I grew up around delicious food.
My mom is and was a wonderful cook, but she was so freakishly neat and tidy that I couldn’t experiment in the kitchen. I was allowed to stir in chips and nuts, chat, and of course lick spoons but I never really baked or cooked. I went to culinary school at The Cordon Bleu and learned the full range of cooking – from savory to sweet. I enjoyed the baking classes far more than the cooking ones because I could execute a gateau basque far better than duck l’orange. Being good at something definitely makes you like doing it more!
I worked first at a bakery outside of Boston under Rick Katz, who currently owns Picco, in Boston. He values great taste over presentation – and his philosophy is to do everything by hand. I moved on to the Boston Harbor Hotel where I learned institutional techniques, as well as kitchen politics and working with other pastry cooks. I moved to NYC and worked for Bobby Flay as a pastry cook at Mesa Grill and lead pastry cook at Bolo. The head pastry chef Wayne Brachman created a comfortable space for all of us – more creative and relaxed which was a treat.
After that, I got sidetracked – raising my three kids. While it’s been a long time since I’ve worked in a professional kitchen, I never stopped baking. I baked for charities, parties, friends, acquaintances, various school events, and of course for my family.
I took a break from baking and the blog around 2017. Sylvie was diagnosed with Lyme disease as well as PANS. The following year Greg was diagnosed with Lyme as well. These health struggles left me with little time to bake (poor Andy) – and time marched on. The kids improved and are currently getting their degrees. I became a free bird (yeah, not an empty nester!) and have more time to bake and cook. With more free time, I decided to begin blogging again and this time include recipes for the young adult and free bird meals as well.
I’m continuing this blog mostly because I want a place to record and reference my favorite recipes. A place to tell my friends and the kids “the recipe for that’s in my blog.” I hope you like it and become inspired to cook and bake.