The Good Life
with a Southern Drawl

An Italian Christmas Feast By A Southern Chef

By Amy Bailey — December 19, 2014

Southern Chef Andrew Isabella of Atlanta’s no. 246 looks forward to a big Christmas feast with family. “My family hosts a traditional Italian celebration on Christmas Eve called ‘The Feast of the Seven Fishes, but I grew up calling it ‘The Seven Seas Dinner’. The feast originated in Southern Italy which is where all my family is from. The feast starts off with a big pot of red sauce, and the whole dish is served atop homemade fettuccine pasta.”

isabella“Then on Christmas we have a big brunch which features homemade apple fritters, which is why I serve them on the menu at no. 246, it is very nostalgic for me.”

Here are 2 recipes from Chef Andrew Isabella for you to try for yourself this holiday season and the new year:

Feast of the Seven Fishes Recipe
no. 246 Executive Chef Andrew Isabella

Cook a pot of red sauce (recipe below) for 6 hours or more. When it’s time for supper, throw in clams, lobster, scallops, calamari, crab, shrimp, and flounder (or equivalent seasonal white fish). Serve atop fettuccine pasta.

Red Sauce
(yields 4-5 quarts that serves 12-20 people)
6 Cups Onions small dice
1 Cup Garlic sliced in oil
3 Bay leaves
Sea salt, ground black pepper, red pepper flake – all to taste
3 Cups Red wine
1/4 Cup Red wine vinegar
1 Lemon zest and juice
4 Quarts San Marzano, processed in the food processor
1 Cup Basil whole
1/2 Cup Oregano whole


Sauté onions and garlic until translucent add in salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Deglaze with red wine, and reduce half way. Add tomatoes, and bring sauce up to a low simmer, stirring and skimming occasionally for about 5 hours. Then ,finish with lemon zest, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, basil, and oregano and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Ricotta fritters with local honeyApple Fritters
no. 246 Executive Chef Andrew Isabella

3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 egg
1 ¼ cup milk
4 chopped apples


Mix first 4 ingredients together, mix egg and milk together, then mix egg mixture with dry ingredients, fold in apples. Then, fry at 375 until golden brown, and roll in powdered sugar and cinnamon.