And then there’s pecan pie — you just have to have one! It’s a necessity to a complete Thanksgiving dinner.”

Fairfax shares her tips and tricks to making the best pies around, along with her recipes for flaky, golden homemade pie crusts – get the recipes.