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, March 25, 2016




We'll explore the options of a diabetic-friendly pantry and an unprocessed food diet with many plant-based options. The recipes are geared to spring ingredients with new potatoes, asparagus, chicken tostadas, a couple of fish recipes and the use of fresh herbs and spices. All quick and delicious. For the second session you'll pick ingredients you want to use and we'll create some personal favorites.

Bring an apron, your favorite knife, a container or two and a kitchen towel.
Class fee $69 plus $20 food fee payable to instructor

Two sessions April 23rd & 30th

Maximum students: 10

Where: Ulster Boces, 319 Broadway (9W), Port Ewen, NY
Call to register: 845-331-5050

Wednesday, March 09, 2016


This is a classic found in Thai restaurants. Once you have the ingredients it’s fairly simple to combine. I put it into the category of an infusion as it’s almost like making tea. You add all the ingredients together and add the chicken and mushrooms. I like to keep the lemongrass pieces in when serving. People unfamiliar with them might need to be told not to chew and swallow. The same for the ginger though you can chew and swallow. You can make this soup as spicy as you like or not at all.


1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
13.5 oz chicken broth or water
1 lemongrass stalk, cut in 1-inch pieces
6 thin slices fresh ginger or galangal
¼-1/2 pound boneless/skinless chicken, breast or thigh, bite-sized pieces
1 cup white or shiitake mushrooms, thin sliced
1 zest of one lime or 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice, or more to taste
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (nam pla), or more to taste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon red Thai chili paste, or more to taste
1 small red or green Thai chilies or 1 jalapeno, thin sliced diagonally, seeds removed
1 green onion, thin sliced
fresh cilantro leaves

Lemongrass: bottom one is peeled of the outer stalk.
Array of ingredients: Cut lemongrass, cut mushrooms, fish sauce,
Thai red chili paste, sugar, cilantro
Don't forget the ginger!
Two Thai red chilis sliced diagonally, seeds removed.
lime and lime zest

Add a can of Coconut Milk and water to a saucepan.
Whisk the Coconut Milk and water together while gently heating.

Combine and stir the coconut milk and broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Add the lemongrass and ginger. Infuse for about a minute.

Add the lime zest, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, chili paste and mix well. Let infuse for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and chicken. Poach for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Add the Thai chilis. Add a pinch of salt. Taste to see if it needs more salt or chili!

Serve garnished with the green onion and fresh cilantro leaves.

To make a heartier soup add vegetables like zucchini or carrots that are thinly sliced. Or add cellophane rice noodles that have been soaked in warm water for about 15 minutes. Or, serve with a side of brown or jasmine rice.

Soup with lemongrass and ginger added.
Stir the soup.

Add the lime zest, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and chili paste.
Then add the mushrooms.

Add the chicken meat (or turkey) to poach.
Finished soup, garnished with cilantro leaves and lemongrass.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


I'm offering a few classes soon at Ulster BOCES in Port Ewen, each for a very reasonable fee. Chances are you would take some food home. You have to register for these classes in advance. www.ulsterboces.org, 845-331-5050. The classes only run if there are a sufficient number of people to take them - at least 6 but no more than 10.

(I'd like to find other available places as well for teaching cooking around the Saugerties/Woodstock/Kingston area. Private classes in your home are available.)

Meanwhile see if any of these are of interest:

SOUPS – 1 session
March 19
Saturday 11AM to 2PM

Everyone loves soup. Here is a chance to learn hot to make some international favorites from scratch. Class will be mixed hands-on and demonstration. We will make Corn Chowder, Carrot Ginger, Cream of Tomato, Chicken Coconut, and a Quick Onion Soup.
Bring an apron, your favorite knife, a container and kitchen towel.
Class fee: $35 plus $15 food fee payable to instructor.

April 23 & 30
Saturday 11AM to 2PM

We’ll explore the options of a diabetic-friendly pantry and an unprocessed food diet with many plant-based options. Recipes geared to spring ingredients with new potatoes, asparagus, chicken tostadas, a couple of fish recipes, the use of fresh herbs and spices, all quick and delicious. For the second session you’ll pick ingredients you want to use and we’ll create some personal favorites.
Bring an apron, your favorite knife, a container and kitchen towel.
Class fee: $69, plus $20 food fee payable to instructor.

May 14 & 21
Saturday 11AM to 2PM

The world of pancakes is very varied. We’ll take an international journey using pancakes as our theme. We’ll make Chinese Scallion or Wild Ramp Pancakes, Florentine Crespelle with spinach and ricotta in a tomato sauce, Lime Pancakes, Matzo Brei, German Apple Pancake, and Buckwheat Blini. If time allows we’ll also make some Potato Pancakes, Moroccan Beghrir, and Lentil cakes.
Bring an apron, your favorite knife, a container and kitchen towel.
Class fee: $69, plus $20 food fee payable to instructor.

Saturday, February 06, 2016


Broasted Chicken

A special technique for cooking a chicken quickly. Marinate then broil placing the chicken low in the oven, not right under the broiler. 

Use a whole chicken it’s more economical and you’ll be eating just one chicken. If you purchase chicken already cut up it’s usually from different chickens. (Some people ask if they can use all breast meat and boneless. I would not recommend that for this recipe.) 

Cut it up into about 6-8 pieces depending on the size. First remove the backbone using shears or a cleaver. Then cut in half down the soft breastbone. Next, cut off the egg/thigh. Next, the breast with the wing attached and cut the breast in half. 

It’s okay to cut off the wing separately.
The raw chicken cut up.

Create a marinade. I like to use about ¼-1/2 cups soy sauce, depending upon the size of the chicken, add about 6 cloves of garlic roughly cut or grated – your choice. 

Add about 2 inches of chopped fresh ginger. 

Optional additions are about 1tablespoon roasted sesame oil, a few star anise, and a couple of whole chili peppers.

The chicken pieces with marinade in plastic bag. Refrigerate 3 hours to 2 days.

Place it all, chicken and marinade, into a plastic bag then seal the bag and move the chicken pieces around so they are all coated. Refrigerate from 3 hours to 2 days. The longer the better. I usually take it out at least once to move the pieces around.

Chicken pieces ready to cook. Marinade removed.

When ready to cook prepare a sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place an oven rack way down at the bottom of the oven and preheat the broiler. 

Shake off the marinade from the chicken and place the pieces skin side up on the pan. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil. 

Place the pan with the chicken on the low rack. Close the oven door.

Add caption
Chicken in the oven.

Let it broast until you see it browning and bubbling, between 10 and 15 minutes should do it. 

Then take the pan out and turn the chicken pieces over. Return to the oven and broast about another 10 minutes. 

Turn the oven off. You can leave the chicken in the oven for about another 10 minutes if you like. Then remove the chicken.

Chicken after about 15 minutes. Take out and turn over.

Chicken cooked after turning over.

Serve it hot or room temperature. Top with cut green onion pieces and a sprinkle of lightly toasted sesame seeds. I like the unhulled seeds mixed white and black together.

The chicken remains very juicy using this method and cooks very quickly. I think you’ll like it.


Thursday, August 27, 2015


Here is an old list of items I offered for the Jewish New Year.  If you are interested in my cooking for you take a look. If not, it's still an interesting list. Which of these items do you make or like? I would add a plum cake and an apple cake to the list.


 A - A P P E T I Z E R S                       

Chopped Chicken Liver
Vegetarian Chopped Liver (V)
Chickpea Hummus (V)
Eggplant Salad (V)
Gefilte Fish
Pickled Salmon
Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Chicken Fricassee
            with Meat balls
Sweet & Sour Stuffed Cabbage (M or V)

B - S O U P            1 Quart serves 2-3               
Chicken Noodle or Matzo Ball   
Chicken with Kreplach               
Sweet & Sour Borscht (V)
Tomato with Israeli Couscous
Mushroom Barley (V)

C - C A R R O T S  & other cold salads

Honeyed Carrots
Carrot Salad w/ Honey & Lemon Vinaigrette
Carrot & Raisin Salad
Moroccan Carrot Salad with Preserved Lemon
Cucumber with Dill
Chinois Chopped Salad  (a la Puck)
Fresh Berry Terrine (Cold Gelatin Mold) 

D - T Z I M M E S               1 Quart serves 4 
Prune & Honey with Farfel (V)
Carrot & Apple (V)
Mixed Fruit (V)
Sweet Potato & Prune (V)
Carrot & Dried Fruits (V)
Sweet Potato & Brisket

E - K U G E L                               1 serves 6
Pineapple & Noodle
Noodle & Cheese
Leek, Spinach, Zucchini

F - F I S H                                  Whole Fish            
Sweet & Sour Fish - carp, whitefish, pike or salmon
Baked Whitefish
Whole Snapper with tomato, pine nuts, etc.
Baked Salmon

G - V E G E T A B L E                         
Vegetable Cutlet            
Assorted Stuffed Vegetables 
            Apricot & Couscous
            Meat & Apricots
            Barley or Quinoa or Rice
Baked Lima Beans or Pureed with Garlic & Cumin (V)
Chickpeas -caraway, turmeric, cardamom, saffron (V)
Assorted Vegetable with Chickpeas & Raisins (V)
Carrot Pudding (V)

H - M E A T                             

Lamb Tagine with Prunes & Almonds
Lamb Tagine with Honey & Prunes
Lima Bean & Lamb Cholent
Lima Beans, Brisket & Barley
Chicken with Honey, Orange & Ginger
Pomegranate & Walnut Chicken
Brisket with Caramelized Onions
Roasted Chicken with Grape Juice
Herb-roasted Chicken
Honey-roasted Chicken with Farfel Stuffing
Roast Goose
Roast Duck with Oranges or Apples
Sweet & Sour Tongue