About the Author
For me, I fell in love with cooking in the third grade. For Christmas I got the Emeril Lagasse cookbook and my mom made me the oversized “cream puff” chef’s hat. I was so excited to get in the kitchen, with supervision and all the knives removed. I was a clumsy child. My parents are old school New Yorkers and they don't play that. So limited sharp objects it is!
The first dish I whipped together was French Toast. I distinctly remember using orange zest in the batter. An ingredient so simple but yet so essential into developing the richness in flavor that is amazing with fresh maple syrup. If by now in reading you could not tell, the answer to the great brunch debate of pancakes vs waffles is French Toast. But we’ll get back to that. That moment taught me the importance of bringing out natural flavors. Since then I have always had a fascination with studying flavor combinations and understanding what spices or herbs compliment or contrast a flavor profile. A skill I carried with me while studying Hospitality at Purdue. A fundamental I used in my success career as a Bar Manager and Cocktail Menu Curator across Chicago.
My mom always said, “cooking is about oneness”. For me this always translated to the people you share a meal with, and the memories made. COVID19 is happening and it has pushed us all to reevaluate how we view the world. These memories and the quality time with people you care for can still be achieved in the comfort of your home.
This book is an ode to achieving success in the kitchen with confidence. I’ve taken what I’ve learned from working with phenomenal chefs in Chicago’s restaurant industry, studying with master blenders, and traditions passed down through my lineage to develop all the recipes and cocktails in this ebook.
This is for the at home chef. We spent hours testing recipes not just in professional kitchens, but the kitchens most of our readers work out of. From convection to conventional ovens. From gas stoves to the college students typical electric stove top. Whew #struggle. There are tips and tidbits to contribute towards your success in hosting your friends and family.