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 09, 2020


 I don't have set menus. Each menu, each dinner, lunch, party is an individual and custom menu. I went through my files today and pulled out about 40 or so menus from the past. They are in no particular order. I can't even remember some of these parties...but there's proof that they happened. Some people have more adventurous tastes than others and I like to create original dishes. Some have bigger appetites and the meals have to be more extensive. Here are about thirty-six or so scanned menus from my files. Sorry if some are difficult to read. I had to scan them as photos rather than pdf's so I could upload them here. Have fun.


 This fall I discovered the wild grapes growing in the area. Hidden behind their leaves they slowly ripened by the end of September. I gathered them twice. The ones available at first then the second batch ripened a bit later. For the first batch I used only the wild grapes but the second time I purchased some Concord grapes that were also grown in the area but were not wild. 

The process is simple though labor-centric. First pick the grapes off the branches and leaves. Then wash well several times. Put into a large stainless pot cover with water, some sugar but not nearly as much as you will find in recipes. I use Organic cane sugar. I also added some 'secret' ingredients like a few scrapings of fresh ginger and nutmeg. Boil until most of the liquid has cooked off and the grapes have thickened. There is a tricky spot that occurs where you know it is done. The liquid starts bubbling and spitting. Be very careful at that point that it doesn't burn.

Let the mixture cool. Taste it to see if it needs more sugar. Add the sugar in small quantities. I like to make it tart, sweet but not so that the sweetness is the first thing you notice. After it cools strain it all through a Tamis or other strainer, pushing it through the screening. You are eliminating the many seeds and skin.

(I took some of the skin/seed mixture and coated goat cheese with it to great success. The seeds of the wild grapes are not very hard but the ones from the Concord grapes are.)

There is just this one photo of the wild and Concord grapes cooking. You can see that the wild grapes are much smaller:

Take the strained jam and put into jars that have been sterilized. Give to friends. You can tell them where the wild grapes are growing but they don't find them. Good luck.

I'll be uploading some past menus soon. They are very varied. You'll see. 

Monday, April 27, 2020


This is a traditional Finnish dish. No one ever guesses what ingredients are used. And when you eat it you won’t either. The dark red color of the cranberries turns this to a light and fluffy pink pudding right before your eyes.

Whipped Berry Pudding

2-1/4 cups sweetened Cranberry Juice
1/4c cream of wheat cereal
Sweetener of choice

Bring the juice to a boil and slowly pour in the cream of wheat. Cook according to the directions on the package. Pour into a medium sized bowl or mixer and whip until it turns pale pink and fluffy. Use as a dessert or for breakfast. Eat at room temperature, hot or cold.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020



Phyllo or Filo dough
1 stick melted butter

1/2 cup (or less) olive oil
1 onion, large dice
6-8 scallions, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 pound spinach, chopped, no stems
3/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1-1/2 cups Feta cheese, crumbled
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Saute the onion and scallion over moderate heat until soft. Remove them to a bowl. Mix in the spinach, dill, Feta, and pepper. No salt. Let the mixture cool.

Open the package of phyllo carefully. It’s very fragile. You need to have a lightly dampened towel to cover anything that might get exposed. Cover the phyllo with the damp towel between removing sheets.

Butter or oil a 9 x 13 inch pan. Slip a sheet of the phyllo into it and brush some butter or olive oil on the layer. Keep layering at least 3 -6 layers before you add the filling. Brush oil or butter on each layer as it is placed in the pan. If it’s too thin the pie will just fall apart when you try to remove it.

Fill the phyllo lined pan with the spinach mixture, smoothing it out so that it’s even all over. You will have some phyllo dough hanging over the sides, right?

Now put an equal amount of phyllo layers over the top of the spinach. You probably have to move pretty quickly now because the phyllo wants to dry out faster than you can say “Mariah Carey”… Take the top layers and tuck them into the sides as best you can. Then roll the bottom layer overhangs over that. More butter is okay.

Cover the top with the melted butter or milk; this will help it brown.

Bake until it’s all brown and crispy.  Take out and let it cook before you start cutting into it.



Friday, April 17, 2020



1/2 pound medium shrimp, cleaned 
1 lemon or lime
whole peppercorns

1 tablespoon oil
3-4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
sea salt

green cabbage, julienned and soaked in water
1 red onion, thin sliced
1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and sliced
1 mango, peeled and sliced
lime juice

Place the shrimp with their peels in boiling water that contains 1/2 whole lemon or lime, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves. Let the shrimp cook until they turn pink or for about 4-5 minutes. Strain and place into a bowl of ice. After the shrimp cool, remove the shells. You can opt to clean the shrimp before boiling them but the shells add a lot of flavor.

Cut the shrimp in half the long way and place them in the marinade.  Toss well. Set aside.

Take a green cabbage and remove the darkest outer leaves. Thin slice the cabbage into strips and slice them in half to be bite-sized. Place the cabbage into some cold fresh water to soak. 

Thin slice a red onion and place the slices into the water with the cabbage and leave for 10-15 minutes then drain well.

While the cabbage and onion is soaking, slice the cucumber and mango and place them into a bowl. Sprinkle them with some lime juice. Add the drained, soaked cabbage and onion and the marinated shrimp with the marinade and toss well. 

Chop some cilantro, to taste, and add. Sprinkle with some more lime juice, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Leave for about an hour before serving.

Serve cold or room temperature. Will also taste good the next day. 


Here we are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. I've been going through my vast recipe files. No easy task but I've got plenty of time. I hope to post some more recipes in the coming days. If I actually make some of the dishes I'll photograph them. I do have a big package of savoiardi in my pantry. This does sound good but I'd have to eat the whole thing myself. I'll save it for more auspicious circumstances. Be well.

Saturated with brandy, cream, and raspberry purée, dried Italian-style savoiardi get the French treatment here.

    * 7 oz savoiardi (crisp Italian ladyfingers)
    * 1 tablespoon Cognac or other brandy
    * 1 pint premium vanilla ice cream, melted
    * 10 oz frozen raspberries (not in syrup)
    * 1 cup water
    * Rounded 1/4 cup sugar
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    * 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream

      Equipment: a 7- to 8-inch soufflé dish

      Layer ladyfingers in soufflé dish. Stir Cognac into melted ice cream and pour evenly over cookies. Let stand 10 minutes.
      Purée raspberries with water, sugar, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth.
      Beat cream with an electric mixer or a whisk until it just holds stiff peaks, then add 3/4 cup raspberry sauce and continue to beat until mixture holds soft peaks.
      Lightly press on cookies with a spatula to compact slightly, then drizzle 1/2 cup raspberry sauce over them. Spread raspberry cream evenly on top and chill, covered, in freezer 30 minutes.
      Serve charlotte with remaining raspberry sauce.