Three Chef’s Give Advice for the Best Thanksgiving…Ever!


 by Steve Heard

Thanksgiving is just about here, and if you’re serving turkey, you know that it can be a challenge to get it just right.

I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving turkeys for many years, and though I’ve hit a few home runs, I also recall the time I stuffed one but didn’t know enough to allow for extra time (or just not stuff it at all), and ended up getting the family sick, and I think I followed that up the next year by cooking every last bit of moisture out it leaving it almost inedible.  Even my gravy couldn’t save it.

There has to be a happy medium right?

Whether you consider your self a babe lost in the turkey recipe woods, or an expert looking for different turkey recipe or unique sides to rock your Thanksgiving table, this article is for you.

I’ve asked 3 Folsom-based chefs to lend me their expertise and give us tips, tricks and advice on the best turkey recipes, along with their favorite Thanksgiving sides.

What they’ve come up with has me tempted to make them all.

First, a little about our chefs.

Scott Leysath

Better known as The Sporting Chef, Scott Leysath is a leading authority on the proper preparation of fish and game. He is the author of two “The Sporting Chef’s Wild Game Recipes” cookbooks. He is also the cooking editor of the Ducks Unlimited Magazine and writes for a number of other publications like California Waterfowl Magazine, South Carolina Waterfowl Association’s Waterfowl and Wetlands and Cooking Wild Magazine.

Chef Leysath spent four years on HGTV’s “Home Grown Cooking with Paul James”, hosted “Hunt Fish Cook” and the Sportsman Channel’s “Dead Meat”

The new season of ‘The Sporting Chef’ is currently in production.

Scott has been a Folsom resident for 13 years.

Scott’s take on the best turkey recipe:

Clay Purcell

Clay Purcell has been cooking professionally for 27 years, and his career has included stints (or stops or positions) at San Francisco (Chef Garde Manger and Banquet Sous Chef, Hyatt Regency: Chef de Cuisine and Executive Sous Chef, Grand Hyatt) : West Hollywood (Executive Chef Hyatt Regency Sunset Strip): Palm Springs (Executive Chef Hyatt Regency): Monterey (Executive Chef Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa) : Sacramento (Executive Chef Embassy Suites Riverfront Promenade) . He has been Executive Chef at Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade or 6+ years and has won numerous awards including best chefs of Sacramento, Vegan Challenge, Pork Counsel, Ultimate Club House Sandwich Contest to name a few.

He is married to MyFolsom’s own Kimberly ‘Amethyst Organizing’ Purcell and has been living in Folsom for 6+ years.

Check out Clay’s advice for the best Thanksgiving turkey recipe:

Deb Boogaard

Last but not least, is home chef,’s own Deb ‘aka Resume Lady’ Boogaard.  She is owner of Tailored Resume Service,  and is a long-time Folsom resident.

Deb’s passion is good food and great times with family and friends. She’s been cooking Thanksgiving dinners for over 35 years, and has become an expert at planning great, (relatively) stress-free Thanksgiving dinners.

Here’s how deb makes a fantastic, stress-free Thanksgiving dinner:

So, whether you are a pro or a beginner, I hope you’ve learned something, or picked up a few ideas.

What do you think? Find out and discuss what other myfolsomites are doing in the forum: