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Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day help from Chef Owen

To help make Mother's Day a great event, I have asked Chef Owen Tilley, Executive Chef & Director of Culinary, High Liner Foods, to share some of his tips with my many subscribers for a fun and delicious Mother's Day. Here is what Chef Owen suggests:

This Mother’s Day avoid the crowds at restaurants and set aside time to spend with the people that matter most to you. Whether you’re planning festivities for your own mother or honoring your wife this Mother’s Day, planning a family meal at home can offer a welcome respite to eating out. Mother’s Day is the perfect time to gather with friends and family, and cooking a meal at home will allow you to be the perfect host or hostess without overextending your wallet.
To help make this process as simple as possible, I’ve outlined a few tips and ideas to make a wonderful meal for a memorable Mother’s Day.

1.Remember, today is her day. For many moms out there, preparing dinner is a daily routine. While you are in the kitchen getting things ready, encourage the mothers in your life to take a few moments to relax in preparation of a great dinner. Make your mother or wife the focus this Mother's day
2.Preparing Mother’s Day dinner doesn’t have to take up your entire day. Plan ahead by buying your groceries the day before. Chop the vegetables in the morning, so it is quick and easy to sautĂ© them in pan with a little olive oil
3.Create atmosphere. Dust off your best dishes and set them on your table with your finest silverware. Pick a few fresh flowers from your garden or buy a bouquet at the store for the center of your table. Encourage your kids to help pick out their favorite flowers for Mom
4.Make the meal a family affair. By doing so, you’re not only spending quality time together, but your children are encouraged to widen their taste preferences. Making the meal interactive allows children to feel as though they’ve truly contributed to the success of dinner, and makes the experience even more special for Mom
5.Go fresh. To give your dinner the best flavor, always try to use real ingredients instead of lower cal substitutes. Believe me, it offers much more taste, flavor and is far healthier to use a bit of real butter versus a butter substitute. Buy fresh vegetables over canned ones to give your mom the restaurant-quality dinner she deserves

By implementing these simple tips, you’ll be able to show the mothers in your life how much you appreciate all they’ve done!

About Chef Owen Tilley, Executive Chef and Director of Culinary, High Liner Foods
Owen’s experience includes tenures working with Robert del Grande of CafĂ© Anne in Houston, Dean Ferrin at Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, and Chris Schlesinger of the East Coast Grill in Boston. Between 2005 and 2006, Owen served as the executive chef of Tremont 647, a noted culinary hot spot in Boston. Owen then went on to join the Back Bay Restaurant Group to lead the development of Bouchee Urban Brasserie, another hot Boston concept.

Not only is Owen an accomplished chef, but he is also a successful entrepreneur. Owen has owned either full or partial stake in restaurants such as “Auggie Joes” in Kansas City and two restaurants in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

May 15 & 16th-Join me at a Fashion & Food Event at the Stylish Bethesda Row in Bethesda, Maryland. I will be sharing stories from my best selling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking and doing a cooking demo at the Bella Italia retail store.
On Friday, hours are 5-8 and Saturday 1-4. For more info email or go to

June 4th- The Basic Art of Italian Cooking School takes me to Foster's Gourmet housewares in Philadlephia for a class on creating a Tuscan Picnic. Join me for a cooking demo, book signing, sampling and more $55 fee includes all materials. registration required. Call 215-204-6946 or online at

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