Starting from Scratch: Cooking and Entertaining Made Simple is the culmination of my journey toward being an excellent cook and entertainer. My husband, Brian, whom I’ve been married to since I was nineteen, is my biggest cheerleader, but he used to affectionately joke that I “burnt the salad.” With his encouragement and my voracious appetite to improve, I began doing the opposite of what seemed natural: entertaining as much as I had time for and attending as many cooking classes as I could find. My Cuisinart was my best friend in those early years because time was limited with my job at an attorney’s office. Despite my full schedule, I savored my weekends, which were spent hosting dinner parties that were known for their beautiful tablescapes and delicious food.
I immigrated to the United States from South Africa in the 1980s, bringing my love for entertaining and food with me. I opened a food-basket business and later a successful catering company.
Fast forward several years, a friend asked me to host a cooking class for her and her newlywed friends. I obliged and continued those lessons for years. The rest, as they say, is history. Starting from Scratch began as a simple collection of my favorite recipes, bound in a book for my daughter-in-law as a bridal shower gift, but the requests for copies poured in. Despite a multiple myeloma* diagnosis and a few year hiatus, my heart has always been in taking my original cookbook to the next level. It’s a can’t-miss reference for any novice in the kitchen who is inspired to learn to create delicious meals and be the exceptional host. The recipes inside are a carefully curated collection of my favorites from over the years.
Congratulations on taking the first step on your own culinary journey. I hope that Starting from Scratch: Cooking and Entertaining Made Simple leads you to a lifetime of unforgettable memories around the table.
*A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this cookbook will go toward multiple myeloma research.