250 Gourmet Turkeys Prepped, Cooked By Local Chef and Volunteers for Thanksgiving Charity Event

250 Gourmet Turkeys Prepped, Cooked By Local Chef and Volunteers for Thanksgiving Charity Event250 Gourmet Turkeys Prepped, Cooked By Local Chef and Volunteers for Thanksgiving Charity Event250 Gourmet Turkeys Prepped, Cooked By Local Chef and Volunteers for Thanksgiving Charity Event250 Gourmet Turkeys Prepped, Cooked By Local Chef and Volunteers for Thanksgiving Charity Event250 Gourmet Turkeys Prepped, Cooked By Local Chef and Volunteers for Thanksgiving Charity Event250 Gourmet Turkeys Prepped, Cooked By Local Chef and Volunteers for Thanksgiving Charity Event

Story and Photography by BRANDON VILLALOVOS

4:12 pm | November 22, 2016


The Pasadena Convention Center and Centerplate prepared 250 turkeys in-house on Monday and Tuesday at the Pasadena Convention Center to support Union Station Homeless Services’ annual “Dinner-in-the Park” on Thanksgiving day.

“The Pasadena Convention Center and Centerplate are thrilled to support this great cause by preparing turkeys,” said Michael Ross, CEO, Pasadena Center Operating Company. “We applaud Union Station’s work to serve thousands of meals to the hungry and homeless during the holiday season and are pleased to participate in such a worthwhile cause.”

The event is expected to feed thousands in an operation that is made possible with the help of several hundred volunteers and key partners, according to a press release.

Centerplate is the exclusive provider of food and beverage at the Pasadena Convention Center and along with its Executive Chef Arnold Preciado, the operation was joined by approximately 20 volunteers and USHS staff to oversee the turkey prep in the Convention Center’s underground kitchen.

“What’s unique is that we get to feed people who are in need. We’ve been doing this for about three years now and it’s just a great thing to do to help out the community,” said Preciado.

The turkey team cooked, sliced and stored all 250 turkeys during a span of two separate eight hour days.

The turkeys are marinated with a secret house dressing sprinkled with salt and pepper to complete the the gourmet touch that Preciado said is the tastiest combination.

“We have plenty of food so we make sure—weeks and days ahead of time— that everything is prepared accordingly. The best part about it is we make it good,” said USHS Chef Joanne Simmons.

Turkey prep volunteers were excited to be a part of the team.

“One hand helps the other. That’s how I see this. It all comes back,” said volunteer Floreen Rooks.

Making good food in good company is what it’s all about, according to Preciado.

“I feel like we’re making a big difference. The volunteers come in and see what we do and I think it just speaks for itself what we do here,” said Preciado.

“Dinner in the Park” kicks off on Thanksgiving Day from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Central Park located at 275 South Raymond Ave. Food will be distributed on the corner of Del Mar and Fair Oaks.

Store bought pies are welcome and can be delivered to 412 S. Raymond Ave before the event or may be dropped off at Central Park on Thanksgiving morning (drop off area is on the southern parking strip of Fair Oaks just north of Del Mar Blvd.)

For more information, visit http://unionstationhs.org/event/dip16/