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Chefs Do Turkey For Crowds, But Can't Forget Lobster

Chef Eric Flynn of the Harraseeket Inn will serve a whopping 900 guests tomorrow; it's the 24th year for the Freeport landmark's Thanksgiving tradition, the Grand Buffet. In Portland, chef Chef Steve Corry is preparing for his first-ever Thanksgiving at Five Fifty-Five, a more intimate gathering of 150. Meredith Goad talked to both chefs, and celebrity Dr. Christiane Northrup, of Yarmouth — who's given up cooking for Thanksgiving and now takes her family to the Harraseeket Inn — for The Portland Press Herald. The numbers at the inn are astonishing. In addition to 44, 30-pound turkeys from Wolfe Neck Farm, 575 pounds of prime rib and 750 pounds of lobster, which "Flynn cannot remove from his menu or customers would howl" the chef and his staff are busy making "soups, salads, sides and 11 different desserts."

There's pork prepared two ways, seared scallops over a tomato and Hen of the Woods ragout with lemon thyme and citrus zest, and roasted salmon over crushed Peruvian lima beans with brown butter-sauteed Brussels sprouts leaves and shallots.

DSC_0085.JPGCorry says he and his wife and business partner Michelle decided to open for the holiday because "the more full service you can be, the better off you're going to be because your customers are going to be happy." His menu will include his signature truffled lobster mac and cheese and that holiday cult favorite, turducken.

We didn't take a whole turkey and stuff it with a whole chicken and stuff it with a whole duck, he said. It's a play. We take a turkey breast and butterfly and pound it out, and then we layer duck confit, then we have a chicken sausage and we roll the whole thing up together to wrap it.

· For Maine Restaurants, Thanksgiving Calls For Masses Production [PPH]

[Top photo: The buffet at Harraseeket Inn/Official Site; Second photo: Dining room at Five Fifty-Five/Design and Dine blog]

Five Fifty-Five

555 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3308 207-761-0555