Dr. Mark Vogel

August 19, 2012 0 Comments

Chef Mark Vogel

Dr. Mark Vogel, Chef & Food Writer

I met Chef Vogel when he sent me an email about his food & drink column he writes for several newspapers. We got talking on the phone and soon learned of our mutual interest….food. I asked him to participate in my Novice to Pro section and he was glad to do it.

He sent me the following bio and his responses to my questions.

Chef Mark Vogel’s Bio

In 1986 Mark graduated with a BA in economics and a minor in psychology with plans to work in the business world. He did so for a year but found it boring and unstimulating. So he decided to go back to school to become a psychologist.

He then completed master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology. He had been working in mental health for over two decades. However, most of those years he also worked part time in various restaurants as a waiter, bartender or assistant manager. Something about the restaurant world has always lured him.

Mark always had a passion for food and wine. Long before he even conceived of pursuing a culinary career, he was watching the food network, buying cookbooks, taking local cooking classes, studying wine, and trying new recipes. Finally he decided to pursue it professionally.

Chef Vogel graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City with the goal of doing a combination of food writing and teaching. He worked for a while in an upscale Italian/Mediterranean restaurant to get some restaurant experience.

Currently he writes a food & wine column called “Food for Thought” which is published in a variety of newspapers and websites. He teaches cooking classes for Shoprite supermarkets in Wharton, NJ, (and) and for Morris Hills High School’s Adult Education program in Rockaway, NJ. He also edit cookbooks for Battman Studios in NY.

Did you cook growing up?

Never. My mother wasn’t much of a cook. Many of our meals were not made from scratch. Vegetables came from cans or were frozen and herbs and spices came from jars.

What made you decide you would become a professional cook?

Simply because I enjoy food, cooking, and wine so much.

Where were you trained and how difficult was your training?

I graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. It wasn’t terribly difficult because I had been teaching myself for a number of years. I was always reading cookbooks, trying new recipes and had taken a few amateur cooking classes. In all honesty, negotiating the teacher’s personalities was more challenging than learning the culinary skills.

Would you do it again?


chef mark vogel

Best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast?

Practice new recipes every week. Too many people fall into the rut of making what’s familiar. Subscribe to cooking magazines and/or watch the Food Network and make dishes that you never made before. If it doesn’t come out perfect, make it again and again until it does.

Best cooking tip for a novice?

Same as for the home enthusiast. Cooking, like most skills, is something that must be practiced. Cook as often as you can, always embracing new techniques or ingredients. Don’t take shortcuts. Do everything from scratch. Supplement your practical skills by studying. Learn about food, particularly food science.

Favorite gadget?

That’s a tough one. So many tools are indispensable in the kitchen. I guess I’d have to give special mention to my food processor.

Funniest kitchen incident?

My very first job in the food business was as a waiter in a Mexican restaurant during college. One morning while prepping for lunch I inadvertently filled all the salt shakers with sugar. We didn’t find out till countless lunchtime guests started sprinkling their food with sugar.

Favorite food to cook with?

That would have to be red meat. I’m an ardent carnivore.

When at home, what do you like to eat?

I like a wide variety of foods but if I really had to narrow it down, nothing beats a big juicy steak.

Thanks for the interview.

Last modified on Thu 13 February 2014 5:58 pm

Filed in: Chef Interviews

Leave a Reply

Culinary Schools

Ice Cream Sundays

Strawberry Chocolate with Almonds Gelato Recipe

Strawberry Chocolate with Almonds Gelato Recipe

Strawberry Chocolate with Almonds Gelato Recipe On a recent trip to State College, PA, my wife stopped at Tait Farms to pick up some local products including a Strawberry Dark Chocolate Sauce that my daughter thought would be a great ingredient to try in a new gelato or ice cream. I also had some Dark […]

August 13, 2014 0 Comments
Chocolate Trail Mix Ice Cream

Chocolate Trail Mix Ice Cream

How About Some Chocolate Ice Cream with a Bit of Trail Mix While I was down in the basement working out, I heard my youngest daughter upstairs in the kitchen preparing something.  My daughter has cerebral palsy and uses a walker to get around so I could hear the wheels rolling back and forth as […]

July 25, 2014 5 Comments
Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

 We Used Starbucks Hot Chocolate Mix For This One Maddie and I were thinking about making some homemade ice cream and since chocolate is her favorite, we thought we would give that a try. I looked in the recipe book that came with my new Cuisinart Ice Cream Gelato Maker and found a basic recipe […]

July 10, 2014 0 Comments
Strawberry Gelato Recipe

Strawberry Gelato Recipe

Fresh Seasonal Strawberries Make For Great Gelato By now you know I am the proud owner of a Cuisinart Commercial Quality Ice Cream & Gelato Maker given to me by my neighbors Bob and Barbara for my recent birthday and I’ve been experimenting with it to learn how to make great homemade ice cream and […]

June 29, 2014 0 Comments
Difference Between Ice Cream and Gelato

Difference Between Ice Cream and Gelato

What’s the Difference Between Ice Cream & Gelato I celebrated a big birthday at the beginning of the month and my wife invited some friends over including my neighbor who gave me a Cuisinart Commercial Quality Ice Cream & Gelato Maker (ICE-100) as a birthday present.  This past weekend, my youngest daughter and I put […]

June 20, 2014 5 Comments

Reluctant Gourmet’s Top Tip Lists

Check Out My RG Cooking Cartoons