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Woman launches personal chef business

Date: 8/16/2010

Aug. 16, 2010

By Lori Szepelak


INDIAN ORCHARD -- Elizabeth Rostron loves to cook -- from scratch.

Her first entrepreneur endeavor is Elizabeth's Home Cooking, a personal cooking and catering service she started in January.

"I can make anything homemade," she said during a recent evening interview with Reminder Publications. "If I do not know how to make it, I find out how."

As she put the finishing touches to the evening family meal, her daughter Erin was at her side assisting with setting the table.

"I'm learning how to cook from my mom," Erin said, noting she is already proficient at making pasta dishes and grilled cheese sandwiches.

The menu for this evening was her special recipe of meat lasagna (a recipe passed down from her paternal grandmother), homemade Italian bread, caesar salad, and chocolate chip cookies.

"My husband Jeff and I believe in having our family all eat together," Rostron said.

During dinner the conversation turned to Rostron's business and how she looks forward to bringing her home-cooked, made-from-scratch meals to others across the Greater Springfield area. She stressed that whenever possible, she visits farm stands for her ingredients -- especially Dickinson Farm in Granby -- because she knows the produce is fresh picked.

"A lot of caterers have a limited menu of things they make," she said. "I give people the option of anything they want. I think that the diversity is good and can be appreciated."

Rostron noted that any menu item can be homemade, but what is important is it is made "with care and love."

Her specialty is a meat lasagna that was passed down to her from her dad, Wendell Lewis of Granby, who credits his mother for the recipe.

"I make lasagna a lot," she said of her dad's recipe, adding, "It's really great!"

Rostron stressed she cooks healthy meals from scratch with no added chemicals.

Perusing her sample menu, area residents can order trays of chicken parmesan (over pasta with sauce), veal marsala (over pasta or rice), seafood newberg, chicken francaise (over pasta or rice), pulled pork, pot roast, whole roasted chicken, cheese ravioli or meatballs with pasta and sauce. Her sauce offerings include meat, marinara and alfredo.

Of course, Rostron can make from scratch any menu item that someone would like to order.

Rostron also relishes cooking soups and some of her favorites are potato cheese, chicken (with rice or noodles), beef rice, beef stew and vegetable.

For side dishes to complement a meal, Rostron features homemade pasta, sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, and vegetables sauteed in olive oil and garlic.

Of course, no meal would be complete without dessert and Rostron bakes cookies, cupcakes, cakes, biscotti, brownies, muffins, breads and doughnuts. A sampling from her menu includes chocolate chip cookies, vanilla or chocolate cupcakes, apple brownies (with or without nuts), apple crumble coffee cake, banana bread and individual caramels. Dessert sauces are also available per jar and range from berry, chocolate and caramel to peanut butter and maple cream.

"The chocolate chip cookies are extremely popular," she said, noting that all cookie orders come in two dozen batches.

Rostron welcomes any order that can be delivered from meals for a week to a special catered affair. She notes her prices are reasonable and she always welcomes a challenge.

For trays of food, Rostron would like a one- to two-day notice, and for events, a two-week notice is encouraged.

"I can tailor any meal from someone who is diabetic or watching their weight to those who might have food restrictions or are allergic to gluten," she said.

As dinner came to a close, Erin noted that "it's fun to cook" and encouraged her mom on her business venture. As Erin cleared the table and helped her parents clean up the spacious kitchen where Rostron's magic happens with each tray of food, it was apparent that this close-knit family enjoys spending time together -- especially around the dinner table.

For more information on Rostron's offerings, visit She is also on Facebook, under pages, by searching for Elizabeth's Home Cooking. She can also be reached by calling 219-5745.