Hi! I’m Traci, and this blog is the culmination of a dream that I share with my daughter, Caylie. It’s a way to share my love of and passion for food with her – and the rest of the world! Ian, my son, prefers to stay behind the scenes. He does all the dishes and is a terrific food critic. Sometimes, I think he missed his true calling in life!
MEETS THE PAST
Admittedly, when we started this journey, we were headed in an entirely different direction. The game plan was to publish my family recipes, as well as some that I had written and to share the food traditions and memories that I grew up with. It was very much a southern blog. But the further we got into this project, the more we realized we wanted to explore so much more. Granted, we are from the Mississippi Delta; but we spent 10 years living in south Florida, and now we are in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina!
…AND GIVES WAY TO THE FUTURE
Life changes. It moves forward at a rapid pace. So, we took a step back, thought about how we wanted to move forward, and hit it full steam ahead! BakersTable was born!
MY LOVE OF FOOD AND COOKING…
Is absolutely inherited! I grew up in the kitchen surrounded by some of the best cooks in the South! My great-grandmother cooked for everybody. She fed dozens of people around her breakfast table every morning. It was a real treat to have breakfast with Big Mama. My grandmother followed in her mother’s footsteps – feeding friends and neighbors. She even baked wedding cakes for a while. My mother inherited their talent for cooking but preferred to focus more on the holidays. This is where I grew up, surrounded by a true love of food. My earliest and happiest memories all stem from the kitchen.
From these amazing women, I learned how to cook, bake, and can fruits and vegetables. We spent summers growing, picking, shelling, blanching, and freezing the bounty of our garden. We spent the fall putting up jellies and preserves. The holidays were always spent entertaining, and that meant making all the food to do that with. It’s no wonder that I grew up to own a catering business, a private chef business, and 2 restaurants, as well as doing food development and consulting!
HOW DID MY KIDS GET INVOLVED?
I guess it’s genetic. I wanted to be sure my kids grew up with the same kind of background and love of food that I have. From the time we brought them home from the hospital, they were both in the kitchen in bouncy seats. By the time he was 2, Ian was helping to make cookies. By the time Caylie was 3, she had her own knife and mixer and was helping me with everything from sweet to savory. She had a particular love for plating!
They’re grown now, but still love to be in the kitchen!
MY TURN TO BRAG A LITTLE
Caylie’s artistic spirit and talent serve her well. As I pass down the culinary traditions I grew up with, She is taking them in her own direction – just as I always have. She also has a flair and passion for art. She has been drawing most of her life (and some of it she has even allowed me to display!). Her real passion is photography. She’s always been good with nature; but when we started this blog, she turned her determination toward learning food photography. And she has succeeded spectacularly! We wouldn’t be where we are without her immense talent and determination. And I have to add, she accomplished all this while finishing high school with straight A’s.
Ian is unique and amazing in his own way. He was diagnosed with ASD in his early teens. Although he has his share of challenges, he developed an incredible palate at a very early age – along with a unique set of critiquing skills!!! Those skills do come in handy when I’m developing new dishes. Sometimes a little too handy!
A Few Fun Facts About Traci:
- I was a former professional dancer and choreographer, but now I save my moves for the kitchen!
- I’ve been a part of the professional food industry since 1992 (that’s almost 30 years – agh!).
- I started out with my own catering company and then moved on to restaurants.
- I’ve owned multiple restaurants and when I had my kiddos, I started back catering. (Did I mention I was also a private chef?)
- I am a licensed bartender.
- I even was a guest host on a local radio station. I have the award to prove it!
- I created a line of tobacco-infused chocolates for a cigar company.
- I had my own line of products in local supermarkets. Hello to getting calls from family and friends asking how to heat it up!
- I adore gardening. It’s something that relaxes me after a long day’s work. (I also was the president of the local garden club for 4 years.)
- I freakin’ love crafts and home improvement projects! When I’m not cooking or gardening, I’m tinkering. I love making a house truly feel like a home.
- I refuse to watch movies if I know I’m going to cry.
- My favorite kind of music is Jazz (it is a must for kitchen dancing)!
A Few Fun Facts About Caylie:
- I was a competitive swimmer for over 8 years. I tried other sports like soccer and baseball but I quickly learned my skill set was not in running!
- My mom develops the recipes and I write about them! She also has a section she writes called “The Basics” where you can learn all the kitchen basics to even more complicated recipes from an actual chef!
- I have way too many social media accounts. Addicted? Probably.
- I love photography, dancing, writing, acting, and doodling in notebooks that shouldn’t be doodled in.
- I am 100% a professional shower singer. I love Broadway, Frank Sinatra, and David Bowie!
- I’m probably playing Animal Crossing right now.
- My favorite kinda sweets are anything chocolate and gummy bears!
- I am also a total professional climber. I climb just about anything from kitchen cabinets to shelves at Home Depot.
- I am a HUGE space/science geek.