I joyfully share with you my best tried and true recipes.  Many date back more than fifty years so one could say they have been tested over and over again.  But it takes more than a good recipe to make a good cook. It requires cleaning.  And I have been so remiss for not addressing this important facet of cooking.

It’s a given to start ” mise en place”.  All your required ingredients lined up on your counter.  The other given is you start with A CLEAN KITCHEN.  Dishwasher emptied.  Counters cleaned.  Unnecessary items put away. The next step is to fill your kitchen sink with hot soapy water and line up your drying rack or trays.  You absolutely most clean and put away as you go.

In one of Thomas Keller’s outstanding cookbooks he writes about what he looks for when hiring chefs to work in his restaurants.  They are required to cook several dishes.  If when they are doing this they don’t clean as they go he won’t hire them.    Who do you think cleans behind a chef?


Our kitchen in ROXY’S BISTRO was extremely small.  We did all the prep in this space and served up to eighty covers a night.  When I tell you CLEAN AS YOU GO I know it works.



So when you finish sauteing the onions and garlic and have added it to your dish that pan goes into the sink, washed, drained and dried and PUT AWAY.  It just takes a few minutes and your kitchen work area is clean and tidy.

This WASH AS YOU GO is doubly important when cooking dinner.  When you finish dinner you will just have a few dishes and perhaps a last minute pan to deal with.  WASH AS YOU GO and START WITH A CLEAN KITCHEN is not about being a clean freak.  It is about being calm, happy and organized and more professional in your attitude towards cooking.   Bon Appetite


PS from the chef.

Among treasured mementos in my kitchen is an autographed menu from THE FRENCH LAUNDRY.  It’s inscribed “To Virginia.  It’s all in the details.  Thomas Keller.”  This also applies to the life you live and how you live it.  An organized home  makes every day living easier, calmer and you a happier person.


  1. Do tell who that handsome lad is in the first picture!!!??!?!! You have written a lovely piece; however, I have a one word solution for having a clean kitchen………..reservations! HAHAHAHA………just kidding you know that true love is expressed in the kitchen. Kisses to you my dear.

    • The Handsome Lad dear Tinny is The Lar. He is a brilliant chef and it was recognized by Where To Eat In Canada when they listed Roxy’s Bistro in the One Hundred Best Restaurants in Canada. So for those of you who don’t have a husband chef who also does ALL the clean up I suggest you I take The Tin Man’s advice and make reservations.

    • My son-in-law likes to dab about in the kitchen – but he hates messy fingers etc. That is until Lar introduced him to the sink full of hot soapy water. He calls is Larry-Water! He loves it!

  2. Very good advice! Even when cooking for just the two of us I try to prep ahead and clean ahead so that after a nice dinner I will not have to spoil it by having to face a messy kitchen. I might have know you would tend to the smallest details even in cleaning. What a handsome chef you have!

    • The Lar thanks you, Jo Nel for the compliment. I get cranky with myself if I have a project and there is too much clutter. This coming from an avid collector … ie dozens of jugs, oodles of silver pitchers, miles of fabric and a ton of books.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s