Jennie-O has celebrity chefs at the end of the Thanksgiving turkey hotline

Starting Thursday, and extending through the day before Thanksgiving, people can call the Jennie-O turkey hotline and talk to celebrity chefs and “influencers” to get advice on how to cook the Thanksgiving Day turkey.

Chef Christina Machamer.jpg
Chef Christina Machamer (@chef.cmac) is also a certified sommelier. Her culinary style can be described as country cuisine with French and Northern Italian influence. She is taking calls at 1-800-TURKEYS on Nov. 20, Nov. 24 and Nov. 25. Photo courtesy of Jennie-O Turkey Store

WILLMAR — Anyone who’s watched cooking shows on television has wished to have one of those masterful TV chefs and cooking competition winners in the home kitchen to help turn an ordinary hotdish into a gourmet meal.

Now’s your chance.

Starting Thursday, Nov. 19, and ending Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving, nine culinary all-stars will be manning the Jennie-O turkey hotline to dish advice about how to cook the perfect holiday meal.

The hotline will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1-800-TURKEYS.

This year Jennie-O, which is based in Willmar, has enlisted the help of culinary experts to answer consumers' questions. The cast includes popular TV cooking competition winners and producers, a chef who is fluent in American Sign Language and chefs who are bilingual.


"We know that the holidays are going to look different this year and we expect there to be a lot of first-time hosts making that Thanksgiving meal," said Nicole Behne, vice president marketing at Jennie-O Turkey Store, in a news release announcing details of the hotline.

"It's more important now than ever to provide consumers with resources to keep the holidays stress-free and we're happy to help by providing access to experts like these that can help ensure this meal is a success,” Behne said.

The list of celebrity chefs includes MacKenzie Smith, Bev Weidner, Hadassah Patterson, Richard Ingraham, Christina Machamer, Dan Phelps, Adrianne Calvo, Grace Ramirez and Matt Abdoo.

Also, four of the chefs will partner with Jennie-O to offer online cooking classes Nov. 21 via Zoom with each set to demonstrate a different technique for cooking a turkey.

Besides the 1-800-TURKEYS hotline, home cooks can also reach a Jennie-O consumer engagement specialist via live chat at the JENNIE-O brand website , by texting the word Turkey to 73876 through Nov. 29.

For more information about all JENNIE-O turkey products, including recipes, nutritional information and where to buy, visit or follow the brand on social media at , and .

According to the Jennie-O news release, the following chefs and turkey aficionados will be working the 1-800-TURKEYS hotline:

  • Chef MacKenzie Smith is a two-time Food Network champ, popular social media influencer, blogger and cookbook author. She will be answering hotline calls on Nov. 19 and then again on Nov. 24. Smith is not only an expert on cheese, she also describes her food genre as "comfort food that feeds the soul."

  • Bev Weidner has been sharing "simple, fun and fresh" recipes, plus stories, music and advice on her blog BevCooks since 2010. Often seen on Food Network digital, with recipes published everywhere from BuzzFeed to Self to She will be taking calls on Nov. 20.

  • Chef Hadassah Patterson specializes in dedicated gluten-free cooking with an emphasis on remaking American and Southern classics to a standard that is delicious regardless of dietary need. Patterson is Recent Deaf and is fluent in American Sign Language. She will be taking calls on Nov. 20, by appointment. Callers can schedule a time to meet with Patterson by contacting a Jennie-O specialist through the online chat on the company's website, texting the word Turkey to 73876 or by calling 1-800-TURKEYS.

  • Chef Richard Ingraham is an L.A.-based, private chef to Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade and cookbook author. His new cookbook "Eating Well to Win, Inspired Living Through Inspired Cooking," showcases delicious, flavorful recipes that help his clientele of entertainers and top athletes reach their peak performance. He will be answering consumer questions at 1-800-TURKEYS on Nov. 20.

  • Chef and sommelier Christina Machamer earned the coveted champion title on FOX's "Hell's Kitchen," served as executive sous chef under Chef Gordon Ramsay and worked with Chef Thomas Keller on the opening of Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, Calif. She specializes in wine country cuisine with French and Northern Italian influence, and will be taking calls on Nov. 20, Nov. 24 and Nov. 25.

  • Dan Phelps is a BBQ Smoke fan turned social media influencer, and he's on the journey to becoming a full-time pitmaster. Consumers can ask him for his expert advice about grilling and smoking a turkey on Nov. 23.

  • Chef Adrianne Calvo is a restaurateur, cookbook author and TV personality. She's known for a signature style called eclectic maximum flavor. Calvo is chef and owner of two Miami restaurants with menus featuring culinary creations ranging from high high-end gastronomy to high-end junk food. Calvo is bilingual, Spanish speaking and taking calls on Nov. 23.

  • Chef Grace Ramirez has lived all over the world and built a career that is highly engaged in food-related philanthropic efforts with global organizations including World Central Kitchen. A cookbook author and TV personality, Ramirez is the host of the hit series "Destino con sabor and De chuparse los dedos," and a judge on the all-new original series "Chef a domicilio." She is bilingual, Spanish speaking and will be answering questions on the hotline Nov. 25.

  • Chef Matt Abdoo is a classically trained chef turned restaurateur and owner of Pig Beach in New York and Florida. Abdoo describes his culinary expertise as ranging from New York Times 4-star Italian cuisine to championship low-and-slow barbecue. Abdoo is scheduled to take hotline calls Nov. 25.


Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at or 320-894-9750
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