Tarrytown resident Todd A. Stankiewicz, a financial advisor, is into seasonal cooking and creating dishes based on whatever ingredients are freshest. His favorite cooking companion is his Goldendoodle Bailey.
Started cooking seriously: About six years ago, when he met his wife. “We started making meals as something fun to do together and save money.” His quality-control sous chef: Bailey, his two-year-old Goldendoodle. Bailey’s favorite foods: Brown rice, boiled chicken, sweet potatoes, Greek yogurt, and pumpkin. Signature cuisine: Seasonal cooking. “I gear my meals to what is fresh in the stores and markets at that time.” Favorite seasonal dishes: For fall, apple dishes like apple-stuffed chicken, apple dumplings, apple-stuffed grilled cheese, and apple crêpes, plus his award-winning pork-and-pumpkin chili. For winter, meatballs and gravy. For spring and summer, Cajun salmon with tropical salsa and fried plantains. Go-to meal: Crispy pecan chicken with honey-mustard gravy and a side of homemade mashed potatoes. Most unusual dish: His award-winning pork-and-pumpkin chili. “These are flavors one would not expect to go together.” Most unusual ingredient: Pumpkin—in pancakes, chili, fondue, cream sauces, and even low-fat chocolate cupcakes. “It adds subtle flavor, moisture, and a load of healthy nutrients in a low-calorie package.” Signature breakfast: Homemade crêpes with different fillings, like homemade fruit sauces, fresh fruit, chocolates, meats, etc. Easiest dish to master: Pasta with homemade pesto sauce. “As long as you have a basic food processor, pesto sauce is fairly basic to make and tastes much better than store-bought.” Two can’t-live-without ingredients: “Good olive oil and good wine for cooking—and drinking—are essential to so many dishes and sauces.” Three essential spices: Sea salt, cumin, and nutmeg. Biggest cooking fiasco: Happened in culinary arts during high school. “We were making elephant-ear cookies and used baking soda instead of baking powder. The cookies tasted like salty sand and the jelly turned green. I still remember that you need an acid when using baking soda. I always triple-check now!” Fun fact: Stankiewicz tweets about great food, wine, and beer @T_Stank62.
Most food-splattered cookbook: Joy of Cooking. “It’s the chef’s Bible.” Most-visited website: epicurious.com. Cooking idol: Bobby Flay. “I enjoy cooking on the grill and he’s the master.”
Local Shopping & Dining Guide
Preferred markets: Whole Foods, especially for sausages and cheese, and Stew Leonard’s in Yonkers. Best farmers’ market: Tarrytown. Fave beer distributor: “Portchester Beer Distributors lets you mix and match six-packs.” Favorite local brewery: Captain Lawrence in Elmsford “to try beers not even in production.” Special-occasion restaurant: Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Fave everyday restaurants: Birdsall House in Peekskill, Bridge View Tavern in Tarrytown, and Moderne Barn in Armonk.
For Stankiewicz’s recipe for Cajun salmon with tropical salsa and baked plantains, please go to westchestermagazine.com/webexclusives.
Gina M. Larson-Stoller, Cortlandt Manor
Brian Murdock, Mohegan Lake
Wendy Pregiato, Eastchester
Elly Kelly, Tarrytown
Susan C. Beer, Bedford/Pound Ridge
Lisa Ocasio, Cortlandt Manor
Mike Zollner, Port Chester
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