About

Toast Home Cooking wants you to be a happy home cook. Dial back the take-out food orders. Learn to make things from scratch. You don’t have to give up your day job to eat tasty, healthy meals every day at home.

Toast creates custom classes, held in your home or in our dedicated teaching kitchen. We help with menu planning, shopping and cooking the meal.  Learn to make pastry dough, cook a whole fish or make easy Asian dishes in 30 minutes. Toast also hosts a bi-monthly Supper Club in Brooklyn for general merriment and gustatory pleasure.

For more information or to organize your own private class, please contact us: nan [at] toasthomecooking [dot] com

nan doyle chef instructor at toast home cooking

About Nan Doyle, Chef-Instructor

I love food, cooking and conversation. After many years of squeezing in meal-making between jobs in media, I have found my calling as a chef-instructor. I teach people to cook good food at home. Weeknight family meals. Birthday cakes. Show-off dinner party menus. All of the above and more. Toast Home Cooking was founded by me, Nan Doyle, in 2010.

My first food venture, a whole-grain bakery in San Diego, CA called Rebel Bakers, was created in 1980 with Billy Nessen, my first true love and still a friend. After selling the bakery (which no longer exists, alas), I studied Semiotics at Brown University. There, I learned to make one-pot wonders on the cheap, in a scrappy kitchen with hungry post-structuralist chums and budding filmmakers. I enrolled in Gilles Deleuze’s last seminar in Paris, all about Michel Foucault (a Very Important Thinker and dear colleague to Deleuze), and lived in a former nun’s cell on the rue du Cardinal Lemoine. At this time, I also fell in love with France: the language, culture and food.

After graduation in 1986, I moved to Paris in hopes of making my life there. Jobs were scarce at first (no working papers). I taught video to psychoanalysts, giving them a new therapeutic tool to help the mentally ill. I sold stories to the National Enquirer, gleaned from scouring the French scandal sheets. And I honed my cooking skills at home, in a tiny kitchen. Fellow food lovers Andy & Bea had cook-a-thons with me, outdoing ourselves with fall-off-the-bone daubes, coddled baby vegetables and towering treats of chocolate lace. I trawled the flea markets buying dented, heavy pots and outdated cookware. Sugar-Daddies took me to fancy restaurants, respite from cheap meals of Soupe Pho in Belleville, where I lived. Shamelessly, I pursued pleasure and stirred pots.

In 1991, I got a job producing an interactive guide to French wine. Finally, the semiotics degree came in handy! The guide included step-by-step recipes of menus from top-rated chefs, with wine pairings (natch). This meant traveling all over France, staying in luxury hotels while doggedly tasting amazing food and wine. Hard work but oh, so fun. I fell even deeper in love with France.

Until meeting Gérard. I fell in love with this beautiful man from France and married him at a bacchanalian, week-long event in a dilapidated manoir on the sea. We had babies. Folly, family and a good job offer led us back to New York in 1997. Goodbye France, hello Brooklyn.

Several interesting jobs later, my friend Tom asked me to work with him, launching a bold new wine shop in downtown Manhattan. Merci, Tom! One professional step closer to food and wine, my favorite extra-curricular. After five wonderful years at Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit (sic), I listened to my heart. And followed it out the door – to create Toast. Voila.

 

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