Photo by Iory Allison
Anita Baglaneas is a jewel of rich colors sparkling on the edge of a rainbow! And if you think that’s a wee bit over the top wait ‘till you see her charming home high above Boston Harbor where she welcomes us with her infectious laugh and an elegant flute of champagne.
Anita is the inexhaustibly creative chef-owner of “Jules” her successful catering business that has been churning out culinary joy and delight for a discerning clientele of corporate, non-profit universities and private customers over the last 30 years. www.julescatering.com Still going strong, Anita’s hard won success is due to a recipe of talent, tempered by discipline and gumption, all whisked together with a soupçon of piquant pixie.
The pixie part is in evidence all over her charming home where the little darlings literally hang from the ceiling and dance on the shelves, ever reminding our serious business-woman to find joy in the moment.
Anita has nurtured and trained a competent and loyal team of 65 employees who all have an intricate role in the complex task of running a busy catering company. At any of “Jules’” diverse events Anita and her staff may be called upon to cook-up, not only the soup to the nuts, but also create the place, the space and the decorations – getting all the paraphernalia of hospitality in and out of the venue with dispatch and finesse! This is accomplished by the cooperation of her seasoned staff working together with Anita’s attention to every detail and her respect for every team member, from the working chefs to the dishwasher; all have a place of importance at “Jules.” Anita knows this because years ago she had to do it all herself before she could afford any help.
Iory: “When you are relaxing in bed, sipping tea and watching “Telly” what are you most appreciative of in your life?”
Anita: “Every night I am grateful that a Greek peasant girl was able to have the life I have!!!”
Comfort, art and color predominate Anita’s charming home. She has expanded the finite area beyond the confines of her “four walls” by choosing art and artifacts collected from her travels throughout life, all wrapped in peaceful colors that tie her diverse collections together with panache.
Anita told me she wants to go to Venice for Carnival but I looked around her home and thought I was already there.
Anita’s place is quite simply “Zany”- in the best of ways. For a famous Chef isn’t it surprising that you are now peeking into her kitchen. It looks more to me like a window into wonderland and as I think about it, I guess that’s exactly what Anita’s kitchen is, wonderland – the laboratory of a professional hostess.
Now will you believe me? Here we spy Anita with a cloud of whimsical lovelies who dance attendance on their Tatiana, Pixie Queen.
A close up of the characters in question, I love the little bear on the bike hanging from a rainbow parachute.
Hot – Cha – Cha! Here is the essence of Anita, skirt swirling in a mad dance, entertaining one and all who join her at the table. Although this is technically her kitchen counter, everywhere we look is a dance with this “Dame of the Realm of Hospitality.”
Did I mention the shoes, characters from all walks of life? Here is part of the parade circling the crown molding of Chez Anita.
The Gal herself, our adorable Anita doing a little jig in response to my asking about the swarm of pixies hovering in the kitchen window – a shrug and a smile was all I got for a reply, and that was perfect.
The soft violins by Lui Heitt, speak of the transformative power of music, melting hearts with beautiful melodies. To the left is, a glass creature whose audible squawk can be heard cracking ribald jokes.
Blue Skies is a vintage record of Irving Berlin’s famous song here performed by, “The Hour of Charm, All Girl Orchestra and Choir.” It was a much beloved memento of Anita’s grandmother who took it from the USA to Greece and back again.
Anita’s fabulous home looks out over Boston Harbor so it’s no wonder that our wonder woman wanders the world with frequent trips to Samos, Greece, the island of her birth.
I love the collection of sparkling jewels decorating the screen behind Anita. They reflect the twinkle in her pretty eyes.
These angels, ever mindful of their guardian duties are trying not to giggle at the marching shoes above them. Don’t you just luv the chartreuse Victorian boot with pink flowers?
Soft textures of draping fabric and cork-screw curls form colorful wings setting sail for ports of dreams.
The sun and moon plaque on the window wall smiles at the fragrant hyacinths, while the blue “flower fan” propped in the corner rolls her eyes jealously at the fragrant intruders stealing the limelight.
Anita wears the confidence of a successful business woman. She is acutely aware of the collaborative efforts of her staff and grateful for all her satisfied clients. Anita is a totally down to earth, hardworking Mamma with style and elegance, oh Yeah!
Lilly, the Tibetan terrier keeps a watchful eye, protecting Anita’s impressive bunch of friends.
Anita is a native of Samos Island, Greece where she maintains a second home that she visits often. Here is a vignette of souvenirs championing the working men of her village. They are flanking a neat little home with a purring kitty besides potted flowers, all waiting patiently by the lace-draped doorway for Anita to come home and cook them dinner.
Here we have a stylish Cuban couple strolling along the Boston Skyline.
Anita regards us with candor as she stands beside a sculpture of the sacred olive tree whose ancient trunk is firmly planted in the mystic soil of Greece, the source of western civilization.
A flourish of crystals and a peacock feather accent the view of Boston Harbor.
A Balinese dancer pauses to pray over an assemblage of Anita’s adopted “children” who hover about the stump of an old plant “gone by” which also supports the bleached jawbone of a deer, talisman of mystic significance.
A bevy of beauties gathered together for the pure joy of being delightful
A moment of release, leaning full into a saltmarsh at sunset, the lone tulip keeps his lady company
“Ribbit, ribbit” goes the frog hiding beneath calm waters of glass. He offers a goofy smile to the shout of tulips crowning the table above.
Family shrines from various generations help the bewildered parents a babe born in a manger to understand the sacred joy of living.
An international bunch gathers by the window wondering what on earth the bustle of the city is all about.
Anita is at home with her books and art, a picture of the complete person ever ready to embrace life’s next surprise.
A mini Anita with bobbing head in Chef’s whites wielding her rolling pin gives cooking lessons to a couple of old friends while a Dolphin leaps from the Greek Mediterranean to check on the action.
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where cowslips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight.”
Wm Shakespeare, Midsummer’s Night Dream
Wrapped in sheared mink, the fur sculpted with a scattering of colorful butterflies and paisley swirls, Anita comes fully to life as the luxury of it all gives her a smile of enchantment.
On Samos, Anita’s “Auntie Pagonitsa” gives her girl a well-deserved kiss.
Now I ask you, who else would have dancing fruit but a happy chef?
The march goes on towards the far horizon
Anita takes us to visit with her friend from Samos.
Family snaps featuring, center stage, Anita with her doll next to her brother Peter in full Greek costume
Greek homes are never far from the surrounding Mediterranean waters.
Anita found this cigar smoking fortune teller in Cuba. Her companion with the elegant neck adds a tempering tone to the proceedings.