The Gourmet Girls are two sisters that grew up in the 70’s and 80’s the Chicago suburbs with a passion for cooking since we were very young. Our mother and grandmothers were masters in the kitchen, with specialties in homemade breads and sweets. We watched Julia Child, studied The Joy of Cooking and experimented constantly with new recipes as we became adults. Food and cooking have been our obsession, our favorite free time diversion from our professional artist careers.
As we got older, we found out that the food we grew up with was not necessarily the best option for us. Mary developed a gluten intolerance in the form of Celiac disease. Carol began to seriously struggle with her weight and her husband got diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
We have had to completely rethink the way we cook and have since developed countless recipes in our quest to feed ourselves and our families in the most healthy and delicious way. These recipes are tried and tested by the most critical tasters, our husbands and children!
We welcome you into our kitchens and hope you enjoy our recipes!
Mary“When we were young I remember my sister Carol spent many years watching Julia Child episodes and baking fabulous theme cakes throughout our childhood. She loved to cook all kinds of food. I, however, spent more time learning and cooking with my mom and cleaning up after my sister’s cooking extravaganzas; she frequently used every pot in the house!
It was quite ironic that I ended up being the one to become a professional chef. I worked for several catering companies across the USA and Canada: as a Head Retreat Chef for the Lama Foundation and Salt Spring Centre, developing many of the recipes for the centre’s second cookbook “The Saltspring experience, Recipes for the Mind, Body, and Soul”, worked for the prestigious chef Susan Mendelson, owner of The Lazy Gourmet and author or several cookbooks, and did many private catering functions over the years. Meanwhile, my sister pursued and succeeded in a very prestigious career as a classical pianist.
My career as a chef supported my education as an artist. I discovered that I LOVE catering! As a visual artist the endless creativity involved in displaying food was always visually stimulating, I loved learning new techniques and creating new recipes for restaurants and retreat centres, and it routinely challenged me especially when, at LAMA, I had to feed up to 200 people, three meals per day!
Every chef I’ve worked with has pushed my creativity a notch further and I truly loved the banter that happened in kitchens and camaraderie with my co-workers. While I retired as a professional chef after doing it for more than 20 years, I still have a real passion for cooking! I really hope you enjoy my recipes!”
Carol“I have had two passions in my life always, music and food. Our mother was both an amateur pianist and a great cook, and I imitated her. I started playing the piano when I was three years old and started cooking pretty much at the same time.
Baking especially has always been my favorite. Already when I was in junior high school I had requests and orders to make specialty cakes. Loved it!
But, eventually, music took over and I became serious with my studies. When training as a classical pianist, there is really no time for very much else. Cooked and baked when I could, bringing treats for my fellow students occasionally. I lived in both Los Angeles and New York City, eating out and trying as many restaurants as I could.
After getting married and having children, suddenly I was in the kitchen again constantly and loved it! Trying to find recipes that everyone liked, getting the kids and my husband to eat healthily was a challenge I accepted! I have always had to watch my weight so my family has been witnesses to all of my different diets. 😂 We have been vegetarian, vegan, low-carb, gluten-free….you name it! I have now made peace with living a lifestyle that is based on healthy foods combined with intermittent fasting and watching the carbs. Now we eat what everyone wants, but always based on healthy whole foods that are not over-processed.
Being a classical pianist means being constantly on the run, especially when you have children. Mealtimes have always been a sacred time to me, time for the family to assemble and catch up. When we all have the time to eat together, I try to make our dinners as special and delicious as I can. I hope you will enjoy my recipes!”