It's the biggest Treasure Valley Thanksgiving banquet [it's so big, there are two locations] and this year, it's set for Wednesday, Nov. 27. That's when the Boise Rescue Mission will be holding its annual Great Thanksgiving Banquet, providing over 3,000 meals to the community, in addition to handing out 2,000 food boxes.
The Rescue Mission's concurrent banquets will be held at Nampa First Church of the Nazarene on 17th Avenue South in Nampa and the Cathedral of the Rockies on North 11th Street in Boise.
Hundreds of volunteers will serve meals in a series of shifts, beginning at 11 a.m..
It's estimated that the Boise Rescue Mission cooks or donates more than 4,600 turkeys during the Thanksgiving season.
In November 2010, Boise Weekly visited the Nampa kitchens of Jack D'Orazio, who has prepared the Boise Rescue Mission's Thanksgiving and Christmas banquets for 15 years.
"In culinary, this is the best job in the valley," D'Orazio told BW while slicing down a giant turkey in quick order. "I can break down three turkeys in a minute. I'm talking about cutting off the breasts, thighs, legs and wings to prepare it for the oven. I can do about three in a minute. But I'm kind of slow now. I used to be able to cut them up a bit quicker."
Along with his students at the Centennial Job Corps in Nampa, Chef D'Orazio cooks hundreds of turkeys, 5,000 beef tamales, a few tons of green beans, 40 industrial-sized pans of dressing and another 40 pans of homemade mashed potatoes. Topping it all off are eighty gallons of gravy. Dessert? Countless apple, blueberry, cherry and pumpkin pies plus a few dozen cakes.