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Food costs are up. Here’s how Charlotte chefs recommend you trim your holiday spending

Jonathan Shuler, the executive chef at Dilworth Tasting room, said: “My biggest thing is just cooking fresh ingredients. Learning how to make things on your own is always going to be the winner. “ Other tips from Jonathan include: Be flexible. “When you kind of strip away the idea that things have to be one certain way,” it frees you up to make swaps. For example, he usually does candied pecans on pumpkin cheesecake, but suggests that you could do candied peanuts spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg instead to get the same feel. Consider butternut squash where you’d usually use pumpkin. “It gives you more yield for the product and is easier to handle,” he said. Save your scraps and use them. Keep all the trim pieces from the bird, along with ends of your onions, carrots and celery, and roast them for stock. You can also use older bread for stuffing. If you’re rethinking the bird, buying turkey legs only could work.


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