Simone Appetit: HeyChef! It’s Memorial Day |

Simone Appetit: HeyChef! It’s Memorial Day

Simone Grandmain
OK. I got it — HeyChef!'s famous carrot cake recipe. The witness protection program can now move on to Chef Grog's French Toast.
Courtesy Simone Grandmain |

I’ll tell you how I will remember this Memorial Day weekend. I have worked with HeyChef! ( for so many years, dating back to 1996. So we are talking nearly two decades. Which means I first sought out their services when I was 5. (I was a very precocious hostess).

In the course of the past 20 years, helping me with all my parties, they have never coughed up a recipe. I have used their À La Carte Service, which means I hired their staff to help with my parties; then I graduated to HeyChefs!’s Prix Fixe service, which means they provide the menus for me to choose while I run around with my family; and, in the end, I opted for their Bepsoke service for a big event (Wedding. Not mine, but that’s another story) and they handled the whole affair. So nice – but no recipe.

This brings us to this three-day weekend and, again, I have family arriving. They all want HeyChef’s!’s carrot cake but they are fully booked. I picked up the phone too late! No HeyChef! at my home. No food from Chef Grog. No Holly bringing in other chefs.

That’s what they do. They are like the of culinary perfection. I say, “I have 10 people here for dinner,” and they do it. They ask smart questions. “Are you really going to cook for 10? Do you want to be a guest at your own party?” I guess that depends on who I have invited.

Now that I think about it, I am an À La Carte girl. Just bring me the staff so I can do my own thing in the kitchen, have a helping hand, and then circulate amongst my guests. Today, unfortunately, I am crying due to the teenagers. But guess what? The phone just rang. HeyChef! is setting me up with their Prix Fixe service. I don’t even care what menu I choose. They are all good. Excellent, in fact. Holly has it covered.

Chef Grog’s famous Carrot Cake

Ingredients for cake:

2 cups flour (some rye or whole wheat)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

To taste, but I have used these measurements:

1 tps. cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp Ginger

1/2 tsp salt

1 lb carrot, grated

2 cups brown sugar

4 eggs

1 cups oil

1/2 cups browned butter

Toasted pecans &/or almonds

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup dried cherries

1/4 cup dried blueberries

Ingredients for frosting:

3 cups cream cheese

1 cup sour cream

1 tbls vanilla

1 tbls lemon juice

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Preparation for cake:

Preheat oven to 350º. Using baking spray, oil and the flour a 13 x 9 inch pan.

Mix together all dry ingredients. Whip together the eggs and sugar. Whisk in the oil. Add your carrots. Now fold in your reserved dry ingredients and your dried fruit.

Pour into pan and cook for 30-40 minutes. Your test check is when, at 30 minutes, you insert a toothpick. If it comes out clean, you are good to go. If not, wait a bit and try again.

Preparation for frosting:

Mix all ingredients. Wait until cake is cooled. Slather it on. So good.

Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen “must-haves” and food news at

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