“This is a guest post (Get your kids in the kitchen with these Holiday recipes) from my brilliant friend Chef Mary Payne Moran of Hail Mary Food Of Grace. One look around her site will tell you she is a pro in the kitchen.”

Heather Brooker

Motherhood in Hollywood


@traditionalhomechief (Ann Maine) says this (Mary Payne Moran’s of Hail Mary Food of Grace) Thanksgiving turkey recipe is THE BEST she’s ever had. Full menu at Traditionalhome.com

(c) 2015 Traditional Home

(c) 2015 Traditional Home


“it’s always a joy to work with Mary; her level of professionalism is superb ! Her attitude is joyful and she is always ready for a challenge …And of course her food styling is gorgeous and impeccable !”       Victoria Pearson has built a highly distinguished career as a photographer in Los Angeles, specializing in still life, travel, food and beauty. Her extensive client list includes Williams Sonoma, Neiman Marcus, AT&T, Martha Stewart Living, Food and Wine, Chronicle Books, Microsoft and Pottery Barn.

“Mary Payne Moran is a chef to some of Hollywood’s most important stars. She is dedicated to educating individuals and families on how to live happier, healthier lives through the magic of healthy eating.”

Debbie Robins

Transformational Coach


Author of SHOVEL IT!



Chef Mary is an extraordinary Chef and nutritionist that I’ve had the pleasure of working with this past summer at our Summer Art Camp! When it comes to teaching kids and adults different cooking skills and creating amazing delicious and healthy foods, look no further because Mary just gets it!!! While at camp she went above and beyond to make sure kids understood what was in the different types of dishes they were making everyday. She would have visual aids everywhere in the kitchen to help our campers remember what different ingredients were. She also allowed the kids to open their taste palette making their cooking time a fun learning experience for ALL INVOLVED!!

The food that came out of her kitchen always left our mouths watering at camp and the parents always raved about how yummy it was and how they’d like to also take a class with Chef Mary! The greatest thing about all the food she would make with our campers was that it was always on the healthy side, and she would show our campers and our staff and families that you don’t have to sacrifice taste when you’re cooking healthier! So if you haven’t done so already, book Chef Mary’s services, take a class with her, attend one of her lectures, you will not be disappointed!

Elizabeth Paravicini

Summer Art Academy Site Director


For my 50th Birthday, my wife and I decided to host a dinner at our house with 5 other couples. I called chef Mary Payne to find out if she would be interested in catering the party and she responded with an emphatic “Yes”. I told Mary about some of my favorite dishes and she offered some fantastic suggestions of her own.

We ended up designing an incredible menu that included: Blinis with caviar and crème fraiche; roasted persimmon and pomegranate salad with burrata, mint and hazelnuts; a seared jumbo scallop with lemon butter blanc; a braised short rib with creamy wild mushroom polenta; and red velvet birthday cake with vanilla bean ice cream. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine was when I read the menu. Well… The dinner was all I hoped for and more. Mary and her assistant took care of everything. My wife and I were able to kick back, enjoy the food and the company of our guests without having to worry about a thing. Each of the dishes was delivered to the table as though we were in our own private little restaurant. My 50th birthday was an unbelievably special event thanks to Mary and her talents as a Chef. It’s an evening I’ll never forget.

Richard Rosser

Author of A Piggy Nation



Chef Mary has worked for us at the Summer Art Academy at both our Agoura Hills and Valley Village Campuses for the last two years teaching our young campers about the joy of cooking. She is a hard working, dedicated chef instructor who has an amazing passion for educating and empowering youth to learn basic culinary skills that will stay with them the rest of their lives.

David Wohlstadter

Director, Summer Art Academy



I’ve personally known and worked with Chef Mary for over 6 years. She is, indeed, one of the most innovative and talented culinary chefs in all of LA! Whether she is designing a menu for an A-list celebrity event in Beverly Hills or an intimate catered dinner in your home, … she is creative, hard working, with a unique flair for food that is rare and all her own!


Event Manager


I’ve had the pleasure of tasting Hail Mary’s for years at various events. Its a rarity to see such an accomplished chef to remain so connected to her food. You wont see any unnecessary flourishes or garnish without purpose but what you will experience is nothing short of fantastic.

To put it simply Mary has the artistry and talent to combine complexly tantalizing flavors with the accessibility of everyday food. From the simplest salad dressings to the most elaborate roast beasts, Mary crafts her delights focusing on flavor and nutrition. With he premise of balance, she has taught me that good food can indeed be fun. Thank you Mary, every meeting is a delight.

Jessica Kent




The Summer Art Academy in Agoura Hills was lucky to have Chef Mary Payne Moran teach children’s cooking classes for the summer of 2010.

Chef Mary directly worked with children ages 5-11 years old, and directed support staff ages 12- 25 years old. As the Site Director, I can honestly say that she was hands down the best teacher I have EVER worked with. I could always count on her cooking classes to be popular, fun, entertaining, exciting and educational for our campers! She is kind, warm, intelligent and a true delight to work with.

Her Art Camp recipes were always kid-friendly, easy to follow, healthy and absolutely DELICIOUS. Chef Mary is an extremely talented chef who is able to create delectable and delicious food as well as make it accessible!

As an Instructor, Chef Mary somehow found a way to relate to every single child in a unique and special way. She understands HOW to teach, and was able to transfer a normal kitchen into a truly magical place!

She is extremely knowledgeable in regards to nutrition and health. I would absolutely recommend her as a Nutritionist, Food Blogger, Critic, Party Planner, Teacher, Food Stylist, Writer or Personal Chef!

Ashley Crosner

Site Director

The Summer Art Academy


Chef Mary Payne has catered events at my home ranging from a large engagement celebration to the ever-so-tricky small but elegant dinner party. Each time, she allowed me to be the calm, stress-free hostess I truly wanted to be, knowing that every element of the food, table decor and presentation were impeccably seen to by Mary and her team. Eating restrictions? Picky guests? Not a problem. Anything I threw at Mary, she was able to synthesize into a perfect menu, and put forth a meal that was mouth-wateringly delicious, so tasty that my guests were begging me for her business card. She elevates preparing food into an art form, a celebration of fresh ingredients, expert blends of flavors and seasonal dishes. I feel lucky to have had her in my home, and I hope to take a cooking class with her one day so that I can learn some of her magical techniques… Thank you, Mary!

Rachel Lipman Mostow




You are an excellent chef and when you write about food it is always interesting and fun! Congratulations on your good work and thanks for appearing on NewsOk’s webcast Parties Extra! We enjoyed it. http://blog.newsok.com/partiesextra/category/mary-payne-moran/

Helen Ford Wallace

Columnist at The Oklahoman; Parties Extra! social blog and video host for NewsOk


Mary’s passion for healthy living is contagious. I’ve learned so many useful tricks and tips in the kitchen and for grocery shopping by following Mary’s blogs and webisodes.

Margo Ward,

Oklahoma City, OK


One of the most fun things to happen to me was to become the student of a former student of mine. When I taught math to Mary in 4th and 5th grade, I never imagined what a master of culinary arts she would become. Now I have followed her blogs, enjoyed taking a cooking class from her, I shoot her questions that I have about cooking or equipment, watched her webcasts on cooking… It has been a delight. She is so talented, such a good teacher, and so focused on healthful eating of real food. What a treasure it has been for me to watch her fun and interesting career.

Ellen Morgan


Chef Mary Moran’s food has an ease and an elegance about it. I tasted her baked macaroni at a casual, but well appointed backyard event, and still think about how perfectly it tasted. Like her food, her blogs and recipes help you create food with just the right blend of ease and chic elegance for people who want to cook a meal worthy of a dress that you can still serve in jeans and heels. Fabulous Chef! Fabulous food!

Anne Price

Entertainment Lawyer

Goldsmith Price


I have enjoyed so many Mary culinary experiences from complete beautifully presented, incredibly delicious parties to group holiday cookie baking. Fun!

Valinn Evertt Denig




I met Mary through a fund-raising auction where I bid on and won a dinner at my home for 6 people. Mary was a pleasure to work with. She corresponded with me ahead of time to finalize our menu, showed up promptly that evening, and was very professional during the whole experience. My guests and I loved her food and enjoyed conversing with her about her culinary experience and goals. Since then, Mary has been great about keeping in touch and sharing food and nutrition information through email correspondence. I really enjoy staying connected with her and I would definitely think of her first for any future dinner parties..”

Lily Matias

Sr. Manager, Institutional Client Relations at Capital Group


“Chef Mary, You’re just Awesome!”

Melissa Nance

Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc.

Reservoir Engineer



Chef Mary was my nutritionists and cooking teacher.  Chef Mary opened my mind to trying to new food.  Because I tried new food, I found food I liked and didn’t even know it.  Chef Mary taught me to cook healthier food, and to shop for the right kinds of food.  Chef Mary did so much more for me then I could ever say.  Everyone should have a Chef Mary in their lives.

Kelli Parsons


I have had the privilege of having Mary cater parties for me and she without fail manages to prepare food that delights my guests.   I also read her article about tips for growing tomatoes which has proven invaluable to my first foray into urban deck gardening.  Mary is talented and knowledgeable jack of all food-related trades.

Matt Woods

Strike Anywhere


Chef Mary always has a beautiful presentation and a wide selection of fresh food options. She is knowledgable about healthy eating and always prepares meals that appeal to a variety of palates. We always look forward to her cooking!

Craig & Jocelyn Langus


I have enjoyed reading Mary Payne Moran’s suggestions on her column Hail Mary Food of Grace at The Communities. I’m not a very good cook, so her advice has helped. My husband enjoys the results, even our grandchildren enjoyed the Bunny Burgers. Mary, keep on sharing your nutritional expertise, it is well received!!!!

Linda Ellis


Chef Mary taught me so much about planning and organizing cooking classes and teaching children about heathy cooking. She is so creative and fun!

Rebecca Elbaum

Dietician Student


I had a great experience working with Chef Mary. I’ve know her for a while and got to work with her at a catering event. It was the best. We befriended an Italian chef who was very generous with the food he gave us. She’s a lot of fun to work with and has extensive knowledge of food, cooking, and the presentation of the food itself. She’s the best!

Henry Johnson


This woman can COOK! I generally stick to Turkey, Chicken and Fish for protein because I’m not a fan of beef or pork…but when Mary’s in the kitchen, those rules go out the window. She’s catered several parties I’ve been to in the last few years and I always end up having a little bit of everything because it’s all SO good!

Mandy Yaeger