As early as the age of 10 Gail Clarke, who grew up here in Atlanta, was busy learning to make dinner for her family. Her mom didn’t love to cook so Clarke willingly began to step into that role. She says her dad and grandmother were her cooking mentors. Clarke loved to sit down and look through her grandmother's church cookbooks and learn from them.
Just as Clarke loved to cook then she still does to this day. She likes it so much that in 2001 she began her own catering business. The business stemmed from a tennis team that she was on and their decision to cater the food for their matches. Clarke offered to try doing the catering for a week or two to see how it went. It went well.
Share your latest recipes with us in the comments area below.
At the first tennis match lunch that Clarke catered, she got three references. Many people on her current client base stem from that original list and the many referrals that they’ve given. Later that same year, a friend was getting married and Clarke prepared the food for the wedding; and so it went.
When preparing her menus, Clarke says that she chooses the meat first and designs the rest of the meal around that. She loves to look through magazines at new recipes. She tries her recipes out on her family first. She said her kids have become food critics saying things like “No mom, don’t cook that.” She commented that, “I like challenges. If it looks hard I want to try it.” But the recipe she shares with us today isn’t hard at all. It’s delicious and easy to prepare.
Clarke said “I love the fellowship that food brings and I love the happiness that food brings to people.” That love for preparing food and serving it to others is exactly what has made her business a success.
Thanks to Clarke for sharing her Thai Shrimp-and-Pasta Salad recipe with us. Try it this summer for a cool and nutritious warm weather meal.
For information about Clarkes catering services, go to www.deliciousdishes.net.
Thai Shrimp-and-Pasta Salad
- 2 ounces uncooked linguine
- ½ cup shredded carrot
- 8 ounces medium shrimp, cooked and peeled
- 1 cup thinly sliced Boston lettuce leaves
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 Tb chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 Tb fish sauce
- 2 Tb chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tb chopped green onions
- 2½ tsp sugar
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
Cook pasta in boiling water 8 minutes.
Add carrot and cook an additional 2 minutes.
Drain, rinse with cold water and allow to cool.
Combine pasta mixture, shrimp, lettuce, cilantro leaves, and peanuts in a large bowl and toss well.
In a jar, combine lime juice and remaining ingredients.
Cover tightly, and shake vigorously.
Pour over pasta mixture, tossing gently to coat.
Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 2 cups)