Welcome to Clare's Kitchen

Perhaps you first met me on the Food section of the Richmond Times Dispatch, or in the pages of my book, Stories and Recipes from Clare’s Kitchen.

Growing up in Richmond, Virginia I had the pleasure of observing my Czech father and my English mother produce amazing food, exploring their European culinary heritage while using the thoroughly Virginian ingredients at hand.  Later, in boarding school in the English countryside, I began to relish, first hand, the connection between local ingredients and simple, delicious food.

Since then, in college in Charlottesville where I had the great pleasure of sharing a house with a number of extraordinary cooks, to my life today, which is happily and exuberantly peopled with all sorts of friends, food has always been at the center of my plate.

An enthusiastic reader, I’ve read countless cookbooks and have come to feel that many of my favorite authors are old buddies, just sitting in abeyance on my bookshelf waiting to weigh in on any of my frequent questions, tangents or curiosities.  My favorites are Elizabeth David, James Villas, M.F.K. Fisher, Mrs. Beeton, Ina Garten, Julia Child, Patricia Wells, Richard Sax, Laurie Colwin….well, you get the idea.

My friends are a constant source of inspiration to me.  Their generosity in sharing ideas, experiences, food, wine, and festivity with me is boundless, as is my gratitude and love for them.  Our food camaraderie is a precious thread that runs through my life and travels.

Sometimes  I can be found busy in my kitchen overlooking the James River, surrounded by my family and friends, continuing my life’s journey as an enthusiastic, intrepid home cook. Sometimes, I’m traveling around the world, meeting new people and experiencing the novel cuisines to which they introduce me.   

I hope these recipes and stories provide you ideas and inspiration to move you into your own kitchen with a spring in your step.  Don’t forget to appreciate the fun and joy you’re spreading with every single bite.   And most importantly, no matter what’s on the menu, that you always remember that the secret ingredient is love.