Nugget prepares for annual free Thanksgiving day feast |

Nugget prepares for annual free Thanksgiving day feast

Sandi Hoover

Decades of serving a free holiday meal every Thanksgiving and Christmas haven’t lessened the commitment of the management of the Carson Nugget to bring smiles to the faces of Carson City residents.

“We like to keep the tradition going by providing a homestyle meal for our community, and we make a quality meal that tastes great for our less fortunate guests,” said Nick DeMagistris, the Nugget’s executive chef and director of food and beverages. “It has been a tradition for us for a long time.”

Preparing the feast is no easy task. In addition to the 800 to 1,000 people expected to enjoy the free meal, the kitchen staff also must prepare for regular customers who eat in the Nugget’s other restaurants.

“This year we have about 1,000 pounds of turkey, 30 gallons of gravy, huge batches of stuffing, potatoes, 10 cases of yams and marshmallows to go in them, cases of green beans and we’ll bake about 155 or more pies, including pumpkin, apple and cherry,” DeMagistris said.

“We make most of it the night before or that morning because we want everything to be as fresh as possible,” he said.

The buffet dinner is offered in the upstairs banquet room from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving day. The Nugget is at 507 N. Carson St.

“People can just come on in, get in line and get a big plate full of food,” DeMagistris said.

There are also some people who attend the Nugget’s dinner because they don’t want to eat alone on Thanksgiving, so it isn’t necessarily just for those who can’t afford a turkey


Most of the management team volunteers some of their time to serve on both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“There are also some people from the community who offer to help just because they have big hearts,” he said.

Why do they offer the free meals twice every year?

“There are a lot of families who can’t have a big Thanksgiving, so it’s a blessing for them. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about. Not everyone can afford it, and if we can provide something nice for them, we’re sure as hell going to do it,” DeMagistris said.