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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Friday, October 06, 2006


These autumn harvest beans are also called BORLOTTI in Italian.

Look for the fresh mottled red and white marbled pods. Pop them out of their shells, cover with salted water and several cloves of peeled garlic. (Hazan adds bay and sage leaves and a potato.) Bring to a boil then simmer until the beans are soft. The beans turn a creamy grayish color, rather like chestnuts. (You can ask how long to cook them but I can't be precise. I can only tell you that fresh beans cook a lot faster than dry ones.) When they are tender drain and puree them in a food processor. Add some olive oil,and salt and pepper. Spoon into a dish and eat with bread or vegetables. I used some the other day in tuna salad instead of mayonnaise.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Taste of the AGA

On October 19th I will be presenting a program for the NYWCA (New York Women's Culinary Alliance) which is titled "A Tour and a Tasting of the Aga Cooker". It is being underwritten by Domain Furniture. The event will be held at the Aga Studio at Grange Furniture, 200 Lexington Avenue, 2nd Floor, from 6 to 8pm.

In 2000 the Aga was listed as one of the top three design icons of the 20th Century along with the coke bottle and the VW beetle. The Aga cooker is a lifestyle and lasts a lifetime. It is a cast iron heat accumulator with a unique temperature regulation system that continually transfers the heat to the ovens and hotplates at precise pre-set levels, so the Aga is always ready to cook when you are. The Aga was invented by Dr. Gustaf Dalen, recipient of a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1912.

Proceeds will be donated by Domain to Gilda's Club in keeping with Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The event is open to non-members of the alliance and costs $20. A reservation is required and attendance is limited to 25. Go to www.nywca.org and click on Programs, the A Tour and a Tasting of the Aga Cooker and follow the directions to register. It's easy. But hurry because it is almost sold-out.

Menu for A Tour and a Tasting of the Aga Cooker

Hors d’oeuvres:
Pesto Pancakes with sour cream, smoked fish, chives
Grilled Brie sandwiches with tomato chutney
Spiced nuts
Autumn Caponata

Halibut bathed in a Pomegranate Butter Sauce
Chicken drumsticks roasted with a Maple-Rum Glaze
Small baby peppers stuffed with potatoes and provolone
Jasmine rice pilaf with pistachios, currants, and caramelized onions

Apple, cheddar and almond Galettes
Grape, brie and walnut Galettes
Magic Bars
Pizza Judge

On Columbus Day, October 9th, from 1pm to 4pm I was one of the judges for the 2nd Annual Rockland Tasty N'Healthy Pizza Contest. Sixty pizzas competed and I don't know how many different restaurants. The Pizza Contest is sponsored by the Rockland County Department of Health. It was held in the Nanuet Mall in Banchetto Feast Restaurant.

The other judges were: Charles Calotta from the Sons of Italy; Claudette Clark a Dietician at Nyack Hospital; Rossano Giannini, restaurateur; Dianne Haltner, Nutritionist with the Cornell Extension; Diane Lombardi, Dietician.

We got there at around 12:30pm and the event began at 1:00pm. The judges were lined up at a table with their backs to the mall entrance. There must have been a lot of publicity for free pizza because the place was packed with noisy throngs!

I don't know about the other judges but I only tasted the smallest morsel of each pizza. Sometimes, when the toppings looked good, I ate a bit more of that. Just imagine tasting 60 pizzas... We didn't finish the tasting until after 4:30pm with only one brief break.

There were several categories: Healthiest Pizza, Best Thin Crust, Best Traditional Pizza, Most Creative, People's Choice and Grand Prize for overall best.

There was one pizza with bananas and blueberries, another with french fried potatoes, and just one with seafood but it also had pasta on it. There were several plain tomato pizzas that had cold salad piled on top of them; this was not my favorite. The so-called traditional pizza was the type with an orangy mix of tomato and cheese, also not my personal favorite. I actually did like some of them, especially the whole wheat thin crust ones. And there was one salad one that stood out with a plain thin crust on the bottom and arugula layered on top that was covered all over with good slices of tomatoes. I hope that got a prize. But mostly I was inspired to come up with something that was closer to my ideal 'healthy' pizza. That's later.

The winners were: Sal's in Spring Valley for the Healthiest Topping; Basilico on Route 202 in Pomona for the Best Thin Crust Pizza; Franco's in Nanuet for the best Traditional Pizza; Dough Boys in Stony Point for the Most Creative Pizza; People's Choice with 475 votes out of 2968 went to Rocco's in New City; and the Grand Prize went to
Di Maria's in Valley Cottage.

I don't think I will eat another piece of pizza for a loooong time.