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Loews Hotels Executive Chefs Share Holiday Family Recipes
Food + Drink

Loews Hotels Executive Chefs Share Holiday Family Recipes

Impress Your Loved Ones with the Perfect Holiday Meal

It’s the time of the year when we gather around the table with family, friends and loved ones to share in traditions and create new memories. In the spirit of beloved experiences in the kitchen, Loews Hotels Executive Chefs share some of their favorite family recipes for a perfect holiday meal.


A Piece Of Cooked Meat On A Grill

Date and Pistachio Stuffed Pork Belly Porchetta

by Executive Chef Ricardo Jarquin, Loews Coral Gables Hotel
“Inspired by my grandmother’s holiday pork recipe, this is my elevated take on a family classic.”


  • 1 boneless rind-on pork belly, about 8-10 lbs.
  • 2 dried black mission figs
  • ¼ lb salted pistachios, out of shell
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons whole fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced thyme leaves
  • 12 cloves garlic grated or minced
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder


  • Place pork belly skin-side down on a large cutting board. Using a sharp chef's knife, score flesh at an angle using strokes about 1-inch apart.
  • Toast peppercorns and fennel seed in a small skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned and aromatic. Grind spices until roughly crushed using a mortar and pestle. Mix in 2 tablespoons of salt, red pepper, minced herbs and garlic to form a dry rub.
  • Use your hands to rub the spice and herb mixture deeply into the cracks and crevices of the pork belly.
  • Next, mince the figs and pistachios to form a crumble. Line the pork belly with minced dried figs and pistachios. Roll the pork belly into a tight log. Using butchers' twine, tie up the pork belly – make sure it’s tight. Combine 1 tablespoon kosher salt with 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Rub mixture over the entire surface of the pork belly roast.
  • Adjust the oven racks and preheat oven to 300°F. Place pork in large roasting pan or a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. Place roasting pan in the oven and roast until internal temperature of the pork reaches 160°F, about 2 hours, basting with pan drippings every 30 minutes. Continue roasting another 2 hours, until a knife or skewer inserted into the pork shows very little resistance asides from the outer layer of skin.
  • Remove pan from the oven and set roast aside. Carefully pour off the hot fat from the pan into another container.
  • Increase oven temperature to 500°F. Return roast to the v-rack and continue roasting until completely crisp and blistered, about 20 to 30 minutes longer. Watch closely so it does not burn.
  • Once cooked, tent with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Rest is important, don’t skip this part.
  • Slice with a serrated knife into 1-inch-thick disks and serve.


A Bowl Of Red Berries

Gillis Cranberry Sauce

by Executive Chef Charles Gillis, Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel
“My family makes a large batch of cranberry sauce every year for Thanksgiving. In the spirit of the holiday, we usually make more than we need and give to our neighbors, family, and friends. I like to use mason jars as they are easy to open and close and they store well if we are traveling. This recipe with brown sugar pairs well with the Post Oak Smoked Turkey I prepare yearly.”


  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • Dice 1 peeled orange in ½ inch chunks
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons Brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag fresh or frozen cranberries (do not use dried)
  • Zest of one orange, about 2 teaspoons
  • Pinch salt


  • Wash the cranberries before use and pat dry. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the orange juice, water and brown sugar to a boil. Add the cranberries, orange zest, and salt, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil gently for 10 to 12 minutes, until most of the cranberries have burst open. You may need to mash them a bit with a spoon.

A Plate Of Food

Whipped Rutabagas

by Executive Chef Thomas Harkins, Loews Philadelphia Hotel

“I remember waking up in my house on Thanksgiving and smelling turnips cooking. My mom would whip in a lot of butter, and they were by far the most decadent dish on the menu. People think that turnips take a long time to cook because they are so hard. One of the reasons they are hard is because they are coated in wax, so they keep longer. They actually cook fairly quickly. You can usually find them fresh without wax at your local Farmer’s Market or grocery store.”


  • 2 pounds of rutabagas, peeled and medium diced
  • 1 cup of softened grass feed butter
  • Salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste


  • In a medium pot with salted water add rutabagas and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Strain and place them back in the same pot and while stirring cool for 3 minutes to dry them out. With an electric hand mixer or masher slowly add butter until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.


A Bunch Of Apples In Boxes

Apple Fried Pie

by Executive Chef Jason Flores, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
“My great grandmother “Granny” Williams would make these during the holiday season. It was a treat for the whole family and these are still made each holiday season for my family.”

Apple Pie Filling

  • 4 large granny smith apples
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp apple cider or juice
  • 2 tsp cornstarch


  • Peel and dice apples. Combine apples, sugar, cinnamon & vanilla in a sauce pot and cook on medium heat until apples start to juice. Combine cornstarch with cider or juice and whisk together to make a slurry, pour into apple mixture and turn the heat up to high and stir. Once the mixture has thickened remove from heat and let cool.

Pie Dough

  • 4 cups self-rising flour
  • ¼ cup butter, diced
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup hot milk
  • ½ tsp salt


  • Sift flour and put it in a food processor. Add diced butter and pulse until butter is incorporated and flour has the texture of wet sand.  In a separate bowl combine yolks and salt and temper in the hot milk a little bit at a time whisking constantly to not scramble the eggs. Once eggs are tempered with the milk add milk/egg mixture to your flour/butter mixture and pulse in food processor until dough forms. Remove from food processor and knead for about 1-2 minutes or until dough looks smooth. Once dough is kneaded divide it into 10-12 equal pieces and roll out into circles. Fill each circle with about 2-3 tbs of pie filling and fold dough in half over filling. Pinch the edges together to form a stuffed pie, cut away any excess dough and crimp edges with a fork or pastry wheel.
  • Heat oil in a cast iron skillet to 350 degrees and fry pies for about 2-3 minutes per side or until crust is golden brown. When done remove from the skillet and place pies on a cookie sheet with paper towels or a resting rack.

Pie Glaze

  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 2tbs milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Brush or drizzle pies while they are still warm, once coated let pies cool a bit to harden the glaze. Eat and enjoy.

Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

by Executive Pastry Chef Cynthia Keller-Sanchez, Loews Miami Beach Hotel

“This recipe always reminds me of a time when my family could get together and sit around the table for hours. Whenever I make  it, I picture us all stuffed into a tiny kitchen laughing and retelling stories.”

A Plate Of Food


  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 ½ cups dark rum
  • 10-12 large croissants


  • Grease a baking pan and preheat your oven to 300°F 
  • Place rum and raisins in a microwave safe bowl and heat just until the rum is warm.  Cover the mixture with a dish towel.
  • Cut croissants into bite sized pieces 
  • In a blender combine eggs, sugar and heavy cream
  • Place croissants in a large bowl and mix in the rum soaked raisins 
  • Mix in the egg mixture and allow the croissants to soak up some of the liquid
  • Pour the bread pudding mix into the greased pan and bake in a water bath for 30-45 minutes or until the custard is set

Happy Holidays from our Loews Hotels family to yours.