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Longtime Estate Planning Attorney Writes Cookbook

April 27, 2010

Varnum estate planning attorney Dirk Hoffius realized a long-time dream recently when a cookbook in the planning stages for many years was recently published. "Just Good Food for Good Friends" hit local bookstore and kitchen shops in recent months.

The book is a collection of recipes for the simple yet elegant (and tasty) dishes Dirk and his wife, Vickie, prepared for his elderly father after his mother suffered a stroke many years ago.

"Vickie and I prepared dinner every night for my father, as he maintained the hospital vigil," Dirk said. "When mother moved to the Porter Hills nursing facility, we continued to welcome Stu for dinner. Somewhere in the middle of all this I realized that I had better write down the successful recipes and make this enjoyable and not an obligation.

"Soon I was telling friends and clients about 'my cookbook,' still with no expectation that I would ever publish what I was writing down. The years went by and we continued to share dinner with Stu at least once a week.

"I developed a theme for what I was gathering and writing down: recipes that were so simple that I would be somewhat embarrassed when someone would rave about a dinner. I had made 'over the top' recipes before, that took hours to prepare and required obscure ingredients; none of those appears here. These are just good food, for good friends."

Over the years, the firm has been the lucky recipient of many of the dishes included in the book, and many members of the firm have even contributed recipes. Upon its publication, every Varnum employee received a copy, and at least one firm event featured a cook-off of recipes from the book.

The Grand Rapids Press recently ran an article on Dirk's endeavor:

Dirk is a graduate of Colgate University and the University of Virginia Law School. When not in the kitchen, he is an estate planning attorney at Varnum LLP. He has been with the firm for over 40 years.

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