Have you ever watched a TV show and dreamt about the food being made on screen? We’re not talking about the professional chefs on Food Network or other cooking shows, that’s a conversation for another time, but rather the fictional characters that know their way around a kitchen and make you wish you could reach through the glass to taste what they’re making.
There’s no better time of year to fantasize about the TV characters that we would love to cook for us than Thanksgiving – the holiday dedicated to stuffing your face with delicious food all day long. Whether you opt for a traditional meal or avoid turkey entirely, most people will agree that the best part about Thanksgiving is the food, especially if you’re not the one cooking it.
From Michelin star caliber chefs to space captains to loving parents, here are the TV characters that we’d let cook our Thanksgiving dinner.
Christopher Pike – Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Even though Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is set in a time where any food from across the galaxy can be replicated with the push of a button, Enterprise Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) still enjoys making home-cooked meals for his friends. Pike understands that food is a universal language of commiseration and bonding, and uses his skills in the kitchen to give the crew of the Enterprise a safe space to open up, share their joys and frustrations, and take a break from their often overwhelming duties as soldiers and explorers. Inviting Pike to cook a Thanksgiving meal means that you are in for one of the best meals you’ve ever had – and it doesn’t hurt that he also looks great in an apron. – Brynna Arens
Wanda Maximoff – WandaVision
Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) is known more for her magical talents than her skills in the kitchen, but the very first episode of WandaVision proves that sometimes you need a little magic to put together a meal. When she’s forced to put together a last-minute dinner for Vision’s (Paul Bettany) boss and his wife, she gets a little flustered at first – she accidentally turns the chicken she’s supposed to cook back into eggs. But ultimately she gains control of the situation and makes a unique meal that leaves her guests satisfied. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve been dying to try the paprikash that she and Vision make in Captain America: Civil War for years. – BA
Carmy & Sydney – The Bear
From running his brother’s sandwich shop to opening a place of their own, Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) and Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) have more than proven their ability to make delicious food in The Bear. Sure, their Thanksgiving dinner may be a little more avant garde than a traditional turkey spread, but you know that the meal is going to be Michelin star quality with at least 5 courses that take you on a journey. And the dessert that Marcus (Lionel Boyce) creates? It’s bound to be pure perfection. You’re going to leave this meal experiencing flavor combos you never knew existed, and wonder if you’ve ever actually eaten a meal before this day. Carmy isn’t a stranger to cooking through stressful family holiday events, and they are both used to working through drama – your family or friends would have to be pretty wild for it to phase them enough to affect the quality of the meal. – BA
Elizabeth Zott – Lessons in Chemistry
Lessons in Chemistry’s Elizabeth Zott (Brie Larson) had dreams of becoming a chemist before misogyny forced her away from that career path. But even before she was forced out of the lab, Elizabeth liked to experiment in her kitchen with recipes, tweaking the chemical composition until the end product was to her liking. Her intimate knowledge of how chemical processes work means that her food is impeccable at a cellular level and as perfect as you can get – there’s a reason that she becomes a well-known and respected TV chef. It’s hard to watch Lessons in Chemistry without wanting to try everything that Elizabeth cooks, so I think it’s safe to assume that her Thanksgiving dishes would be some of the best food you’ve ever tasted and a very interesting chemistry lesson. – BA
June Cleaver – Leave it to Beaver
All moms are magic. But TV moms are really magic. Remember that scene in 1998’s Pleasantville where Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon are transported into a 1950s sitcom and discover that their TV mom cooks a roughly 10,000-calorie breakfast every morning? Eating a Thanksgiving dinner at the Cleaver household on Thanksgiving would be like that times 100. There’s nothing a TV mom loves more than cooking a massive feast for her growing boy and I’m nothing if not a growing boy. Bring on the turkey and stuffing, mama June! – Alec Bojalad
Monica Geller – Friends
Monica’s cheesecake may be dry and mealy and her mahi mahi may be awful awful but her Thanksgiving meals (save the one burnt to a crisp) always look delicious. The pumpkin pies, the glistening dinner rolls, the yam with tiny marshmallows-in-concentric-circles… even the packet mac ‘n’ cheese she makes for Thanksgiving-refuser Chandler in his college days – you know it’s good. Granted, you’d have to watch out for Mockolate, eat off second-tier plates following the wedding china disaster of 2002, and check that nobody’s head had been inside the raw turkey before it went in the oven, but really, who’s going to feed you better than Monica “always the host” Geller? Pass me Joey’s maternity pants and a spoon for the chanberries, and I wouldn’t move from my seat til Christmas. – Louisa Mellor
Bob Belcher – Bob’s Burgers
I’d not only let Bob Belcher cook Thanksgiving dinner, I’d kidnap both him and the turkey he’d been brine-basting for a week, bundle them both into the back of a van and drive them to a remote cabin fitted with a state-of-the-art kitchen. There, Bob would remain under armed guard (me with a fork in each hand) and cook his heart out until the job was completed to his satisfaction. Then and only then would I text our coordinates to Linda and the kids, and get the whole gang up there for sweet potatoes, green bean salad and the bird. You see, Bob Belcher loves Thanksgiving but in the nine he’s spent on TV, it never goes without a mishap. This way, Bob gets an un-wrecked Thanksgiving experience – give or take a teeny little kidnap – and I get to try his sage sausage stuffing. Win win. – LM
Sookie St. James – Gilmore Girls
I wouldn’t just want Sookie to cook my Thanksgiving dinner – I’d want to watch her do it, every step of the way. Right from the off, I imagine she’ll inspect every delectable fresh ingredient and then have one of her excellent arguments with Jackson about which vegetables he brought. And after Jackson’s deep-fried Thanksgiving turkey fiasco, we already know Sookie’s dream turkey is simply roasted, with a few onions, plus “a herb butter rub and a pancetta chestnut stuffing”, which sounds right up my street. She’ll – as always – go way too ambitious with the number of dishes, and we know her kitchen is chaotic at the best of times, so in amongst the entertaining mayhem the sides will gradually fill with a growing smorgasbord of baked delights, not a single one of them healthy. There’ll probably be accidents, arguments and four different kinds of sweet pie. In other words, the perfect Thanksgiving. – Laura Vickers-Green