"The difference between excellence and mediocrity is subtle." - Diana Kennedy
"COOKING IS AN ART FORM... you first have to learn the fundamentals....
And then, once they’re there, once they’re just part of you, and you get up and do a little dance, You can take off on your own…” -Judith Jones
Private chef and cookbook author/ food writer Andrea Lawson Gray began her culinary journey in New York City’s Little Italy. For the past 15 years, she has prepared meals in the kitchens of San Francisco, Paris, Puerto Rico, and "at the side of my Peruvian and Caribbean family, my best friend who is an amazing Mediterranean home cook. But, more than anything...
my cooking style has been informed by that of Mexico, where I fell in love with the old world techniques: the time taken to grind spices with a mortar and pestle, toast seeds and chiles on a comal, working the masa to make tortillas by hand— honoring the ingredients, coaxing out the flavors in a way that nothing else can. These techniques lend themselves beautifully to the locally-sourced, organic ingredients we are blessed with in the SF Bay Area;".
A PRIVATE dining chef = a private, IN-HOME CULINARY EXPERIENCE
The meal served to you and your guests is prepared in your kitchen, and served by our professional waitstaff, just as it would be in any fine dining establishment; but without the rush to turn your table over to the next party of waiting guests, without the hassle of parking or planning your drive home. SEAMLESS DINNER PARTIES
Hiring a private dining chef means from menu planning to shopping, cooking, setting the table, clean-up; everything is taken care of so you can focus on your guests. Our sommelier and mixologists are available to recommend wine and/or cocktail pairings.
Mexican culinary techniques, ingredients and recipes are collected in Andrea's award-winning cookbook, Celebraciones Mexicanas: History, Traditions and Recipes. Her second cookbook is in the works, on Californio Cuisine, which Chef Andrea calls "my culinary crossroad, where I celebrate the bounty of fresh local ingredients here in the Bay Area and the rich heritage of Mexican cooking in California that began when the first settlers from Mexico brought their culinary techniques and flavors north with them'. Member of Culinary Historians of Northern California.
"Each meal, be it for a table of 2 or a tent-full, is a story of its own. I co-write these stories through bespoke menus, creating singular moments with plotlines that you can literally ‘sink your teeth into’, that come to life in memories that stick with you".
“Recipes are amazing things, somewhere between magic potions and passports to a different way of living.” /Bee Wilson, The Guardian 18 June 2017
recipes & more
“... a masterful job sharing the celebrations of Mexico with ... words and recipes.... You will not only want to take this book to bed as bedtime reading but also you’ll want to keep it in your kitchen library and cook up some of the fantastic recipes they share. Books like this one are rare today! This is a must for anyone who loves food, culture, history, cooking and Mexico!”
Joanne Weir, James Beard Award-winning cookbook author; restaurateur and Executive Chef, Copita Tequileria y Comida
“Andrea’s cooking was fantastic! The dishes were unique and really well-made, with fresh ingredients and close attention to detail. Highly REcommended!"
(feature photo of Butter Glazed Carrots, top of page, by Olivia Richards Photography)