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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Thursday, January 07, 2010


I recently made and served the following menu to a delightful couple of happy eaters.Though I neglected to take very many photographs, I did manage to take a few that will show up at the end of this post. I have also included some recipes, but not all. As is often the case, since I specialize in providing food for private individuals, I often don't have control over the menu and will, to the best of my ability, give people what they crave. This menu is very rich and is, in the end, rather perfect for a special occasion. Also, this dinner was a beer pairing. At the end of the recipe you will find a note from the client.


Andouille Sausage on Polenta Rounds with Spicy Mustard
Sweet Sausage in Puff Pastry
Shrimp with Bacon
*Fried Mozzarella Balls with Prosciutto
Potatoes Bravas
Olives and Capers
Beer Pairing: Dogfish Light Ale

Mixed Greens with fresh vegetables and fruits
Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
Beer Pairing: Defiant Special

*Creamy Lobster Bisque with crispy shiitake mushrooms and corn
Beer Pairing: Captain Lawrence Imperial Gold

*Duck Breast with Spices and Smoked Confit of Duck Legs
Tangy Cherry Sauce
*Beer and Cream Scalloped Potatoes
Crispy Spinach
Beer Pairing: Belgian Frambois Lambic

Blueberry Sorbet

Molten Chocolate Cake
*New York Cheese Cake with Strawberries
Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Beer Pairing: Captain Lawrence Espresso Stout


After much research I came across a chef in Piermont right down the street from me.  I called Phyllis and in a matter of days she came over to my house to discuss the upcoming menu for my Fiancé’s surprise birthday dinner.  Together we created a menu based on my Fiancé’s favorite foods, and beverages.  Jonathan does not drink wine, but does love beer, with that Phyllis was on a mission to pair our menu with all appropriate and tasty beers.  We even visited a local brewery to taste beer to pair with our dinner.  On 12/26/09 Phyllis arrived early with all of her ingredients and equipment, she worked diligently and quietly in the kitchen as we received our couples massages in the next room.  The yummy smells filled our apartment!  After our massages we were ready to eat!
Our dinner began with tasty appetizers at 8:30 pm and ended with molten lava cake and cheese cake at 12 midnight.  We ate, talked, relaxed, and enjoyed our lavish meal prepared by our wonderful chef Phyllis Segura.  She encouraged us to take our time and enjoy every bite! We sure did!  We had plenty of leftovers to eat for the upcoming week and shared some tastings with our friends and family. 
The best lobster bisque I have ever eaten in my life!  The food was amazing and the service was spectacular.  We had a wonderful dinner from beginning to end; Phyllis is a fabulous chef and look forward to working with her in the future. We loved every minute of our dinner!
Thank-you so much! Francine

The duck breast with cherry sauce and confit smoked duck legs.

The beer scalloped potatoes.

These are the Mozzarella Balls before they were fried.
Here is the recipe for them:

Mozzarella sticks are very common, but have you ever had mozzarella balls and prosciutto together? Try this recipe and see if it isn’t the best ever. Dip them into some hot sauce for added tang. Check the photo for what they should look like frozen and prior to frying.

1 package fresh mozzarella balls
1 package - about 4 oz. prosciutto
1-2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grated parmigiano cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano or mixed Italian herbs
Oil for frying: mixture of Canola and Grapeseed oils

Mix the breadcrumbs, parmigiano and herbs together.
Wrap each mozzarella ball with prosciutto as tightly as you can.
Dip into the beaten egg then into the breadcrumb mixture. Do this twice.
Place the balls on a sheet pan and put into the freezer. Freeze for about 30 minutes then put them into a plastic bag until you are ready to fry.

To finish: Heat the oil to hot. Test with a piece of bread. Drop in a couple of the mozzarella balls and fry until the coating is golden. This takes about 2-3 minutes. If it happens too quickly the cheese will not melt enough so make sure the oil is not too hot.
Take out and serve hot. Be careful when eating not to burn your tongue! Serve, if you like, with some hot sauce.

makes 4-6 servings
You make this bisque in the usual way: make a broth or stock, thicken it, add flavors. If you like this a little thicker then increase the amount of roux. You can always add a small ball of butter mixed with flour at the end in order to thicken it. Garnishes add that extra crunchiness and flavor component. Everything’s got to have crunch, don’t you think?

1 lobsters, slightly steamed
1 yellow onion, cut in half, skin retained
2 celery ribs, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1-2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, optional
5-6 sprigs parsley
5-6 peppercorns
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup whole milk or half and half
1-2 tablespoon Cognac or Brandy
salt and pepper
2 lobster tails
1 cup heavy cream
6-9 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
1 tablespoon corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon chopped parsley

Make the broth:
Open the lobster and remove the meat from the claws and tail. Break up the lobster. Discard the head. Place in a large stockpot with the onion, celery, carrot, bay leaves, Old Bay, parsley and peppercorns. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about one hour. Let the broth sit in the pot with the heat off for about 30 minutes. Strain the broth and reserve. Discard the other ingredients.

Make the roux: melt the butter in a large stockpot and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon, continue blending for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and then the milk. When all is combined, slowly pour in the strained broth and bring to a simmer. Flame and add the Cognac. Simmer to burn off the alcohol. Season with salt and pepper.

Steam the lobster tails and remove the meat. Cut up into bite-sized pieces.

Make the garnishes:
Thin slice the shiitakes and warm the oil. Place the shiitakes in the pan and sauté until crispy. Remove and set aside. Add the corn to the pan and sauté briefly.

To serve:
Add the lobster pieces and heavy cream to the bisque and heat to just simmering. Pour into bowls and garnish with the lobster claw meat, shiitakes, corn and parsley. Serve hot.

Serves 4-6
Ultimate comfort food. Totally rich, but not as rich as scalloped potatoes made with all cream…and yet. Drink with a Belgian Lambic. Serve as a side dish with game or other vegetable casseroles like green beans with tomatoes and/or roasted carrots. Makes a vegetarian feast.

1 large yellow or Vidalia onion, thin sliced
1-1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, thin sliced
kosher salt
2 tablespoons flour, AP or Wondra
1 12-ounce bottle good blonde ale or beer
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Butter a 2-quart baking dish.

Slice the onion into thin rings with a mandoline and do the same with the potatoes. Then smear a little butter at the bottom of the baking dish and line with a layer of the onions, then the potatoes, sprinkle evenly with some salt, a bit of flour, and a few smears of butter. Continue layering the onions, potatoes and seasonings, ending with potatoes.

Pour in enough of the ale or beer to cover. If you can’t fit in the entire bottle, don’t worry, just drink it. Place on a sheet pan and put into the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350. Bake for about an hour or until the potatoes are tender and the potatoes on top begin to brown. 10 minutes before removing it from the oven pour in the heavy cream. Take out and let it rest 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.

So very easy to do and so very succulent. Serve with a fruit sauce or just some boiled potatoes.

2 duck breasts
Duck Dust:
1 teaspoon cinnamon sticks, preferably Mexican cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon star anise
1 teaspoon ginger powder
salt and pepper

To make the Duck Dust:
Using a coffee grinder, that has been set aside for use as an herb and spice grinder, place
an equal quantity, say 1 teaspoon of each, into the cup and grind to a powder. Mexican cinnamon is softer and easier to grind than the stick kind.

Score the duck breasts criss-cross on one side, through the fat but not to the flesh. Rub the Duck Dust that has been mixed with salt and pepper into the cuts and on the other side. Reserve.

Heat a cast iron pan to hot. Place the duck breasts fat side down and grill to melt, about 2 minutes. Turn over and grill on the other side. Duck should be served fairly rare. Let them rest on a platter covered with some aluminum foil for about 5 minutes. Slice across the grain into thin slices and fan out on a platter. Nap the platter with some cherry sauce.


This is a pretty easy cake to make and worth every minute for its “Wow” value. When I made it in an Aga oven it came out perfectly. Don’t think it’s you if the cake ‘cracks’ on top because I have decided that it depends upon the oven you use. A few squirts of water in the oven prior to placing the cake in might, only might, help. After the initial hour the cake will still look loose in the center. It actually does solidify during the cool down process, though that wasn’t necessary in the Aga roasting oven. Ah, an Aga.

Oven 350 degrees

7 oz. cookies
4-5 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons sugar
butter for greasing the pan

2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 scant cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

The crumb:
Take your cookies, graham or tea biscuits, and crumble them up in a food processor. Put them into a bowl and mix in the melted butter and sugar. Spread and press the mixture into the bottom, and a little up the sides, of a 10-inch Springform pan that has been well greased with some butter and lined with a circle of greased parchment paper on the bottom.  Bake about 10 minutes.

Beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour together. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla. Pour over the prepared crumb crust. Bake for one hour then turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the door of the oven ajar until the cake is completely cool. Refrigerate at least 1 to 2 hours.
Serve as is or with a melted fruit jelly glaze or fresh fruit on top. Or sprinkle with demerara sugar on top and brulee with a butane burner. Don’t put it under the broiler.

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