PERSONAL: Married Gregory Addonizio; children: Remy (daughter), Cole, Gray (sons).
CAREER: Writer and chef. Aux Délices (a restaurant and catering business), Riverside, CT, owner and operator. Montrachet Restaurant, New York, NY, former executive chef.
AWARDS, HONORS: Rising Star Chef of the Year award, James Beard Foundation; Chef of the Year award, Chefs of America; Ten Best New Chefs distinction, Food & Wine magazine.
(With Joan Schwartz) French Food, American Accent: Debra Ponzek’s Spirited Cuisine, Clarkson Potter (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Geralyn Delaney Graham) The Summer House Cookbook: Easy Recipes for When You Have Better Things to Do with Your Time, Clarkson Potter (New York, NY), 2003.
The Family Kitchen: Easy and Delicious Recipes for Parents and Kids to Make and Enjoy Together, Clarkson Potter (New York, NY), 2006.
SIDELIGHTS: Chef, food writer, and cookbook author Debra Ponzek is an entrepreneur and owner of Aux Délices, a restaurant and catering business in Riverside, Connecticut, and other locations throughout the state. In addition to her food service business, Ponzek and her staff also offer cooking classes and instruction for both adults and children. Ponzek further stresses the connection between adults and kids in her cookbook, The Family Kitchen: Easy and Delicious Recipes for Parents and Kids to Make and Enjoy Together. In the book, Ponzek offers 125 recipes that can involve even the youngest children, and which also provide ways in which parents and kids can interact and bond while creating tasty dishes for all to enjoy. The recipes are “simple,” but “they are not dumbed down,” remarked Judith Sutton, writing in Library Journal. Ponzek includes meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and structures the instructions in such a way that children will learn valuable lessons about kitchen safety, food preparation, and cooking techniques. Dishes include golden gazpacho, grilled shrimp satay with ginger and lime, grilled spicy red snapper tacos, double hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows, and patchwork apple pie. “Ponzek’s experience as a chef and mother assures that each dish is homey yet sophisticated,” observed a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
The Summer House Cookbook: Easy Recipes for When You Have Better Things to Do with Your Time, by Ponzek and coauthor Geralyn Delaney Graham, includes quick, easy recipes intended for vacations, relaxation times, and other times when warmer weather discourages kitchen work and more attractive summertime activities vie for attention. The authors offer readers “simple but generally sophisticated recipes for those lazy summer days,” commented Sutton in another Library Journal review.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
House Beautiful, August, 2006, Devon S. Fredericks, “Cookbook: Does American Home-Style Cooking Really Mean Opening a Can? Our Reviewer Weighs a Top-Selling Cookbook against Debra Ponzek’s Much Healthier The Family Kitchen,” review of The Family Kitchen: Easy and Delicious Recipes for Parents and Kids to Make and Enjoy Together, p. 48.
Library Journal, April 15, 2003, Judith Sutton, review of The Summer House Cookbook: Easy Recipes for When You Have Better Things to Do with Your Time, p. 117; February 15, 2006, Judith Sutton, review of The Family Kitchen, p. 143.
Parenting, May 1, 2002, Rosemary Black, “Four-Star Family Meals: Three Noted Chefs Share Their Favorite Recipes for Cooking with Their Kids,” profile of Debra Ponzek, p. 170.
Publishers Weekly, February 27, 2006, review of The Family Kitchen, p. 54.
Redbook, March, 1999, Tamara Holt, “School-Night Gourmet (Save Time with Packaged Foods),” p. 152.
Aux Délices Foods Web site, http://www.auxdelicesfoods.com/ (November 30, 2006), biography of Debra Ponzek.*