Greg Fischer’s Thanksgiving: Family, Community Service and Bourbon-Infused Turkey

When Thanksgiving rolls around, Mayor Greg Fischer spends part of his day at his grill with the turkey.

It’s his specialty, he said, a “rotisserized turkey with a orange juice, bourbon baste underneath of the turkey.

“As the fumes waft into the turkey,” he added, “infusing it with a slight Kentucky bourbon taste, it could possibly be the world’s best turkey.”

But the holiday means more than just turkey. There’s an element of cultural diversity to Fischer’s family dinner. His wife, Alexandra Gerassimides, comes from a Greek immigrant family. His in-laws will be in town for this Thanksgiving, too, and the mayor expects that will influence this year’s dinner. 

“So we’ve got all types of things going on in the kitchen,” Fischer said. “We have a lot of feta cheese and then we have a tremendous Greek salad that tops it off, as well. All kinds of dishes that are a little different than what I grew up with, but we’ve a family for so long it’s just part of who we are.”

Their four children come home for the holiday; they may bring friends. In the end, their home may have dozens of guests for the meal. But before dining, the family serves meals to people in need in the city, he said.

In his tenure, Fischer has spoken frequently about Louisville being a compassionate city. Thanksgiving works well with that message, he said.

“We are one family, right? We say we’re one city, we’re one community, we’re one family,” Fischer said. “And on Thanksgiving day, we’re obviously with those closest to us and some friends as well. But it’s important that that day we also think about our city as a family. That’s why we get out and help with each other.

“That’s what Give a Day is all about, as well. And at the end, compassion is about making sure that we’re all connecting with each other and watching after each other.”

As for that turkey baste?

He’s going to make us guess. Fischer won’t divulge his “secret recipe,” though he said it includes multiple bourbons (from Kentucky) and orange juice.

Either way, he’s looking forward to having a slice on Thanksgiving day.

“I’m salivating just thinking about it,” he said.

Listen below:

This story is part of WFPL’s Food & Drink Week. We’ll be exploring dining and libations in the Louisville area ahead of Thanksgiving. You’ll find new stories here everyday through the holiday.

Do you have a Thanksgiving dish that you want to share? Call WFPL at (502) 627-0485 or send us an e-mail here to let us know how it’s made and why you love it. We’ll post some of the submissions next week. Be sure to include your name.

Joseph Lord

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.

@joseph_Lord

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