A Thanksgiving Potluck To Remember

Earlier this week, I had the honor of taking part in a pre-Thanksgiving potluck with some of the finest food bloggers in Southern California. In lieu of the Shiksa Picks this week, I thought I’d share some pictures and recipes from the potluck. The event was organized by Patti Londre of Worth the Whisk. Patti is co-founder of the Food Bloggers of Los Angeles, an IACP Award of Excellence Winner, and producer of the popular event Camp Blogaway. When Patti is involved, you know that it’s going to be quite a shindig. And that it was!

The event featured some amazing culinary talent, including:

Patti Londre, Worth the Whisk

Denise Vivaldo, Food Fanatics Unwashed

Rachael Hutchings, La Fuji Mama

Dorothy Reinhold, Shockingly Delicious

Greg Henry, Sippity Sup

Cheryl D Lee, Black Girl Chef’s Whites

Louise Mellor, Geez Louise

…and yours truly. :)

Denise Vivaldo, one of our country’s top food stylists and a renowned chef, was on hand to cook a fabulous turkey and style our gorgeous tables. Our friend Rene Lynch from the Los Angeles Times was also there to join in the fun.

Update: Our feast was featured in the LA Times! Click here to read the article!

I was given the task of creating an appetizer for the meal. The appetizer needed to reflect my blog’s focus, while also bringing in the delicious flavors of the Thanksgiving season. I decided to serve my Crispy Yukon Gold Latkes with a Harvest Fruit Puree.

Me in the kitchen with Patti prepping the latkes. Patti helped me peel the Yukon Golds!

I chose the latkes because they make a great appetizer; they are bite-sized and super tasty. While I usually serve latkes with applesauce, I thought it would be fun to create a seasonal fruit puree that brought in some Thanksgiving colors and flavors. The saltiness of the latkes and the refreshing sweetness of the fruit puree is a winning combination. I posted both recipes this week, here are the links:


 Crispy Yukon Gold Latkes

Harvest Fruit Puree

Here is a complete list of the dishes that were featured at the potluck. I will link to the recipes here as they’re posted online. Keep in mind that this was not a kosher event, so the recipes are not necessarily kosher (my recipes are, as always). It was a wonderful feast, and I was thrilled to be a part of it!


1.     APPETIZER: Crispy Yukon Gold Latkes with Harvest Fruit Puree by Tori Avey, The Shiksa in the Kitchen. Culinary anthropologist specializing in Jewish food history, media spokesperson, recipe contributor to Zabars.com, featured on PBS Food, BonAppetit.com, Martha Stewart Radio, and CNN.com Eatocracy

2.     TURKEY: The Perfect Turkey and Sugared Fruit by Denise Vivaldo, Food Fanatics Unwashed. Chef, caterer, food stylist, award-winning author of 7 books: The Food Stylist’s Handbook – named a World’s Best in the 2011 Paris Gourmand Cookbook Awards and The Entertaining Encyclopedia won Cordon de Oro award, IACP Award of Excellence Winner, two time outstanding culinary teacher award from UCLA Extension, CCA graduate hall of fame nominee

3.     SALAD: Crab, Avocado, Pomegranate Salad in Crisp Endive Leaves topped with Creamy Tangy Pomegranate Dressing and Lemon Zest by Rachael Hutchings, La Fuji Mama. Co-author of Peko Peko charity cookbook for Japan relief, Saveur Sites We Love honoree, OC Fair culinary judge

4.     POTATO: Garlic and Herb Potato Gratin by Dorothy Reinhold, Shockingly Delicious. Writer, recipe developer, published in Sunset Magazine, Taste of Home, 26 pie competition 1st place ribbons, 2011 Saveur Sites We Love honoree, newspaper veteran

5.     SIDE: Caramelized Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts in a Buttery Cider Vinegar Braise by Greg Henry, Sippity Sup. Podcaster at The Table Set, featured in January 2011 Food & Wine, Saveur Sites We Love honoree, participant in the Nudie Foodies cookbook, popular presenter at blogger conferences

6.      SIDE: Spiced Roasted Root Vegetables by Cheryl D Lee, Black Girl Chefs Whites. Chef instructor, caterer, food stylist, former Assistant Test Kitchen Director for Woman’s World Magazine

7.     BREAD: Caramelized Shallot and Herb Foccacia by Louise Mellor, Geez Louise. Chef, caterer, food stylist, media spokesperson, OC Fair Culinary coordinator, Saveur Sites We Love honoree, featured in June 2010 Fine Cooking

8.     DESSERT: Kahlúa Sweet Potato Pie with Kahlua Whipped Cream by Patti Londre, Worth The Whisk. Thanksgiving Blogger Potluck Project Manager, home economist, co-founder of Food Bloggers LA (FBLA),  IACP Award of Excellence Winner, Saveur Sites We Love honoree, producer of Camp Blogaway Food Blogger Bootcamp

Comments (27)Post a Comment

  1. The idea of a meet up with fellow food bloggers is a real recipe for fun and tasty food! This looks like a enjoyable time was had by all the attendees. The team sure did turn out an awesome meal. Thanks for sharing this event and have a good weekend.

  2. What a great way meal! How cool to have a pot-luck with other food bloggers….I bet the food was SO delicious! Thanks for sharing and your pictures are terrific!

  3. This sounds like my dream Thanksgiving. I met Patty at a blogging conference this summer and she was terrific. I’m sure your gathering was awesome with her!

  4. I LOVE the potluck idea! But would never entrust anyone in our inner circle to live up to my kitchen standards! Lol. Your Thanksgiving is definitely one I would love to be at. Your latkes look amazing Tori.

  5. Tori how special to be part of such a great event. I am so proud of you. Look at you cooking up those beauties. Fabulous. I am not familiar with some of the people listed so I am going to spend the next hour or so poking around while puppy sleeps. Only time I can focus I kid you not. Miss ya, been crazed this past week so catching up with your blog now. Have a fabulous week!

  6. What an amazing gathering of talent and food – I want to be adopted! Considering the distance, I’ll have to settle for following the blogs and enjoying the recipes. Thanks for sharing the event via your post.

  7. I love that I’ve added another amazing person to the group that I consider to be my food family. So happy we had the chance to meet. Your latkes were absolutely insanely delicious!

  8. I’m new to your blog and, as someone who is not talented with food, I write from the perspective of someone newly inspired by practically everything I’ve seen on your site. I made the Harvest Fruit Puree today and it is beautiful in every way. I used it to accompany your Persian Lamb Stew (which I made yesterday) and it is fabulous! So glad to have found your site.

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