Mary Helen Leonard of Mary Makes Dinner

A featured chef on ChefHangout since Jan 2012


Hi!  I'm Mary Helen, and I love to cook.  I believe that real food, cooked at home, can taste better than food from a box, or even from a restaurant. I'm excited to be teaching people how to make dinner their favorite time of day.
I'm a professionally trained cook, with a background in French, American, Japanese and Chinese cuisines.  I've even studied cooking in Beijing, China!  My wide and varied culinary roots are what inspire my unique cooking style, which I like to call "homespun fusion".  I love putting unexpected twists on classic recipes.  On my blog, Mary Makes Dinner, you'll find a huge library of recipes for re-invented comfort foods, like Pork & Apple Egg Rolls, or Creamy Chipotle & Quinoa Casserole.  
I have a passion for working with fresh new flavors and healthy ingredients. I often feature recipes that cater to special diets, including gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, locavores, and seasonal eaters. But every so often I am known to offer something a little more indulgent.  When it comes to things like butter, bacon, or cheese, my philosophy is this:  With great flavor, comes great responsibility.  Choose your indulgences wisely. 
If you'd like to get to know me better, please visit my blog, Mary Makes Dinner.  Check out my recipes, oggle my photography, and read up on what makes me smile.  While you are there, sign up for my e-newsletter.  I send out 1 - 2 emails per month, letting students and readers know about new recipes, classes, and what I'm up to on the blog.  
During my classes, I'll be there every step of the way, sharing tips, answering questions, and helping my students to become really great cooks.  As a teacher, I strive to share my understanding of flavor and technique with my students during every class, releasing their inner chefs, and bringing their cooking skills to a higher level.
By the way, my class dates and times are totally flexible.  If you are interested in a specific class, but would prefer taking it at a different date or time, just let me know!  I'm happy to add classes to accommodate busy schedules or different time zones.
Many, but not all, of my classes can be adjusted to cater to vegan, vegetarian, or glutenfree diets.  Contact me for details!
If you have any questions, suggestions, or feedback regarding my classes here on, please send me an email at  I would be happy to hear from you!