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Victor Albisu's Country Thanksgiving

There will be no ordinary turkey on the table this year for chef Victor Albisu. And why should there be? The Latin food chef, who has mastered the art of grilling meats at his Washington D.C. restaurant Del Campo, will translate his take on the South American grill to the great American tradition of Thanksgiving.

Albisu, whose restaurant serves as a tribute to his Cuban father and Peruvian mother, has said that he cooks simple food but with refined flavors and unexpected touches. The menu at Del Campo, which means "from the country," represents rustic South American traditions and most everything on the menu is charred. This year, on Thanksgiving, Albisu will honor this heritage and share his take with Washingtonians.

Although he finds Thanksgiving a wonderful family gathering, traditional holiday foods have never interested him.

“I’m not a sweet potato and marshmallow kind of guy,” he said. “I have to doctor it up to make it my own. I am partial to my ethnic background and my own style. In my house, we always make Thanksgiving a little Peruvian, Cuban, and Latin.”

And that means a turkey rubbed down with Latin spices and then smoked out on the grill, a leg of pork, and sides such as empanadas and papas a la huancaina, potatoes with cheese, hard boiled eggs, and olives.

On November 28, Del Campo will offer a one-day Thanksgiving carry out menu, with a twist of course. The menu is a nod to the Thanksgivings that Albisu celebrated as a child.

Next, how to enjoy a Del Campo Thanksgiving...

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