Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jive Turkey is On Serious Eats

Meet & Eat: Aricka Westbrook, Jive Turkey

20081124ArickaWestbrooksJiveTurkey.JPGWe caught up with entrepreneur Aricka Westbrook during the height of her busy season. The owner of Jive Turkey in Clinton Hill is churning out thousands of deep fried turkeys in fifteen varieties to ship all over the country for a Thanksgiving dinner not to be missed.

Name: Aricka Westbrook
Location: Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
Occupation: Owner of Jive Turkey restaurant and mail order company.

When was the first time you had a deep-fried turkey? I made my first turkey in my backyard in Brooklyn and had a party! It was devoured by friends and I knew I had a hit!

How many turkeys do you sell during the Thanksgiving season? What's the most popular variety? This year we are on track to sell a record 3,500 birds, the most popular is peach bourbon.

Any tips for someone who wants to attempt to deep-fry a turkey in New York City? It's illegal to do it with the standard backyard equipment in New York City, which I didn't know when I started, but because it is impossible to put out any possible fire that could start, I would avoid it.

Favorite comfort food? Mashed potatoes, gravy and fried turkey!

Guilty pleasures? A fresh chocolate covered custard filled doughnut from Lord's Bakery in Flatbush.

Food you won't eat? None.

Describe your perfect meal. One where I want to go home and attempt to recreate the recipe again and again, it was so good!

Most memorable New York City meal? Dinner at Mercer Kitchen on a busy night when the food, drinks and service were all in sync.

Best pizza in the city? Pinos La Forchetta in Park Slope on 7th Avenue, Grandma's Slice.

Favorite burger? Soda Bar on Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights.

Favorite bagel? Everything bagel with onion, tomato, cucumber and lox cream cheese at Bergen Bagel on Bergen Street in Prospect Heights.

Best late-night eats? I go to Soda Bar and get that burger!

Undiscovered gem? Hanco's Vietnamese Sandwich Shop on Bergen Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

Any favorites in Clinton Hill, near Jive Turkey? When I don't eat at Jive Turkey, which I do a lot, I visit Luz, Chez Lola, Choice Market and Zaytoons.

Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? Joan Hamburg of WOR, she had me on her show a couple of years ago and I call her for recommendations all the time.

What's the best recommendation she has given you? We went to Brasserie 8 1/2 at 9 West 57th for a Christmas Dinner. I loved it.

Jive Turkey

441 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn NY, 11205 (on Waverly; map)

Serious Eats post and reader comments can be found HERE

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