Food

TODAY Thanksgiving Turkey Trot: Al Roker and star chefs surprise foodie fans

Al Roker hit the road this week for TODAY's Turkey Trot series in a quest to find the next Thanksgiving super chef. Joined by star chefs including Bobby Flay, Sunny Anderson and Katie Lee, Al popped up all over the country to surprise home cooks who were secretly nominated by their families and friends.

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Al Roker, Bobby Flay make one man's Thanksgiving dream come true

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Al Roker, Bobby Flay make one man's Thanksgiving dream come true

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Al kicked off the series at the doorstep of a TODAY Food fan in Middletown, Maryland, who is known to his friends and family as "Turkey" Tom McLister because of his amazing Thanksgiving deep-fried turkey. Moments later, star chef Bobby Flay (who was hiding in the garage) surprised "Turkey" Tom and shared his tangy turkey dipping sauce recipe.

RELATED: Al Roker, Bobby Flay make local turkey frying hero's Thanksgiving dreams come true

Bobby Flay's Turkey Dipping Sauce
Turkey gravy
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If you've taken the brave path of deep-frying your turkey, like "Turkey" Tom, you don't want to drown out the bird's crispiness with heavy gravy. Bobby's dipping sauce is the prefect complement to the crispy, juicy bird.

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See culinary student get a big surprise during class: TODAY's Turkey Trot!

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See culinary student get a big surprise during class: TODAY's Turkey Trot!

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After talking turkey in Maryland, Al headed south to Orlando, Florida, where he met up with Food Network star Sunny Anderson to surprise a culinary school student — while class was in session! Nominated by her twin sister, Sasha Sinjic hopes to one day have her own cooking show and already has a signature dish: creamy brussels sprouts gratin.

RELATED: Al Roker helps twin pull off the ultimate Thanksgiving surprise for her sister

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Brussels sprouts gratin with cheese: Turkey Trot chef shares veggie fave

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Brussels sprouts gratin with cheese: Turkey Trot chef shares veggie fave

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Since Sunny's a big fan of the mini cabbages too, she showed Sasha how to make and easy brussels sprouts salad.

Sunny's Easy Holiday Brussels Sprout Salad
Turkey Trot: Sunny Anderson's brussels sprout saladTODAY, November 16, 2016.
Rebekah Lowin / TODAY
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Sunny's salad has the big flavors of the holidays — cranberries, pecans, rosemary, nutmeg — while still being fresh and light. It's a refreshing reprieve from all the heavy eating of the rest of the meal.

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Watch 'Queen of Mac and Cheese' get a Thanksgiving surprise from Al Roker

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Watch 'Queen of Mac and Cheese' get a Thanksgiving surprise from Al Roker

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Next stop: Fairfax, Virginia, to surprise Bonnie McDaniel, an aspiring TV chef whose classic macaroni and cheese is beloved by her friends and family. TODAY Food regular Katie Lee joined in on the fun and shared her own recipe for an easy stovetop mac and cheese that's perfect for Thanksgiving since it doesn't take up precious room in the oven.

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Classic mac an cheese is always great, but Katie adds some complexity and depth of flavor to the dish with mushrooms, Dijon mustard, thyme and two types of cheese: Fontina and Parmesan.

Tune in Friday, November 18 to see the final surprise!

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