TVS Thanksgiving 2008
Feast and Raffle with Prizes at Cafe Parizäde
November 27, 2008

Picture of people enjoying Thanksgiving 2005. Picture courtesy of Keith Dixon of Picture Perfect Photography and Videography Services, South Carolina, and used with his permission. Event summary written by Dilip Barman:

Thanksgiving was again a big success. We had 578 people in attendance and about 50 on the wait list. This was again a record for us and I believe again the country's largest vegetarian Thanksgiving. We gained nineteen new members. 171 people were first-time guests. We opened reservations at 8a on November 6th; over 200 reservations came in the first day, including the first one at 8:06a from Joy Coker.

We had guests from more than 40 cities and 7 states, including Chicago, Cicero NY, and Austin TX. We had good print press coverage before the event, including in the Raleigh News & Observer, Durham Herald-Sun, and the Independent, and were on the Thanksgiving evening news (I think on channel 14).

Everybody seemed to love the food - our menu is listed below. Check-in lines moved fairly fast and there never seemed to be much of a wait for food. Many thanks to the staff at Café Parizäde, especially manager Igor Gacina, chef Robert Adams, pastry chef Lou Mincey, and owner Giorgos Bakatsias, as well as manager Ricardo Granillo and the many others who worked on Thanksgiving.

A big thanks goes to TVS webmaster Ken Guttman, who again tirelessly created an excellent web-based reservation system. Brian Donlon kindly took reservations by phone.

Picture of some of the food at Thanksgiving 2005. Picture courtesy of Keith Dixon of Picture Perfect Photography and Videography Services, South Carolina, and used with his permission. Putting together such an event couldn't have been possible without the help of many additional people (especially with a new baby in the hospital!). Ann Creech, Jim Hart, and Jenny Finn called and made arrangements for raffle prizes. Brian Donlon, Allen Creech, Evelyn and El Giefer, Jim Hart, Tracy Morris, and Angela and Brandon Becker helped to setup the restaurant. Check-in was done by Angela and Brandon Becker, Allen Creech, Eric Zeigler, Kathy and Linda Borkowski, Radha Patel and Deepak Suryanaryanan, and Jody Hamilton-Davis.

Michael Pocinki of Michael's Music DJ Service provided the sound system.

Many people helped with the raffle, especially Jenny Finn and her family (Alex, Erin, Dory, and Guy) - Jenny didn't even sit down to eat till I did after the event ended. Others that helped with the raffle included Pravin Shah, Beth Levine, John Davis, James Balfour, Fabiola Anderson, Stephanie Hodges, Valine Zeigler, Joy Anandi, Jennifer McDuffie, and Carrie Burke.

Special thanks to Jim Hart who recently moved to the area and asked if he could help - he did quite a bit before attending his first Thanksgiving with us. And my apologies for those whom I may be inadvertently leaving out; if you email me, I would be glad to acknowledge your efforts.

Menu

Fall Antipasto Buffet Table

  • Cardamom pickled beets
  • Raw vegetables
  • Lightly steamed corn-off-the-cob w/smoked poblanos & cumin, lime juice & salt
  • Quinoa salad with olives, shallots, pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, and garlic
  • Stewed apples and kale with caraway
  • Fall lettuces with truffle mustard dressing and capers
  • Breads, crustinis & pita with Egyptian red lentil and artichoke-spinach hummuses, baba ganouj, and Brussels sprout "pâté"
  • Marinated olives, spiced pecans, roasted chestnuts

Main Courses

  • Lime-marinated seared seitan with peppercorns and fig glaze
  • Roasted garlic olive oil mashed potatoes with chives, mushroom gravy, apple-pecan stuffing, and fresh raspberry-cranberry relish
  • Braised sweet potatoes with leeks and vegan maple "butter" chutney
  • Grilled baby artichokes with rosemary
  • Three Sisters squash and corn with tempeh
  • Oyster mushroom croquettes
  • Turnip greens with pearl onions
  • Carpaccio vegetale - very thinly sliced vegetables as a raw "pasta" (raw dish)
  • Porcini-lentil cannelloni
  • Ligurian medallion pasta with marinara sauce
  • Country cornbread
  • Chunky mixed vegetable and barley stew
  • Creamy hemp cider leek-cabbage soup

Desserts

  • Fresh seasonal fruits
  • Phyllo cookies
  • Pumpkin pie with pomegranate glaze
  • Cherry crisp
  • Ginger-apple pie with frozen coconut cream

Drinks

  • Cider
  • Cranberry juice
  • Herbal tea
  • Shade-grown coffee

Photographs from Thanksgiving 2005 courtesy of Keith Dixon of Picture Perfect Photography and Videography Services from South Carolina, and used with his permission. (More pictures available online.) Anna Creissen of Anna Creissen Photography took pictures at the 2007 event; see her TVS photo gallery.