Thanksgiving Spice - Chef Michel Despras
Le St. Germain - Indian Wells
MICHEL DESPRAS - LE ST. GERMAIN, INDIAN WELLS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TAYLOR SHERRILL
Promising a new world where people could live free, America became a melting pot of cultures ever since the Mayflower landed in Plymouth, Mass. The “land of opportunity” fuses more ethnic flavors than any other country in the world.
Throughout the centuries, as people continued to emigrate from every continent in the world, many adopted the “American” way of doing things. However, certain ethnic customs and influences have thankfully simmered through, mixing and mingling in the most delightful ways, especially in the area of gastronomy.
“Do you want to know a secret?” Michel Despras whispers with an anticipating smile, ready to divulge the French method for rendering the most tender, juicy turkey.
“Take the entire turkey; split and debone it. Put sage, butter, salt, and pepper in the center, and then wrap the entire turkey in caul fat [the fatty membrane that encases the internal organs of pigs, cows, and sheep]. Roast it for an hour and 15 minutes, and — voilà — you will have the most succulent Thanksgiving Day turkey!”
For Despras, who moved to the United States in the early ’70s from Avignon, France, celebrating Thanksgiving each year with his wife and children at Le St. Germain has become a tradition.
Whether meals are prepared for a holiday celebration or any other day, Despras believes in cooking with organic and local produce whenever possible.
WILD MUSHROOM SOUP
DUCK A L’ORANGE
APPLE TARTE TATIN
Le Saint Germain
74985 Highway 111
Indian Wells, CA 92210-7136