Introduction to the Recipe Box

Peter Parsekian creator of The Saturday Night Chef
Peter Parsekian, chef and creator of The Saturday Night Chef

   For as long as I can remember, beginning some 35 years ago, I have looked forward to preparing an elaborate, elegant meal on Saturday nights. I would pore over famous cookbooks of the time, thumb through cooking magazines or the collections of recipe cards I had saved from the mail.

   Directing all my concentration toward a Saturday night meal became a hobby of mine. I rarely missed a “Saturday night.”
Yet, I realized there was an inherent gamble in reproducing these gourmet-quality recipes. Vaguely written instructions, variations in choices and quantities of ingredients, unclear equipment information, and cooking time “options” could ruin a meal.

   I knew a home cook should not have to tolerate this kind of risk, that there was a better way. The beginning of my solution was repetition: making the same recipe again and again. I realized I had to focus on and clarify the three most important elements of a recipe; the ingredients, the cooking equipment for that recipe, and the instructions. I started with a concentration on the quality of ingredients (not necessarily the most expensive), becoming a student of what to recognize in order to find them.

   In making these modifications, my greatest advantage was being an inexperienced cook. I was able to “see” how home cooks might view a complex and challenging recipe, whereas the experienced chef who wrote it would not view it as such or in the same way. In time, I was able to re-connect the written words in these sumptuous and unforgettable recipes with their intended results and to prepare the remarkable meals that I was expecting.

  I rewrote the recipes with easier-to-follow, well-organized instructions on a single card. I could finally close my heavy, cumbersome cookbooks and unruly magazines forever.  Anyone could reproduce these recipes over and over again and look forward to the same excellent results, using my The Saturday Night Chef’s recipe cards. Over the years, I added many of my own recipes to the classics I modified. Now there are now 85 selections from all the major food categories, covering beef, pork, ham, lamb, chicken, seafood, pasta, side dishes, barbecues, and salads. Dinners for all seasons are included.

  Each recipe is printed on one side of a full-sized, writable, coated card in large easy-to-read print, and sufficiently spaced. Two acrylic recipe frames that stand the cards off the counter at a comfortable viewing angle are included. I have also provided a 19-page Information Booklet with essential preparation, buying, and key food guidelines. These are fundamental to the preparation of the types of recipes found in The Saturday Night Chef. 

  Once you become familiar with the guidelines and follow the recipes closely, you will discover you are able to prepare delicious, exceptional meals, by yourself, on the very first try and bring to the table the excellent dish that you were expecting all along.

  I think you will find that The Saturday Night Chef will become your primary source for those special dinners. Think inside the box.  A great meal is waiting for you.

Peter Parsekian
Peter Parsekian, 
President and Chef