The mission of Spectacularly Delicious is to share my life long collection of show-stopping recipes and culinary presentations that will amaze and astound. This is not for the novice nor the faint of heart; you’re going to have to know your way around the kitchen pretty well to pull off many of these triumphs. If you relish the idea of bringing to the table a beautiful and unique masterpiece, with looks bested only by the taste, you will find inspiration and instruction here.

If you subscribe to the trend for easy, fast and familiar, walk on.  I love a recipe with a proper name, that uses specialized equipment, is visually stunning and of course delicious.  Yeah, there's more than an bit of glory-seeking in this approach to cooking, but when you set aside the time to prepare something as special as a Spectacularly Delicious recipe, your friends will appreciate the creativity and care you took to make something so enjoyable.  The concept of dinner as theater need not be limited to restaurants!

While some of these recipes are wholly original creations, inspiration and influences have come from all around. Just like you,  I have combed countless cookbooks, magazines, and newspapers; taken notes and ideas from restaurants far and wide; cooking classes (New York, Paris and Tokyo, la di da); had the blessings of adventurous parents and brothers food-wise, and worked with incredibly creative caterers.  Every effort is made to disclose original sources, with my elaborations and variations clearly indicated.

I test these recipes and photograph the results.  I'm very interested in hearing how they turn out when you try them. Send me a line! — Sean Sullivan

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Written by on January 17, 2010 under .

  • Ji Son

    This is really awesome, S! I am so proud of you (and wishing I was a better cook)!

  • Sean

    Hi Ji Son — I'm so happy that you're reading these. They may sound hard,
    but I hope the instructions are clear enough that you'll be able to try one
    or two out. When you do, let me know!
    P.S. If you have any fabulous family recipes I'd love to try them… always
    looking for new “Spectaculars”!

  • Justin

    Fantastic, Sean – looking forward very much to having you over and cooking with you. Thanks again for having us over last night! Justin Spring

  • Sean

    Hi Justin, I'd ove to hang out — didn't get to spend enough time w/you guys. Thanks for checking out SD — and I'm always open for suggestions or guest bloggers! Sean

  • Usna1956

    Your dad just sent me this link. My wife loves to cook & I often help her. I know she'll be checking you out further. Incidentally, I was in your parents wedding after graduation in 1956.

    Ted Bennett
    USNA 1956 (10th Company)

  • Sean

    Of all the pics from their wedding, the one where you guys crossed swords

    and they walked under was the best, so memorable! Thanks for checking out

    the site, would love feedback, Sean

  • RamblingTart

    I LOVE going all out in making special dishes for the people I love. :-) I look forward to seeing more of your fabulous creations!!

  • Nancy Yos

    I am actually in the act of watching The Women, for the umpteenth time, and at long last I googled “Pancakes Barbara.” The IMDB movie site seems to lead to yours, and yours to it. Or vice versa. I am looking forward to finally making them, and to exploring what certainly seems to be your spectacular blog. Thanks in advance.

    • Sean

      I’m an old fan of the film however a friend reminded me that it was in The
      Women, hence the IMDB info. This recipe is Elsie de Wolfe’s. With her
      legendary thin chic figure I’m sure PB were a rare indulgence.

  • Kase1224

    Hi Sean. I came across your blog in a search for an old friend of my moms. I have heard stories of a best friend my mom had named Sean Sullivan and would love nothing more than to find him for my mom. If you know a Christy Blevins (Chris Moore now) would you please email me at! Thanks so much!

    • Sean

      Wow oh wow! Chris Blevins, Hazel St., Webster Groves. Writing you now via
      email. What a wonderful note to get! Sean

  • Jean Bochicchio


    • Sean

      I am one of the least picky eaters on earth. That said, there are three
      things that shall never pass my lips: black licorice, sweet potatoes and
      ruhbarb. Here’s a great site for ideas and other canners:– check them out.

  • Jean Bochicchio

    Looking for a recipe using SURE-JELL PECTIN…for strawberry rhubarb JAM

  • Lydia Blakeway

    Good Morning Sean!
    My name is Lydia. I live in the great N.W. Bellingham Washington. I am starting a Jam and mustard production company. Along with helping several local farms and small food production businesses. I am running into a challenge and I thought that you might be of some help. I want my jams to taste delegable and fresh. How to go about this at a large volume of production. What recipes would work best? What temperatures to use and the sealing process to ensure freshness. It would be wonderful and greatly appreciated if you could help me out. Thank you!
    Keep Smilin’

    • Sean

      Hi Lydia, I don’t have experience doing large scale or commercial canning. That said my experience has been that for jams and jellies, the bigger the batch, the bigger the chances for failure to set increase. Double batches (16 cups) are my absolute maximum batch size. Recipes: stay seasonal. Ideas: adding an unusual ingredient (vanilla bean, hot pepper) changes things up quickly.
      Canning vegetables I only use recipes that use boiling water bath processing. Tomatoes are acidic enough that only a little lemon juice is needed to put them up. Otherwise I’m a relish/pickle/chutney maker. Pressure canning is required for low-acid foods and the type of food preservation where all those lurking doubts about botulism reside. If you follow credible instructions (get a copy of Eugenia Bone’s book Well Preserved, it’s an excellent primer on both process and unusual recipes) you’ll be good.
      I’d love to hear more about your project. You’ll find lots of recipes on this site and if you do use any let me know how they turn out! Good luck, Sean

  • susan K

    Sean, I can’t wait to try Risotto Vesuvius. I shall make it for Wyatt Mount Etna Kelly (And of course, to relatives, Vesuvius would have to sounds more volcanic than Mt. Etna.)

    • Sean

      Look out, it’s going to erupt!

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