8021 Clayton Road
St. Louis, MO 63117
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norman_pic.jpgNorman Drey passed away early this morning. He taught cooking classes at Kitchen Conservatory for fifteen years and was a very popular instructor.

Norman will be sorely missed. He had grace and humor in the kitchen, plus his food was delicious. He loved teaching about food and we loved having him. His Friday night participation classes (frequently on the grill) were always sold out months in advance. His easy-going style simplified the art of cooking. His style ranged from high-end to comfort food; his two favorite classes to teach were “A Salute to Julia” and “Blue-Plate Specials.”

Norman Drey was a practicing attorney during the day, but his passion was cooking and dining. Norman was a self-taught cook, but his food was on par (or better!) with trained restaurant chefs. When he traveled, he was always on the outlook for exciting new recipes. We all enjoyed his chicken liver crostini that he discovered in Tuscany (anchovies were the secret ingredient).

Each and every one of us at Kitchen Conservatory extends our deepest sympathy to his widow and son. We all have lost a truly wonderful and kind man.

In honor of Norman, here is one of his best recipes, which is delicious with grilled meats.

Caramelized Onion Confit

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 cups thinly sliced onions, about 3 to 3 ½ pounds
  • ½ teaspoon dried red pepper
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup dry sherry

Place the oil and onions in saute pan, and cook until onions are reduced and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add the pepper, sugar, vinegar, and sherry and cook for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


6 Comments for “Norman Drey”  

  1. Ruth

    We miss you already, dear friend. Norman was truly the kindest and most thoughtful gentleman that always had a smile and a kind word, each time he greeted you. You are forever in our thoughts and in our hearts.

  2. Kelly

    So sad to hear about this!

    The lobster mashed potatoes he made for a grilling class were absolutely delicious!

  3. Paul

    I too greatly enjoyed his classes – especially when he did lobster. He will indeed be missed.

  4. Barb

    Norman and I had a special bond, while both going through some trying times with our health. We would listen and support each other and he would always add a touch of humor, so we both could chuckle. I will miss his smile and friendship. I admire him for his sincere kindness, and his love of food and cooking. He was a great chef. We will all miss him.

  5. Barbara Drey

    Thank you so much to all of Norman’s colleagues, students and friends who left comments. The tribute and your notes have meant a lot to his family.

  6. Anne

    Norman is missed here at Kitchen Conservatory. We are planning to offer cooking classes this fall featuring his wonderful recipes…he had so many delicious menus that it hard to choose!