My story 

Tabletop Collection

I am passionate about cooking. For years the kitchen was my sanctuary. It was the place I escaped to lick my wounds from emotional abuse. 

What has food got to do with it?

So much! In the kitchen I was the master of my own mind. I could set to work on balance and flavor. Here my wayward mind became my servant and worked with me instead of against me. I knew I was competent in the kitchen and so when I stepped back from my delicious creation I was no longer worthless, stupid or crazy. It was the proof I needed to move forward with my life. Alchemy is always possible in the kitchen.  It was the place that silenced the echos of the emotional abuse . 

My feelings and my moods were often torment to me. A lot of women I know write when they feel like that. It is their way of 'getting it out and onto the page'. I cooked mine out. I had food for moods. When I was immensely sad I cooked certain meals and when I was mad I cooked other meals. Moods and flavors were my therapy.

 One of the reasons I co-wrote them was to short circuit other women’s journey. I didn’t want another woman to suffer like I did.  It's for this reason I created my non profit, The Women's Voice Project.

I was invited to co-write these books with my ex-therapist, Sue Hickey. Can you imagine what it felt like when she issued this invitation? From years of believing I was worthless, here was my EX-THERAPIST telling me that I had something worthwhile to say. I still tear up when I think about it.

Sue is a South African therapist who has been in private practice for thirty years. Together, we created the Relationship Blueprint that is guaranteed to work IF you work it. 


I was an extremely slow learner and it took three abusive marriages before I learned my lesson. 

​I​ experienced the full spectrum of dysfunction from abusers to narcissists to everything in between.  I was the queen of codependency. Until I took responsibility for my contribution to my relationship fiascos, I was destined to repeat the pattern.

I spent years searching for answers on how to heal, how to transform my life and how to live free from fear, pain and desperation.

I traveled the world, studied Kabbalah and even went to an ashram in India.  Everything I learned I condensed into a formula that is detailed in When Loving Him Hurts and The Affair. 

The Kitchen Was My Sanctuary From Abuse

​​​​​   P H I L I P P A  S K L A A R

My first book, Hot Cuisine, was written about men and food. I named the men in my life after ingredients and the book is peppered with stories about them. One serious relationship I called 'Hamburger' because he could fill you up quickly but not with anything of substance or imagination. One my husbands I called 'Icicle' because everything about him was so chilling, brutal and unrelenting.

Food is so much more than fuel for the body - it is my labor of love. It still gives me enormous pride to present a plate of food that is beautiful to the eye, sustenance to the body and poetry to the taste buds.

When I immigrated to LA, I arrived with my pots and pans and miniature Yorkie. After 6 months I landed Elizabeth Taylor as my first client. I could not believe it! I did two of her Oscar dinners and her grandson's christening. 

It is with great pleasure to share my recipes with you.

Food for the soul - can anything be better?