Happy Chefsgiving: Anastacia Quinones

by Steven Doyle

Thanksgiving is upon us once again and all the gobblers are running for cover. To get you in the mood for a little fun and relaxation we asked a few chefs around Dallas several questions so we get our dinner cooked just right. We will run their answers both today and tomorrow, so check back often to see how your favorite chef weighs in on the holiday.

Anastacia Quinones is the genius in the kitchen at Abraham Salum’s Mexico City-style restaurant, Komali. The press loves AQ and she has had many accolades in her culinary career. As we enter into this holiday season AQ is about to make a few traditions of her own, and is expecting the birth of her daughter on New Year’s Eve.         

Any deep, dark secrets to a perfect turkey?

Not a secret but a must is brining the turkey for 24 hours; about to pull mine out of brine right now.

Do you use the canned for fresh cranberries?

I use dried cranberries, plump with OJ and Grand Marnier and add toasted pecans.  I think dried cuts the acidity better.

Anything special from your childhood you enjoy tasting at Thanksgiving?

Breakfast casserole.  My mom always makes Thanksgiving morning to hold us over until dinner.  It’s a recipe from the 70’s and probably sounds really gross if I were to describe it but it’s my fave!

We all have a crazy aunt or uncle. Tell us a fun Thanksgiving relative story.

All my relatives are crazy so no story there.

What do we bring to a Thanksgiving pot luck?

You can’t go wrong with deviled eggs to a pot luck.

We burn the bird, what is plan B?

We usually always make two birds.  My mom and I always compete for whose is better.  I imagine one of them would be a plan B.

Tell us a Quinones family Thanksgiving tradition.

We have two favorite traditions.  One is the Cowboy game.  We never eat until half time.  EVER.  And the tv is silent but always on.

The second tradition is Ambrosia salad.  When I came home from culinary school years ago, my mother let me make my first Thanksgiving all by myself. So I went all out.  But as a joke, I made Ambrosia salad. (you know, Cool Whip, canned fruit, Jello powder and nuts).  It was the favorite.  Now, every year, I HAVE to make it or the family protests.

photo lifted from Anastacia’s Facebook


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