Latest Posts

Chef Clay Conley teams up with Onli Beverages to develop new zingy, fizzy flavor - Michelle Lara

Flavor master mixes love of citrus, ginger / The Palm Beach Post, March 19, 2014

Chef Clay Conley, the acclaimed executive chef at Buccan Palm Beach, knows flavor. He knows it in practice and he knows it in theory. That much was clear last week at the launch party to celebrate Conley’s collaboration with Onli Beverages.

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DIY: Valentine’s Day Treat For Your Tiniest Valentine / Tiny Prints Blog, January 31, 2014

I was thrilled when Tiny Prints reached out to me to contribute to their blog. I quickly went onto their site for some Valentine’s Day ideas – they’re website is full of colorful inspiration!

See the full story here >> figcheesepuffs_caption Fall’s Figgy Bites: These cheesy pouches are done in a puff / The Palm Beach Post, October 1, 2013

Fall brings us fig flavors and parties — and if you’re lucky, both at the same time. But, speaking of parties, who wants to get stuck in the kitchen when your guests are having the time of their lives? Not this girl!

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Aloha Hawaiian Chicken Burger Featured on The Daily Meal / June 2013


The burger is something that will never fall out of fashion, no matter how hard we try to diet our way out of it. It’s something that will always have us crawling back.

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A carrot cake the Easter bunny would devour – Michelle Lara / The Palm Beach Post, April 2012

Carrot cake has always been my favorite Easter dessert. Maybe that’s because my grandmother bakes a decadent carrot cake that dreams are made of. It’s loaded with all the goodness of a traditional carrot cake, lavished with sweet cream cheese frosting and walnuts, a super-moist cake hinting of cinnamon and brown sugar.

I haven’t been able to finagle that recipe out of her, partly because she makes it with no recipe at all. Like most fabulous home cooks, my grandmother eyeballs the measurements – which is no help to me, as Abuela lives in Puerto Rico, miles away from us.


Celebrate National Banana Split Day in a big way at the Four Seasons in Palm Beach – Michelle Lara / The Palm Beach Post, August 2011

How does an ice cream lover celebrate National Banana Split Day Thursday? Well, we could be dainty about it and have an ordinary banana split, or we could go the Jason Morale route. Morale is the executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Palm Beach and the creator of the mother of all banana splits.

He calls it The Kitchen Sink: It’s 20 scoops of 10 gourmet ice cream flavors (made in-house) served on a giant silver spoon with all the fixings.


Lunch box mathematics: How to provide nutritious, special lunches – Michelle Lara / The Palm Beach Post, August 2011

On a recent school-supply run, I passed by the lunch box aisle – and instantly felt panicked. Despite their cheery designs, the lunch boxes brought to mind the blur of sandwiches I made last school year. Too many of them, slapped together in the morning rush, consisted of your basic ham and cheese or your standard peanut butter and jelly.

If my son traded them for more interesting lunch-box offerings, I wouldn’t blame him a bit.


A Brooklyn girl’s guide to home-style eats in Palm Beach County – Michelle Lara / The Palm Beach Post, August 2011

Food is like a time machine and sometimes if you bite into the perfect slice of pizza you are instantly transported ‘home.’ I moved to Palm Beach County nearly three years ago. I’ve fallen in love with the beaches, the laid-back lifestyle and the endless supply of fresh seafood, but sometimes I long for a taste of Brooklyn. Happily, I’ve found some places that are reminiscent of home.


A Fourth of July Girl’s Guide to Grilling – Michelle Lara / The Palm Beach Post, August 2011

What is it about The Grill that renders some of us helpless? After all, we can sauté, flambé, braise and broil with the best of them. We can bake fearlessly and chop onions tearlessly. But hand us a sack of charcoal and a lighter and we’re lost.

Granted, we’re partially to blame for the male domination of The Grill. Let’s face it: too many of us have yielded the outdoor cooking duties to the men in our lives.


Gastro van on a roll with toasty, melty sandwiches – Michelle Lara / The Palm Beach Post, August 2011

Nick Driscoll and Terese Cerna Driscoll are non-conformist foodies on a mission. The husband and wife team are serving up mouth-watering pressed sandwiches out of a 1969 Volkswagen van. The idea for a food van started about two years ago.

After tweaking and testing several menu options, they decided the pressed sandwich was the way to go and PRESS’D, the gastro van, was born. It turns out the menu planning was the easy task.Terese started her search for the classic wheels on Craigslist and eBay. “These vans are collectibles. People put a lot of money into them. We needed one that was in good running condition but not all done up, since we had to gut it.”


To improve their eating habits, put kids in the kitchen – Michelle Lara / The Palm Beach Post, August 2011

How do I get my child to eat healthy and enjoy it? It’s a daily issue at our house with our 6-year-old Jaiden – he’s beyond picky and, worse, he isn’t even consistently picky. Sometimes he loves chicken; sometimes he won’t touch it.

One thing he does love is helping out in the kitchen. And he loves the Food Network and Chef Cat Cora. In fact, he got a chance to meet the chef earlier this year at a family festival on South Beach. (He asked if she had a favorite food as a child. “Fried chicken!” said the chef.)


Jim Leiken named executive chef of Cafe Boulud – Michelle Lara / The Palm Beach Post, June 2011

The mood was celebratory at Cafe Boulud on Wednesday afternoon. Daniel Boulud was in town not only to name his new executive chef for the Palm Beach eatery, but also to congratulate his outgoing chef, Zach Bell, for his years of service.

“Zach, you’ve done an amazing job,” Boulud said. “You’ve shown talent and caring and that has been translated to the food.”

Then Boulud announced Jim Leiken as his new executive chef.