Award-winning Chef Phyllis Segura has cooked for people in all walks of life both in the U.S. and E.U. Chef Phyllis has been cooking for special people since 2000.
She attended the Apicius Cooking School of Lorenzo de’Medici in Florence, Italy; received a James Beard Foundation scholarship; attended various New York cooking schools; and watched her grandmother very carefully.
As a personal and private chef Phyllis cooks for individual clients and offers cooking demonstrations regularly. She specializes in small elegant dinner parties, and intimate dinners - plated or buffet, weekday meals and private and group culinary instructions.
The chef prepares a wide variety of cuisines. Whereas a restaurant chef might have a specialty that is served daily, as a personal or private chef Segura applies her skills to the requirements and palates of her clients. Fresh and seasonal ingredients make the best dishes. She is not shy with herbs and spices and will go out of her way to source ingredients.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Macrobiotic, Kosher, grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, blood type, diabetic and other special diets are available. Chef prefers to use organic, pesticide and antibiotic free, non-GMO and local products as much as possible.
Consultations with nutritionists are recommended for special needs and diets for proper guidelines.

References and a rate sheet are available. She currently lives in Saugerties, NY.
In 2013 she offered cooking classes in her home kitchen in Spencertown,NY www.reddoorcookingworkshop.blogspot.com

Send an email: info@cookingontheriver.com

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Tuesday, January 03, 2017


Here is the menu and a few photos, mostly of the preparation, of a dinner party in December 2016 at a rented house in Woodstock. The client was celebrating ten years of their lives together and invited friends to join them for the New Year's weekend. Everything was served in casseroles buffet style except the dessert which was plated.

Thank you sooooo much for making our celebration so special!!!! You Rock!!! xoxo....  from CL

Dinner Menu
December 30, 2016
Me at the stove and my assistant and server working away. 

Hot Artichoke & Dill Dip
with crudités, breadsticks

Red Pepper Tapenade
with crostini

·      Prime Rib Roast
·      Horseradish Sauce
·      Roasted Chicken with BBQ sauce
The dishes staged but not yet ready to be presented.

Explaining what the various dishes are at the time they are served.

·      Sweet Potatoes with ginger, maple syrup & pecans
·      Macaroni & Four or more cheeses
·      Assorted Roasted Vegetables
with roasted garlic & crispy leeks
·      Roasted Beets with goat cheese & walnuts
·      Upside-down Onion Cornbread

Assorted Breads

·      Braised Eggplant: Imam Bayaldi
·      Stuffed Zucchini with couscous, pine nuts & raisins

The roasted potatoes and vegetables ready to return to the oven.

·      Poached Bosc Pears stuffed with mascarpone
& drizzled with chocolate


Pear Dessert
Here is the recipe for the BBQ Sauce that was used on the chicken:

½ onion
6 ounces orange juice
10 roasted garlic cloves
juice 1 lime
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 tablespoon Tamarind paste
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ up maple syrup
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/8-1/4 cup bourbon

In a blender combine the onion and orange juice and puree. Stir well and pour into a saucepan then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Bring it to a boil and simmer gently for about 25 minutes until it is slightly thickened and reduced. Stir occasionally. Let cool.


Monday, December 26, 2016


makes about 60

5-7 pounds potatoes, combine Russets and Eastern, or all Russet
1 large Vidalia or yellow onion, washed and peeled
3 large eggs
½ cup cake matzo meal, matzo meal, or unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup potato starch
1 - 48 oz. bottle Grapeseed oil, and/or peanut, canola, olive oil

To drain the pancakes after they are fried, prepare a cookie or sheet pan,  with a couple of layers of paper towels and/or newspaper. Place a wire rack on top and let the pancakes drain. 

Wash and peel the potatoes taking out the ‘eyes’. You can leave the peel on, if you like. Cut the potatoes and the onion small enough to fit into the feeding tube of your processor. Reserve the potatoes in a bowl of cold water, or just cut as you go. 

Process the onions and potatoes with the grater blade. First put in a bit of onion then the potatoes until the processor bowl is filled. Remove to a bowl. Continue grating with the rest of the onions and potatoes. You might have to do this in batches.

After everything is grated remove the grater blade and put in the rotator blade.  Put the reserved grated potato/onion mixture back into the bowl of the processor, in batches, and pulse to medium grate. Then put the grated potatoes into a fine sieve over a bowl. Drain and push out as much liquid as possible. Reserve the white potato starch at the bottom and discard the rest of the liquid.

Put the drained, grated potatoes into a large bowl and mix in the matzo meal, additional potato starch, eggs and 1 teaspoon salt. Combine very well. Let rest about 30 minutes. It will get a little bit gray. Don’t worry it’s normal.

Pour the oil into two frying pans to at least 1-inch.  Use either all Grapeseed oil or a combination of peanut or canola. Heat the oil to very hot. Test by putting a small amount of the potato mixture into each pan. When it sizzles  it’s hot enough to start making the pancakes. Regulate the heat as necessary.

Put a heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture into the pan. Smooth and shape it gently but don’t press down. The pancakes should be about 2” x 3”, roughly. Turn with a spatula after you see the edges turn golden. When quite golden brown on both sides, remove and drain on the prepared draining sheets. Sprinkle some salt on the hot pancakes.

Either serve right away with selected condiments: sour cream, yogurt, sugar, or applesauce. Some people like them sweet, others not. If made a bit smaller they make a good base for serving smoked salmon and caviar.

Saturday, November 19, 2016



" Everyone had a wonderful time and were still commenting on your glorious food the following day." CJ
This was a recent dinner party for seven women who had rented a house to spend a weekend in honor of a friend who was soon to be married, a bachelorette party, if you will. In the picture of the appetizer you will see the plate that was available to use. When you rent a house most of the supplies are catch as catch can. I try to visit in advance to find out what is there and what needs to be be brought in for the dinner. These plates were nice with a Brooklyn theme on them. The recipe for the appetizer follows. It was something I invented especially for the occasion using locally available ingredients. You can appreciate the complexity that results in simplicity. Here is the menu:


Forbidden Rice/Avocado & Cucumber/Smoked Salmon/ Smoked Trout STACK – Salmon Caviar, Capers & Piquant Sauce

With Watercress, Belgian Endive, Red Cabbage
In Citrus Vinaigrette

Rosemary Grilled Butterflied Lamb
With Mint Oil & Lamb Jus

Scalloped Potatoes

Roasted Vegetables: Carrots, Parsnips, Turnips, Brussels Sprouts, Rutabaga, Goldern Beets, Red Beets with Extra-Virgin Olive oil and Thyme

Chocolate Mousse with Whipped Cream & Cocoa Powder
Mont St. Michel Biscuit

The Forbidden Rice and smoked fish appetizer from the top.

Recipe for:
Serves 8 to 10

This is a multi-layered stack with Black Forbidden Rice, topped with a mixture of Avocado and Cucumber in a Citrus Vinaigrette, topped with half Smoked Salmon and half Smoked Trout and garnished with Salmon Caviar and Capers. A piquant sauce is added to peek the flavors and retain moisture.

To make the Forbidden Rice:
1 cup rice
¼ cup combination vinegar  (2 tablespoons white wine vinegar/2 tablespoons rice vinegar)
2 tablespoons cane sugar
1 tablespoon salt
Rinse the rice, drain and let dry in the strainer for 15 minutes. Add the rice to 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, cover, cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, then 10 minutes over low heat. The water should be absorbed by then, if not give it another 5 minutes. Then remove from the heat and leave covered to rest for 15 minutes. Put into a wooden bowl.
While the rice is cooking make the vinegar sauce by combining the vinegars, sugar and salt and heating it until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
Then drizzle the vinegar mixture over the rice that has rested the full 15 minutes using a bamboo rice paddle or spatula. Fanning with the paddle to separate the rice until the mixture is absorbed. Cover with a damp towel and leave.

1 ripe Avocado
1 cucumber, preferably a Kirby
Remove the flesh from the Avocado and cut into small cubes. Peel and deseed the cucumber and cut into cubes about the same size. Mix together. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of Citrus Vinaigrette and a pinch of salt. Combine lightly careful not to mush the Avocado

Make a Citrus Vinaigrette:
Juice of a lemon, lime and half an orange
Good quality extra-virgin olive oil
Combine well, beating with a fork.

Smoked Salmon (local)
This calls for hot smoked salmon, not lox or Nova Scotia. I buy mine from Hookline Fish Co. on Route 28 in Kingston.
Smoked Trout (local)
I buy Lenny B’s smoked trout either directly from him or from Cheese Louise also on Route 28, Kingston, or Sunfrost on Route 212 in Woodstock.
You need about a half cup of each. The salmon is easy to separate from the skin and shred. The trout requires more attention as it is a whole fish. Be careful to remove all the bones. Then shred the flesh. This is best done with your fingers. Put each fish into a small container. Note: It would be perfectly fine to just use one of these fish instead of both.
The salmon caviar only requires you to refrigerate the jar and to remove some caviar. The capers should be rinsed and drained and loosely chopped.            
You also need a round metal mold. Small cans of tomato sauce with the ingredients removed and the top and bottom of the can removed works well. Or, you can visit a kitchen supply store and get a small mold. (add measurements)

2-3 tablespoons Mayonnaise (I use Just Mayo)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
lime juice
dash of shiracha sauce
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, or ginger juice, optional
Mix all together well. Put into a squirt container. Add more lime juice if necessary to make the mixture slightly liquefied.

Now that you have all the ingredients prepared you can begin to plate.

It’s preferably to have a chilled plate but if you don’t that’s okay.

1 -Place the mold in the center of the clean plate. Take a few spoonfuls of the prepared Forbidden rice and press it to the bottom.
2 -Then take a few spoonfuls of the avocado/cucumber mixture and cover the layer of rice, spreading it out.
3 –Then take some smoked salmon and place it over one half of the Avocado/Cucumber mixture. Do the same with the trout. Press both down slightly.
4 – Take a few salmon eggs and place it on the smoked salmon. Do the same with the capers on the trout.
5 – Shake the container with the sauce and using a zigzag motion put some on top of the stack and down the front of the plate.
6 – Carefully pull up the metal mold. If some flakes of fish fall off don’t worry about it. You can place them back if you like.

Watercress, with thick stems removed
Belgian Endive, sliced across in slivers
Red Cabbage, thin sliced

I used two different types of watercress. I found a hydroponic variety at the local health food store that gets sold still in the soil, and also used the more common type. You can use whatever greens you like. Separate the sections into small pieces that don’t require cutting in order to fit into someone’s mouth. Toss in the Belgian Endive separating the leaves. Add some thin slices of red cabbage for color. Julienned carrot and other ingredients could be added for color. Nasturtiums would be nice. Coat and toss all the salad with a small amount of the Citrus Vinaigrette, keep it light.

Place on the plate surrounding the top half.