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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Saturday, April 22, 2006


Wonderful herb, Sorrel. You plant it. It grows. Cut it down in the Fall and it comes up pretty and fresh in the Spring! What a deal.

Along with Nettles, Sorrel is a terrific cleansing herb. The French make Salmon with Sorrel Sauce. Too good. Eastern Europeans feast on Schav, a cold soup.
Here is how to make it:

Pick a big bunch of some fresh Springtime Sorrel. You can’t have too much. Wash it very well and remove any tough stems. Drop in a peeled onion and bring to a boil. Let is simmer about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit for another 20 minutes. The Sorrel will wither away and almost melt. You could take out the onion altogether or chop it up and put it back, whichever way is fine. Beat a couple of eggs then temper them with some of the hot soup. Keep beating the eggs and add the soup gradually so it doesn’t curdle. Then stir the egg mixture back into the soup, while stirring the soup. You can whisk in some yogurt or sour cream at this point, or you could have added it to the beaten eggs. Either way. Let cool then chill well in the refrigerator.

Possible additions and garnishes for each bowl: a boiled new potato, chopped cucumber, a hard-boiled egg, chives, chopped scallion, and a floating dollup of sour cream or yogurt or crème fraiche.

Drink it in a bowl or a glass. You know Spring is really here!!

Nettles and more Nettles

On Wednesday, April 19th, I drove to Newburgh, NY, to visit my friend Nancy MacNamara of Honey Locust Farm House. She grows beautiful organic greens for many of the New York City restaurant chefs. She also specializes in growing wild greens that are edible. Nancy invited me to come pick some Nettles so that I could brew some and go on a Nettle Fast for a couple of days. This is a terrific thing to do in the Spring. Nettles contain an enormous amount of minerals, lots of calcium too. I am drinking a lot of Nettle Tea today and tomorrow in order to drop off some ‘winter weight.’ I also discovered that making a soup with about half Nettle broth and vegetable and chicken broth is very nice and tasty.

When picking Nettles wear rubber gloves as the underside of the leaves and the stem are very prickly. Once you put the nettles into a pot and cook them, the prickly quality disappears and you can drink the tea, or cook nettles like spinach. Nancy said she made Empanadas with Nettles and Venison. (I’m waiting for the recipe.) Picking the fresh tops is recommended and the plant continues its growth undisturbed. Watch out if you want to plant them in your garden, as they are invasive.

(There are tales of the famous Tibetan Yogi saint Milarepa who ate nothing but Nettles while in meditation retreat for several years. He turned a rather wondrous shade of green. If you want to read about him, pick up a copy of The Rain of Wisdom, Shambhala Publications.)

May, with the appearance of young vegetables, is the chef's new year.
If you are geared to seasonable edibles, you'll find these fresh and springing up: Artichokes, Sweet Peas and Shoots, Asparagus, early Leeks, Sorrel, Ramps (wild leeks), Fiddleheads, Fava Beans, Nettles, New Potatoes, Morel Mushrooms, Watercress, Chives and Chervil. Add to the list: Kumquats, Salmon, Lamb and Soft-Shelled Crabs.

Tip: Click on the images to enlarge them.