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In the Kitchen with . . . Glenda Reiling
By Carol McGarvey | Photography by Tim Abramowitz
IN THE KITCHEN WITH . . . November/December 2012
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Glenda Reiling
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Click on the links below to view some of Glenda's recipes:

Peppermint Bark


Spiced Nuts

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DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE FUN to host a holiday party, but you just can't get it pulled together? Enter Glenda Reiling of Des Moines, a foodie whose catering service is armed and ready to help put on dinners, open houses, and cooking demonstrations. Her Glenda Reiling & Friends business, which offers rent-a-chef services, is gearing up for its busiest season.

"It's just fun to help people have a good time," she says. Glenda has been a professional chef for 27 years and has had her own business for two years. A native of Rembrandt in northwest Iowa and a graduate of the Iowa Culinary Institute at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, she learned to cook from her mother and from participation in 4-H. She also has taken continuing education classes at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

She has cooked for large groups through her work at Sodexo, Principal, Wells Fargo, plus Echo Valley and Urbandale Country Clubs, as well as for three presidents (Reagan, Clinton, and the younger Bush), various governors, and groups such REO Speedwagon and the Beach Boys. She's equally comfortable with Indian, Mediterranean, Pacific Rim, and Moroccan food.

But at Christmastime, she's also an Iowa farm girl who loves to get together with her sisters to make batch after batch of family-favorite goodies. "At the holidays, people really like to make their traditional favorites but also add some new ideas," Glenda says.

Teaching is a special passion. She loves to entertain "girlfriend parties" with demonstration cooking and has enjoyed teaching at the Windsor Heights Community and Events Center at Colby Park. She has taught children's, harvest foods, and holiday goodies classes. The last one in this fall's series is a Thanksgiving Day Prep class on November 20.

When she consults on a party, she tries to be as economical as possible, using as many of the homeowner's supplies as she can. For large events, Glenda calls on three chef friends to spread the work. This busy entrepreneur also operates a home cleaning service; 50 clients use her services on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. "I have served a lot of parties for clients. Then I get to clean the house and cook the party food, too," she says with a chuckle.

A sampling of offerings from her fall/winter menu items includes Squash, Apple, and Ginger Spring Rolls; Herbed Goat Cheese and Steak Crostinis; Mozzarella and Pepper Rosemary Skewers; Fresh Pear, Blue Cheese, and Red Onion over Baby Spinach and Mustard Vinaigrette; Chicken Breast Alfredo; Puff Pastry Quiche; Italian Frittatas; and Apple, Golden Raisin, Wild Rice, and Walnut Stuffed Pork Loin.

Her rules are straightforward—cook from scratch and cook with the seasons. And her business motto defines what she aims to do: "We believe in great memories and great food."



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