I joyfully share with you my best tried and true recipes.  Many date back more than fifty years so one could say they have been tested over and over again.  But it takes more than a good recipe to make a good cook. It requires cleaning.  And I have been so remiss for not addressing this important facet of cooking.

It’s a given to start ” mise en place”.  All your required ingredients lined up on your counter.  The other given is you start with A CLEAN KITCHEN.  Dishwasher emptied.  Counters cleaned.  Unnecessary items put away. The next step is to fill your kitchen sink with hot soapy water and line up your drying rack or trays.  You absolutely most clean and put away as you go.

In one of Thomas Keller’s outstanding cookbooks he writes about what he looks for when hiring chefs to work in his restaurants.  They are required to cook several dishes.  If when they are doing this they don’t clean as they go he won’t hire them.    Who do you think cleans behind a chef?


Our kitchen in ROXY’S BISTRO was extremely small.  We did all the prep in this space and served up to eighty covers a night.  When I tell you CLEAN AS YOU GO I know it works.


So when you finish sauteing the onions and garlic and have added it to your dish that pan goes into the sink, washed, drained and dried and PUT AWAY.  It just takes a few minutes and your kitchen work area is clean and tidy.

This WASH AS YOU GO is doubly important when cooking dinner.  When you finish dinner you will just have a few dishes and perhaps a last minute pan to deal with.  WASH AS YOU GO and START WITH A CLEAN KITCHEN is not about being a clean freak.  It is about being calm, happy and organized and more professional in your attitude towards cooking.   Bon Appetite

PS from the chef.

Among treasured mementos in my kitchen is an autographed menu from THE FRENCH LAUNDRY.  It’s inscribed “To Virginia.  It’s all in the details.  Thomas Keller.”

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