About me

My name is Paige Vandegrift. I have been working as a professionally trained chef for over 30 years. A few years after graduating from college (where I studied Mathematics) I joined the ranks of career changers and ran away to cooking school in London at Le Cordon Bleu. Since then I have worked mostly in the midwestern United States…with a short break for an amazing…and educational…work experience cooking in France.

I no longer work in restaurant kitchens. Instead, my career in food has been focused on teaching people to create and nurture—in their own homes—a “table,” where they eat well and gather as often as possible with their family and friends.

I launched a private chef service in 2000. Shortly thereafter, I began teaching cooking classes. I continue to do both of these things…although these days, almost all of my cooking classes are hosted online (rather than in person) through the Zoom platform. (My current slate of classes can be found on my business website…as well as a list of my archived classes).

Just over 14 years ago I started my blog For Love of the Table. It was intended to be a companion to my classes—a place where I shared recipes I was developing for them…as well a place I shared dishes that I served to my private dinner clients and foods that I prepared for my own table.

Of all the things I have done in my career, the work that I have done on my blog has been the most enjoyable and fulfilling. I love everything about it: coming up with ideas, working out the recipes, writing the stories, and taking the photographs.

In recent years there have been many significant changes in my life that have impacted my ability to post regularly to my blog. Five years ago I became a household of one (which greatly reduced the amount of food I was preparing daily). Then, a year after my move, the pandemic hit; my in-person cooking classes pretty much dried up. Sadly, they never really bounced back. As I have scrambled to reassemble my career, the blog (because it was unpaid) fell mostly by the wayside.

It was while working on ideas for these new online classes that I hit upon what it is that I want to be sharing with others, right now: how to go about feeding yourself well when there are only one or two of you. In the U.S., the majority of households (almost 64% as of 2022) are made up of just one or two people. Yet the food world still functions as if we are all living in homes of four to six (groceries are packaged for medium to large households…most recipes seem to be written for 4 to 6 people…). It is this topic that I want to (mostly) address with this newseltter addition to For Love of the Table.

About Notes from For Love of the Table

Notes from For Love of the Table is a paid subscriber newsletter. It is a way for me to stay in touch with my regular readers in a more personal—and consistent—way. It isn’t subject to the whims of the latest social media algorithms (how often have you suddenly wondered why a page you liked to engage with in your social media feeds has suddenly disappeared?) because it arrives directly in your email inbox.

Currently I am sending out just one newsletter a month—sometime around the middle of each month. As mentioned, my main focus for the newsletter is small household cooking. In each issue you’ll receive recipes for the things I am preparing for my own “tiny” table…as well as all the creative ways one has to think about bringing good food to the table when there are only one or two of you.

I’m sure the content—and possibly the frequency—will change and adjust as I learn what interests subscribers. But for now, I am thinking of it as a place that will bridge the gap between the formality of my blog and the short casual form of my Instagram feed (where I have for some time been in the habit of sharing images of the things I really eat on a daily basis). I am continuing to occasionally post recipes to my blog (which is still public) as well, and will include links to current posts in each issue of the newsletter.

My tiny table…