Stay Home & Host Brunch

Blog Stay Home Host Brunch

In 2016 we are rolling out our all new a la carte brunch menu. That means you can pick and choose your own ideal brunch combo without getting full service catering. All orders are for pick up or delivery only.

Check it the yummy menu and return your order form to

TomCookery Brunch Buffet Menu 2016 (LINK FOR FULL MENU)

Brunch Buffet Menu 1 Brunch Buffet Menu 2

TomCookery Brunch A La Carte Price List & Order Form (LINK FOR FULL FORM)

Brunch Order form 1 Brunch Order form 2

Eat Your Veggies: TomCookery’s Top 8 Vegetarian Comfort Food Classics

Corn and Avocado Salad Pic Final

Vegetarian Awareness Month is coming to a close but that doesn’t mean leave our meat-free friends by the wayside. At TomCookery, we make sure to be as inclusive as possible (when our clients let us) and we have a number of great comfort classics for guests who want to hold the meat. Check out our 8 favorites that are so yum, meat will be an afterthought.

8. Cornbread Stuffed Mushrooms

This appetizer is perfect for fall and winter because its like a little bite of Thanksgiving/Christmas in your mouth. The cornbread is actually a traditional sagey, yummy stuffing which we pile in to a cremini mushroom and pop in the oven so it has a great crust.

7. Corn & Avocado Salad with Queso Fresco & Chili Oil (Pictured Above)

We created this dish as a summer salad course but don’t be surprised if it pops up again when you least suspect it. The avocado is tossed with roasted corn, minced white onions and lime, then topped with a sprinkling of queso fresco and cilantro. Finally, we hit it with some schezuan chili oil for an unexpected kick.

6. Macaroni Pie Bites

These are a definite crowd pleaser and make their way on to MOST cocktail party menus without fail. Its basically all of the goodness of our full sized mac and cheese reduced into one little caramelized bite. They hold their own next to any meat hors d’oeuvres.

5. Fried Eggplant Lasagna with Creamy Béchamel

A cross between eggplant parmesan and lasagna, this dish was the brainchild of our chef, Tom Burke, who would literally put béchamel on everything if she could. The thinly sliced fried eggplant is layered with ricotta and marinara and the whole thing is topped with a creamy, nutmegy béchamel. Don’t sleep on this decadent take on an Italian-american comfort dish.

4. Fried Okra with Buttermilk Dipping Sauce

For the country folk among us (Chef Tom has roots in Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana), okra is a staple in many dishes. For those of you who shy away from this slippery little vegetable, fried okra may be a solution. Okra fried in our cornmeal batter is the perfect little popper. Healthier than french fries, yet similarly addictive, this appetizer is a go-to at any southern themed party.

3. Corn Pudding (Pictured Below)

The question we get most about corn pudding is, “Is this a dessert or a side?” Well folks, its a savory side. Its sautéed corn cut straight from the cob. We mix it up with cheese and other fun stuff to create an amazing pudding. It’s hard to describe but its easy to fall in love with.

2. Black Eyed Peas Salad (Pictured Below)

This dish is so flexible. We make black eyed peas salad shooters for appetizers, we serve it as a side for barbecues and its a staple on NYE menus since black eyed peas are supposed to give us luck in the new year. There is very little wrong with this salad, as it will satisfy vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters alike.

1. Sautéed Wild Mushrooms Over Cheesy Grits

What do we serve when we are asked to create a vegetarian version of shrimp and grits for our guests? Sautéed wild mushrooms over cheesy grits of course.  These are no ordinary mushrooms. We sauté them with garlic and herbs and hit them with just a little bit of sherry wine. Then we shave fresh parmesan and fresh herbs over the whole shebang for a entrée that even the most staunch carnivore envies.

Those are our fave comfort food vegetarian picks. Make sure to check back in with TomCookery on Facebook or Instagram for realtime updates on what we’re cooking. And if you live in NYC, keep us in mind for your next event!

Black Eyed Peas Salad Veg Blog Post

Corn PUdding BLog Post Version 3



Chef Tom Hosts Local Fundraiser

Last month, our very own Chef and Owner, Tom Burke, hosted the Elmhurst Hospital Center Auxiliary’s A Healthy Taste of Queens.  Besides raising funds for the Cardiology Department at the hospital, the organizers honored individuals making a difference in the world through food.  The event also featured a FEAST of over 20 Queens-based food vendors, once again confirming the fact that Queens has the best ethnic food in the city.  As if there was any question.

Hosting is a nice change of pace from working out of sight in the kitchen…mainly because you get to meet everyone! We chatted it up in the green room with some truly inspiring honorees including Gina Keatley, host of WNYC-TV’s cooking show Healthy Soul with Gina Keatley and Robyn Hillman-Harrigan, founder and Executive Director of the Rockaway Rescue Alliance Shore Soup Project. At TomCookery we clearly love food. Food is fun, food is celebration and food is art, but our eyes were opened to the philanthropic potential of food. Through talking to Robin and Gina, we saw how healthy food options can eradicate food deserts and save devastated communities like the Rockaways.

All in all, we loved being a part of such an inspiring event, and getting out of the kitchen wasn’t too bad either. Of course, I have to give a special shout out to my favorite vendor, DF Mavens for exposing me to the best dairy free ice cream I have ever tasted.  They even have a “no sugar added” option that a comfort food loyalist like myself can appreciate.  Moral of the story, food can save the world and be healthy too (and still taste delicious). Check out some awesome photos from the event below.



Nom on, champions.



Dēmos Board Dinner

Last month, we catered a dinner for the Board of Directors of the nonprofit organization, Dēmos.  The TomCookery team was honored to serve such a forward-thinking organization by doing what we do best – dinner!  This event was even more special as fellow Milton Academy alumna, Heather McGhee presided as President for her first board meeting.  We adore Heather.

We partnered with Marisa Flores of House of Flores Event Planning + Design, who did a brilliant job (per usual) developing an “urban rooftop” décor for the event.  Plug: Rooftops are kind of becoming our specialty.  Book yours today.  Our friends at Noirstyle Invites provided TomCookery’s mango colored menu cards designed especially for the occasion.  Who says corporate branding has to be boring?

When coming up with the menu for this event, we had a few dietary restrictions to work around.  Some catering companies dread dietary restrictions…we say bring ‘em on.  We love being challenged to come up with creative approaches to comfort food that our gluten free/lactose intolerant/vegetarian friends can enjoy.  Check out our entirely gluten free menu below.  Yes, we even had a gluten free version of our White Peach and Raspberry Crisp.



Roasted Corn and Avocado Salad with Queso Fresco and Chili Oil


Your choice of:

Jerk Mahi Mahi with Caribbean Sweet Potato Purée


Southern Shrimp and Grits with Andouille Sausage


Roasted Wild Mushrooms served over Stone Ground Grits


White Peach and Raspberry Crisp á la Mode

The first course, secretly my favorite course, was the Corn and Avocado Salad with Queso Fresco (yum!) and Chili Oil.

Some of our guests chose the Jerk Mahi Mahi with Caribbean Sweat Potato Purée.  This purée is a crowd favorite.  It provides such great balance to a huge variety of proteins and we made this awesome coconut saffron pan sauce to tie it all together.

Some of our guests chose the Shrimp and Grits.  Seriously, what is comfort food without shrimp and grits?  This dish is very flexible and sits comfortably on summer and winter menus.  We just adjusted our shrimp sauce to be “roux-less” and served it over stone ground, cheesy grits.

Always save room for dessert when TomCookery is in the kitchen.  For the final course we served a White Peach and Raspberry Crisp á la Mode.  Our gluten free version relied on crushed walnuts and almond meal for the “crisp” topping.   We thought this dessert was a casual finale to our breezy rooftop dinner of New Comfort Cuisine.

We’re wishing you a pleasant week filled with a surplus of summer friendly, light and satisfying comfort food.  And leave comments below.  As always, we love hearing from you and most of all, we love food!

-The TomCookery Team

Photo Credit: Yanqi Chang Photography 


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4th of July “Cook-In”

Nothing says Fourth of July like some TomCookery ribs and potato salad, but this weekend we will be checking out some Bon Appétit recipes from the July 2014-Grilling issue.  Its not often that we brazenly lift recipes from magazines but the food in this issue just jumped off the pages and asked to be in our mouths.  We’ll be entertaining in Queens for a “TomCookery Cook-In.”  That’s right, folks.  The grand ole cookout tradition in the comforts of an apartment, because when are we not redefining comfort food at TomCookery?

Did we mention that everything looks amazing in this grilling issue?  Because it does.  But we had to pick a few so here’s a run down of our menu for the Cook-In.  First, we’ll be attempting to cooking the cover, the Mint and Cumin-Spiced Lamb Chops.

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

The recipe is as follows:


2 medium onions, peeled, quartered

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons allspice

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon ras-el-hanout or garam masala

Kosher salt

24 untrimmed lamb rib chops (about 5 lb.)

Vegetable oil (for grilling)

Pulse onions, cilantro, parsley, mint, cumin, paprika, allspice, red pepper flakes, and ras-el-hanout in a food processor until very finely chopped; season with salt. Place lamb in a large dish and rub with spice mixture. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

Prepare grill for medium-high heat and oil grate. Grill lamb to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

If these savory lamb chops could talk, they would love to be served alongside the Bon Appétit recipe for Grilled Bread Salad with Sweet Peppers and Onions.  Looking for an awesome summer side dish?  Then, look no further… the TomCookery staff is sold on this one. Bon Appétit’s panzanella seems like it will have an aromatic acidity, which should compliment the richness of the Mint and Cumin-Spiced Lamb Chops.  We can’t resist this smoky twist on the classic.

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

The recipe is as follows:


¼ small loaf country-style bread (about 6 oz.), crust removed, bread torn into large pieces

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large red bell peppers, halved, ribs and seeds removed

2 small red onions, peeled, quartered, with some root attached

3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh chives, plus more for serving

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Toss bread with 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Toss bell peppers and onions with 2 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper.

Grill bread, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Grill vegetables, turning often, until very tender and charred in spots, 8–10 minutes for peppers and 10–12 minutes for onions; transfer to a cutting board.

Trim root end from onions and separate layers. Transfer to a large bowl, add vinegar and paprika, and toss to coat. Remove as much skin as possible from peppers; discard. Cut into 1½” strips.

Add peppers, grilled bread, 2 Tbsp. chives, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to bowl with onions and toss to combine; season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired. Serve topped with more chives.

Don’t you dare skip out on dessert!  After a long day of grilling, we want a quick and easy dessert to satisfy our sweet tooth without slaving over a hot oven.  For those of us who are no-dessert-intolerant, a buttery puff pastry will do just the trick.  Puff pastry can take the place of cake any day if you ask me.  Just make sure you get a good one.  We’re partial to Dufour.

To finish the day we’ll making a variation of Bon Appétit’s Plum Tarts with honey and black pepper pictured below.  Stay tuned for pictures of the TomCookery one.  We’re thinking pistachios.  We’re thinking baklava.

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

The recipe is as follows:


1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-oz. package or half of 17.3-oz. package), thawed according to package directions

1 pound red plums, apricots, or peaches, pitted, cut into ½” wedges

¼ cup sugar

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon honey

Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut pastry into six 4” squares, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and prick all over with a fork. Top with plums, leaving a ½” border. Sprinkle with sugar; season with a few grinds of pepper.

Bake tarts, rotating pan halfway through, until edges of pastry are puffed and golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with salt just before serving.

Ya’ll come back soon to see how the Cook-In turned out.

Oh yes,  and Happy Independence Day, America!



Hey Mama! TomCookery’s Mother’s Day Brunch Cooking Class Recap

This Mother’s Day, my ever expanding hair and I hosted a brunch cooking class.  Mother’s Day and Brunch are a natural pairing but why just eat when we can cook comfort food classics?  The families that joined us were up to the task this Sunday.  With bellinis in hand, these women (and man) boldly went where no class has gone before.  They proved what I always sensed, that moms are just the best at everything.  Say hi to my mom and sister in the TomCookery jackets!  Check out our pics below.


Specialty Cocktail – Rosemary Peach Bellinis


Strawberry and Gorgonzola Salad with Basil-White Balsamic Vinaigrette


Eggs Benedict Two Ways with Brown Butter Hollandaise

Shrimp and Grits with Andouille Sausage


Creole Bread Pudding with Chocolate Sauce and Bourbon Whipped Cream

Special thanks to our friends at Makini Regal Designs for generously providing the florals and table design.  All of our mothers took home one of Makini’s beautiful arrangements.  Also thank you for the gorgeous photos taken by Yanqi Chang Photography.









































Mother’s Day Brunch Cooking Class

Mother's Day Cooking Class Flyer 5:11 JPEG


If you are looking for something special to do with the foodie moms in your life, look no further than TomCookery’s Mother’s Day Cooking Class in New York City.  Treat your mothers, grandmothers, aunts and friends to a dynamic cooking class followed by a full-service brunch.  

4-hour class includes a lively, hands-on cooking instruction, signature cocktail, coffee or tea, a leisurely sit down brunch and recipes to take home.  BYOB encouraged.


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Menu Preview

Strawberry Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette / Smoked Salmon and Bacon Eggs Benedict with Brown Butter Hollandaise / Shrimp and Grits / New Orleans Style Brioche Bread Pudding with Chocolate Sauce and Bourbon Whipped Cream

What: TomCookery’s Mother’s Day Cooking Class

When:  Sunday, May 11, 2014

Where: 306 W 51st Street, Ground Floor Kitchen, New York, NY 10019 (use down stairway to left of lobby entrance)

Time:  12:00pm-4:00pm

Price: $95.00 Per Person + $8.43 NYC Sales Tax

How: Register through Eventbrite to reserve your spot.  Registration closes 5/1.  Space is limited!  Please email with questions about the event.

Cancellations: Full refunds are available until 5/3.  Credits to future classes are available between 5/4-5/8.  After 5/8 no refunds are available but you may transfer your class to another guest.

No More Nice Tom

Rachel FTW 2

This past Sunday, I was a contestant and WINNER on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen.  This was a really proud moment for me both as “Chef Tom” and the owner of my own business: TomCookery – New Comfort Cuisine & Catering.

I felt like I was on the Hunger Games, minus the murder.  But I channelled Jennifer Lawrence and pressed on through three rounds of the most unbelievable sabotages.  Delights such as making cake in a cement mixer and creating a kitchen from a shopping cart were on the menu Sunday night.

My description will be a pale comparison to watching the video of the Cutthroat Kitchen “Clean Up” below:

Takeaways from the Show:  

-My mind goes blank under pressure (hence forgetting everything but the lettuce for my salad)

-I have an uncontrollable potty mouth “Thanks for these dirty a$$ knives”

-Never has a caterer anywhere turned down a sterno as a heat source.

-Newly formed PTSD around construction sites around the city.

-Trowels are incredibly useful for icing things like cakes.

-I have supportive friends (see above)

-And most importantly, anytime is a good time for pancakes.

Static Truths:

Alton Brown & Chef Antonia Lofaso are the best host and judging team on the show.  I’m not just saying that because I won.  First of all, female chefs rock so Antonia is clearly my fave.  Further, Alton changed my whole cookie-making world in the Good Eats “Cookies” episode and I’ve been a devotee ever since.  I am truly honored that they had nice things to say about me and this is my proudest memory as a chef to date.

Stay tuned for a blog post on the watch party we threw in TomCookery’s hometown of Long Island City, Queens.

For more information or to hire us to bring updated yummy southern and caribbean comfort food to your next party contact the TomCookery team at

Upcoming TomCookery Cooking Classes

Hi Friends of TomCookery,

We have two awesome classes coming up that we hope you all can join!

1)  Rise and Dine – The Ultimate Brunch Cooking Class

Who says you have to leave the house for an epic brunch?  If you ever wondered how to make to make to-die-for classics like eggs benedict and fluffy brioche french toast or comfort food faves like fried chicken biscuits or Jamaican ackee and salfish this is the class for you.  Come join Tom and friends for a fun, leisurely instructional class followed by a sit-down boozy brunch.

Register Today on Eventbrite:

2)  COOK – EAT – LOVE Tomcookery’s Couples Cooking Class

So nice we had to do it twice!  Our last Valentines Weekend Cooking Class  was definitely an affair to remember.  It may not be Valentine’s Day but there is always a reason to have a date night with your boo.  Come join our COOK – EAT – LOVE couples cooking class series and pick up some five star recipes, learn practical kitchen skills and end the night with a romantic candlelight dinner.

Register Today on Eventbrite:


TomCookery Brunch Class Flyer 3:22 JPEG

TomCookery COOK EAT LOVE Class Flyer 3:28 JPEG


Impromptu Tea Parties

If you have been following me for a while, or even a short time, you probably already know that I love tea.  Half my family is from Barbados and I grew up drinking quite a bit of tea.  I also had the most impressive variety of tea sandwiches at every single one of my birthday parties as a child. #caribbeanchildhood

We all know tea parties can get pretty fancy.  At TomCookery, we pull out all the stops.  But one thousand obnoxiously small sandwiches and and more scones than you can shake a stick at have lead me to really appreciate the casually thrown together affair.

Nowadays, I think the best tea parties are loosely planned, made up of last weekend’s brown butter pound cake, your friend’s brownies expiriment, some leftover eggplant lasagna and chicken biscuits for the win.  I just got invited for another casual tea this week at a friend’s house so I can safely say this is becoming a thing.  Just remember you heard it first on the TomCookery blog.

I’d like to present the most unpretentious of posts on tea: Impromptu Tea Parties.

What you will need:


-Some Tea, looseleaf or a solid bagged tea like Mightyleaf Organic Breakfast or Vanilla Bean.  I threw my Fairway “Victorian Early Gray” into my handbag before I left the house because its the hostess’ favorite.

-A good, ceramic tea pot with a strainer


-Sugar-I like Demerara because it has a bit more depth than white sugar


Sweet is great, but if you are trying to be held over until dinner, I think you need some savories as well.  At our party yesterday we took the sweet route and had:

Caramel Sea Salt Brownies

Banoffee Pie- Amari’s version was bananas, whipped cream, dulce de leche in a homemade graham cracker crust.

Biscuits (not cookies, real country biscuits) with Honey Butter

If I could go back in time, I probably would have made a fancy egg salad sandwich with some stuff the hostess already had in her fridge.  Below is TomCookery’s new version of a comfort food classic, the egg salad sandwich.

TomCookery’s Not Your Grandmother’s Egg Salad Sandwich


6 hard boiled eggs

1/8 cup of mayo (or more if you like mayo)

1 teaspoon grain mustard

1/2 cup of minced white onion

Salt/Freshly ground black pepper to Taste

Shaved Parmesan

6 slices of your favorite bread.  I like a toasted sourdough for this.


1.  Peel your hard boiled eggs and give them a really fine chop.  My idol Ina Garten puts her eggs through a few pulses in a food processor, which makes them super delicate and fluffy.      Your call.  2.  Add the mayo, mustard, salt, pepper and onions.  3.  Mix it up good.  Taste it.  Adjust seasonings to your liking, and then put it onto your bread with the shaved parmesan layered on top.  4.  You got yourself a egg salad sandwich.  5.  Cut off the crusts, and cut into triangles to up the fancy meter but if you are keeping it impromptu, skip this step and just make it shareable.



Happy sipping,


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