About MacroChef

I’m a professional nature foods chef, with 30 years experience working in restaurants, catering, cooking for groups on retreat, and giving cooking classes. My first chance to work in a professional kitchen was unforgettable–I was an apprentice in a tiny vegan macrobiotic restaurant in Osaka, Japan.  My many thanks to Yoshi-san, the chef who put up with the antics of an uncouth gaijin for more than 13 months. While I’m not strictly vegan or vegetarian, almost everything on this blog is, because that’s what interests me, that’s where my passion lies. For nearly 25 years, I’ve been head chef for the Gourmet Vegetarian Dinners in Palo Alto, and for 15 years, I’ve been the chef at the Saratoga Springs Retreat Center, Upper Lake, Ca. Please join me on this journey to find a way of eating which is fully satisfying, both delicious and health sustaining. Questions and comments are welcome.  Gary Alinder

CONTACT: Email me (Gary):  Alindersf@aol.com



–Catering for small and medium size groups

–Cooking for groups on retreat

–Cooking classes, both group and private

–In-home cooking

–Food writing

Please contact me for more detailed information.



“Our whole group was delighted at every meal (me too!) to find the best vegetarian foods and perfectly cooked meat and seafood options.  The veggies were always firm, not mushy – and there was no end to amazing desserts.  Every soup was world class.  The whole grain bread was incredible.  Food is big for our group and people were flat-ass impressed:)” –Patrick Numair, group leader, in an email after a retreat he sponsored at Saratoga Springs Retreat Center.


All contents © 2009-2012 by Gary Alinder

PHOTO: By Gerard Lum


8 responses

  1. Your site looks awesome. Sadly, I am unable to open and read any of the 101 Menu Ideas for Winter. Why won’t the recipes open up? Help! My computer is in tip top shape so I must not be accessing this correctly.

  2. I could not sign up for the newsletter. it said my address wqs no good. i AM INTERESTED IN ATTENDING the Japaneses shojin ryori cooking classes in May. please let me know the cost and how to sign up.

    address is:


  3. Hi Gary,

    Many thanks for the tips. I am not a tidy chef and I always find it difficult to get around that. Your ten tips are very helpful and will make my life easier if I follow the two I most need. Man thanks.
    Veronica O’Reilly

  4. Hello,
    I can’t seem to access the recipe for Wild Rice Croquette or for that matter any of the dishes listed on the 101 Menu Ideas for Winter. Any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you so much,

    • Many of the items listed are simply menu ideas, without links to recipes. But I posted this long ago, and have since put up recipes for some of those or similar dishes. Try the search feature to see which recipes are posted. Thanks so much for reading Macrochef. Gary

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