Chef Bryan Voltaggio is a family man and father of three, he was born and bred in Frederick, Maryland and still lives there today. His Thanksgiving cranberry compote, available in his cookbook HOME, is the perfect finishing touch to your holiday meal. And hey, if you're not in the mood to cook, head to one of this six restaurants in the DMV!

Cranberry Compote


  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons dried chamomile
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups sweet Riesling
  • 6 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


Zest and juice the orange, reserving the zest and juice separately. Remove the seeds and the stem from the jalapeño pepper and soak the pieces of pepper in a small bowl of ice water for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain.

Cut a piece of cheesecloth into a 6-inch square. Put the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, chamomile, allspice berries, and the drained jalapeño pepper in the cheesecloth and tie it shut with butcher’s twine. Reserve the sachet.

Put the brown sugar and granulated sugar in a medium saucepot set over medium-high heat and let it caramelize to a light golden brown. Add the Riesling and stir to dissolve the sugar in the wine.

Add the cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, and salt, and adjust the heat to low. Once the cranberries start to release their liquid, add the sachet. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the berries are soft and the flavors begin to marry, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Remove and discard the sachet. Cranberry Compote may be served warm or cold. It will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.