Welcome!

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

WILD GRAPE JAM

 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. 


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