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Jun 09

Chocolate Pistachio Baklava

Posted by: dolcedebbie | Comment (0)
Tagged in: Sicily , Recipes , Celebrity Chefs
Dolce Debbie makes Chocolate Pistachio Baklava

Since the Turks made the original version in the 1300s, baklava has gone through a lot of changes. Over time, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves were added to give it more flavor.

Now, in the 21st century, it's time to pump up the flavor once again. When we were visiting Mykonos, Greece, Barry fell in love with the pistachio baklava, so I substituted pistachios for the walnuts frequently found in baklava recipes here in the states. I then added anisette, cocoa, and chocolate to really kick it up a notch. The sweetness of the honey balances the cocoa and dark chocolate, and the anisette gives the dish a bright, fresh flavor.

So come with me to Mykonos, and try my Chocolate Pistachio Baklava. - Debbie

Click here for my recipe for Chocolate Pistachio Baklava!

Nov 03

Experience of a Lifetime

Posted by: dolcedebbie | Comment (2)
Tagged in: Celebrity Chefs
Chef Dolce Debbie at CIA

You never know what is waiting for you around the corner. Well, for me it was a chance of a lifetime with More Magazine in New York.

About two months ago I received an email from a freelance writer looking for women between the ages of 40 and 60 who were re-inventing themselves. Well, it sounded intriguing, so what the heck, I fit those two requirements, so I replied. I explained how for 24 years I had made my career working in the corporate world and as a Personal Trainer and Cycle Instructor and over the last couple years have made the transition into the culinary world, following one of my deepest oldest passions, cooking.

Well, much to my great surprise, I received a phone call about 3 weeks ago from…MORE MAGAZINE! It was editor Patti Greco asking me if I was still interested in participating in an article about women re-inventing themselves and spending two hours being mentored by a celebrity in my field of interest, for my area of interest the celebrity would be chef B. Smith! Oh my goodness now I really feel as though I’m dreaming. Of course I still want to participate, and to top it all off, they were going to fly me into New York City for the mentoring session with B. Smith and for a photo shoot and to prepare one of my original recipes for her.

Upon arriving in New York City, the first thing on the list was of course shopping, I was going for a fitting the next day, but what would I wear for that? After a long day of shopping at Bergdorf’s, I finally found the perfect outfit. After a fantastic dinner at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain with a friend, I was off to get some rest for the following day. Not only would I be going for a fitting for my photo shoot with B. Smith for More Magazine, but would also be meeting with amfAR to discuss our upcoming charity event (more to come on that in my next blog). The fitting went perfect, in the end they actually liked my outfit so well, I just wound up wearing my own clothes.

The big day arrives, I’m really excited so I rush down, hail a taxi, give the driver the address, thinking this would be sufficient, but instead I’m asked where the address is, I tell him across from Bloomingdale’s, everyone knows where that is, at least one would think a taxi driver in New York City would at any rate, but this one didn’t. So, in a panic I made a couple of calls and of course no one answers, but thanks to Barry and his Google phone and Google maps, we find the needed cross streets and arrive just in time. I’m greeted by Daisy, Associate Photo Editor, who whisks me off to meet the hair and make-up guys Nelson and Jordy. What a great time I had with these guys, and what a great job they did. Then while Jordy is finishing my eyes, B. Smith arrives, what a gorgeous lady which is equaled by her kindness and generosity.

Chef Dolce Debbie at CIA

Now for the shoot. It was just like you see in the movies, the photographer was such a sweetheart and made me feel so comfortable about being in front of the camera that I forgot it was even there. Before I knew it two hours had passed and I had received some great advice on my future direction as a chef. So make sure and look for and buy the February issue of More Magazine. I know I will! Chef Dolce Debbie at CIA

By the way, for anyone who is curious about what I prepared for B. Smith, it was…..my Pistachio Encrusted Curry Sea Bass. Chef Dolce Debbie at CIA

Sep 25

CIA Advanced Boot Camp

Posted by: dolcedebbie | Comment (0)
Tagged in: Recipes , Celebrity Chefs

Chef Dolce Debbie at CIA

Well, after surviving the first week at the Culinary Institute of America, I was excited to be returning for the Advanced Boot Camp. This was going to be my challenge week. I have cooked my entire life, so the cooking part for me was, for lack of a better term, kind of a no brainer, just learned the “proper” way of describing what I have been doing forever. But, this week I was going to have to learn how to “fabricate” meat, poultry, fish, and……deal with LIVE LOBSTER!

Fabricating Beef
First things first, what the heck was this “fabrication” process all about. I kept hearing this word, but what exactly did it mean used in this text. Well, for those of you wondering, it means basically they bring in a side of beef for example and you have to know how to make the various cuts such as a roast, rib steak, tenderloin, etc. My first day and I have the assignment of doing lamb tenderloin. So we watch very closely our instructor, Chef David Bruno, they always make it look so easy! But I’m here to tell you that when you are the one holding that sharp knife that can either produce the most gorgeous cut of meat or the most unrecognizable cut of meat based upon the holder’s ability, it isn’t so easy! But with the guidance and reassurance of Chef Bruno, I DID IT! I managed to cut and trim a gorgeous tenderloin…from an entire loin section of the lamb. Phew, day one….survived and made an amazing lamb tenderloin as well!

Sep 12

Cooking at the CIA

Posted by: dolcedebbie | Comment (0)
Tagged in: Recipes , Celebrity Chefs

Chef Dolce Debbie at CIA

After years, actually 40, of cooking and settling into a career as a chef, I was surprised by my husband with an opportunity to attend the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) for a chef’s boot camp course. So like a kid at Christmastime I went to my computer to check out what opportunities awaited me at the Institute.

As I said, I’ve been cooking for 40 years, but have never been classically trained and so I was a little unsure which class to take. So of course, I decided it would be a great idea to take both the basic and advanced chef’s boot camp. So two classes it would be - 5 days in each one. After weeks of waiting, I arrived at the beautful CIA campus in Hyde Park, NY.

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