Salon owner Michael Maybroda is a stylist in the kitchen too

Intro by Pam George | Photograph by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the May 2022 issue


Michael Maybroda loves good food, and there is plenty of it on the Culinary Coast. But when he first moved to the beach, he lacked funds for dining out. So, he cracked open a cookbook. “I learned to make restaurant-like food so I could eat well,” says Maybroda, who now owns Stephan & Co. Salon and Spa with husband Stephan. The amateur cook mastered the basics, courtesy of Rachael Ray, and quickly moved to more complex recipes. 

Fast-forward more than 16 years. Maybroda is the creator of the Facebook page “From This to That.” For each post, he artfully arranges a tableau of ingredients and snaps a photo. A second shot features the finished dish. Recent meals have included pork chops with blue cheese and apples over spinach and whipped potatoes; chicken cordon bleu with mustard sauce; chicken parmesan sandwiches; and filet mignon with mushroom-and-Gruyere orzo.

The still life of ingredients is not just for show; Maybroda often assembles all the meal’s components before cooking. He makes a game of it by using whatever is currently in the fridge — a la the TV show “Chopped.” It helps that he keeps his kitchen well-stocked

“I buy whatever is in season,” he says of his stash. “My favorite time of year is when I can cook with ingredients from the farmers markets.” Not surprisingly, living at the beach has spurred him to use fresh vegetables.

Maybroda started “From This to That” at the pandemic’s start, “and it just sort of built up from there,” he says. The entrepreneur is mulling over new ideas for the concept. He doesn’t lack for imagination or ambition. After leaving his human-relations job in Philadelphia, he shampooed hair in a coastal salon. Later, he was a manicurist, and along with now owning a salon, he sells CBD products. Evidently, Maybroda’s Facebook page title offers words to live by. 


(Serves 4)

For the chicken and mustard cream sauce

- 4 boneless chicken breasts

- Salt, pepper and powdered garlic to taste

- 2 tablespoons of olive oil

- 1 cup of chicken stock

- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

- 1⁄4 cup of creme fraiche (or substitute sour cream) 

STEP 1 Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic.

STEP 2 Add the olive oil to a pan on medium heat. 

STEP 3 Add the chicken breast and cook on medium heat for five to six minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove and set aside to rest.

STEP 4 To the pan, add the chicken stock, Dijon mustard and creme fraiche. Cook over medium-low heat until reduced by half. Stir frequently. Add the juices from the rested chicken.

For the orzo

- 11⁄2 cups of orzo

- 1 zucchini, chopped

- 1 yellow squash, chopped

- 1 small yellow onion, chopped

- 1 tablespoon of olive oil 

- 1⁄2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

- 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

STEP 1 Boil the orzo in salted water until tender, about five minutes.

STEP 2 Reserve one cup of pasta water, drain the orzo and put aside.

STEP 3 In the same pan, add olive oil and onion. Saute on medium heat until tender, about three to five minutes. 

STEP 4 Add the zucchini and squash. Cook for an additional three to five minutes.

STEP 5 Add the cooked orzo, half of the reserved pasta water, salt, pepper and grated parmesan. Stir, cover and put aside. (Add more pasta water if needed.)

To serve:

Place chicken on plates and pour the sauce over it.

Add the orzo and chopped parsley as a garnish (optional).