Award-winning Chef Phyllis Segura has cooked for people in all walks of life both in the U.S. and E.U. After entertaining and cooking for many years in her own residence she decided to cook for others.

Chef Phyllis had previous careers as a magazine founder, textile designer and painter. 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 Chef Phyllis cooks daily fare for private clients and instructs and offers cooking demonstrations regularly. She specializes in weekday meals, small elegant dinner parties, and intimate dinners - plated or buffet, and cooking lessons. As of September 2013 she is offering cooking classes in her home kitchen (and cookbook library) in Spencertown, NY- Columbia County.

The chef prepares a wide variety of cuisines. (Whereas a restaurant chef might have a specialty that is served daily, a Personal Chef applies their skills to the requirements and tastes of their clients.)

Vegetarian, Vegan, Macrobiotic, Kosher, grain-free, dairy-free, blood type, diabetic and other special diets are available. Chef prefers to use organic, pesticide and antibiotic free, and local products as much as possible. Consultations with nutritionists are recommended for special needs.

Chef Phyllis has been cooking for special people since 2000. References and a rate sheet are available.

Send her an email: info@cookingontheriver.com

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Tuesday, October 07, 2014



I'll be doing a Cooking Demo at the Saugerties Farmers' Market this Saturday, October 11th, at 11AM. I'm giving out recipes for a Mushroom, Blue Cheese, Fennel Galette, and for an Autumn Persimmon and Pear Salad with a Ginger Vinaigrette. Stop by and see what I'll be making from gathering vegetables from the farmers who sell there.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Last night I spoke with my sister who lives in Florida and usually gets together with her friends for Rosh Hashonah. She was having twelve friends for dinner and they were all bringing something. They seem to stick to the traditional eastern European style of cuisine for these events. The foods from that time were based on the hearty fare of the cold weather that had undoubtedly started by then and to feed those hearty souls who farmed the land. Somehow that became the tradition in the US. In Israel the foods are now different and more Mediterranean and I’ve been told they shun the eastern European traditional foods.

My sister was making a chicken dish recommended by David Leibovitz with shallots. It sounded interesting so I took a look and found it online. I had a chicken in the fridge. I’ve been purchasing the Halal chickens at my local supermarket. The process they use is the same as kosher and the products are much less expensive. I found them to be really good and very clean with no bloodiness. They made a really good chicken soup that was very clear. I was impressed. I wanted a dish with lemon and honey. I have some Sumac, a berry with a lemony flavor, I seem to have purchased a couple of times forgetting that I already had some! Now I want to use it every chance I get. It’s red and looks a lot like chili or paprika.

Here is the recipe I came up with:


3 lemons
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoon honey
4-5 sprigs rosemary, leaves only
1 leek, white part only, thin sliced
1 garlic clove, thin sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
sea salt & black pepper
2 tablespoon Sumac
potatoes, peeled and chunks
1 chicken, cut into 12 parts – 2 wings, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 breasts cut in 2 parts, back cut in 2 parts
3 T chopped parsley

Oven 425

Juice 2 lemons. Put into pan with the butter, honey, rosemary, garlic, and soy sauce and leave until the butter is just melted. Stir and put aside.

Put the cut up chicken into a roasting pan toss with salt and pepper and Sumac.  Pour the butter sauce over and toss with your hands. Toss in the leek slices. Cut the 3rd lemon into small wedges and place them between the chicken parts along with the chunks of potatoes.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes then turn the pieces over. Roast another 30 minutes until the chicken is well browned.

Sprinkle and toss with the parsley, some more Sumac and a finishing flurry of salt.

You can make this recipe your own by varying some of the components. Perhaps a different herb or no herbs at all, olive oil instead of butter, and so on. You can’t go wrong as long as you use a lavish amount of seasonings. If you don’t have a leek, use an onion, or shallots. No potatoes? Leave them out.




I have been storing my spices in these round metal containers with a clear covering on top. I bought them in a dollar store and the tops stay on very firmly. In my new place there are few drawers to store them. So I bought some magnets and glued them on to the bottoms of the containers, some required more than one magnet. It's a great solution. You do have to use some sense of awareness that they are there. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Greetings. After an imposed move out of Spencertown, NY and a journey to Nova Scotia (details to come) I have settled in Saugerties, NY along the Esopus Creek. Do I change the name of Cooking on the River to Cooking on the Creek? Maybe so. Fresh start and all of that.

There are actually picnic benches and grilling pits in the Waterfront Park. I could begin some classes there until it gets too cold and windy. That could be fun.

The possibility of holding cooking classes in my home kitchen is gone. I did enjoy doing it but finding a suitable location has been a deterrent. Right now I have to think about what the next steps will be. I am certainly going to continue working on my cookbook that shows you how to use the principles of meditation in the preparation of food. Further work as a personal and private chef in this area: Saugerties/Woodstock/Kingston is a possibility. Reminds me that I need to change the information on my web page. So many details.

Next week I will post some photos from the Saugerties Farm Market as I try to settle in to my new home location...along the creek. I'll be making a Summer Berry Pudding to bring to a gathering in Woodstock. It's one of those super unctuous things and it's the right moment for making it. I'll be gathering strawberries, raspberries and blueberries this week...well from the store.

If you have friends in this area have them join this blog.

Tonight and tomorrow night the Arm of the Sea puppet theater is performing in the park. I've got a great seat from my window. The crickets and frogs have been giving them some audible competition. The puppets and sets are sensational.

Monday, January 27, 2014



I learned to make Ribollita when I was studying in Florence. It’s a Tuscan soup. The name means reboiled. Usually some day old bread is added when it’s reboiled and then baked in the oven. I just made an approximation today. Maybe tomorrow I will add some bread. This soup does not take long to make as it’s done as soon as the vegetables are cooked. Usually I make this totally vegetarian but I’d made some beef stock the other day so I used it in this soup.

The weather outside is frightful but after eating this soup I feel happy inside and well nourished.


Olive oil
2 carrots, small dice
2-3 stalks celery with leaves, small dice
1 shallot, small dice
1 small red onion, small dice
1 large garlic clove, small dice
2 cups sliced cabbage, any kind
1 carrot, cut in coins
1-1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 quart stock or water
1 stalk rosemary, leaves chopped
3-4 stems fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 potato with skin, large cubes
1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, chopped
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
3-4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
black pepper from a mill
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a medium sized soup pot, heat. 

Add the carrots, celery, shallot and onion and sauté until the vegetables are softened but not browned, adding a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir occasionally. 

Add the garlic, sauté 3 minutes. 

Add the cabbage, sauté 5 minutes. 

Pour in the crushed tomatoes and stock. Add another pinch of salt and pepper. 

Add the herbs: rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves. 

Let the soup cook for about 5 minutes, then add the potato. Let cook for 3 minutes then stir in the kale. 

Put half the cannellini beans in a bowl with a little bit of water and puree either with an immersion blender or standing blender. Stir the puree into the soup. 

When everything is cooked through add the rest of the whole cannellini beans and chickpeas. 

Bring to a boil and stir in the parsley. 

Taste to see if you need to add another pinch or two of salt and pepper. 

Put into bowls to serve and sprinkle with a generous amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

[The next class at The Red Door Cooking Workshop and Library in Spencertown, NY is on February 11th. We will be making Gratins. Go to www.reddoorcookingworkshop.blogspot.com for a complete listing. I look forward to hosting you.]

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Corn Pudding For Your Thanksgiving 2013


1 package frozen white peg corn, or fresh yellow corn*
1-1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk, or whole cow's milk
2 whole roasted garlic bulbs**
3 whole eggs
1 yolk
2T melted ghee, cooled

Preheat oven to 350F

Process all ingredients. Bake in a greased dish until slightly brown on top and custard is set. About 30 minutes.

*Avoid using genetically-modified varieties.

**To roast garlic: Cut the top off whole bulb exposing the separate cloves in configuration. Observe and admire the cluster. Place into a sheet of aluminum foil.  Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle olive oil on top. Close packet by crinkling the foil together. Place in oven for about 30 minutes. To use in the recipe: cool briefly and squeeze the melted garlic out of the bulb into the rest of the ingredients. Breath in the aromas.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

scroll down for the schedule.

This is the blog for Phyllis Segura as well.
I will be posting more recipes here but I will leave the schedule at
the above blog. The way that blogs work, as I am sure you know, is
that you put the most recent information at the top. If I do that you
won't be able to find the cooking workshop schedule easily.

Come join me in a cooking class really soon. I look forward to meeting
you and having fun in the kitchen.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


826 State Route 203 #4, Spencertown, NY 12165


Welcome to The Red Door. Come back to home cooking and eating unprocessed foods. Join Chef Instructor Phyllis Segura:

Farmer’s Markets are available until the end of October.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8 – 6 to 8PM SAVING SUMMER’S BOUNTY-1   Brandied Fruits, Eggplant and Butternut Squash Caponata, Preserved Lemons.  Saving tomatoes. Putting sunshine in a jar.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13 - 3 to 5 PM  ALL-VEGETABLES  Cannellini Beans with garlic and sage; Yellow Lentils and Chickpeas with onion, mustard, turmeric and lemon juice; Green Beans with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, parsley; Grilled Eggplant with sumac, mint, parsley, olive oil.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22 - 6 to 8 PM  SAVING SUMMER’S BOUNTY-2   Techniques of pickling and fermenting: cucumbers, beets, cabbage. Dehydrating and Freezing.  Compound butters.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 273 to 5 PM  CHICKEN AND DUCK  Lyon-style Chicken and Vinegar, Duck with Spice Dust and Cherry Sauce

Daylight savings time begins on Nov 3rd.  Thanksgiving is Thursday, Nov 28 and Hanukah begins Wednesday, Nov 27.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6 –6 to 8 PM  CHINESE TAKE-OUT & STIR-FRYING  We will make dishes you can make at home better than take-out. Kung Pao Chicken, Tomato Beef. Greens

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 93 to 5 PM   MOROCCAN-INSPIRED & TAGINES   Chicken with Olives and Preserved Lemon, Chermoula Sauce

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 126 to 8 PM    SAVORY & SWEET CREPES   Crepes are simple to make and can be frozen. We’ll make the classic Crepe Suzettes, as well as Savory Crepes with Artichoke and Spinach, and Sweet Crepes with Banana and Nutella, Strawberry fillings.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 173 TO 5:30 PM   THE CONTEMPLATIVE KITCHEN  Applying principles of meditation to the preparation of food. Various steamed Dumplings: Momos.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 266 to 8 PM   POTATO, ZUCCHINI OR CARROT PANCAKES  We’ll be frying, tasting and freezing these.

Dec 21st - First Day of Winter.  New Classes begin in January 2014.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3 - 6 to 8:30 PM  CLASSIC APPETIZERS  Bagna Cauda, Blini, Pissaladiere, Fried Mozzarella Balls with Prosciutto

Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto, Winter Salad with Poppyseed Vinaigrette, Marscarpone Stuffed Poached Pears


Classic Ribollita, Black Bean, and Chicken Egg Drop.  A class can be added for creating Basic Stocks.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20 - 6 to 8 PM COOKING WITH BEER  Beer and Cream Scalloped Potatoes, Beef Carbonade, Beer and Cheddar Soup

·       All classes are geared to the students level. Classes are limited to 4 people. Once a class is full an additional date can be added if there are 4 people. Advanced classes can be scheduled. Teens welcome.

·       All times are suggestions and can be custom altered. For private groups of four a specific date can be arranged.

·       Class fees for 3-4 are $45, plus a $5 supply fee, per person, unless otherwise indicated. Bring a knife and apron.

·       Private classes are available for 1 or 2 people. Class fee is $70, plus a $5 supply fee, per person.

·       All classes include take home recipes and eating what you made! The library is on the premises.
Be entertained! Cook, laugh and learn together!

REGISTER: 518-392-1947/845-653-1145
email: phylseg@gmail.com


826 State Route 203, #4, Spencertown, NY 12165

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