Gayle Shankman, owner of Please Eat the Daisies Caterers, based in New Paltz, started out as a New York City cabdriver in the 1970s, but knew that her ultimate passion was cooking. “I loved feeding all of my roomies when we lived in a 16-bedroom house next to the airport,” she says. With no formal training, she admits that she “lied through her teeth” to land her first cooking job at a private club for rock stars in Manhattan. “The chef mentored me and took me with him everywhere he went.”
After a three-year stint at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, she took one of her hand-sculpted vegetable bouquets to Bryan Miller, the food critic at The New York Times “who immediately did a little article on me. From the moment that article came out back in 1983, my telephone did not stop ringing and my business was born!”
One of Shankman’s signature catering items is her fruit-and-vegetable “edible bouquets.” She’s also able to do kosher catering for clients that request it through the New Paltz Jewish Community Center’s kosher kitchen. Shankman, who lives in Marlboro but does catering throughout the Hudson Valley region, is the subject of this week’s New Paltz Times Meet and Greet.
Business or Organization:
Please Eat the Daisies Caterers.
Where are you from originally?
What makes this area unique?
The number of people who are committed to a “green” lifestyle and the culture that surrounds us because of it.
What do you like about this community?
There is a willingness to help one another and band together for a cause or belief.
What is your favorite hangout?
Minnewaska, overlooking the Ridge in fall and spring.