Do you know what side dish you’re going to bring to Thanksgiving this year? Or if you’re hosting, what festive beverages to serve your guests? As a company full of food enthusiasts and chefs, we thought we’d share some of our favorite tips and personal recipes that we’ll be serving our friends and families this year. Take a look and have a delicious Turkey Day!

From Garo Eldemir, Director of Beverage:

San Francisco Catering

“When Thanksgiving comes and the weather gets cooler, two drinks always seem to find their way back into my repertoire: Eggnog and Hot Toddies.

Eggnog can be made from scratch, but I generally just buy store-bought eggnog. The classic (and best) way to transform it into an adult beverage is to add bourbon, cognac and rum to taste, topped with a dash of nutmeg, but at my house I do it a little differently. I use it as an opportunity to do some fall cleaning of the old liquor cabinet. Any bottle of rum, bourbon, whiskey, cognac or brandy with less than an inch or two left gets added to my punch bowl of eggnog. Every year it tastes a little different, but every year it spreads the same holiday magic.

Hot toddies are a great treat when feeling fall’s chill. Although they can be made with any of your favorite whiskeys, I have a soft spot for Irish Whiskey in a hot toddy. 1.5 ounces of Jameson, an ounce of honey, topped with boiling water and garnished with a slice of lemon studded with cloves and a cinnamon stick. I’m not a doctor, but when I feel a tickle in my throat, I have two of these and feel fit as a fiddle.”

David Ashley, Chief Operating Officer:

Balsamic Glazed Pearl Onions

San Francisco Catering


  • 2 1/2 pounds assorted pearl onions such as red, white, and/or yellow (about 8 cups)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. In a saucepan of boiling water, blanch one third of onions for three minutes and drain. Blanch remaining onions in batches in the same manner. Cool onions and peel.
  2. In a large, heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté onions until lightly browned (about five minutes). Transfer onions with a slotted spoon to a platter, reserving liquid. (Glazed onions may be prepared up to this point two days ahead of time, chilled and covered. Reheat onions in reserved liquid, adding a little water if necessary, and transfer with slotted spoon to platter.)
  3. Simmer reserved liquid until thickened and syrupy and reduced to about 1/2 cup.
  4. Spoon sauce over onions and serve warm at room temperature.


Aaron Zimmer, Executive Chef:

Puntarelle In Salsa Di Alici
(Chicory in Anchovy Sauce)

San Francisco Catering


  • 3/4 lb. puntarelle (can be replaced by dandelion greens)
  • 1/4 lb Treviso
  • 1 tbsp. anchovy paste
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 ea Meyer lemon, zest and juice
  • 1.5 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Shave the puntarelle and Treviso on a mandoline and soak in ice water for 30 minutes. Remove from ice water and spin dry in a salad spinner.
  2. Place anchovy paste, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, parsley and garlic into a food robo-coup and puree until smooth. Add olive oil in a steady stream. Add lemon zest and parmesan and blend until smooth.
  3. Dress puntarelle and Treviso with anchovy vinaigrette. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.


Michelle Kohm, Chef de Cuisine:

Foie and Chestnut Stuffed Quail with Currant Gastrique

San Francisco Catering


  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus 2 tbsp. of melted unsalted butter
  • 2 oz. onion (about 1/2 small onion), freshly chopped
  • 1 oz. celery ribs (about 1/2 celery rib), finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh sage, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, picked and minced
  • 1/2 cup chestnuts, roasted, peeled, and chopped
  • 4 cups brioche, cubed and dried slightly
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup sauterne
  • 4 oz. foie gras, cut into 1/2 oz. cubes, chilled
  • 1.5 cups (or as needed) chicken stock
  • 8 semi-boneless quail
  • 2 oz. duck fat

Black Current Gastrique:

  • 1 2/3 cup golden balsamic vinegar
  • 8 oz. white granulated sugar
  • 6 oz. dried currants


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Sweat onions and celery in 2 tablespoons of butter until soft. Deglaze with the sauterne and cook for another 20 seconds.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the brioche, onions/celery/sauterne mixture, chestnuts, herbs, and melted butter. Add the chicken stock, little by little. Let sit for 20 minutes. The bread should be moist but not soggy. Add more chicken stock if the mixture is too dry. Season to taste.
  4. Stuff each quail with the mixture and push one cold foie cube into the middle of the stuffing. Pull the neck skin over the neck opening and secure with a toothpick. Tie the legs together with butcher twine.
  5. On high heat, sear all sides of the quail in the duck fat until browned. Place the quail on a rack on a baking sheet and roast until the internal temperature is about 153F. Loosely tent with foil and rest the quail for 10 minutes and serve.

Black Currant Gastrique:

  1. In a non-reactive sauce pot, heat the vinegar. Remove from heat, add the currants, and cover for about 20 minutes until the currants are rehydrated. Pour vinegar and currants into a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine chinois.
  2. Also, in a non-reactive sauce pot, combine the currant and vinegar mixture with the sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce by half. Cool completely.


Laura Lyons, CEO/President:

San Francisco Catering

“A dear friend of ours started a new Thanksgiving tradition for our family back in 2002 when he shaved Italian black truffle into our gravy – thank you Nick Peyton! Do yourself a favor and make this a tradition of your own by getting your hands on some of this year’s fresh truffle crop, just arriving from Italy (you can get them from the Pasta Shop in Berkeley or Oakland – Juliana Uruburu is the truffle Goddess there). We also make sure to add some truffle shavings to our scrambled eggs the morning after Thanksgiving – give it a try! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!”