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Food Prepared With Love Drives the Art of Good Eating

By Pamela Sosnowski

Chef Tom Moskos has a saying: the more you cook with love, the more you'll dine with friends. The passion of bringing people together through food is what inspired him to launch his Lisle-based personal chef and catering business, The Art of Good Eating, five years ago.

"I started this business because of my love of food and the social atmosphere it creates when you get people together: friends, family or even complete strangers," he said. "I truly cook with love, and my customers are always amongst friends."

Moskos has over 25 years of culinary experience working for upscale hotels and overseeing catering events. When he found himself in a position that was not allowing him to follow his passion, he decided to offer personal chef services out of his home. As word-of-mouth from satisfied clients took off, he expanded The Art of Good Eating to offer cooking classes, full-fledged catering services, and his own brick-and-mortar restaurant that serves as the setting for his classes in addition to private events. He can also give cooking lessons at a private residence, and strives to make it an educational experience instead of just showing people how to measure ingredients.

"With each class I make sure everyone learns something," he said. "I don't only teach the recipe; I also teach the history behind many of the dishes and items we prepare. I also utilize the time to allow the customer to ask questions. The questions can be on or off topic, it generates conversation and that is what "good eating" is about."

Whether creating a catering menu or meal plan for a client, Moskos says his selections is always upscale, healthy cuisine. Moskos works with everything from fresh seasonal vegetables to seafood, and catering options include a variety of appetizers, butcher blocks and meat displays, and themed or seasonal selections such as a taco bar and St. Patrick's Day menu. All food is presented in a way that clients cannot resist.

"One of my favorite menu items are elaborate food displays with lots of variety," Moskos said. "I enjoy this because it looks beautiful, has a wow factor and gives the guest a variety of foods to choose from instead of a formal meal where you a limited to what is served on your plate. I love to build displays with different meats, cheeses, homemade crostini and flatbreads as well as seasoned nuts, marinated fruits, grilled vegetables, (and more.)"

Another hit with guests is the small bite dessert displays, where Moskos offers up bite-sized portions of cake, pie, and other confectionary favorites. The format allows clients to sample several desserts without overdoing it. For his Octoberfest menu, Moskos creates bite-sized Black Forest cake, strudel, and homemade pumpkin candy for nibbling.

The Art of Good Eating even offers a Thanksgiving meal to help take the stress out of holiday. Customers receive a dry-rubbed turkey breast and may choose from trimmings such as cornbread dressing, Yukon gold mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash, and more.

Moskos says he takes a personal approach with each client and gets to know their likes and dislikes to craft a menu that will not only amaze them, but enable them to relax and enjoy the gathering.

"I adjust menus accordingly and am always open to feedback on the menu and make changes until it's right for the customer," he said. "After the menu is created I make sure the customer knows they have nothing to worry about with the food. Their job is to enjoy being with their guests."

To learn more about The Art of Good Eating and Moskos' services, visit http://www.theartofgoodeating.org.

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