April 11, 2014
Chef John changed my life! I was an uncertain cook, with a husband and stepdaughter who were not only very health conscious, but extremely picky. With Chef John’s help, I have become a confident cook, totally in control of my kitchen, and both my husband and stepdaughter are satisfied – and even giving me compliments.
My journey with Chef John began when we went to the Regency Spa. We couldn’t believe how delicious vegan food could be! With his artfully designed presentations and delicious meals, I lost 17 pounds in just 6 weeks, and was never hungry.
When circumstances closed the Regency, we decided to hire Chef John to cook for us privately, and serve us in a Florida hotel. This experience was another unqualified success. He tailor made meals for the three of is, taking into consideration our health, tastes, and allergies. The food was varied, well cooked, and very healthy. At times, we simply asked Chef to cook at my ailing mother’s house, twenty miles away from our hotel. He always willingly complied. In fact, after cooking for us and some of our cousins, Chef developed quite a reputation with our relatives, who, like us, couldn’t believe how wonderful vegan food could be. I should also add that Chef also prepared some nonvegan meals that my relatives requested.
After my second Florida experience, I decided to try cooking myself. But, as a person who hadn’t really cooked in several years, I needed lessons. So we hired Chef John to teach me in Chicago for six days. The result was, again, a tremendous success. Chef helped me to reorganize my kitchen, replacing lots of useless pots and utensils with a few wonderful ones. He taught me to use machines from the food processor through a mandolin. I learned how to choose, safely chop, and use vegetables and fruits. Healthy staples have replaced my oil and fat free stock. My spices are fresh, and up to date.
Working together, Chef developed over thirty recipes – in only six days – that I could do comfortably. This is a remarkable feat, given the varied tastes of my family. In addition to standard vegan specials, he also explored Indian and Thai food, leaving me with wonderful recipes.
Remarkably, we actually threw three parties during our six days together, with a total of 31 guests. Friends’ husbands who were committed meat eaters left marveling at how tasty vegan cooking was. I have shared recipes with friends. But best of all, since Chef left, I have been regularly cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner – all without sacrificing my life style.
I also need to comment on how wonderful Chef John is to have around. He is a great person, with many experiences and stories to tell. He can entertain a baby, teenagers, or octogenarians with equal skill. A great guy at a party! Even my restaurant-owning friend talked about what a talented fellow he was.
I am so grateful to him for changing my life. He is a remarkably talented and humane human being.