11/09/2010 02:28 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Esquire Surveys Chefs On Their Thanksgiving Preferences

Unlike other holidays, Thanksgiving is really about the food. There are no gifts. No costumes. Just sitting around a table to eat. (Okay, maybe a little football.) More than that, the food is steeped in tradition -- hundreds of years of it, in fact -- but whose? The thing about Thanksgiving is: Not everyone does it the same. We're not even always sure what counts as tradition and what doesn't (who the hell came up with those marshmallows, anyway?), or which traditions are okay to mess with, which ones should be left alone (no turkey, really?). So -- in what amounts to one of this blog's largest undertakings -- we asked some people who care quite a lot about food (thirty-one, to be exact, chefs like David Myers and David Burke, and especially chefs from our 2010 list of the Best New Restaurants in America) what they think of Thanksgiving: what they love about it, what they hate about it, the personal practices they've turned into annual traditions. What we found might surprise you, well, a lot.

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