Crash course in cooking a Thanksgiving Dinner

For the seventh consecutive year Vienna's Marriott Hotel will celebrate the American tradition of Thanksgiving.

In celebration of Thanksgiving the Marriott will not only serve up an authentic Thanksgiving dinner at its Parkring restaurant over the Thanksgiving weekend, but also offer a turkey takeaway option and cookery courses with Marriott's executive chef Manfred Hartl from 17 November 2012.

Marriott's celebrations in the Austrian capital from 22 to 24 November 2012 will coincide with festivities in America which traditionally take place on the fourth Thursday in November.

The story behind the tradition tells of an old incident between Native Americans and Puritan settlers in the areas now known as Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Puritans had fled England to break away from the Church of England and had used harvest supplies belonging to the natives to prepare for winter in their new surroundings.

Alarmed by the strangers and the guns they were carrying, the tribe alerted their leader and prepared for battle. However upon realising that the settlers were only in search of food, the leader then ordered his tribe to hunt and prepare a feast.

The Native Americans then shared this feast with the English settlers. Their meal consisted of deer, corn, shellfish and roasted meat - far from today's traditional Thanksgiving feast.

Although peace between the Native Americans and the settlers lasted only a generation, the feast was also seen as a harvest celebration and in 1863 Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving Day a national holiday in the United States.

Nowadays in America the celebration is often considered more important tradition than Christmas and the day is set aside as a family day, where families gather to share a special meal and give thanks.

General Manager of the Marriott Hotel Dieter Fenz said: "More and more Austrians want to get to know Thanksgiving – it is not just a culinary experience, it is also a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family."

Hartl's elaborate 5-star menu will feature the traditional turkey stuffed with chestnuts and cranberries, as well as modern interpretations of traditional side dishes. There will be glazed sweet potatoes, spring onions a la crème and cranberries tossed in red wine, seasoned with cloves and cinnamon. Other courses will include American classics such as Caesar salad, Cape Cod clam chowder and lemon and pumpkin pie for dessert.

Later in the evening as an accompaniment to the Parkring's candlelit dinner from 7.30pm to 10pm there will be performances from the singer Caroline Kreutzberger who rose to fame through casting shows The Voice and Das Supertalent and crooner Louie Austen who will perform classic songs from Frank Sinatra to Dean Martin.

Marriott's Champions Sports Bar will hold a Thanksgiving buffet whilst airing the NFL game and the hotel's glamorous Cascade Bar will offer cocktails and live music for no entry fee.

For those who want to celebrate at home, Marriott's Thanksgiving Takeaway can be pre-ordered and will arrive complete with carving instructions and background information about the tradition. There are two takeaway options which have both received 5-star treatment. The smaller option recommended for a group of 4 is priced at 85 euros and the larger option recommended for a group of 6 is priced at 120 euros.

Another option, for those who want to cook their own Thanksgiving feast is to sign up for Manfred Hartl's master class. The cookery courses will take place in the kitchen of the Marriott hotel and the first class will start at 5pm on 17 November. For 80 euros, participants can expect a 2 hour tutorial from Hartl and dinner with complimentary wines.

The Marriott Hotel is located at Parkring 12a, Austria-1010 Vienna and can be contacted on the number +43 1515 180. For more information regarding restaurant reservations, cookery courses and takeaway turkeys see www.viennamarriott.com