My wonderful son Michael gave me the best Christmas gift: the services of professional chef, Allison Sosna, to create 30 recipes that avoid all my allergies.
Chris and I first saw Chef Alli on Chopped back in November of 2011 where she opened a basket of Thanksgiving weirdness. I often wonder why we watch Chopped since real life doesn't usually hand you pomegranates, polenta log, maple syrup and seafood sausage and ask you to make an appetizer for Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli and Aarón Sánchez. But it's become something we do together as a bonding activity.
Then on Christmas morning, Mike gave me a spatula with Chef Alli's picture on it. An ordinary spatula (especially one I recognized by the melted handle as coming from my own kitchen) really can't compete with the meat thermometer Chris's mom gave me as a Christmas gift thirty years ago. But this wasn't an ordinary spatula. The picture, Mike explained, was the real gift: the inpiration of a professional chef.
Mike met Chef Alli through her fiancee, Kristen, who works in community organizing. Apparently, they talked about food (imagine that!) and somehow they must have gotten around to talking about how Mike has been trying to teach me to cook and what pain I am. I guess Alli was up to the challenge.
We had a conference call in which I told Chef Alli what I couldn't or wouldn't eat and a week later thirty recipes showed up in my email. I need two things: inspiration and skill. Mike thinks he can handle teaching me the skills but I think he finds my dietary restrictions boring and limiting.
Chef Alli's POV is fresh, healthy foods. http://www.chefallisosna.com/ While at DC Central Kitchen, she introduced fresh foods to thousands of school kids. Now she's running MicroGreens, a non-profit whose goal is to "arm children and their families with the skills they need to shop for, prepare, and enjoy healthy foods within the confines of a government supplemented budget."
Chef Alli supports her non-profit by cooking as a private chef, catering, teaching cooking classes, designing menus and creating healthy recipes. So like her on facebook, follow her on twitter, support her non-profit and, if you need a little pizzazz in your dinner routine, give her a call.
I am planning to cook Chef Alli's recipes on Tuesday ansd Thursday evenings. I figure cooking twice a week is a good start, another small bite.