Thanksgiving Mini Boot Camp

Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday—a celebration of gratitude, food, and family. From choosing your turkey all the way through to dessert, CIA chefs are here to help set you up for holiday cooking success.

Through this multi-part virtual mini boot camp, we’ll put you through the paces, providing advice, tips, and techniques you can only get from the chefs and experts at the CIA. This video series can be consumed in small bites, or all at once—whatever works best for your schedule.

Downloading our Thanksgiving Prep Timeline (PDF) is a great way to get started! Looking for more holiday recipes? We’ve curated some of our favorites.

Thanksgiving Mini Boot Camp - Main Course

Selecting/Seasoning a Turkey

Chef Sofia Sada Cervantes shares her pro tips from choosing the right size turkey, to brining and seasoning it to perfection.

Roasting a Turkey

Turkey is often the centerpiece of the table, so it’s important to nail that roast! Chef Sada lets you in on some CIA secrets to perfectly roasting your turkey.

Thanksgiving Mini Boot Camp - Show-Stopping Sides

Mashed Potatoes

Chef Hinnerk von Bargen demonstrates how to make mashed potatoes that will wow your guests—the ideal varieties to use, additions to make them extra creamy, and how to add your own flavor variations.

Roasted Vegetables

Chef Hinnerk von Bargen shows you how to prepare roasted vegetables that will have guests coming back for seconds.

Plant-Forward Grain Casserole

Chef Hinnerk von Bargen puts a plant-forward twist on the holiday vegetable casserole with a grain, butternut squash, and apple casserole.

Cranberry Sauce

Chef Melissa Fritz guides you through the basics of homemade cranberry sauce and how to customize it to suit your taste.


Chef Sada shows you how to save some time the day-of with a make-ahead gravy.


In- or outside the bird? Chef David Kamen answers this age-old question, and shows you his favorite version of this classic side.

Thanksgiving Mini Boot Camp - Pie Perfection

Pie Dough

Chef Melissa Fritz gives us a crash course in pie dough.

Pie Fillings

Chef Lilla Bernal demonstrates two pie fillings—pear cranberry and pecan—while giving you the fundamentals you need to make fillings of your own.

Baking a Pie

Chef Lilla Bernal shows you what to look for in a finished pie and how to know when it’s under baked.

Thanksgiving Mini Boot Camp - Beverages

Wine Pairings

What’s a holiday dinner without the wine? Fabien Jacob shares what sort of wines go best with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Hungry For More?

Check out our ProChef Virtual Boot Camp. Get the same virtual training—designed for industry professionals—right from your kitchen!​ Learn more >

Thanksgiving Mini Boot Camp - Sponsored By

The Thanksgiving Mini Boot Camp is brought to you free of charge thanks to:

Media Sponsor

SmartBrief - Thanksgiving Mini Boot Camp Sponsor

Segment Sponsor

Lundberg Family Farms - Thanksgiving Mini Boot Camp Sponsor

With Support From

Hestan - Thanksgiving Mini Boot Camp Sponsor

*CIA Friends and Family Savings: use promo code CIA2020 at checkout to receive 20% off your Hestan purchase.
Ruffoni - Thanksgiving Mini Boot Camp Sponsor