Dinner for Eight!

This is turning into a nifty day.  Nice walk with the dogs this morning.  And I’m heading out the door shortly to do a dinner with regular clients this evening.  The dinner has gone from being for 4 adults to 4 adults and 4 kids.  With 4 entrees.  The grown-ups are starting with my crab and avocado appetizers, and dates filled with goat cheese and bacon.  For dinner, they’re having beef tenderloin (with my semi-famous horseradish/sour cream sauce) and halibut piccata.  The kids?  They’re having gluten-free chicken fingers, Sloppy Joes, and French fries.  And everyone is having my freshly baked pound cake with a strawberry rhubarb sauce.

Yup.  Great weather.  Great food.  A great day.  And now I’m hungry.  Maybe I’ll make a PB&J to get me going…

What a class!

Zesting a lime

I just got back from tonight’s class at Stonewall Kitchen in York, ME.  Is it worth it for me to drive 4½ hours to do a 1½ class?  YES!!!!  These classes are a blast.  I get there early to do prep.  And then we have a ton of fun for the class.  There aren’t that many things which are more fun than hanging around a kitchen, and eating and talking about food.  And they LOVED the crab and avocado app (no, it’s not an iPhone app.  It’s an appetizer…) and the haddock poached in wine and ginger.  And there’ll be more photos coming soon, too.

Will YOU be at the next Stonewall class on June 24?  That class has a nice menu too.  And the summer classes at Different Drummer’s Kitchen are also starting soon.  You can get my entire summer class schedule here.  Do you want to be the only one at the water cooler who DIDN’T come to my class?  I think not…

Stonewall Redux

I spent today recovering from three jobs in two days.  I did a personal chef all day, cook-a-thon in Weston on Monday, followed by a fun Romantic Dinner for Two that night in Milford, MA, followed by another personal chef day cook-a-thon yesterday in Swampscott. This has been a fun, full week of cooking.  And it’s only Wednesday.  Tomorrow night is my latest class at Stonewall Kitchen, in York, ME.  It’s a great menu, starting with my (drumroll, please) simple, great tasting, elegant, and easy to make appetizer of fresh crab and avocado on garlic crostini.  Yes, you should drop what you’re doing and come to the class (after you register for it, of course…).  And if you make this appetizer without coming to the class, then here’s my quick bit of advice du jour:  only use fresh crabmeat.  Don’t use the frozen or canned stuff.  It’ll only break your heart.  It doesn’t have anything like the fresh flavor of the real thing.  Yes, fresh crab meat costs more, but it also goes far, giving you approximately 25 appetizers for only a half pound of meat.  That’s enough for 6-8 people for an appetizer before dinner.  Unless, of course, you start eating the crab and avocado mixture by the forkfull before you serve it.  This’ll definitely cut down on your yield.  But it’ll be worth it!

The Go-To Chef for Home Cooks!


My kitchen is your kitchen! As a personal chef, I travel all around Massachusetts, New England, and beyond, preparing foods in people’s homes, from the classic personal chef service to Romantic Dinners for Two and dinner parties.

But as the go-to chef for home cooks, I can help you become a more confident cook. Which means that I offer so much more : cooking lesson parties, public classes, weekly TV appearances, private cooking lessons, and more!  And now, this includes cookbooks, too.  Yes,


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Storey Publishing has just published my first two books, Knife Skills and Making and Using Vinegar. My third book, Making Chocolate Candies, will be published in October, 2014. If you’d like to order these books, you can do that here. Thank you!

I invite you to roam around my website.  Please contact me with any questions you might have. That’s almost as good as you and me  standing around and chatting about food in your kitchen!


Food Writing


Back to the Future

The 1980’s were a time best remembered for, well, not a lot.  But they did have their own food revolution.  This one had an impact that outlived the big hair that everone had then.  It was led by two caterers in Manhattan, who called their shop “The Silver Palate.”  They wrote four books, and made a zillion dollars.  I still use some of their recipes today.  And for a dinner this weekend, I’ve been asked to resurrect (exhume?) one of their classics, Chicken Marbella.

As a chef, for years, people would ask me if I made Chicken Marbella.  I’d look at them and say, “huh?”  I’d never heard of it.  And when I finally did see and taste it, I liked it.  It’s a very clever dish;  both sweet and tart, it really does go with almost everything.  The recipe calls for around 10 pounds of chicken.  You can feed a small army with it, and it serves well as leftovers or for a party.  And best of all, it’s easy.  You just have to remember to mix it all up the night before, then throw it in the oven.  It is that simple.  So go get some big hair (or a mullet), crack open a Bartles and Jaymes wine cooler, and make some chicken Marbella.

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My New Favorite Cake

I was talking to Carolyn Broughton-Willett, at AJ Hastings.  Hastings is a classic, center-of-town store in Amherst, MA that has everything.  Carolyn and I often (okay, always) talk about food when I’m there.  Two weeks ago, she was raving about a recipe she made, from the NY Times, for a pomegranate  molasses butter cake.  I can honestly say that I’d never baked with pomegranate molasses, and had no compelling reason to start.  Until Carolyn started raving.  She said the cake has a sweet and exotic taste.  That sold me.  And what sold me even more was that it was so easy to make.  I made some slight changes to the recipe, and that was only to make it even easier.  Another reason the cake is great is because it has three distinct parts that set it apart from most other cakes.  First, there’s the cake.  By itself, it a nice butter cake.  Then there’s the 2nd part: the easy syrup that you brush on the top, made with the pomegranate molasses, milk, and confectioner’s sugar.  The third part?  Walnuts with a hint of heated sugar and the pomegranate molasses.  This last part is crazy-easy.  Just put the three ingredients into a saucepan, gently heat them, and toss them (Okay.  Gently place them) on the cake.

So try it.  The pomegranate flavor is subtle, but really changes to the cake from being a familiar butter cake to one that will bring a “wow!” to everyone.  I bought the pomegranate molasses at Whole Foods.  Look around.  You can probably find it in other stores, too.  It’ll be worth it.  And, in case you missed it, here’s the recipe.

It’s HERE!!!!!!!

Well, the new site is up and running.  We’re still adding recipes, and bringing over previous blog postings, and updating the cooking class schedules.  Do you like the site?  Let me know what you think by clicking on my email up there on the left, and what else you’d like to see on the site.  Yup.  There’s lot’s more coming!