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Throughout my life I have been a lover of food. During my many travels I started collecting the recipes and menus that reflected standout moments in my life.  My kitchen wall is a small amalgamation of memories both of the palate and the mind.


A few recipes remain illusive  -the beef grilled on an open fire in a restaurant in Cairo, Egypt, a crab soup I had on a junk in Hong Kong, my mom's sautéed cabbage and pork chops, the duck dinner from the Acadiana restaurant in Washington D.C. (now closed), my ex's seafood soup, the rib, potato salad and spaghetti dinner at Sherman's Barbecue in Harlem New York (now closed), and a tasty pasta served at a California winery. There are also those many recipes that I keep in books and boxes that are from friends and family-- The menus given to me by a friend who traveled on the Orient Express or El's West Virginia hand written recipes copied and gifted to me by his daughter, Johnna, upon his death.


On the Larrier House Kitchen wall hangs recipes, notes and menus that are but a few of what I hold dear.  On the website the stories behind them.


A timestamp of moments and places of a life well feed.



Ginger Lemonade

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1 oz. fresh ginger root 
1 cup sugar one cup water 
Two lemons 
Two limes 
Lime wedges

  1. Peel and slice ginger root into 1/4 thickness 

  2. Chop or crush the slices in a mortar or garlic press 

  3. In a small saucepan place sugar and water and bring to a boil  

  4. Add chopped/crushed ginger 

  5. Cook for 30 minutes until liquid becomes syrupy 

  6. Remove from heat and let stand until cool 

  7. Squeeze lemons and limes and blend with ginger syrup 

  8. Serve with ice cubes and a lime wedge


While working at a white-shoe law firm in New York City my colleagues and I were faced with an unusual circumstance-- a free moment to chat between handling our caseloads. We landed on the subject of dining while in law school. I mentioned that I enjoyed the Friday afternoon lunches my study group would have at a local Vietnamese restaurant.  The food was good and the price inexpensive--perfect for our student pockets. One of my colleagues, Susan, who happened to be of Vietnamese descent knew of the restaurant because she too had frequented it in law school. She told me that she knew the recipe for the establishment's famous lemonade. 

The next day as I walked to my desk, Susan beckoned me over, handed me two sheets of paper and smiled. It was the recipe that now hangs on my wall.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Danby Cookies




  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 cups  Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

  • 1 cup chopped nuts 

  1. Oven 375

  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.

  3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.

  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  5. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts.

  6. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

  7. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Vermont has always had a special place in my heart. In middle school I would drive up from NYC to Vermont with my friend Pam, who like me was an equestrian (hunter jumper). Her family had a horse stable in the state.  I especially enjoyed this trip in the fall when the tree leaves in Vermont burst with a multitude of colors. Pam and I would take horses out, unbeknownst to her mother, and ride through the nearby woods by the stable. 

As a teen I would go to Vermont with my family and not so far into adulthood with friends. One of whom had a family home in the small town of Danby, VT.  It was there that I learned the secret of soft cookies-melted butter. During my visits I would watch the sun set over a grove of maple trees from a large picture all while eating  freshly baked soft gooey cookies


Even now when I visit Vermont, horses, colorful leaves and the taste of soft bake cookies come to mind.





I was invited to a wedding in a small town outside of Cognac, France. The bridal couple had rented a chateau where their friends and family stayed for the week. Half of the invited guests were from Holland. They would drink bottles of Armagnac, Aquavit and other liquor, smoke cigarettes and laugh throughout the night. Then incredibly wake up the next morning bright-eyed and bushy tailed

One morning after a night of revelry an American guest stumbled out of his room, head in hand, into the kitchen in search of water for his aspirin and Alka-Seltzer.  I sat there drinking coffee with one of the Dutch guests who was up without a care or a hangover.  The American stopped on his way to the kitchen sink and asked the man how he managed to party all night and be up and ready to go in the morning. The man smiled and recited a Dutch saying which loosely translated means --"If you are going to be a man in the evening you have to be a man in the morning. Basically, if a man parties all night long he should be able to get up the next day and be about his business. 

The little note that hangs on the wall isn't the full saying, but part of it that was given to me as a memento.



Armagnac is a distinctive kind of brandy produced in the Armagnac region in Gascony, southwest France. Armagnac is traditionally only distilled once compared to Cognac's double-distillation.

Akvavit or aquavit is a distilled spirit made in Scandinavia, where it has been produced since the 15th century. Its sometimes referred to as Norwegian vodka.


French Chocolate Cake

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French cake



  • 100 g of Black Chocolate

  • 100 g sugar (use less if you prefer) 

  • 100 g of butter

  • 50 g of flour

  • 2  eggs (beaten)

  • 2 yellow eggs (egg yoke)

  • 4 inch deep (round 7 cm) cake tins

  1. Pre-heat the oven; heat 7 or 200 degrees

  2. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a pan under low heat. Leave to cool a few minutes.

  3. Add the sugar the eggs and the flour. It should look creamy and thick.

  4. Fill 1/4 of every individual cake tin.

  5. Put in the oven and heat 6 or 150° for only 5 minutes!!! This is very important as you want your cake to melt. The cake should just cook enough to be strong on the outside and nearly uncooked on the inside and therefore a melting when you eat.   The secret of the cake is in the cooking timing.  It depends on your oven and the depth of the pan, but at the end you will eat a fabulous dark chocolate cake.   A sweet wine or port should go wonderfully.


At the beginning of the wedding week in a chateau in France the bride-to-be asked for three volunteers to step up and cook a meal for the 40 wedding guests. It seemed that the bridal couple had only scheduled catering for three of the six nights the guests were supposed to be there.  They needed "fill in" chefs for the three evenings. I raised my hand and volunteered to cook on one of the nights.  My dinner of choice-- an American Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving dinner was the only thing I knew how to cook for a large group of people. I substituted pheasant for turkey and found most of the ingredients I needed for all of the side dishes, with the exception of sweet potato, pumpkin and cranberry sauce. One of the guests, a women from France volunteered to be my sous chef.  Her first question... "describe cranberry sauce--the taste, texture and smell." She claimed that she could figure out how to make something similar. When I raised my eyebrow in skepticism, she looked at me and flatly said "I am French. We know taste and how to cook."


The dinner went off without a hitch and my sous chef's cranberry sauce was spot on. She told me that she had always been curious about American Thanksgiving and asked if I would write down all my recipes.  When I returned state side I wrote down all of my Thanksgiving Day recipes and mailed them to her in Paris.  A few weeks  I received an envelope in the mail. It was a note and a Christmas cake recipe that my sous chef's family made every Christmas.


Cod Cake



  • 1 Egg

  • 80 g milk

  • 80 g H2O

  • 30 g Butter, melted

  • 10 g Baking Powder

  • 185 g  AP (flour)

  • 1 g Black Pepper

  • 80 g Onion, chopped

  • 10 g Garlic, chopped

  • 30 g Scallion, chopped

  • 1g Marjoram, chopped

  • 5g Habanero, chopped

  • 100 g Salted cod, diced

  • 200 g Salted cod, cooked


One evening while having a dinner meeting at Chef David Chang's Midtown bistro Ma Peche (now closed), a member of our party asked our waitress if he could meet the chef, Paul Carmichael.


A few moments later the chef arrived at our table.  We talked about the food we had eaten and the chef's beginning and his present culinary trajectory. When Chef Carmichael told us that he was from Barbados, he saw the look on my face and asked me if I was from Barbados too. I explained to him that my family was and that it was nice to see a Bajan doing so well in the culinary world. We briefly talked about our favorite West Indian food, including cod cakes. After dinner as I walked towards the exit, the restaurant bartender motion me over. When I got to the bar he handed me a slip of paper and said it was from the chef. It was his simple yet delicious recipe for crab cakes from Barbados. 

Find out what Chef Carmichael is up to now:

Fresh Baked Scones

Hob Knob Scones

Cod Cake



  • Three cups flour 1/2 cup granulated white sugar

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 4 tablespoons melted butter

  • 5 tablespoons minced candied ginger one and one half cup blueberries and/or strawberries, dried apricots or dried cranberries

  • 2 cups heavy cream (less for blueberries)



  1. First mixed together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

  2. Then stir in butter add ginger and finally fruit.

  3. Fold in two cups of heavy cream or a little more until the batter is just moist enough to hold together. Touch the batter as little as possible. Be very gentle with it.

  4. Then scoop it up by about one and a half tablespoon increments and drop them onto baking sheet.

  5. Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes until browning just begins on the top.

  6. Remove from oven immediately and take the scone straight off the hot pan or they will burn on the bottom. 

  7. The most important thing is to touch and bother the batter as little as possible. This recipe yields 20 small scones.


Many years and a few owners ago, the Hob Knob Inn located in Edgartown was known for the scones they served for breakfast.  If the inn wasn't full the manger would let non guests enjoy breakfast at the inn (a practice the new owner did not continue). For years I tried to get the scone recipe to no avail. Until, one random day in 2011. 

I was having breakfast with friends and once again asked a waiter for the recipe.  After breakfast, as I started to leave the inn, the waiter secretly handed me a printed copy of the recipe!

I took my new found treasure and added the names of my dining companions. One of whom was the late island legion Bob Carroll.


More about Bob:

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Coq au Vin

Eiffel Tower Paris


  • 1 Hen cut up

  • 1/2 lb Button mushrooms

  • 1/2 lb Pearl onions (peeled and boiled)

  • 1/2 lb Salt pork cut up in small chunks

  • 1 Small can tomato paste

  • Thyme, oregano and rosemary

  • 6 to 8 cloves of garlic

  • 1 onion, carrot, celery cut up

  • 1/2 g Red wine 

  1. Marinade hen- leave overnight in the wine and all spices and vegetables.

  2. Next day sauté flour chicken in oil or clarified butter.

  3. In baking pot add mushrooms.

  4. Sautee onions and pork add marinade and tomato paste.

  5. If the chicken isn't totally covered add a little water, bring to a boil, then pour.

  6. Place pot In a 450 ° oven for a 1/3 to 3/4 an hour or until chicken is cooked.

  7. If the sauce is too liquidly, take out chicken and vegetables slowly, add flour until desired thickness.

  8. Add salt and pepper.

  9. Cook ahead of time. It's always better a day or two later when reheated.


I was tasked by a on-island nonprofit, where I volunteered, to host a dinner for a potential large donor. I asked for help from Jean Dupon, the Chef and owner of Le Grenier, a French restaurant located on Main Street in Vineyard Haven.


We met at a local grocery store, shopped for ingredients and traded life stories.


Chef Dupon welcomed me into the restaurant kitchen (in between meal services) and there we cooked the coq au vin that would later be served at the dinner. The cooking experience was part party, part cooking lesson.

After 37 years in business Chef Dupon closed the doors of Le Grenier, but my memory of that afternoon lives on.


New York

Cheese Board





Brebirousse D’ Argental 

Drink with a dry white wine

Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog 

Drink with sparkling wine

Crémeux De Bourgogne 

Drink with Champagne/sparkling wine

Good with jam/honey on a cracker

Pryne Brebis 

Drink with white wine


Drink with cider

Isabella Gouda 

Drink with dry white or red wine


Drink with a Riesling 

Blue Cheese 

Drink with Pinot or Merlot


Murray's is a cheese shop like no other. It's located in my hometown of New York City --Manhattan to be specific. I wish I could say that I discovered Murray's on my own, but that would be untrue. Murray's has been around since the 1940s and a place that my family has frequented for decades.


The cheesemongers at Murry's know their stuff and they take the delectable dairy delights seriously. One day when I went to buy a hunk of Caveman brand blue cheese, I fell into a conversation with a man behind the counter. I asked him if he had a particular cheese that he liked to serve in his own home. He quickly tore a piece of wax paper from a roll and wrote down the cheeses he used for cheese boards.  I then scribbled wine pairings next to them. 

He asked me what I used on my boards.  My answer -- I always have at least one soft, one hard, one crumbly and one blue cheese; great crackers, dried fruit and hot pepper jelly.

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Carrot Cake

Coq au vin
Carrot Cake




  • Three cups grated carrots 1 cup coconut 

  • One 8 oz can of crushed pineapple drained 

  • 1 cup raisins 1 cup nuts 


  • 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg 

  • Two teaspoons baking powder 

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 cups flour 



  • Four eggs 

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1  1/2 cup vegetable oil 


  1. Add dry ingredients to mixer 

  2. Add carrots to the rest just until blended 

  3. Pour into a 10-in pan and cook for 1 hour at 350


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened 

  • 8 oz cream cheese 

  • 1 lb confectioners' sugar 

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla 

  • 1 tsp cinnamon optional 

Beat with a mixer until smooth


Alley’s General Store is Martha's Vineyard's oldest retail business. It opened in 1858. 

"In many ways, Alley’s is timeless. Just as they used to do in the 19th century, fishermen, farmers and workers still congregate on the front porch before heading out to sea, soil or site. West Tisbury residents (150 of them) still pick up their mail here. And just as they could a century and a half ago, store clerks still mark the passing of the hours by the customers who walk in and out the front doors." -Vineyard Gazette

The recipe is from the store when it served slices of home made carrot cake and dark freshly brewed coffee.  Many islander, wash-a-shores as visitors have, and pass on the recipe. 


Chicken Corn Chowder



  • Applewood bacon diced 8 oz or 1 Cup

  • Onion diced 1 1/2 cups

  • Garlic minced 2 tablespoons

  • Celery diced 3/4 cup

  • Carrots diced 1/2 cup

  • Corn nibblets; frozen, pureed 1 cu

  • Fresh corn on the cob nibblets removed; reserve cob. Do not discard 1 cup or two cobs each

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Clarified butter equal to 1 stick of (butter + flour 3 tbsp)

  • Chicken stock (purchase good quality) 2 quarts

  • Cooked diced chicken

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked diced potatoes


  • 1 1/2 cup garnish diced tomatoes

  • 4 oz minced chive 2 oz

  1. Render bacon in soup pot

  2. When bacon fat is rendered add onion, celery, and carrots saute over medium heat until veggies look transparent about 6 minutes

  3. Blender with a little bit of water or use a food processor add corn puree to pot allowed to simmer- turn to medium heat temperature 

  4. Add reserves cob this adds more flavor throw and Reserve nibblets into soup pot 

  5. Season with salt pepper just enough to flavor season again before serving 

  6. Add CB or one stick of butter allow to melt turn to medium high heat then add flour using a whisk or wooden spoon, stir well, cook roux butter and flour mixture 5 to 6 minutes to work out flour 

  7. Slowly add chicken stock while stirring gently allowed to simmer for 45 minutes add heavy cream and stir, add  garnish and serve hot


Vineyard Golf Club is a 100% organic private golf course located in Edgartown and where my friend Ruth worked as a chef.


Ruth like many seasonal chefs worked on the Vineyard in the summer and then Florida or Aspen in the winter.  Even after working hours in the golf club kitchen, Ruth would cook for her friends after work. Her corn chowder was one of the meals I enjoyed most. 

On a few late summer evenings some chefs from the island, a handful of friends and I would meet her after her shift to have a bowl of her soup and a glass of wine. As the sun set and fireflies appeared in the darkness, the conversations would always turn to food, restaurants and its patrons. 


Lamb Chops



Fagioli All'uccelletto  (White Beans with Fresh Tomato and Sage)


  • 2 cans white cannellini beans

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic minced

  • 8 to 10 fresh sage leaves

  • 4 to 6  Tomatoes plum or regular diced roughly

  • Salt and fresh pepper ground

  • 2 oz pancetta cubed chopped (optional)

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat.

  2. If using pancetta, add and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic and sage stir and cook 3 to 4 minutes do not brown the garlic.

  4. Add the tomatoes cook 5 to 8 minutes.

  5. Stir in the beans: season with salt and pepper.

  6. Cover the skillet reduce the heat to medium 10 minutes - cook until the sauce has a medium thick consistency 15 to 20 minutes stir a few times during cooking if the sauce seems to dry, add a little bit of chicken broth or water serve next to roasted or grilled meat or sausage. 

Herb Crusted Lamb Chops or Rack of Lamb 

  • 1/4 cup minced parsley

  • 1/4 cup tarragon 1

  • /4 cup minced fresh Rosemary

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme

  • 1 cup freshly made bread crumbs

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 8 lamb chops or two racks of lamb

  • 3 tablespoons Dion mustard 

  1. Combine the fresh herbs bread crumbs garlic and olive oil salt and pepper

  2. Pat dry the lamb chops and lightly cover on both sides with mustard

  3. Press the lamb into the bread crust mixture and cover them; form a crust

  4. Broil in the oven for approximately 6 minutes on each side depending on the thickness

Note: The crust may burn a little bit but it's it will be tasty anyway if you don't have all the herbs available use what you have around 


Not every recipe on my wall is from a restaurant or a professional chef.  One of my favorite recipes comes from an at home dinner party that I attended. The hostess was kind enough to write her recipe down for me.



Corn chowder
Lamb chop


Sunday August 31, 2003 

Wellfleet oysters on the half shell 

Swordfish steaks grilled with lemon zest, capers, yellow and red cherry tomatoes, lemon juice, slivered garlic, olive oil salt + pepper 

Succotash salad with cooked shaved yellow wax beans, green beans, split cherry tomatoes, red wine vinegar, oil, salt 

Boiled new potatoes in their skin with butter, parsley,  s&p 

Romaine lettuce, ripe avocado, sliced red onion, s&p lemon juice, olive oil


This summer menu comes from a meal I had while staying in a small "salt box" (a Cape Cod traditional cottage).  The home was down a sandy road a mile from the closest thoroughfare and sat feet from a freshwater sandy bottom pond, the likes of which are found throughout Cape Cod.   The house was surrounded by trees and stood alone in what is now a preserve.  It was there that I met Chef Gabrielle Hamilton.  We both shared a friend who had invited a few people up to the house for a short vacation. 


I had the pleasure of accompanying Chef Hamilton to a farmer's market.  I watched as she thoughtfully chose the ingredients for the group's dinner.  She then went back to the house and cooked.  After dinner, as members of the dinner party sipped wine and chatted, I sheepishly asked Chef Hamilton if she would memorialize our summer menu.  To my surprise she agreed.


Gabrielle Hamilton was owner and chef of Prune restaurant.  Prune was open from 1999-2020.  It was a small bistro in Manhattan's East Village that packed a culinary punch.  To learn more about Chef Hamilton read her memoir Blood, Bones, and Butter.


Ham Sandwich

Ham sandwich


Felix's Forest Sandwich

  • White toasted bread

  • Lettuce

  • Black Forest ham

  • But most importantly tons of mayonnaise


When I met Felix he was enjoying his lunch, a sandwich, in a corner of his crowded store, The Paper Mouse in West Newton, Massachusetts. When he saw me, he reluctantly placed his lunch down on a plate, walked over to me and began to talk about his work. His wife who was standing near by asked me if I had come into the store because I saw it on Oprah. I told her no, that I came into the store because it caught my eye. I explained that I liked to write people notes and cards and the shop seemed an interesting place that would have both. As I peruses the store Felix  happily returned to his sandwich as his wife helped other patrons.

As the crowd in the store trickled down to only a few people I noticed that Felix finishing his lunch, that he seemed to enjoy immensely. I walked over to him as he wiped his mouth with a napkin and smiled.  I asked what he had eaten for lunch that seemed to make him so happy.  His wife, who was standing near by, answered-- it was his favorite meal of all times--a ham sandwich. Felix asked me if I wanted the recipe. I laughed, told him yes and that I would hang it on my kitchen wall. He reached over picked up a card from a display and wrote the recipe that now hangs on my wall.


8 Mountain Delicacies

Imperial Dinner

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  • Chef/owner Eastwind snack shop Brooklyn NY

  • Doron Wong chef/owner Northern Tiger NYC Lotus & Cleaver Miami, FL

  • Medwin Pang chef/owner Hunger Pang Brooklyn, NY

  • Lien & Ed Lin chef/owver Bricolage Brooklyn, NY

  • Eric Kwan Kwans Kitchen, NYC

  • Christine Lau Graduate Hotels

  • Tanachi "Pom" Amaritnant Chef Madame VO. NYC



(Mock) Shark Fin Soup - Chef Christina Lau 
Emperor's broth, mock shark fin, pickled mushrooms, flowering garlic, black truffle 
Served with a Marco Polo cocktail


Snowy Palm - Chef Lien Lin

Poached monkfish, Jinhua ham, shiitake mushroom black moss, baby bok choy

Served with a Marco Polo cocktail



Golden Eyes, Burning Brain-Chef Chris Cheung

Pan seared and steamed tofu with liver infused, Chinese sausage, five spice, bean paste, garlic crusted calf liver 

Served with wine Diviner cabernet Sauvignon


Bird's Nest Leopard Fetus - Chef Pom

Okinawa bird's nest, baby winter vegetable, sea cucumber, white abalone sauce

Served with Chrysanthemum Old Fashion 


Monkey Brain-Chef Ed Lin

Salt and pepper sweet bread, jalapeno, toasted garlic, Chinese rice noodle, forbidden black rice, Chinese broccoli 

Served with Chrysanthemum Old Fashion 


Imperial Duck -Chef Doron Wong

Tea-smoked duck, oak cakes, braised peanuts, charred scallion, osmanthus honey glaze

Served with Les Monts Damn  Sancerre


Rhinoceros Tail

Tangerine beef, Charcoal grilled A5 Wagyu rib cap roasted petite vegetables


The James Beard Foundation is a nonprofit that "celebrates, supports, and elevates the people behind America’s food culture.  Its name sake was known as "the Dean of American Cookery, James Beard hosted the first cooking program in the history of television. The author of twenty-two cookbooks and many magazine and newspaper articles, he paved the way for today's celebrity chefs. As Julia Child proclaimed, “In the beginning, there was Beard.” -The JB Foundation

The Foundation holds eating events throughout the year. Most events are all located at the historic James Beard House at 167 West 12th Street in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. The dinner events are "multi-course meals, complemented by wine pairings, prepared by guest chefs from around the world. Dinners may highlight individual chefs or chefs from more than one restaurant. Chefs may cook their own signature cuisine, or cook around a particular theme, such as a specific ingredient or holiday. "When attending a dinner, guests are first invited to walk through the Beard House kitchen to meet the night’s chef and observe the event team at work."

The 8 Mountain Delicacies Imperial Dinner was the Beard event I attended with my boyfriend. It was a great night, full of laughter, conversation and good food.


As I think about the dinner and the boyfriend who attended the event with me, both of which are a distant loving memories, I can't help but remember a saying  my old boss Albert Chang taught me: 

Translation: Even the best buffet must come to an end.


Cake from the

Food Network

Baking Show
Red velvet


  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pans

  • 3 cups cake flour (sift before measuring)

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring

  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 4  8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 pounds (about 8 cups) confectioners' sugar

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch-round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper; butter the parchment. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

  2. Beat the granulated sugar, 12 tablespoons butter and the vegetable oil in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the food coloring, vinegar and vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, until just combined.

  3. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on racks, then turn the cakes out onto the racks to cool completely. Using a long serrated knife, carefully slice each cake in half horizontally to make 2 even layers.

  4. Make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt; beat until smooth.

  5. Put 1 cake layer on a platter; spread 1 1/4 cups frosting on top. Repeat to make 4 layers, ending with the cake. Cover the top and sides with a thin layer of frosting (this is the "crumb coat"; it doesn't have to be perfect). Chill 15 minutes, then cover with the remaining frosting.


When I met Design Director Wendy Waxman she had been at Food Network since its inception decorating sets, designing tabletop displays and special events. We were introduced by her niece, Isabel, a librarian in Vineyard Haven.  Since I worked in TV (Viacom) and Wendy at the Food Network, Isabel thought we should meet. 

I met Wendy at the Food Network where she  introduced me to her colleagues.  We meandered through a prop room and various sets. However, for me the pièce de résistance was visiting the network's test kitchen.  I met some of the chefs that created and tested recipes that were used by the network.  Wendy was friendly with one chef  in particular who had just tested  several red velvet cake recipes, one of which was going to be the official recipe of the network.


I asked Wendy for a note for my recipe wall. That note (on Food Network letterhead), a photo of Wendy and the chef,  the final red velvet recipe the network published and me in the test kitchen hangs on my wall.


Saffron Lobster

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Saffron Lobster


  • Endives 

  • Butter

  • Oil

  • Sugar

  • Salt pepper

  • Saffron

  • Lobsters (2)

  • Celery

  • Carrots

  • Onion

  • White wine

  • Tomato paste

  • Cream (heavy)



Take Endive score and Julian so Tay in hot pan with butter and oil do not move the pan just let the endives sit, caramelize, and Wilt, sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper, set aside


Take live lobsters and cut off the tail and claws bring a pot of water with celery, carrots, and onions to a boil, once boiled add the lobster claws and let them cook for 4 minutes, then add the Tails and cook for 3 minutes claws should cook for a total of 7 minutes and Tails 3 minutes, drain, let sit and cool in the refrigerator

Part III

Take a pinch of saffron and add it to four tablespoons of water, bring mixture to a boil, then take it off the flame and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes

Part IV

In a stock pot put three tablespoons of olive oil, heat and add the lobster bodies too sear them until they turn red, do not move the pot around, add on top of the Lobster bodies one rough cut carrot four stocks of celery and a small onion, all vegetables should be roughly the same size 

Cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft, add four tablespoons of tomato paste, mix it into the pot, and coat the lobster and vegetables, cook the tomato paste out approximately 5 minutes 

Add 1/4 cup of white wine and stir, scrape the bottom of the pot and cook the wine out, reduce the wine to about three or four tablespoons strain 

Take heavy cream half cream to be the amount of stock you have and scold, not boil, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes until the cream has reduced, make sure it is thick, add stock to the cream and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and cook for 15 minutes, add salt pepper and the saffron reduction to the stock for a few minutes, package


Take Lobster meat out of the shell and warm it up by putting butter in a pan and reheating, add a little salt and pepper


Take endives and put them on the plate; put the Lobster on top, then pour the stock over both, serve.


In 2001 Chef de Cuisine Jason Potanovich made my New Years Eve appetizer at the Terrace in the Sky Restaurant in NYC.

The Terrace, a French-Mediterranean 200 seat restaurant was located in a penthouse atop Columbia University's Butler Hall. The restaurant provided breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and had a fireplace in the main dining room, a conservatory and bar. There was a wine list with over 300 selections as well as regular cigar and wine tastings.

Chef Jason's "appetizers ranged from a duo of smoked and wild king salmon with domestic caviar, heirloom apples and Meyer lemon to cavatelli served with rock shrimp, ricotta salata and lobster velouté. Entrées might include dishes such as black garlic-crusted turbot accompanied by tomato confit, braised escarole, white bean purée and roasted poultry jus or carnaroli risotto with duck confit, acorn squash, wild mushrooms and porcini oil.


In 2001 it was the saffron lobster that set my taste buds a flutter. I asked my waiter for the recipe and was given a firm no.  I left the restaurant, but couldn't get the appetizer out of my mind.  Ever so often I would call the restaurant and ask for the recipe and would receive a firm no.  Until one day Chef Jason came to the phone.  We chatted and he graciously agreed to give me the recipe--with two hitches--he would give me the recipe over the phone and it  would not be converted.  The recipe given to me would yield enough to feed a restaurant of 200, it was up to me to do the math and make the recipe reasonable for at home use. I gladly took the challenge. I did my best, to write down and convert the recipe.


I have tried to recreate his meal serval times, but my attempts pale in comparison to his masterful creation.

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Pistachio Cake of Love

Love cake


  • 1 Box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix (not the butter one)

  • Four eggs

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1 Package instant pistachio pudding mix

  • 1 Cup ginger ale  (bottle) -not the can 

Mix and bake 350 for 45 to 50 minutes



  • 1 pack instant pudding mix

  • 1 Cup of milk

  • Fold in 16 oz Cool Whip


In my early twenties, after my mother died, I was was looking for and then found a job at a law firm that would help me pay for law school.  


The firm's office manager and lead paralegal,  Lynell, became not only my boss but a surrogate mother and dear friend when I most needed one. Lynell was smart and gorgeous by all standards. She steadied me through the rough spots when I missed my mother the most. Her son, Lloyd Boston, a rising star on television and in the fashion industry, graciously shared his mom with me. There will never be enough words for the love and gratitude I have for them,

But before Lloyd's fame and Lynell's solid legal career, she was a  single mother who had to learn to make the most out her busy schedule.  The recipe that hangs in my kitchen was given to her by a relative--something quick, easy and tasty for a busy person to bake during the holidays.


Polished Pearl Ribeye



  • Rinse steaks and pat dry

  • Gently massage with your choice of oil. Pearls prefer white truffle oil.

  • Oil all sides.

  • Season with cracked sea salt, pepper, roasted garlic, fresh rosemary and herbs de provence

  • Marinate; covered

  • Grill (charcoal if possible )to your delighted preference


Savannah State University is a historically black university in Savannah, Georgia and the alma mater of my  good friend Taqwaa.


Taqwaa is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., a professor at the university and a big foodie. The Polished Pearl  Rib Eye  is one of the first things she cooked when visiting the Larrier House.  


Last Holiday Dinner




Orleans BBQ Bay scallop pan roasted 
Forest mushroom, creamy grits 


Lobster gumbo 
Green onion popcorn rice 

Choice of

Halibut almandine 
Toasted almonds, cauliflower puree, brown butter 

Roasted rack of baby Colorado lamb 
Glazed carrots, potato puree, salsa verde 


Banana Foster 
Vanilla bean ice cream

Praline candy


Christmas has always been a special time for me.  Not just because of the religious significance, but because of the memories of the large number of people my mother would host during the holidays and the delicious food she prepared. 

I too have been known to host a few legendary parties, one of which was 12 days long  (read more about the party). However, it was 2021 Christmas in Edgartown (a holiday weekend festival held during the first week of December) and one of my favorite holiday movies that was the inspiration for the menu that now hangs on my wall. 

As was my tradition I invited some of my best friends up to join me during the Christmas in Edgartown celebration.  The group was particularly looking forward to the lighting of the Edgartown lighthouse event.  When we arrived at the Harbor View Hotel (which has a clear view of the lighthouse) we were informed that we had missed the event by a full day. Sensing my guest's disappointment and my embarrassment for confusing the days, the general manager of the hotel could not have been more gracious.  Even though the restaurant was fully packed he found a place for my group to escape the cold weather outside.  He offered us a table in an unused portion a closed private bar area.  We ordered drinks and to our surprise a plate of cookies appeared. Two of my friends, one from Savannah the other New Orleans, tasted the cookies and immediately said they knew who the chef was. The rest of my party laughed and said that it was impossible to know based on one bite of a cookie. My two southern friends said they had grown up with the Gottlieb's bakery all throughout their lives and they recognized the recipe. We asked for the chef to come to the table and low and behold it was Chef Michael Gottlieb! 

After drinks my friends and I went back to the Larrier House and watched one of my favorite movies, Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah and LL Cool J. It was then that I thought of trying to recreate the scenes in the movie where Queen Latifah's character orders all of the specials on a menu. I contacted Chef Gottlieb and the manager of the hotel and pitched my idea.  They agreed that the following year Chef Gottlieb would put together a menu for our group. I had two rules for my group-- we would not know what the menu consisted of until we sat down at the table and there would be no requests for substitutions. 

The following year my group entered the hotel for pre-dinner drinks.  We were treated to a champagne that was opened with a saber (a technique for opening a champagne bottle with a sword with a curved blade),  restaurant and hotel staff with great personalities and most importantly a fabulous dinner! The menu and the hotel Christmas card that we received is what hangs in my kitchen.

Last Hoiday

Crawfish Stuffed Chicken 

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  • Six boneless skinned chicken breast

  • one onion chopped

  • one ribbed celery chopped

  • one teaspoon minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion

  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

  • one half tablespoon salt

  • 1/4 tbsp each red and black pepper

  • one tablespoon teriyaki sauce

  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs one half pound peeled crawfish tails

  • two tablespoons butter 

  1. Pound breast flat about a quarter of an inch, drizzle one side with teriyaki sauce and black pepper, place that side down on a platter, melt butter in skillet and sauté vegetables 4 minutes 

  2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 3 minutes

  3. Add equal portions of crawfish mixture onto the chicken breast

  4. Roll breast with crawfish fix mixture in center

  5. Secure with toothpicks, sprinkle with three tablespoons of flour and set aside 



  • 3/4 stick of butter

  • 1 pint whipping cream

  • 2 tablespoons of green onions chopped

  • 1 onion chopped

  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons cooking Sherry

  • 1/2 pounds crawfish tails

  • 1 tablespoon of honey

  • 1/2 tablespoon of Louisiana hot sauce

  • 1/8 tbsp of oregano

  • 1/4 tablespoon of salt

  • 1/8 tbsp of each red and black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons of butter 

  1. Melt butter and brown chicken rolls

  2. Sauté onions and butter -three to four minutes

  3. Add crawfish and mushrooms, sauté 1 minute

  4. Add whipping cream, dry seasoning and chicken; simmer 10 minutes

  5. Add honey and hot sauce, simmer 2 minutes


New Orleans aka The Big Easy is known for food and fun.  It is where I went to mend a broken heart.


My friend, Renee, offered me use of her guest room, a shoulder to cry on  and a tour of New Orleans, its food culture and people that were bar none.  

Two recipes (crawfish stuffed chicken and shrimp trinity) are  meals that helped to lift my spirts. 


The recipes and note arrived in the mail after I returned home.  

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N'Awlins Shrimp Trinity



Frank's N'Awlins Shrimp Trinity

This is one of my first Gourmet Creations. It was done originally to be served over pasta as an Entree but since it can be transformed into at least three other recipes - a dip, a sauce, and a fondue hence the name Trinity regardless of how it served, it's magnificent.


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 lbs peeled and butterflied medium shrimp

  • 4 teaspoon finely chopped green onion

  • 4 cloves finally minced garlic

  • 1 pint heavy cream

  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme

  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet basil

  • 1/8 teaspoon oregano

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

  • Black olives to garnish

  • 1 lb precooked spaghetti (al dente)


  1. First take heavy aluminum 12-in where in the olive oil and heat it almost to the point of smoking 

  2. Now pay close attention to this step, drop in the shrimp and you want to make sure they are well drained- add stir fry them quickly until they start to bronze

  3. Immediately reduce the heat to medium and gently sauté the shrimp until the natural juices begin to render out, about 3 minutes or so but do not overcook 

  4. Next add the green onion and the garlic and saute them until the onion wilts slightly and the garlic just browns. Do not let it burn or it will become bitter 

  5. At this point remove the shrimp from the skillet and strain with slotted spoon.  Leave as much liquid as possible in the pan and set them (the mixture) aside in a bowl

  6. Increase the heat to high again we're in the heavy cream along with all of this dry seasonings and cook it at a quick bubbly until it thickens 

  7. Make sure you watch the pan and continue to stir as it cooks through because the cream has a tendency to boil over easy 

  8. When you're ready to eat, drop the shrimp in the Romano cheese into the pan and mix everything together

  9. Then drop in the pasta thoroughly coating each strand with the sauce and serve piping hot with black olives as garnish

  10. Make sure you have a lot aloof of either French or Italian bread for sopping 


Hint: if you mix this dish with Philadelphia brand cream cheese and whip it in a food processor you've got a great shrimp dip, if you thin out the dish with half and half and melt 8 oz of Velveeta cheese into it you've got a great fondue, in fact your variations are endless





Although I know how to cook lobsters, I very much enjoy taking a meandering car ride up-island to Menasha to see Stanley Larson, owner of Menemsha Fish Market, Stanley (pictured in the frame).  Stanley and his family are an institution in Menemsha.  They are known as a great fisherman and even better people.  Stanley's store The Menemsha Fish Market sells a sunset special dinner, which includes a lobster, stuffed quahogs (clam) and coleslaw. You can take the dinner to-go, walk to the beach and watch the sunset. I tell everyone who visits the vineyard that it's one of the things they have to put on their" to do" checklist.

My sister and I were once fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to harvest shellfish with Staley.  Over the years I have heard his wonderful tales of the sea while eating cup of lobster bisque.   He entrusted me with one of his recipes.  It remains covered and sealed in the frame on my wall.


Artichoke Barigoule



  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 6 artichoke hearts cut in large dice

  • 2 carrots thinly diced

  • 2 shallots finely diced

  • 2 stalks celery finally diced

  • 2 cloves garlic finely diced

  • Leaves from four sprigs of thyme

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 4 tablespoons minced parsley

  • Juice of one lemon

  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste 

  1. So take artichokes, carrots, shallots, celery, garlic and Thyme and hot olive oil until golden 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the artichokes 

  2. Deglaze pan with white wine, reduce heat and simmer until tender and liquid has been reduced to a sauce consistency 

  3. Squeeze on lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley


Over decades and throughout my career I have been honored to be invited to the White House on several occasions. Mostly for work and on few occasions as an invited guest for an event.


One of the most memorable events happened in 2011, when I snagged a ticket to the White House's annual spring garden tour. The tour allows visitors to have the opportunity to see the two formal gardens, the Rose Garden near the West Wing and the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden near the East Wing as well as the Kitchen Garden. 

Both as a gardener and a lover of food I was interested to see how the first family's kitchen garden was designed. I knew that a beehive had been integrated into the garden, which peaked my curiosity.


That visit was one of the few times while at the White House I didn't have to worry about work. Instead, I concentrated on something that gave me great joy --gardening and the food it produced. My admission ticket and the recipe (which is attributed to Michelle Obama), hangs on my kitchen wall as a reminder of that lovely day. 


Did you know?

"President John Adams planted the first vegetable garden on the White House grounds in 1797.  During World War II, First Lady "Eleanor Roosevelt planted a Victory Garden at the White House, encouraging all Americans to grow their own food to overcome supply shortages during the war. The White House Kitchen Garden was planted on the South Lawn by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2009. The 2,800 square foot garden provides locally-grown food for the first family and White House guests."-National Parks Department

Chicken Wings and Drumsticks




Dwayne's Dry Rub 


2 tablespoon of

  • paprika

  • garlic

  • onion powder

  • thyme

  • black pepper

  • cayenne pepper

  • ginger

  • cumin

  • brown sugar

1 tablespoons of

  • salt

  • basil

  • cinnamon


1/4 tablespoons 

  • cloves


  1. Mix ingredients, rub all over meat

  2. Let sit overnight

  3. Grill and cook slowly

  4. Add your own sauce or eat them as they are


Chef Dwayne Grayman was my mother's Godson and one of my first babysitters. I grew up eating his cooking. There are many things that Dwayne cooks that I enjoy. Even now the memory of some of his dinners makes my mouth water. However, there is one recipe in particular that I like to integrate with my own recipe. It's his dry rub, which now hangs on my wall.


I season my meat with the rub and then finish it with my own secret savory delicious cranberry BBQ sauce. 


Summer Avocado Salad

Avocado Salad


  • 1 Avocado 

  • 1 Red onion (medium) 

  • 1 Corn (can)

  • 1 Green pepper

  • Lime juice

  • Salt


Edgartown Hardware was a place I frequented while painting the interior of the house. I felt that they had not only a great selection of paints, but an expert paint matcher-- the manager Jonathan. 

Whenever I went to the store for paint brushes or any kind of hardware item, it seemed that a person was always leaving the paint department with a little Tupperware container of food.


One day while waiting at the counter for my paint to be mixed, my curiosity got the best of me.  I asked Jonathan what food he was doling out from behind the counter. He told me to wait a moment, then he disappeared into a back room behind a wall of paint. When Jonathan returned, he carried  a plastic cup filled with something and a fork. He handed it to me, smiled and announced that I was about to taste his world famous salad. I took a spoonful and had to admit it was very tasty. Jonathan's smile became even bigger as he told me to wait a minute. He then picked up a pen and a piece of paper from the counter and wrote down the six simple ingredients for his summer salad that now hang on my wall.



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The Horseshoe that hangs on the recipe wall was found inside the wall  above the fireplace where the TV now hangs.


The practice of burying or concealing items in the structure of a house is called immurement. It is  practice that cuts across many cultures and civilizations. 1800s New England was no exception. On Martha's Vineyard many homeowners have found everything from dolls, newspapers, coins, notes, pipes and in my case horseshoes in their walls.


Pie Crust

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  • 1 cup all-purpose

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp sugar

  • Combine 1/3 cup Crisco and 1 tbsp butter, add to dry ingredients and blend with pastry blender, or use hand mixer until crumbly

  • Add 2 tablespoons cold water until dough forms into ball- roll, cut, etc.

  • Pour your sweet potato pie mixture into crust

  • Place in oven at 425 for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


One of my college roommates made a great sweet potato pie. Every Christmas  for years after graduation she would mail one to my dad. The pie would come via the US postal system in a brown box with a twine bow and land in the welcome hands of my father. 

Years after college graduation she gave me both the recipe for her delicious crust and the sweet potato filling. Her filling was delicious, but the crust sublime and so its recipe hangs on my wall. Even with the recipe I think it takes a certain kind of magic to make a perfect pie crust.


Horseshoe Crab 




Horseshoe crabs have been around for more than 300 million years, making them even older than dinosaurs. There are four species of horseshoe crabs still around today. Only one species, Limulus polyphemus, is found in North America along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Maine to Mexico. The other three species are found in Southeast Asia.


The crab will grow an entirely new shell underneath the old shell. When the new shell is ready, the old shell is split in front and the horseshoe crab wiggles out of the old shell.  While they are growing, they molt about 17 times to get to full size. After they are fully grown they will molt once a year. Horseshoe crabs can live to be twenty years old. Therefore they will molt a maximum of 36 times in their life, leaving their molted (old) shells on the beach and in the sea grass. The shell on the wall was found on Ink Well Beach in Oak Bluffs.


Horseshoe crabs like to dine at night on worms and clams, and may also eat algae.


"Their eggs are the major food source for shorebirds migrating north, including the federally-threatened red knot. Additionally, horseshoe crabs are extremely important to the biomedical industry because their unique, copper-based blue blood contains a substance called "Limulus Amebocyte Lysate", or "LAL". This compound coagulates or clumps up in the presence of small amounts of bacterial toxins and is used to test for sterility of medical equipment and virtually all injectable drugs. That way, when you get a vaccine you know it hasn’t been contaminated by any bacteria.  Anyone who has had an injection, vaccination, or surgery has benefited from horseshoe crabs!" Crabs are not hurt in the extraction process.  They are returned to the ocean after small amounts of their blood is extracted. 

Wine Bottles

Wine to Try 

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Red Wine
Wine to try

STORY is where the modern world meets etiquette.  The card on the wall was a handout from one of the Shances Wine 101 classes. Take a look at some of the other Shances classes and events.


Blueberry Crepes

Places to Eat

Places to eat


These two post cards are from two places on-island run by incredible people.


Chef and owner of Art Cliffs Diner in Vineyard Haven Gina Stanley is a veteran in the culinary world before running her legendary diner. Chef Stanley worked in various prestigious kitchens including the Blair House and the official guest residence of the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Renowned baker, businesswoman, and member of the Wampanoag Nation, Julian Vanderhoop has mastered baking techniques. Buttery scones, mouth-watering pizza and organic hand farmed honey are among the treats you will find at her Orange Peel Bakery in Aquinnah.

Whiskey Glass Up Close

Whiskey & Whisky 

Whiskey With Ice


The Vineyard draws many companies and brands hoping to bring exposure to their products.  Uncle Nearest was one stand out. It was under a billowing white tent at Farm Neck Golf Club, amongst delicious canapes and beautifully dressed people that I was introduced to this iconic brand. There is such a rich story behind Uncle Nearest brand whiskey.  In short, Nathan "Nearest" Green, a former slave who taught Jack Daniel distilling in the 1800s. Find out more 

Whiskey with an "e"  or whisky without an "e"  ---What's the difference?  Find the answer here: Video


Blue Cheese


What's On The Wall

How do you play the blues? 

Type of blue cheese: Stilton (England) 
Flavor profile: Cow's milk; spicy and creamy 
Classic pairing: With right Pairs and port wine 
Heavenly marriage: Compound butter over beef steak 
Our favorite: Drizzled with orange blossom honey


Type of blue cheese: Gorgonzola Dolce (Italy) 
Flavor profile: Cow's milk; very creamy 
Classic pairing: In cream sauce for fettuccine 
Heavenly marriage: On prosciutto and arugula sandwich 

Our favorite: Butter cookies in apricot preserves 


Type of blue cheese: Oregon blue (USA) 
Flavor profile: Cow's milk; subtle and smooth; not too sharp
Classic pairing: With Iceberg or butter lettuce 
Heavenly marriage: In a dip for hot wings 
Our favorite: Thyme and roasted butternut squash 


Type of blue cheese: Blue Auvergne (France) 
Are flavor profile; cow's milk;
Classic pairing: On a warm baguette 
Heavenly marriage: In tossed salad with beets pears and walnuts 
Our favorite: In mashed or baked potatoes with sour cream 

Type of blue cheese: Roquefort (France) 
Flavor profile: Sheep's milk; flavor
Classic pairing: In endive salad with walnuts 
Heavenly marriage: In mushroom quiche or omelet 
Our favorite: On raisin nut bread with sweet wine 

Type of blue cheese: Cabrales (Spain) 
Labor profile: Sheep, and goat milk; and spicy
Classic pairing: With figs 
Heavenly marriage: On toasted bread with marcona almonds 
Our favorite: With sweet onion marmalade or chutney 

Type of blue cheese: Shropshire Blue (England) 
Flavor profile: Cow's milk strong distinctive flavor 
Classic pairing: With water crackers and grapes 
Heavenly marriage: Over hot tart apple pie 
Our favorite: On a sandwich with pate, add pickled onions 

Type of blue cheese: Crater Lake Blue (USA) 
Our flavor profile: Cow's milk; complex and mild 
Classic pairing: With sliced apples 
Heavenly marriage: Salad with avocado, chicken and bacon 
Our favorite: Bruschetta with pecans and honey


I was in search of the perfect cheese platter and didn't want to go downtown to Murray's. So I stumbled into the Whole Foods on Columbus Circle in Manhattan  with the hope of finding something. It was there that I met Roberta, a 20-something year-old African American cheesemonger.


Roberta and I talked about cheese, crackers, wine, salami and fruit for about 20 minutes before she told me to hold on a second. She turned around, reached behind a scale, picked up a card and handed it to me.  The card, which now hangs on my wall, was entitled "How do you play the blues?" It listed eight blue cheeses and perfect pairings--according to Whole Foods.   I took the card and Roberta told me her favorite pairing was caveman blue cheese with Bonnies Jams hot pepper jelly. 

I would often go to Whole Foods Friday after work and pick up a cheese board made by Roberta for a party I was throwing that weekend. Soon caveman blue cheese with Bonnie Jams hot pepper jelly became one of my favorite snacks.


When I had a party I would buy phyllo cups, fill them with blue cheese and a dollop of the hot pepper jelly. They would be served in conjunction with my goat cheese and pesto phyllo cups. Both were always a big hit. 


As for Roberta, she left Whole Foods--their loss.  I never got to tell her thanks for all of the great cheese she served up. 

Blue cheese


These two post cards are from two places on-island run by incredible people.


Chef and owner of Art Cliffs Diner in Vineyard Haven Gina Stanley is a veteran in the culinary world before running her legendary diner. Chef Stanley worked in various prestigious kitchens including the Blair House and the official guest residence of the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Renowned baker, businesswoman, and member of the Wampanoag Nation, Julian Vanderhoop has mastered baking techniques. Buttery scones, mouth-watering pizza and organic hand farmed honey are among the treats you will find at her Orange Peel Bakery in Aquinnah.