Comfort Food Kitchen: The objective within the name.
When you need a home-cooked meal or a family dinner night that when you don’t have time for the preparation of the meal, The Comfort Food Kitchen, should be the first and only option. Forget about take-out, “The Comfort Food Kitchen is all about slow-food,” states Suzanne Michaud.
Michaud appropriately opted for this characteristic on the opposite spectrum from the American quick and inexpensive dining option. Suzanne “Schmoozeanne” Michaud wears many hats; the chef, the owner, the instructor, the mother, the friend and today, wore one that parallels the nickname received by friends, the “schmooze.” Michaud sat across from me at a “kitchen” table and did just that, schmoozing about the road fulfilling her passion and the true enjoyment of her job.
Michaud took a big risk when she quit investment banking and followed her dream of food to the French Culinary Institute. She earned a Grand Diplome in Culinary Arts, but a culinary career was put on hold when she expanded her family and worked for a non-profit organization. Not quite suited for that organization, Michaud finally answered her calling.
She began using her culinary skills teaching small cooking lessons, which grew to catering small, roughly 10 person events, which turned into 100 person events. Michaud was quickly recognized by Grub Street: NY magazine’s restaurant and food news, and through invitation only, began selling her soups and cookies at NYC markets on infamous food streets, such as Hester. When time was apt, Michaud looked for a space where she could make and sell a higher quantity of her beloved meals.
Fifteen months later, Michaud looks back to the winter of 2012, and passion still alarms the eyes of the nurturer; she is awake within her culinary dream.
The Comfort Food Kitchen is a bit of a play on words. Selling some items that would deem “comfort food,” the name actually comes from the meaning produced by Michaud and her team. Michaud aims to give back to the Montclair community, where comfort can be found through nurturing of families wanting a home cooked meal, but are too busy.
The Comfort Food Kitchen’s solution is to order a hot take-away meal online or by phone by 3:00 p.m., and then pick-up the dinner by 5:30, 6:30 or 7 p.m. A new take-away dinner menu is offered weekly. Michaud explains, “usually families will pick up once a week, but we have some customers that come twice a week,” which is perfect for those days that just don’t quite seem to align with the thought for dinner.
Aside from a hot take-away dinner, the Kitchen offers lunches, catering and cooking classes. The Comfort Food Kitchen’s popularity is held with catering, where the menu meets the palate and suits the budget.
Michaud also offers cooking classes on the weekends. You can sign up for a Saturday night demo, which, at $79 for an adult, offers a two-hour demonstration with many samples to try, or a Sunday morning or afternoon hands-on class, which, at $169 for an adult, you will be cooking for three hours and really gaining a feel from the culinary genius of the Kitchen. The hands-on classes are typically smaller from four to six people, but all classes are a fun weekend activity to socialize and gain culinary experience.
The Comfort Food Kitchen’s lunch serves fresh soups, salads and sandwiches made from local and organic foods. I ordered Madras, a home-made organic chicken curry salad with arugula and mayo on cranberry walnut bread, along with a carrot ginger soup. I enjoyed my sandwich not once, but twice, eating the first half at lunch with a taste of the soup and finished off the sandwich with the last bite of curried chicken for dinner.
The chicken curry salad illuminated my taste buds, but was offset by the sweet cranberry bread with a nice crunch from the walnuts. The soup was a perfect combination of carrot and ginger, each not superseding the other, but adding warmth to an autumn lunch.
Wanting to save my sandwich for tomorrow, the wrapper labeled with the slogan “Creating Delicious Memories,” lured me back to my memory of 12 p.m., and I could not resist. I only wish I had more to go with the soup of tomorrow’s lunch!
Go online today to find the full lunch menu at comfortfoodkitchen.com. The Comfort Food Kitchen is located at 54 Fairfield St., Montclair, N.J. Their phone number is 973-744-2244, or feel free to stop in any time! The Comfort Food Kitchen is made with the best ingredients: not just the food, but also the care from within the kitchen,
Here’s a peak at their take- away dinner menu for the week of Oct. 28- Nov. 1:
A roasted beet salad on arugula with tart apple, candied pecans and gorgonzola ($6.95)
A vegan, French mushroom soup ($4.95)
A herb roasted cod with lemon, green olives, basmati rice and Brussels sprouts ($20.95)
Italian braised pot roast with Parmesan polenta and broccoli rabe ($16.95)
Linguine with arugula, local bacon, corn and cannelloni beans ($14.95)
Kid’s mac and cheese with broccoli ($6.95)
Organic panko chicken fingers with mashed potatoes and broccoli ($7.95)
Super moist carrot cake ($3.95)
French apple galette ($3.95)