Posted in Nerd Adventures

This sharpener will change your life: meet the Work Sharp Culinary’s Work Sharp E5 Electric Kitchen Knife Sharpener

I’ll be the first to admit I have been a long time skeptic of knife sharpeners. They promise so much and in the end you just feel like you are going through the tedious motions of swiping your knife over and over again to achieve mediocre results. As a professional chef you are taught that the only acceptable way to sharpen your knives is with a wet stone. While stones are effective, they are intimidating and a pain. Is the angle right? Is the stone stable? There is inevitably a bit of a mess too. I end up always procrastinating when it comes to sharpening my knives and hate it because dull knives are dangerous and suck.

So, you can imagine that I was skeptical when I received an email from a knife sharpening company, asking if I would like to try out one of their sharpeners. I was so skeptical in fact that I asked the sharpener to be sent to my parents in NYC. Surely it wasn’t good enough to replace my stone. I’d try it out and then leave it with them.

Then the Work Sharp Culinary’s Work Sharp E5 Electric Kitchen Knife Sharpener arrived. The packaging already set the tone that it was different from the others. My father and I unwrapped it and set it up. The directions were pretty straight forward.  Let me preface by saying my father has knives that haven’t been properly sharpened in years. Within 90 seconds these dull virtually unusable knives were reborn. The process of running the knives through the automatic sharpener was so easy that my father became giddy and started digging through every last old knife he could find to sharpen. It was like magic.

sharpner 2.jpg

It also became immediately apparent that I couldn’t leave my new favorite toy with my loving but unworthy parents. Luckily the sharpener is fairly lightweight and small, so I tucked it away in my suitcase to bring home and promised to bring my WorkSharp Sharpener back to them in New York for the holidays.

And for chef’s with a collection of Eastern and Western knives, don’t fret! They have accessory attachments for all of your needs.

So bye bye stone: you’ll make an excellent door stop.

If you want to learn more, check out their site:

This is going to be my new go-to wedding gift for the friends I love and maybe, just maybe even my parents.

Posted in Nerd Adventures

Why I went Misen

When I was 25 and in culinary school, I was gifted the most beautiful damascus Kikuichi knife. At the time I was attending school in the evenings and working unpaid for a food start up accelerator during the day. I worked for the accelerator for four months before I decided that my teachings from school would be better honed if I started working in a kitchen. The Kikuichi knife was my prized parting gift, their token of thanks for my time with them.

For a while, I would only look at it as it sat in its box. At $350 a pop, that knife was the most expensive tool in my kitchen and I was afraid of using it.  I had just learned the basics of knife sharpening and was intimidated by its Japanese blade. Finally after working at a two Michelin star restaurant for several months, I decided it was time and I started using it. I  eventually became accustomed to my knife but still treated it delicately. No one else could use it. No one else could clean it. It was my special chef’s knifefullsizeoutput_e.

Flash forward a few years. I quit my job at the restaurant and started working as a private chef, food writer and culinary consultant. While checking my favorite industry Facebook group, Toklas Society for Women in Food & Hospitality, I came across a post about a new kind of chef’s knife.  Their rep described it as “a beautiful, incredible chef’s knife for an honest price.” I was intrigued. A chef’s knife priced at $65? I was expecting something a notch above Ikea quality.

When we met a week later and she showed me the knife, I was impressed. It had a good weight and balance. Seemed pretty comfortable. Ok, I thought, it’s worth a try. If anything, it’s always good to have an extra “work horse” knife in the kitchen.  For $65, why not?

A few weeks later my knife arrived in the mail. At first I’d take turns, using my Kikuichi and then Misen. Just like shoes, knives can take a little while to break in and get used to.  But soon I found myself instinctively reaching for the Misen. It had a better weight than my Kikuichi and held its edge longer. Note that I hate sharpening knives and so the longer I can go without doing it the better. My Kikiuchi would irritate my finger if I used it for prolonged periods of time. With my Misen I felt as though I could chop forever.

Today my Kikiuchi snugly sits in my knife block and only sees sunlight if I have a friend come over to cook.  My Misen barely makes it back in, as it’s usually atop my cutting board. As my friends begin to get married and set up their homes, it’s the number tool I recommend for their kitchen. Because even if they can afford to splurge on a $300+ knife, why bother? I tell them to save it for a nice blender or stand mixer. The Misen chef’s knife (and pairing and bread knife) is all they will need.   Because at the end of the day, you want your kitchen and its components to reflect you. And with its lack of fuss and pretense, its user-friendlyness and reliability, the Misen knife is 100% me.

Check them out for yourself Misen.

Posted in Nerd Adventures

Brunch like a Champ

For the second installment of the Berkeley Cooking Class Series, by popular demand: BRUNCH!

Sunday November 19th, 2017 @ 11 am

The Menu:

Eggs Benedict (or Kale & Mushroom Florentine)

Classic Hollandaise, Poached Eggs, English Muffin & Canadian Bacon or Kale

Market Green Salad

Classic Vinaigrette 

Yogurt Parfaits

Homemade Maple Pecan Granola, Stewed Berries, Chia & Greek Yogurt

Mimosas & OJ

You will learn how to:

  • Poach an egg
  • Make hollandaise sauce (impress that special someone waking up to you the next day)
  • Make a basic vinaigrette (once you learn this you’ll never buy salad dressing again)
  • Make a simple and amazing granola
  • Chiffonade (cut ribbons) of Kale and finely slice mushrooms
  • Stew fruit

Sign Up Here! If you have already signed up for the previous class you will get preference!


Posted in Nerd Adventures

Mastering the Basics @Berkeley: Class 1

Sunday October 8, 2017 @ 5pm

The Menu:

Pan Roasted Chicken

Shallot, White Wine & Caper Pan Sauce

Israeli Couscous 

Mushrooms, Onions, Parmesan Cheese

Roasted String Beans

Simple Blueberry Cobbler

Whipped Ricotta


  • How to cut up a chicken
  • Get that chicken skin super crispy
  • How to make a simple pan sauce
  • Basic knife skills & safety
  • 1 step delicious veggies
  • The easiest dessert that will change your life and some simple but super classy tips


To sign up, please email me. Unfortunately for the first classes, we will not be able to accommodate everyone, but we will make sure you get to at least one class!

Posted in Nerd Adventures

Join me & CityMeals for the Lifestyle of Food

Please join me in supporting CityMeals next week on Thursday 2/16 for the Lifestyle of Food. Tickets here:

Join our culinary visionaries for an evening of cocktails, canapés and collaborative discussion as they reveal their creative processes behind building a food brand in 2017.

Hear from some of New York’s most established chefs and restaurateurs how they have to adapt (or don’t) their signature styles and brands to the changing times. Emerging chefs and foodie entrepreneurs will also share their successes and difficulties in building a brand within the 2017 food scene of chain locations, food on television and the ever-evolving world of handheld technology.

Guests will enjoy a 45-minute panel discussion – plus an auction component – as well as the chance for one-on-one conversation with your favorite food stars!

Host: Chef Shane Lyons and the Citymeals Culinary Circle

Emcee: Adam Gertler

Panelists: Chef Daniel Boulud (Owner-Chef, The Dinex Group) Drew Nieporent (Myriad Restaurant Group), Francine Cohen (EIC/Consultant – Inside F&B), Chef Leah Cohen (Owner-Chef, Pig & Khao), Julianne Feder (Private Chef &, Joe Fedele (Co-Founder, FreshDirect), Susie J. Fogelson (Fogelson & Co.)

Posted in Food Facts, GastroJokes, Nerd Adventures

This ain’t Cinderella’s fairytale…

Summer is certainly over, but it doesn’t mean its bounty is. I’m still up to my eyeballs in eggplant, mostly due to my overly eager mom (she goes crazy when I bring her to my CSA and just can’t help herself.) This past Saturday we spent a few hours snipping some of the most breathtaking arugula, tatsoi and mustards I’ve ever seen. A few last tomatoes held tight to the vine, while the peppers exploded everywhere. Kale and cabbage abounded, as expected. But the eggplant! What a delightful treat. Now despite the color synonymous with its name, eggplant is certainly not limited to one color or variety. Japanese, Italian, Chinese, white and zebra eggplants range in length, width and color. Some slightly firmer and others a tad more tender, some deep purple, some striped, some even white, but all delicious. By far are the cutest are the fairytale eggplant, shown above. Luckily for us, we don’t need to be living in a fairytale to enjoy them.


And for a smile: eggplant-joke-page-image