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by Phyllis M. Cahaly, Director of Partnership Marketing, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
“Serving Thanksgiving Dinner at Plimoth Patuxet Museums is our Super Bowl,” said Chef Ramon Rosa, Executive Chef at Plimoth Patuxet Museums. Indeed! This November, Chef Ramon will oversee his third Thanksgiving Dinner which entails cooking 1,000 pounds of turkey, 800 pounds of mashed potatoes and squash, and 75 gallons of gravy to serve more than 3,500 hungry people on Thanksgiving Day.
Meet Chef Ramon Rosa, conductor of this massive and unforgettable dining experience. While large-scale dining prep might shake some, it’s almost second nature to Chef Ramon who, since 2004, has been developing menus for the masses when he joined the opening culinary team at the new Puerto Rico Coliseum, a state-of-the-art venue with a capacity for 18,000 people. This opportunity introduced him to a whole new world of cookery including sports and entertainment, live performances and events.
Rosa, a native of Puerto Rico, attended Puerto Rico Culinary & Hotels School where he graduated in 1996 with High Honors. After working in some of the best restaurants and hotels of the island, his career took flight when he discovered and fell in love with event dining. In 2006, he relocated to Miami to work with the Miami Heat organization as a Sous Chef and then spent eight years participating in planning and cooking for some of the most prestigious sports events in the world including: five NBA Finals, seven USTA Opens, two PGA Tournaments, NASCAR races, the Kentucky Derby, and the MLB. Pretty large-scale events, right?!
After a few years, Chef Ramon returned to Puerto Rico to be closer to family and joined the Puerto Rico Convention Center as Executive Sous Chef where he enjoyed mentoring young chefs and planning the Governor’s Inauguration dinner reception. He also proudly worked as part of the recovery efforts post Hurricane Maria when the venue was used as a command center, providing 10,000 daily meals to affected people for over 3 months.
In 2019, Chef Ramon was tapped by the Miami Dolphins to join the organization as Executive Sous Chef and oversee the food operations of 164 suites and banquet clubs at Hard Rock Stadium. Here, he organized dining for the biggest single-day sports event of the world – Super Bowl LIV.
That brings us back to Chef Ramon’s Super Bowl reference of Thanksgiving Day at Plimoth Patuxet Museums – it’s real! Plimoth Patuxet Museums, located in Plymouth, MA, brings to life the history of Plymouth Colony and the Indigenous homeland. Major exhibits include the Historic Patuxet Homesite, the 17th-Century English Village, Mayflower II and the Plimoth Grist Mill. Every autumn, Plimoth Patuxet Museums offers their immensely popular Thanksgiving dining programs with fresh, seasonal ingredients, festive surroundings all captured with a sense of history that cannot be found elsewhere. A variety of dining opportunities are available such as The Story of Thanksgiving Dinner, the Thanksgiving Day Homestyle Buffet, and the New England Harvest Dinne800.
It was seemingly meant to be that family on his wife’s side encouraged Chef Ramon to move to Massachusetts. “Massachusetts is the best! I love the outdoors, the different cities and there is so much to do,” said Chef Ramon. “I’m really happy living here and have adopted Massachusetts as my own. As a chef, I like to take advantage of the four seasons we enjoy in Massachusetts and plan my seasonal menus around preparing sweet strawberries in summer, cooking squashes in winter; it’s easy to strategize with the products we grow here and really limit waste.”
Chef Ramon also has a passion for BBQ, and not just on a small scale! He became an active member of the Caribbean BBQ Association and a Certified BBQ Judge and Competitor. He has also participated in some of the most prestigious events in Miami, like the Miami Art Basel, Miami Spice, and numerous high-profile weddings. As a big basketball fan and relatively new resident of Massachusetts, Chef Ramon has a strong desire to visit the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.
So how long does it take to cook all that food for Thanksgiving Day? Well, Chef Ramon and his team of 16 cooks start prepping on the Sunday before Thanksgiving when the pumpkin pies, apple pies, and native pudding are baked. Then it’s onto the turkeys and all the side dishes, which is great for Chef Ramon because he still loves the hands-on preparation and executing the finished plates. When asked what his favorite part of all is, he readily answers, “My favorite part is to work hard to make the guests happy; when I see that the guests are happy and enjoying the Thanksgiving Dinner, then I know that we’ve done our job.”
Lucky for Plimoth Patuxet Museums, and all of its patrons, that Chef Ramon has happily settled into his role where he, along with the Museums, will continue to make history.
Note: The Story of Thanksgiving Dinner is sold out for Thanksgiving Day this year, although seats are still available for Friday, November 24. Also, seats are available for the Thanksgiving Buffet on Thanksgiving Day and for all of the Harvest Dinners. Check the website for more information.
Native Sweet Corn Pudding
Recipe courtesy of Plimoth Patuxet Museums
- 4 cups Plimoth Grist Mill Grits or coarse ground corn
- 1 ½ qts water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 8 beaten eggs
- 2 qts cream or half and half
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 2 cups Dried currants
- Bring grits, sugar, salt and water to boil, reduce to low heat, simmer until water is absorbed stirring occasionally to avoid mix to stick to the pan.
- Beat together eggs, cream, and add to grits while whisking
- Continue to cook on low until pudding thickens- do not rush it
- Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and currants
November Culinary Events
|Charcuterie Workshop at Black Birch Vineyard||Wednesday, November 1||108 Straits Road, Hatfield, MA||More Info|
|Springfield Museums, CHEERS! An Evening of Art And Wine||Thursday, November 2||21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA||More Info|
|Marblehead Chamber of Commerce Presents: Taste of the Town - Eat and Drink Local!||Friday, November 3||Corinthian Yacht Club, 1 Nahant Street, Marblehead, MA||More Info|
|Appleton Farms Culinary Workshop: Baking School - Intermediate Sourdough Bread Baking||Friday, November 3||219 County Road, Hamilton, MA||More Info|
|Oktoberfest at the Student Prince Restaurant||Friday, November 3 - Saturday, November 4||8 Fort Street, Springfield, MA||More Info|
|29th Annual Franklin County CiderDays||Friday, November 3 - Sunday, November 5||Locations throughout Franklin County, MA||More Info|
|Wachusett Mountain Fall Food Truck Festival||Saturday, November 4||Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, 499 Mountain Road, Princeton, MA||More Info|
|Wine Tasting at the Boston Winery||Saturday, November 4||26 Ericsson St, Boston, MA||More Info|
|A Taste of Legends - Morton's Boston Seaport||Saturday, November 4||Morton's The Steakhouse - Boston, Two Seaport Lane Boston Seaport, MA||More Info|
|Premiere Series: Oysters, Champagne, and Caviar||Saturday, November 4||Formaggio Kitchen - Cambridge - 358 Huron Ave Cambridge, MA||More Info|
|Thanksgiving Dining Programs at Plimoth Patuxet Museums||Saturday, November 4 - Saturday, November 25||137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth, MA||More Info|
|Table & Vine, Tasting||Sunday, November 5||1119 Riverdale Street, West Springfield, MA||More Info|
|Traditional Gingerbread House Decorating at Duck Soup||Sunday, November 5||365 Boston Post Rd., Sudbury, MA||More Info|
|The Vin Bin & Fall Flavors - Macaron and Wine Tasting Night||Tuesday, November 7||91 Main Street, at the Old Fire Station Marlborough, MA||More Info|
|Duck Soup French Bistro Cooking Class||Tuesday, November 7||365 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, MA||More Info|
|Ladies Night Out at Russell’s Garden Center||Wednesday, November 8||397 Boston Post Rd., Wayland, MA||More Info|
|Beefsteak & Bowties at the Student Prince Restaurant||Thursday, November 9||8 Fort Street, Springfield, MA||More Info|
|Sip & Snack at Eastside Grill, with Fed by Foley||Thursday, November 9||19 Strong Avenue, Northampton, MA||More Info|
|Appleton Farms Culinary Workshop: Baking School & Wood Fired Pizza||Thursday, November 9||219 County Road, Hamilton, MA||More Info|
|Munich Haus, Hunter's Harvest Game Feast||Saturday, November 11||13 Center St., Chicopee, MA||More Info|
|Small batch Chocolate & Coffee Pairing Experience - Tick Tock Chocolate and Del's Coffee||Saturday, November 11||100 Felton St, Ste 105, Waltham, MA||More Info|
|Cooking Class - Thanksgiving Pies||Saturday, November 11||The Westin Copley Place - 10 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA||More Info|
|Appleton Farms Culinary Workshop: Baking School - Chicken Pot Pie||Saturday, November 11||219 County Road, Hamilton, MA||More Info|
|Helen's Kitchen Easy as Pie Cooking Class||Saturday, November 11 & Saturday, November 18||Helen's Kitchen at 3 Ingleside Road, Natick, MA||More Info|
|New England Thanksgiving at Old Sturbridge Village||Saturday, November 11 - Sunday, November 12||1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA||More Info|
|The Annual Pig Roast at Boston Winery||Saturday, November 12||26 Ericsson St, Boston, MA||More Info|
|Wine Tasting and Dinner: Spain at Uva Wine Bar||Wednesday, November 15||46 Main Street, Plymouth, MA||More Info|
|Thanksgiving Celebration with a Twist at the Baker's Pin||Wednesday, November 15||34 Bridge St, Northampton, MA||More Info|
|Oz Wine Company Tasting & Takeover at The Dirty Truth||Wednesday, November 15||29 Main Street Northampton, MA||More Info|
|Appleton Farms Culinary Workshop: Mixology & Holiday Cocktails||Thursday, November 16||219 County Road, Hamilton, MA||More Info|
|Craft Cocktail Class at the Inn at Hastings Park||Friday, November 17||2027 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA||More Info|
|Food Truck Cousins Maine Lobster at Glendale Ridge Vineyard||Friday, November 17||155 Glendale Rd Southampton, MA||More Info|
|Northampton Local Food Tour with Pioneer Valley Food Tours||Friday, November 17 & Friday, November 24||Departs from Pulaski Park, 240 Main Street, Northampton, MA||More Info|
|Cooking Class -Things with Wings (Chicken and Turkey)||Saturday, November 18||Helen's Kitchen - 3 Ingleside Road, Natick, MA||More Info|
|Beer & Wine Tasting in the Loft at Atkins Farm||Saturday, November 18||1150 West Street, Amherst, MA||More Info|
|Fall Food and Wine Pairing||Saturday, November 18||26 Ericsson St, Boston, MA||More Info|
|Eastham Turnip Fest||Saturday, November 18||Throughout Eastham, MA||More Info|
|Red Apple Farm Thanksgiving Harvest Festival||Saturday, November 18 - Sunday, November 19||455 Highland Ave, Phillipston, MA||More Info|
|America's Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration||Saturday, November 18 - Sunday, November 19||Downtown Plymouth: Main & Water Streets, MA||More Info|
|Historic Deerfield, Open Hearth Cooking Demonstrations||Friday, November 24 - Saturday, November 25||84B Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA||More Info|
|Red Apple Farm Winter Lights||November 24 - December 31||455 Highland Ave, Phillipston, MA||More Info|
|Annual Gingerbread Competition at Springfield Museums||Friday, November 24 - Sunday, December 31||21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA||More Info|
|Cooking Class - Holiday Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing||Saturday, November 25||The Westin Copley Place - 10 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA||More Info|