Join us for a travel experience! In February, 2020, I’ll lead a small group on an extraordinary culinary and cultural journey in Tamil Nadu, South India. Learn about our next trip
TOAST brings cooking classes into your home. Private classes, group classes, corporate events and kids’ classes.
Hire us for your next lunch or dinner party. Catering services available for homemade dinner parties of 20 and less. Sample menus
Schedule a food tour in a New York City neighborhood. With 3 itineraries: Gowanus/Sunset Park (Brooklyn), Flushing, and Jackson Heights (Queens). Get in touch
For more information or to organize your own class, please contact me: nan [at] toasthomeandaway [dot] com
about nan doyle
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 I trawled the flea markets buying dented, heavy pots and outdated cookware.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.