Food during the holidays is about more than enjoying your favorite dishes and stuffing yourself to your heart’s content. (Although, yes, it is about those things.) It’s a rekindling of memories, and an expression of how we feel about those closest to us.

No one knows that better than those who prepare the meals. And goodness knows, they can use a hand once in a while. With that in mind, we assembled a team of Connecticut’s top chefs and mixed-drink masters and tasked them with creating the ultimate holiday feast, including appetizers, sides, entrées, desserts and cocktails. And because no family’s tastes are all alike, we have a little something for everyone, from the meat-eaters to the meat averse.

Most years, the hardest part of putting on holiday celebrations is planning the dinner menu. Of course, as we’re all well aware, everything is more complicated this year. So, in addition to giving you a smorgasbord of chef-quality ideas for your table, we also have tips and ideas for having fun and staying safe during this season’s celebrations, no matter what form they take.

Whether in-person, virtual or both, holiday gatherings this year will be different than any in our lifetimes. But with some care, planning and love, they can still be celebrations of the past, give us reasons to be thankful for the present and offer hope for the future.

Follow the links below for the recipes and the holiday gathering tips.

This article appears in the November 2020 issue of Connecticut MagazineYou can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get our latest and greatest content delivered right to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.