Come cook along with trained chef, wine educator, and author Stephen Reiss
Coming up with ideas on what to cook can be tough, so I am here to help. Glance at the examples, peruse the articles, and allow yourself to be inspired. Consider this a starting point on a culinary adventure.
I have three loves in my life. The first is my wife of more than three decades, Famed Photographer Janet Engelhard, who's photos make this site possible. The second two are married to each other. Food and wine.
I was apprenticing as a chef when I was distracted by the world of wine. Wine and food switched places as vocation and advocation for most of my career. I regularly would cook for friends and clients, but it wouldn't be until I retired from wine that I would be paid to cook again.
I am often asked what my specialty is. After 300 plus seven course wine dinners, without ever repeating a menu, I can safely reply that my specialty is coming up with new ideas. I don't know how I do it, so I can't really help you there, but I can certainly share some of those ideas with you.
While each example has tips, tricks and a walk through, these are missing the fine details of traditional recipes. Instead these are big picture ideas that can help get you started on creating the perfect dinner party, or just something new for dinner.
For those that want or need a detailed recipe, start here, and then look it up. The Internet has many, many recipes, once you know what you want to cook, and how.
What you see is what we eat. Don’t be fooled by the photographs on so many food sites. The pictures are carefully composed to make them look perfect, often with inedible helpers like shellac and glue! Every single dish you see here was served and enjoyed, seconds after it sat for the close up.
You will not find any traditional recipes on this site. There is some truth to the old adage that recipes are lies designed to make you look bad. At best they are a guide, and as any cook's confidence rises, they rely on the recipes less and less and their ability to taste, more and more.
This site is about inspiration, let the rest of the internet be about tablespoons and cups.
Articles on the front page allow me to share my advice and garner a tip or two.
The Sweet and Savory sections contain walkthroughs of each dish. Usually around a dozen photos with quick captions to give you that kernel of a spark you to need make your own variations.
The Quick Idea and the two Menu sections are less detailed, but allow you to explore many ideas, and how they fit together.
Finally, there is a How To section that may help to fill in the gaps of your culinary education.