Welcome to the Chefworks
Chef Marco has been a chef for over 30 years and for some time has been doing art, holding dinner parties, baking for friends and giving pastry demos and instruction in his studio.
Our supper club can accommodate gatherings of up to eight people. The space also functions as a studio where Marco makes and displays his art. It is an intimate and informal alternative to going out to a nice restaurant.
"Spending the day baking and preparing great food is one of the things I enjoy best, and my sculpture and library inspire great conversation."
(Click on the Menu and Kitchen Scenes tab to get an idea of what a dining experience would be like )
The Chefworks makes and sells sweet and savory foods (Click on the Pastry Pricing tab )
The Chefworks can arrange private cooking lessons to sharpen your skills. Tell me what you are interested in learning and we can set up an appointment to enhance your cooking skills.
It's informal, it's great fun, it's only $50 plus the cost of the ingredients.
Private Dinner Party | Supper Club
Below are some of the dishes we've created for our special Chefworks Supper Club guests.
"Squid" made from a selection of homemade pickles from my garden: Italian banana pepper, Green tomato, Carrot, Red Onion, Jersey Tomato - Pear vinaigrette
This plate accompanied the cheese course. Clockwise from the top there is a crispy ginger cracker with a bit of the herbed goat cheese with which we stuffed the capon, fig confit from my neighbors tree, puree of pears made from my friend Evette's pear tree, yellow and red pepper coulis in between stripes of mascarpone.
Chef Marco's Recipe of the Week
Foolproof Chocolate Swiss Roll Recipe:
This recipe fills a standard, 13 x 18 inch 1/2 sheet pan for a thin roll up cake, a double recipe makes a thicker one for layer cakes cut to a desired shape.
It can also be poured, using a spatula to scrape out all the batter, into cake or loaf pans of various sizes (fill half full).
5 large eggs separated
1/2 cup plus 1 Teaspoon cake flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of cream of tartar
If a plain or vanilla cake is desired, use 3/4 Cup of cake flour, and omit the cocoa. Feel free to experiment with other extracts, almond or lemon etc., or spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg. I prefer the chocolate cake plain.
Pre -heat the oven to 350 F
Place the yolks, water and oil in a 2 quart bowl or bigger and whisk until blended.
Put the whites in the bowl of an electric mixer, or you can use a hand held mixer. It can also be done by hand with a wire whisk.
Sift all the dry ingredients, minus ¼ Cup of sugar (this is half the amount given in the recipe) and whisk it into the yolk, water, and oil mixture. This makes a smooth batter.
Add the cream of tartar to the whites and beat until the whites look like a beer with froth on the top. Slowly add the reserved ¼ Cup of sugar and beat at medium speed until the whites have the appearance of shaving cream with soft peaks. The whites should have body but they should not be stiff. Whites with stiff peaks make the cake dry.
Mix about 1/4 of the whites into the batter mixture, then fold in gently the rest of the whites in 2 or 3 separate additions. It is OK for there to be some wisps of darker batter. Better that than beat too much of the air out of the cake.
The cake pan bottom should be lined with parchment, sprayed with pan release spray or brushed with oil or butter. When I bake a sheet cake I don’t grease the pan or paper at all.
Pour and scrape the batter into prepared pan.
Place pan in oven and turn down to 325. Bake 16 minutes for a roll up cake, 25 for double recipe and a little longer for cake pans where the batter is deeper. The baked cake should be springy and a toothpick or what have you inserted should come out clean.
For loaf and layer cakes:
Let the cake cool 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert it onto a cooling rack covered with parchment. Otherwise the cake sinks into the slats and makes a grill pattern on the cake. Let cool completely. Carefully and slowly separate the parchment from the cake, and then place the same used piece of parchment back on the cake to keep it moist. If storing the cake for later or the next day, keep the parchment on and wrap with plastic.
For roll up cake:
Again, use the single recipe, and a 1/2 sheet pan - 13x18"
After the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool on a rack for fifteen minutes, or until cool. Run a knife around the edge to free the cake from the sides of the pan and invert the cake onto a piece of parchment sprinkled with a tiny bit of sugar. (This helps keep the cake from sticking to the paper). Carefully remove the bottom layer of parchment and reserve it. Do this slowly and carefully. A film of the cake will remain on the paper. This is as it should be, but it should be a film and not chunks of cake. Invert the cake again back onto the parchment just removed from the cake and roll up the cake with the paper on the bottom. The cake can now be filled. It should be completely cool. It can also be wrapped in plastic and stored with the paper still on, as this keeps the cake moist and not stuck together.
The roll can be filled with whip cream, custard or jelly, leaving a quarter inch border on either side and the bottom, and an inch at the top. Carefully roll up the cake and cover it with plastic and refrigerate for an hour or overnight. This will make the roll manageable and compact. The roll can be served with a dusting of confectioners sugar, cocoa or just as is. Frost with whip cream or butter cream if desired.
The Chefworks News Corner
My nine-year-old daughter and I had one baking class with Marco, and a week later we both took home ribbons at the Jersey City PIE day competition! My apple pie won first place -- and I owe it all to Marco's wonderful baking tips. His class was both fun and informative. He has a real gift for making a complex process both simple and easy to replicate.
Chef Marco's Cooking Tips
The Perfect Boiled Egg