Peggy Bucholz is the creator of Fine Dinings.com, a site dedicated to gourmet home cooking and classy, enticing food presentations. We interviewed Peggy about her website and her favorite things to cook.
for recipes and elegant presentation ideas.
You mention on your site that your interest in cooking came later in life. What inspired your love of cooking?
I was fascinated watching the TV series 'Great Chefs'. They prepared top quality foods using only the freshest and best ingredients, taking ordinary foods, plating them up individually in a unique manner, arranging them artistically on a plate, making the most beautiful and appealing presentations, and using spectacular garnishes for additional enhancement as they prepared several dinner courses. This intrigued me, I thought this would be a great concept for me as a home cook to do to delight my dinner guests, as well as receive personal satisfaction for such an accomplishment.
I was hooked to try this myself and found it was easier than I thought, but soon learned it required great organization. I began by re-creating some of my favorite recipes, then experimenting on how to best present them aesthetically. Through much trial and error I eventually developed a talent for food styling as well as photography skills. I have a folder filled with scraps of paper of ideas I jot down as they come to mind waiting to be developed. This is fun to do and very rewarding, though it requires a lot of my time.
What were some of the first recipes you published on the Fine Dinings site?
There are many but just to name a few:
– a gourmet appetizer recipe of mushroom caps filled with shrimp, Parmesan cheese, spinach, garlic, green onion and Dijon mustard.
Shrimp Bisque Flambe - a rich and succulent cream soup, stock made from shrimp skins, enhanced with cream, flambed with Brandy.
Stuffed Small Red Potato Appetizer – baby red potatoes filled with sour cream, bacon, cheddar cheese and chives.
Chocolate Mousse Cake – a chocolate cake with a chocolate mousse filling.
Does the Fine Dinings site focus on specific kinds of recipes or cuisines?
I especially like French and Northern Italian cuisine, but my website is well rounded containing something for everyone, with each recipe tasting superb and ranging from breakfasts, lunches, main courses, desserts, etc. All recipes are beautifully photographed. My website contains easy ideas, tips, menu suggestions and recipes on how to plan dinner parties as well as how to make simple garnishes, all with pictures as well as suggestions on how to do several types of wine pairings.
What are your favorite foods to cook/bake?
My foolproof Prime Rib recipe, Lamb with my special accompanying sauce, Pastas, Vichyssoise (potato leek soup), are just a few of my favorites.
If you could summarize your approach to cooking into one quote, what would it be?
To make the best tasting food that is easy to prepare and looks spectacular to stimulate the taste buds.
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