San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Why Cook? Cater It!

There comes a time in the life of all Thanksgiving chefs when they find themselves up to their elbows in turkey guts, up to their eyeballs in potatoes and way behind schedule with hungry guests hovering in the kitchen. They think to themselves, “If only someone could do all this for me and I could just sit down and enjoy it.”

It’s possible in Costa Rica, thanks to caterers who take the work out of Thanksgiving by doing the cooking for you. There are a few options to choose from this year; here’s what The Tico Times dug up:

Big Mike’s, a guesthouse and dining club in the western suburb of Escazú, is offering complete dinner packages to go and also serving up the full Thanksgiving shebang in house. Chef Mike Forbes and his crew prepare takeout meals according to the number of people eating. An average-sized turkey along with the traditional sides will feed eight to 10 people and runs ¢9,000 (about $18) per person. Meals for larger or smaller groups are available upon request.

Sides include sage dressing with sausage (vegetarian version is also available), glazed carrots and mashed potatoes. Other sides are still to be determined, since Forbes says he’ll be making them with the freshest ingredients available at the time. One pumpkin pie comes with the meal, and additional pies can be ordered for an extra cost.

Forbes requests that meals be ordered two weeks in advance, but he’ll take them until Nov. 15. Big Mike’s is located in Urbanización Los Anonos, near Supermercado Saretto (289-6087).

Claudia Grimm, from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, has seen many a Costa Rican Thanksgiving during her 15 years here, and this year she’s decided to put her talent and kitchen to work by making and delivering the whole meal.

She’ll bring Thanksgiving from her kitchen in the mountains of Heredia, north of San José, to your door, complete with reheating instructions. (Delivery is limited to the Central Valley).

She’ll also keep your secret if you want to fake it by having your guests arrive during the reheating process and tell them you did all the work.

“No one would ever have to know,” she says, completely serious.

Her meal includes all the standbys: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie, homemade rolls and stuffing, which can be prepared without pork or kosher style, with no meat and milk mixed together.

Grimm estimates a 12-pound turkey will feed about eight to 10 people with leftovers. With the sides and pie included, this meal runs $100. Ordering a larger turkey or pecan pie instead of pumpkin are possibilities, but they bump up the price.

Orders should be placed at least one week in advance by calling Grimm at 269-5538.

Robin Emigh will once again be whipping up delicious pies this year from Robin’s Kitchen in Escazú. Pumpkin, apple and pecan are surefire hits that should be ordered at least 24 hours in advance by calling 289-5152 or 382-4412 before 9 p.m.

The popular pumpkin cheesecake, a thick delicious treat, can be prepared in nine-, 10-or 18-inch pans, with or without macadamia nuts. Most nine-inch pies range from about ¢5,000 to ¢7,000 (about $10 to $13.50), while an 18-inch pumpkin cheesecake with macadamia nuts is ¢20,290 (about $40).

Robin’s Kitchen is located 30 meters east of Pulpería La Violeta in Escazú Centro.


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