I have been interested in cooking since watching my mother prepare the food we enjoyed growing up. Like many people, I was side-tracked during several years of college and graduate school. After that I found myself living on my own and wanting to eat more than mac and cheese. Perhaps more importantly, I wanted something to do in the evening instead of watching TV! So, I started taking cooking classes in local adult education programs. They were affordable, taught by folks who loved what they were doing, and a great place to meet others who shared a common interest.

Kick-starting my bread making skills were several courses in North Stonington, CT with Michael Jubinsky who later became Senior Spokesman for King Arthur Flour.

I also took a wide range of cooking courses in Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, and Mexican cuisines along with an equally wide range of wine appreciation courses at Manchester Community College. Seminars in French puff pastry and others filled in some gaps.

After relocating to the Hartford area in 1982 it became obvious that bread classes like I had taken were unavailable here. In an effort to fill this gap, I began my teaching career in South Windsor, initially focusing on breads and later including soup making in my offerings.

Since then I have enjoyed teaching contracts with Burlington, East Granby, Farmington, Glastonbury, Litchfield, Manchester, Middletown, Simsbury, West Hartford, Wethersfield, Windsor, Chef's Emporium, and Williams-Sonoma. Most recently I taught a culinary skills program as an adjunct professor for Tunxis Community College.

All told, I have enjoyed teaching over 350 courses, 900 classes, and more than 3,750 students with a roster that grows every semester!

Career highlights include making the bread for dinner with Julia Child and her husband, taping a bread tips show for WHC-TV, cooking in LifeLearn's booth at Celebrate West Hartford and having recipes published in Gathering Around the Table, The Hartford Courant, and my own books At the Stove with Don and Bread Class Recipes. Recently, I did an interview on NPR about baking sourdough during the COVID-19 pandemic.

>Visit my "Author Page" on Amazon!

"Give people bread and they feel like beggars. Teach them to make their own and you give them their dignity." -anonymous

Don on the set at WHC-TV
after taping his first TV show.

Through the graces of a dear family friend April P. I was invited to a pot-luck dinner with Julia and Paul Child following a seminar at Long Wharf Theater in New Haven. Needless to say, it was quite an honor to make the bread for this dinner and share it with the original celebrity chef and her husband! Above is a photo I took that day.


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