Category Archives: Special Occasion

I Believe This Might Just Be My Masterpiece: Birthday Cake 2014

Who makes the best cakes?  Momofuku Milk Bar makes the best cakes.  I am not being paid or otherwise compensated to say this.  It’s just the damn truth. Here’s the logic: the best food texture is, obviously, crunchy.  Obviously. What makes a good salad better?  Crunchy croutons (or crunchy bits of bacon). Want your mac […]

Foie Gras au Torchon: Actually Not That Hard

Real talk. Until about a month ago, my experience in the kitchen has had a gap.  Not a huge gap, or one that had ever come up until earlier this year.  Most of my clients would never know, but I was exposed.  And I’m not one to let a chance for self-improvement slip away. I’d […]

Birthday Cake: Anise and Pineapple (and Crème Fraîche and Maple and Walnuts Too)

This is overdue, but who cares?  Cake is cake. I made a birthday cake late last year, for my lovely sous-chef, editor, and boyfriend.  (One of those roles came before the other two, not vice versa.  I’m not that kind of girl.) I demand inspiration each year for this cake.  You may remember last year’s […]

Thanksgiving: Before, During, and After

Ah, Thanksgiving.  How was yours?  Mine was super-relaxing. Want to know what a Personal Chef eats on the day before Thanksgiving?  And for lunch the day of? The same thing everyone else eats: whatever is most convenient. And when it’s a pescatarian Thanksgiving meal that one doesn’t start planning until Tuesday (luckily for only three […]

New Year’s Eve Dinner

Some scenes from my wild New Year’s Eve, pleasantly spent at home in the company of a slightly under-the-weather boyfriend.  I lit candles, and put on a dress and heels, because it just isn’t New Year’s without some fancy-pants luxury.  He put on a suit, bless’im. First, a Sazerac… …which went nicely with the requisite […]

The Birthday Cake

In case anyone was wondering – and you were all wondering, right? – this is the birthday cake I made for my boyfriend this year. It’s a tradition that I ask him every year what kind of cake he wants, and in return he gives me not a flavor, but a fairly broad category that […]

Thanksgiving; Or, Better Late than Never

We had Thanksgiving dinner!  You know, um, two weeks ago.   (Give or take a day.)  I bet you did, too. I took some pictures, and thought you might like to see them. For hors d’oeuvres, we had a date and kumquat chutney… …served with a round of soft Camembert, the World’s Best Spiced Pretzel-Nut mixture, […]

The Endive Problem: An Exposé

In my line of work as a personal chef, I’ve had many occasions to plan menus for dinner parties.  Often, in searching for ideas for appetizers or hors d’oeuvres, I’ve come across something that looks a lot like this: The ingredients vary, of course, but the basic format is always the same.  A single leaf […]

A Very Ruth Bourdain Valentine’s Day

I have a crush. I have a serious crush on Ruth Bourdain. There, I’ve said it, and I don’t care who knows. And today being Valentine’s Day, I’ve done what any sensible person would do: I’ve prepared a four-course dinner for my Special Lady, complete with drink pairings, and comprised of all her favorite foods. […]

Apple Cider and Walnut Birthday Cake

Every year, I ask my boyfriend not if he wants an elaborate, ridiculous, complicated, over-the-top birthday cake, but what kind. As I was trained as a pastry chef, the chance for me to flex my pâtissière muscles once a year is irresistible.  I dive into the research stage like a student studying for final exams, […]