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Heather Sperling

Editor, Tasting Table

For Tasting Table editor Heather Sperling, the holidays are not just a time to celebrate—she’s got some serious food expectations from friends and family, too! (You may remember her cooking up some good cheer for us in last year’s Holiday Entertaining issue). To make things a little easier this season, she’s leading the charge in producing the first Tasting Table Open Market. The food bazaar and holiday shopping event features 50+ chefs in a festive (and buyable!) smorgasbord of artisan products, food and gifts. Can you say the-perfect-excuse-to-finish-your-holiday-shopping-list-whilst-popping-creative-bites-from-some-of-the-best-restaurants-in-the-city? Yeah, we thought you’d like that. And you’ll really love this: proceeds from the event benefit Share Our Strength, a non-profit behind the No Kid Hungry campaign. We catch up with Heather—between tastings!—to get her faves and Talk Turkey.


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Heather Sperling BeautyBEAUTY MUST-HAVES>> scent: FREDERIC MALLE DANS TES BRAS // moisturizer: ALBA BOTANICA SEA LIPIDS DAILY CREAM // powder: BENEFIT COSMETICS HELLO FLAWLESS // bronzer: BOBBY BROWN SHIMMER BRICK // mascara: BENEFIT COSMETICS BADGAL LASH // lips: ROSEBUD LIP BALM // nails: ESSIE PENNY // must-have: SANTA MARIA NOVELLA ROSEWATER

Describe the Tasting Table Open Market in three words.
Delicious. Festive. Inspiring

Where will we find you shopping at the market? 
At the Friday night chef night market, I’m especially excited about Mott St., Parson’s Chicken & Fish, Bang Bang Pie’s savory biscuits, and ice cream from Blackbird pastry chef Dana Cree. At Saturday’s artisan market, I’ll be shopping Edible Type and Martyn George for vintage cookbooks and dinnerware, Rare Tea Cellar for beautiful and unusual teas and Nourishing Notes for tea towels and clever food-themed letterpress notecards, and stocking up on Rare Bird jams, Nellcôte’s dried pasta and Blis maple syrup. And I’ll definitely be eating Fat Rice sandwiches, a slice of pie Rustic Tart and sweets from ByM Desserts.

We’re dying to know your Thanksgiving menu. Dish it.
I’ll be at my parents’ house in Maryland, but I’m going to pretend that I’m in Jerusalem (Ottolenghi-style), sneaking cumin and coriander into everything, swapping in jeweled rice for stuffing, and making charmoula with the pan drippings, instead of gravy.

Dream Thanksgiving Dinner party invite list?
Haruki Murakami, Bill Cunningham, Miles Davis, William Shakespeare, Nina Simone and Maira Kalman (and my +1, of course).

Secret weapon side dishes for Thanksgiving?
A classic Thanksgiving spread is full of heavy, savory dishes. I always throw something light, bright and refreshing in the mix, like a simple salad of shaved raw fennel, pomegranate seeds, orange segments and parsley, tossed with olive oil, citrus juice and plenty of black pepper (and a bit of cumin, if you’re feeling saucy). It’s great piled on turkey sandwiches the next day, too.

Fill in the blank: If I see another _________ served at Thanksgiving dinner, I’m going to puke.
If I see another growth-hormone-and-antibiotic-pumped turkey served at the table, I’m going to puke. Get a free-range, hormone-free turkey—they’re far better for you (and the environment), and exponentially more flavorful.

And how do you like your free-range, hormone-free Turkey?
Well, I only have eyes for the dark meat and the skin. Man, turkey skin…so good.

Tasting Table Open Market runs December 6 + 7. Tickets $5 to $30. Visit TastingTable.com/OpenMktChi2013 for times and more information.