Karen Doman, the personal chef behind the scenes at Dishin' It, lends her expert hands to clients’ kitchens for a variety of services. As a personal chef, she consults with clients and helps them plan customized menus based on dietary needs and personal preferences. She takes care of all the shopping and cooking, and leaves dishes prepared in clients’ freezers with full instructions for reheating. Karen also plans dinner parties, romantic meals, and private cooking classes, using her knowledge as a French Culinary Institute graduate to teach customers how to prepare mouth-watering dishes such as ratatouille, poached pears in caramel sauce, and halibut with shrimp and scallops served over risotto.
From afar, a Chloe Madison Creations wedding cake may seem traditional. A closer look reveals that their wedding cakes aren’t cakes at all, but layers of cupcakes that fill out a multi-tiered cake stand. The bakery’s staff specializes in inventive cupcake flavors, such as the mousse-filled, marshmallow-topped smore and the raspberry lemonade, a lemon cake iced with raspberry buttercream. They also churn out traditional pecan, pumpkin, apple-crumb and chocolate-cream pies.
Along a colorful, tiled wall, the self-serve machines that dispense ribbons of creamy frozen yogurt rotate through a huge menu to offer more than 60 flavors throughout the year. After filling cups with toasted marshmallow, low-fat dutch chocolate, or nonfat strawberry banana, head to the toppings bar to deck out your sweet creation with fresh-cut fruit, Ghirardelli dark chocolate fudge, or pieces of candy and cheesecake.
Raised in St. Ann's Parish, Jamaica, Pon Di Riva owner Elouise Moulton imbues her menu with recipes she learned while assisting at her mother's island restaurant. Succulent cuts of Jamaican specialties such as jerk chicken and oxtail sprawl on beds of white rice, nestled against throw pillows of peas and a sautéed safety blanket of vegetables ($7 for small; $9 for large). On seafood Fridays, lumps of crabmeat wash up onto shores of linguine or white rice ($10–$12). Beef, chicken, and vegetable patties ($2+) file fresh from the oven alongside breads and buns from Royal Caribbean Bakery in Mount Vernon ($2.95–$7.95 a package).
The confectionery alchemists residing in Three Dogs’ kitchen wield gluten-free recipes to conjure up delicious cookies, a bevy of baked goods, and cakes for all occasions. Diligent ovens spend mornings incubating muffins ($1.50 each) and scones ($3 each), warming up for such larger midday deliveries as loaves of bread ($8) or scale gingerbread models of Fallingwater. Cupcakes ($1.50–$2) parade in seasonably fashionable coats of icing behind glass displays surrounded by adoring throngs of freshly baked cookies ($0.75–$1.50). Assuage multi-layered cravings with 8"x8" pans of bar cookies ($12), which double as boards for impromptu chess games between rival pâtissiers.
Cold Stone's ice cream, made fresh in stores every day, inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts. Choose your favorite ice cream from dozens of silky flavors, such as cake batter and mint. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and cherry-pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary by season and location. The store also offers sorbet and an array of lighter toppings, such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $1.99 and $5.99, depending on size.