I am a home cook that specializes in cleaning up your kitchen pantry so you can stock it with great food for yourself and your family. I love the challenge of cooking with fresh, mostly organic ingredients that taste amazing and make people feel great! I love to use all the colors and textures to create a remarkable culinary experience. I specialize in simple, beautiful recipes that highlight the flavor of food and balance the complexity of different tastes. I've been cooking for more than 25 years for family and friends. I love delicous food and its such a gift for me to feed my family this way. I love throwing dinner parties and brunches. I love gifting people with culinary creations. You can check out Gourmet Mama on facebook @gourmetmamanj.
I deeply enjoy the creative process, the mechanics of cooking, but also its cathartic for me to be in the kitchen. It clears my mind and settles my soul. My perfect day is a Sunday afternoon meal prepping in the kitchen and having the football games on with my family lounging around. As food is finished I bring it out to a hungry audience! I also love to make a special meal for dinner those days. It just says love to me.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
I always like to find out how comfortable they are in the kitchen already. Do they cook at all? What kind of things do they like to prepare? Are they interested in refining their kitchen supplies and pantry or are they mostly interested in just learning the basics. I am a big fan of clean, whole food kitchens using simple ingrediens to create big flavor.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I was an educator and museum director for many years. I actually taught a kids cooking class as a local kitchen store called Kitchen Capers. I also have taught many of my friends and family how to cook.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
When I taught at Kitchen Capers it was $12.50 per week, per child. Online I will offer classes for $5 per or a series of 5 for $19.99.
How did you get started teaching?
I've been a natural educator my whole life. Working in museums for 25 years helped hon my skills and also taught me techinques that engage students in a hands on way. I was a science teacher so cooking was always an easy way to give kids basic science concepts and examples of chemical reactions without a laboratory.
What types of students have you worked with?
I've worked with both children and adults. Children are great training because they literally know nothing about food and cooking for the most part. It really gave me an opportunity to take nothing for granted and also make sure I give them enough information to succeed.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I just catered a funeral luncheon and when I walked in with the food the gentelman said "oh, is this the healthy, no gluten, no dairy, no whatever stuff my sister insisted on?" I said "yes, but no one will have any idea its healthy. I hope you taste it." Of course I got a message a few hours later that everyone was raving about the food and can she give out my number. I love when that happens.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Feeding your body and your family clean food can be transformational. It is literally what creates your body and the building blocks for overall health. I know that sounds boring but honestly is can completely change your life, your health, your mood, your finances, your relationships and overall outlook on life. It helps you sleep better. It helps you heal. The best part is that its food. Everyone loves food. Its the universal language.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
What do you want to learn how to cook? Why?