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Be a Guest at your own Party 

When talking to Lisa Glickman about her new endeavor, she draws a distinct line between her work and that of a personal chef. Personal chefs,

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When talking to Lisa Glickman about her new endeavor, she draws a distinct line between her work and that of a personal chef. Personal chefs, she says, are geared toward daily food preparation or small family events. She also says she isn't a caterer, as she does not have specific menus items to choose from and doesn't do events for over 20 people. But Glickman is all about events - anywhere from 10-20 people - combining cheffing with party planning and decorating.

Glickman is a bright-eyed blonde who has been throwing dinner parties, cooking and organizing events for herself and her husband for 20 years. She calls herself a "recipe nut" and is passionate about great tastes combined with great presentation. Her business specializes in custom events: Dinner parties, rehearsal dinners, family reunions and business dinners, as long as the numbers are between 10 and 20 people.

Glickman's husband, Marshall Glickman was the president of the Portland Trail Blazers until 1995 when his sports consulting business took him and his family around the world. From entertaining in Barcelona to eating in the finest restaurants in Napa Valley, Glickman has experienced the finest food and the finest entertaining. And now she has parlayed that knowledge, experience and passion into a career.

As a self-trained cook, Glickman has none of the airs that chefs sometimes have. As one client put it, "she's a people's cook," willing to work with your tastes, likes and dislikes to make a hassle-free party that the host can actually enjoy. "It was completely relaxing," says Debbie Walden, a recent client of Glickman's. "I think it's the first dinner party that I have given that I had fun!"

These are upscale events, customized to exactly the tastes, mood and atmosphere the host is shooting for. Clients can be specific about every aspect of the event - themed parties and dietary restrictions are all taken in stride.

For example, Glickman may start a meal off with a savory Tuille Cornet filled with whipped crème fraiche flavored with shallot and lemon, and topped with ahi tuna tartar. Then for the salad course, she could serve a watercress and fresh herb salad with blood orange, avocado and seared sea scallops with a pomegranate molasses blood orange vinaigrette. Next, she may come up with something like a handmade wild mushroom, melted leek and fontina ravioli in mushroom broth topped with toasted pine nuts and white truffle oil. For the main course, some pan-roasted lamb loin chops in a red wine, veal demi glace and dried cherry reduction. And to top it all off, maybe some spiced zinfandel poached pears topped with sweetened mascarpone cheese and toasted pistachios with a dulche de leche and bittersweet chocolate chunk bread pudding. Of course, this is all depending on the host's tastes and goals for the event.

Glickman has different levels of service from organizing quarterly dinner parties to her Executive Chef service, which includes a five-course meal, service and all table settings and party décor. She also offers cocktail parties for 21-40 guests and in-home cooking classes for you and five (or more) of your friends.

Lisa Glickman offers a way to bring a customized restaurant experience into your home. No worrying about getting home for the babysitter or whether or not dessert is burning - Glickman has it covered.

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