From the Archives: The Morning Edition Thanksgiving Fantasy Feast

by Todd Mundt on November 24, 2011

Here’s a blast from the past: the Morning Edition “Fantasy Thanksgiving Feast.” It’s been forgotten by many, loved by a few, but we’re here to rescue this episode from public radio’s archives.

The feature began on Morning Edition in 1993. The concept was simple: create a fantasy dinner, where celebrity chefs bring a dish to pass. (Others have tried it: Food Network created a fantasy holiday dinner featuring its stars a few years ago. It was ghastly.)

As far as we can remember, the original feature included Wolfgang Puck, Craig Claiborne, Julia Child, Maida Heatter and Paul Prudhomme. The piece ran for several years without change, even with the same introduction from Bob Edwards, until 1) the guests began passing away, and 2) the producers apparently wanted to reflect the times by welcoming some new culinary stars.

This 2003 version isn’t exactly original – it features some re-recorded segments with the chefsā€”but it’s an example of what was a Thanksgiving tradition for 11 holidays. When Bob Edwards was forced from the program, the tradition was retired. It lives on, on the web, for your Thanksgiving pleasure. NPR offers up two recipes to accompany the piece: Wolfgang Puck’s Smoked Salmon with Caviar on a Crisp Potato Galette (interesting) and Julia Child’s Mashed Potatoes (decadent and delicious).

“Oh look at the time. You better check the turkey. It’s already… eleven minutes before the hour.”

(image credit: Melissa Gray, NPR News)

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