The holiday season, more than any other time of the year, is characterized by family traditions. Whether it's decorating the tree, eating a particular food, or wearing that awful holiday sweater, we all have our own very distinct memories of this festive celebration. In the spirit of the season, we’ve asked some culinary idols to dish on everything from their favorite holiday customs and festive recipes to their beloved memories of yesteryear.
For instance, for chef Thaddeus DuBois, executive pastry chef at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a traditional cookie swap. "Attending or hosting a cookie swap is a great holiday tradition, offering a chance to come together and exchange the sweetest gift of the season. I like to share cake-pops, pecan-butterballs, gingerbread spice cookies, and maple chocolate chip cookies during the holidays."
And chef Fabienne Eymard’s Christmas dinner centers on a 350-pound pig! "We typically use a 350-pound pig and prepare it in a variety of ways. Some of the pork is grilled, some braised in sauces, some cured as ham and bacon, and of course the traditional French pâtés, terrines, and sausages. It’s always delicious, and I am always stuffed!" Every year on Christmas, chef Ben Lee’s, family likes to gather around the fireplace and cook various dishes and snacks over the open flames. "We typically take whatever we have leftover from the holiday meal, and turn it into rustic 'campfire'-style fare. My brother and I have a blast," he told us.
From the chefs' holiday table to yours, learn more about some of our favorite icons' Christmas classics and get inspired to start your own holiday customs and recipes!