“First we eat, then we do everything else.”
After a lifetime of providing elaborate feasts for family and friends and working as a professional event director for many years, in 2012 I decided to take a leap and began work as a personal chef. I am primarily based in Boston and Nantucket Island, but also spend time during the winter months on the tiny island of Bequia in the West Indies.
My food influences are wide and varied. I grew up in a family who took food very seriously. My first cookbook, Craig Claibourne's Kitchen Primer, was a gift from my extraordinary grandmother Marjorie, an organic gardener, avid home cook, gifted teacher, and major food influence in my life. Grand dinner parties for artists and musicians were a common event in our house growing up; my artist mother also knew her way around the kitchen quite well. I began with desserts in grade school and then turned to vegetarianism as a young teen. I worked in a small natural foods store and started cooking in earnest. Travel throughout Europe and Southeast Asia in my early twenties opened my eyes even further to the vast and beauteous world of eating. I eventually became the owner of that small natural food shop and from there experimented with all aspects of food and cooking, including baking, fermentation, preserving and hunting/gathering. I currently have a small flock of chickens, grow many of my own herbs and greens and enjoy strong relationships with many farmers and fishermen on Nantucket.
I cook for my clients with experience, knowledge, and joy. My strengths lie in fresh, local, delicious, and beautiful food.
In addition to cooking, I am also an avid cookbook collector and occasionally write about food. I love traveling, being on or near the ocean, reading, and spending time with my amazing and extended family. My husband runs a seasonal raw bar and clambake company on Nantucket, The Raw Bar Yoho. I also have a son who is a Boston area chef and daughter who has just finished college.
I am happiest when creating menus based on fresh produce from local farms, fish caught by fisherman friends that very day, meat from animals who were raised humanely and with dignity, and herbs and spices that evoke feelings of joy and rememberance.
Whether you are dreaming of an intimate summer dinner, planning a large birthday dinner party, throwing a brunch, or packing a picnic for the beach, I will help you realize a beautiful and delicious meal to share with family and friends.
In addition to vegetarian and vegan options, I am also an accomplished gluten-free baker and have years of experience cooking Paleo and Whole 30 menus.
Elegant Summer Dinner
Tuckernuck Sea Bass | Sauce Vert
Corn Flans | Tomato Corn Relish
Zucchini Ribbon Salad | Lemon, Parmesan & Pine nuts
Pavlova | Fresh Island Berry Ice Cream | Stone Fruit
Butternut Squash Risotto
Seared Scallops | Crispy Sage
Fall Kohlrabi Slaw
Salted Caramel Budino
Early September Lunch
Late Summer Soup Pistou | Crostini
Warm Lentil Salad | Baby Lettuces & Spanish Flavors
Quinoa Salad | Red Wine Vinaigrette
Grilled Peach | Fresh Ricotta & Mint.
French Dinner for 8
Green Leaves | Champagne Vinaigrette
Grilled Lamb | Sauce Vert
Duck Fat Roasted Fingerlings
One Perfect Cheese
Family Buffet Dinner
Deviled Eggs | Smoked Salmon & Creme Fraiche
Tuna Tartare | Root Vegetable Chips
Nantucket Quahog Chowder
Lemony Red Cabbage Slaw
Swordfish Kebobs | Green Herb Marinade
Citrus Rice Salad
Blueberry Crumble | Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
Winter Dinner from the Sea
Traditional Bouillabaisse | Toasts & Rouille
Butter Lettuces | Lemon Caper Dressing
Apple Tart Tatin | Creme Fraiche Whipped Cream
Below is a gallery of dishes created and photographed by me. I've become more and more interested in food photography over the years and take all pictures with my iPhone! At the urging of my millennial children, nieces and nephews, I recently created an Instagram account. Feel free to follow me @danicoleman.
Get in Touch
Please reach out to discuss your next meal!