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By Minna La Fortune

News Americas, BROOKLYN, NY, Weds. Nov. 25, 2015: Its Thanksgiving week in America, the adopted home for the largest number of Caribbean nationals living outside of the Caribbean region anywhere in the world. So during this week all Caribbean-American cooks and chefs across the United States will be feverishly planning their thanksgiving meal for their families, friends and clients.

We all love thanksgiving it’s a beautiful festive holiday.  We celebrate by giving thanks and by visiting and eating with friends and family – it’s a big party! We also and to share and serve cooked thanksgiving meals to the less fortunate and show love to the community in large festive feasts – which makes us all feel great and happy!

For me, my Thanksgiving meal is always a work in progress to the very last minute! Yes, after doing several three hour long “Iron Chef” like international culinary exams at the University of Technology in Kingston, Jamaica, formally (CAST) during my food management training , my menu planning is never done. It is always a work in progress.

My planning method is to mentally prepare a menu. (You should actually write it down). Having a flexible approach to menu planning is a skill that should be embraced. It helps especially when you have to  fix an accident like “too much salt,” products are not available in the supermarket or butchers or worse – your oven does not work!  To create a delicious meal a good chef/cook must have solutions  and this is why the menu cannot be written in stone!

As a lover of   Caribbean cuisine I look for ways to incorporating the influence of  Caribbean cuisine in all my meals of course,  including my Thanksgiving Dinner. So for my Thanksgiving Dinner this year, the menu following is my offering that will be enjoyed by my family and special guests.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and Bon Appetite!



 Chop-up, cubed escoveich fish, mini festival, meatballs, Mini Cheese Sandwiches


Caribbean Pumpkin puree Soup /garnish roasted garlic croutons


Watercress /Mango/Sweet Pepper/with honey mustard dressing

Main Course

Roast Turkey with pimento infused Jerk Gravy

Cubed Jamaican Hard dough Bread, Italian sausage and Raisin Stuffing

Creamy mash Breadfruit Salad topped with Parmesan Cheese

Green bean with Calaloo and Roasted Corn Casserole

Butter glazed Carrots & Choyote

Cranberry Sauce

Corn Bread with Scotch Bonnet- Red onion Jelly


Caribbean Dreaming: Sweet Potato Pie with Coconut Ice Cream


Special Caribbean Tip:

Marinate Turkey for 12 -18 hours in the following mixture before seasoning and roasting in the oven.

  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Lime juice
  • ½ Lemon juice
  • 1 cup Sour orange juice
  • 1 cup Cider vinegar
  • 1 cup  sugar
  • 1 cup Soya Sauce
  • Pimento seeds/or Tablespoon All spice
  • Mix with enough water to cover turkey


EDITOR’S NOTE: Minna LaFortune is a trained Caribbean caterer and also president, Society for the Advancement of the Caribbean Diaspora (SACD). Check out her food group on Facebook at



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