Cook like you would paint if you were an artist. Cookbooks are only a guide or a pencil
sketch as it were, ....... except for baking! Most baking involves exact formulas for good results.



Buzz Baxter began his interest in cooking at an early age. During his preschool years he was tied to his mother's apron strings as it were, watching every move she made in the kitchen. Not only was she a fabulous cook, she almost never used a cookbook. Buzz picked up the habit of a pinch of this and a handful of that method of cooking. If you think it will make it taste it! By the time he was in high school he could cook anything he liked to eat. If he didn't like it, he wouldn't cook it. He left home and went to college at the age of 16 and was capable enough to take care of himself and his room-mate in school.

In 1950 he went to San Francisco to attend the University there..... mainly to play football. He became aquainted with a couple of Italian boys whose families had restaurants in San Francisco. They messed around in the restaurant kitchen and some of the Italian rubbed off on the Armenian kid from Fresno.

In December after the football season had ended, his coach, who was a reserve officer in the U.S.Coast Guard convinced him that he should enlist, as well as most of the team. His grades and theirs weren't good enough to keep them out of the Army draft. He enlisted and became a Coast Guardsman. His first duties after boot camp were in the athletic department at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Station at Govenment Island in Alameda, California. From there he was transfered aboard U.S Coast Guard Cutter Taney. He then landed in Monterey, California at the lifeboat station there, an air/sea rescue facility. He was assigned to an 83 foot patrol boat and did the cooking for the crew when needed. He later was assigned to the lifeboat station itself because the cook at the station had been transfered and there was no one on the station that could boil water. Although he had no formal training by the Coast Guard or anywhere else but his mother's kitchen, he fared quite nicely. He was happy with the duty there....every night off and every weekend off. Not bad for a newly married kid just out of boot camp. This was not to last though. His commanding officer decided to rate him because of the great job he had done and he was immediately transfered to a 213 foot, sea-going tugboat, the Yocona. The Yocona was berthed in Field's Landing California, just outside of Eureka.

The ship and it's crew it seemed, had a "reputation", one that caused it to be moved from it's mooring in Eureka to the one in Field's Landing. At least that's the way the story goes. A black boat with a motley crew. Being newly married and also chronic sea sick, Buzz was not a happy camper to say the least. He asked for a transfer immediately upon boarding the Yocona. Of course that fell on deaf ears. For a short time, he was the only cook for almost 80 men......who, as it seemed at the time, hated cooks. He managed to stay alive aboard the Yocona for six months and cooked what the "brass" wanted him to cook. The infamous "SOS", cold cuts, oyster stew, do-nuts, beans and everything else the government in all their wisdom thought would keep the crew alive and well. And that boat....that damn boat would only leave the dock when every other sailor in the world was looking for a safe harbor. Being chronic sea-sick and cooking donuts for the C.O. at 3:00 a.m. was not choice duty. The smell of deep frying sweet, greasy do-nuts on a rolling ship would somewhat describe his plight. It wasn't like getting shot at, but some nights that would have seemed a blessing.

Just after Thanksgiving of 1952 Buzz learned that the cook on the shore station, Humbolt Bay Lifeboat Station, was being discharged shortly and would like to get in a little sea time to boost his mustering out pay. He found the right guy to transfer with..... Buzz Baxter. Buzz jumped at the opportunity. Not only was he going to get a few hours on dry land, a kitchen all to himself, and to top it off, he had a couple of old buddies stationed at the lifeboat station. It was like manna from Heaven! Buzz was in charge! He was now a 2nd class petty officer and the kitchen, the menu, the staff was all his. Good food and good smells were about to eminate from the galley of the Humboldt Bay Lifeboat Station, Samoa, California.

For the rest of his tour of duty, Buzz cooked what he wanted and how he wanted it to an appreciative crew who quit going to the "Samoa Cookhouse", a renowned logger's restaurant nearby, so as not to miss the cracked crab, the smoked salmon, filet mignons, shish kebab, jambalaya and all the neat stuff every sailor should be dining on. Every day, Luigi, a little Italian baker would drive his bakery wagon up to the galley door and deliver fresh baked Italian bread. Fill a loaf of that with some Humboldt crabmeat and you'd re-enlist. The Lifeboat Station had a 50 gallon drum full of water and Louisiana Crab Boil ready for the lifeboat crews to fill when they came back from helping out some poor crabber who gratefully gave them some of his catch. Fresh cracked crab was as common on our table as bread and butter. There was a smokehouse just off base, and smoked and kippered salmon was always available. If we caught or were given a salmon, we just walked next door and had it smoked or kippered. All crew members got a birthday cake (decorated) on their birthdays and fresh fruit pies were on the table for every lunch and dinner. Breakfast was always "to order" and yes they had the infamous "SOS" (**** on a Shingle) for those guys who were planning on spending the next 20 years there. Some guys just couldn't live without salty chipped beef dredged in white flour gravy on toast. (To be truthful, he still gets a yen for it himself.)

After his discharge from the Coast Guard, Buzz went to work to try to make a living. He then decided to take his GI Bill benefits and continue his education. He chose to go to dental school by way of Fresno State University and then to the prestigious College Of Physicians and Surgeons in San Francisco. Ah yes! San Francisco again. The gourmet city. It was 1958 and he now had connections there. A friend who owned a number of restaurants, Italian of course. An instructor who showed him the ropes about cooking his ancestral Chinese cuisine and another friend who owned a World famous waterfront bistro in Sausalito. Buzz cooked and bar-tended his way through dental school, enjoying every minute of it. (Fast Forward here) I'm sure the nitty-gritty of extractions, root canals and "filling and billing" is not the reason you came to this website.

Buzz has traveled extensively throughout the Mediterranean, North Africa and Southern Europe. His heritage is Armenian from Eastern Anatolian, Turkey. He is Internationally known for his recipe development and as a recipe consultant on Mediterannean and Middle Eastern cooking. He believes that recipes should reflect the culture of the area in which they are prepared. For example, Armenian dishes prepared in the U.S.A. should reflect the ingredients available in the U.S.A., and the cook should not rigorously stick to purist ideas about ancient ingredients. All recipes have evolved this way and most for the better. In 1992, Buzz married Vicki, a pastry chef and gourmet cook in her own right. Maybe someday you might get invited for dinner. How does fresh Dungeness crab from the Siuslaw river in Florence, or fresh albacore or butter clams sound. Chinook salmon, mussels and clams abound in Florence as well as fresh water fish. Oyster beds with mouthwatering Umpqua oysters abound in neighboring communities. Top that off with Vicki's Heaven's sent Tiramisu. Buzz and Vicki love to cook for their friends and the irony of it all is that they live a stones throw away from the Siuslaw River Coast Guard Station and their home overlooks the beautiful Oregon Coast. And best of all, Buzz does not get sea-sick anymore.

Lately Buzz has been "inventing" recipes. "It's a kick to put together some ingredients that you have never seen together and see what comes up. If you think they will taste good together then try it. It's amazing what great things happen if you try." One of Buzz's newest recipes is good old American Apple Pie...only made with a generous amount of bleu cheese inside .("Bleu Eye Apple Pie©"). Absolutely delicious!

If you really want to get off the wall with your cooking, try this recipe of his! (Prawns, Roasted Garlic and Prunes with Fillo Wraps©)

Remember: If you can't break bread with a friend, the least you can do is share a recipe. Enjoy your visit to our little place on the web.

If you have an interest in art, take a look at some of Buzz's artwork. He has deep interest in three dimensional stained glass lamps and encaustic paintings.

Come back often and please sign our guestbook so we know you were here....thanks.


During the past six years Buzz has been in a battle with Esophageal and Prostate cancers. After extensive radiation and chemotherapy, at this writing (Spring 2011), both seem to be gone. Buzz is still recovering from treatment and is slowly getting his strength back. He still manages this website and published his cookbook in the middle of chemotherapy. He thanks you all for your patience, prayers and best wishes.

X - RATED PHOTOS OF BUZZ - Age 4 months to 79 years















May your seas be always calm and your meals always memorable. Buzz

The U.S. Coast Guard Ship, Yocona - The sea-sick center of the Universe!



Please report any bad links..Thanks, Buzz

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