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Stephen Colbert and Chef José Andrés serve up hilariously unhelpful Thanksgiving leftovers

Stephen Colbert, José Andrés
Screenshot: The Late Show

Nobody seems to be having more fun doing good than celebrity Chef José Andrés, except maybe Late Show host Stephen Colbert when Andrés comes to visit. Prepping for the big Thanksgiving turkey slaughter, the James Beard award-winning humanitarian and exuberant food guy stopped by on Wednesday’s show to hand out some advice for both philanthropy and Thanksgiving dinner guest etiquette, a dodgy but delicious-looking morning-after cocktail recipe, and some speed-round gourmet leftover turkey croquettes, which he and Colbert would up tossing into Colbert’s audience. (Luckily, thanks to the magic of TV chef preparations, the ones they hucked weren’t right out of the deep fryer.)

For Andrés, food and philanthropy are all in the same pot, so to speak, as he and Colbert bonded over the chef’s charity World Central Kitchen, of whose mission to fly into disaster zones and just start feeding people Colbert is a big supporter. The two—both noted not-fans of Donald Trump—both hawked The Late Show book of verbatim Trump-mockery Whose Boat Is This Boat?, sales of which have raised plenty of money to help Andrés to bring relief to, most recently, Bahamian victims of Hurricane Dorian. Explaining his philosophy that everyone needs to actually listen to those affected by natural disasters concerning what they need, and for the generous to carefully vet any organization claiming to be helping out, he yet stressed his, and WCK’s, main philosophy, “Start cooking.”

Carrying that over to the requisite cooking segment, Andrés and Colbert then did their version of a quick and easy Friday morning post-Thanksgiving leftover meal. First up, more booze, in the form of a cranberry and all the alcohol concoction that—as Colbert’s safety goggles and nuclear reactor gloves getup suggested—also incorporates a fair amount of explosive risk-taking. (Your house has a spare canister of liquid nitrogen just sitting in the cupboard, you know it does.) After that, it was all smashing leftover fixin’s together in a bowl (you do have to make a béchamel, don’t panic), and then deep frying them into an improbably gorgeous-looking fried ball of Michelin star-worthy goodness, all ballistically suitable for whipping at those you love. As for more practical advice for the day of Thanksgiving (like, today, people), the garrulous Adrés noted that, if you’re not cooking—lie. Basically, Thanksgiving is a giant stress-tsunami, the turkey’s going to be dry, and everyone just needs to shush and be nice to each other for a change, was Andrés recipe.


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About the author

Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.