Sperry's makes Thanksgiving simple

It's a lot of work, Milller said, but he does things in batches over about a week period, a tactic that both breaks up the workload and ensures quality in every bite.

"Say I need 200 pounds of stuffing to complete 50 orders, I don't make that all at one time because the bigger the batch, the more chance you'll lose quality," said Miller. "I have a schedule and do a little each day. The cranberry relish is already made because it only gets better with age; more flavorful and delicious."

To make enough gravy, three or four stock pots are on the stove at any time, which eventually get thrown together to create several gallons of gravy with one consistent flavor.

"I'm constantly tasting things and making sure everything is on point," said Miller. "I have to make sure the quality is where I want it to be and I wouldn't serve it if it's not. It's been a tremendous success in other place and customers have been following me for years. Some even tell their guests they've been cooking for days."

This is the first year Sperry's has offered a Thanksgiving dinner prepared by Miller, who owns Dale Miller Restaurant on South Pearl Street in Albany and is one of only 61 U.S. Certified Master Chefs and one of just 300 Global Master Chefs worldwide. It's a change that happened when ownership switched to Christel and Colin MacLean, who previously ran Hattie's.

Already, the restaurant has a good handful of orders lined up and Miller said he hopes to prepare 40 or 50 total, which would require 300 work hours, at the very least.

"What's nice is people come pick it up and there are heating instructions for every item, every item is marked and packaged beautifully and put in a beautiful sturdy box. It's really no fuss no muss," said Miller, who added he will accommodate those who want the turkey pre-sliced or want the food piping hot. "It's simple and foolproof."

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