A Southwest Thanksgiving
Denver chef Sean Yontz cooks a feast that draws on his family roots
- Guajillo-Tamarind Turkey
- Spicy Pecans
- Cornbread-Chorizo Dressing
- Roasted Poblano Gravy
- Chipotle-Corn Mashed Potatoes
- Cauliflower Gratin with Queso Cotija
- Garlic Green Beans with Manchego
- Chile-Spiced Sweet Potato Tamales
- Ancho Chile Pumpkin Pie
When Sean Yontz was growing up, holidays were all about food in his large Hispanic family. “Everybody got together at my grandmother’s house for an enormous meal: posole, menudo, tamales,” he says. “My mother brought her special green beans; my aunt brought her special salad.”
This family focus drew Sean into the professional kitchen. He started in high school as a dishwasher at a hotel and never looked back. Until recently, he headed the kitchen at his acclaimed Denver restaurant, Vega; now he’s launching a casual mini chain: Kitchen.
Sean and his wife, Alexa, and son, Luke, still celebrate Thanksgiving with relatives. His cooking has evolved but has maintained a family connection. “The food I’m doing is really what I grew up on, but a little fresher, a little new,” he says.
Sean’s Thanksgiving feast has the same balance―tradition with a fresh approach. As he puts it, “It’s just a traditional Thanksgiving―with a small Latin twist.”