We are all about fine gourmet food and connecting the people who love it with the people who make it. In that spirit, we begin a new blog feature: a monthly highlight of food bloggers who share our devotion to all things artisanal, local and gourmet.
JC’s introduction to the local food scene came several years ago, when she started baking familiar treats with a twist and selling them through the Four Seasons farmers market in Richardson, Texas. The popularity of her red velvet Oreo cookies, peanut butter banana bottom cupcakes and espresso chocolate almond pudding proved her genius in every bite.
But JC was no tight-lipped baker, hoarding her recipes like some sort of patent-pending trade secret. She was open-source, spreading the details of her kitchen innovations and the sources for her ingredients to all. That was the motivation that led to the companion blog to her bakeshop’s website, which shows what she makes and how she makes it, all captured in photos.
“It really didn’t take very long into my blogging adventure to realize that I had a deep admiration and passion for local artisans and I needed to embrace that,” JC says. “I figured that if I’m using their products religiously at home and in blog posts, I really needed to give them a shout-out by providing photos of their goods and links to where readers could get their hands on them.”
“I also realized that I love photography, and have worked really hard at capturing the artistic beauty I see in finished products,” she continues. “Cooking is an art form that actively engages our senses, taste, touch, sight, sound and scent. I really don’t think it gets much cooler than that.”
Among her more popular posts is one detailing how to make her espresso chocolate almond pudding, one of JC’s personal favorites. “I made it with items available at Green Grocer, as well as Noble Coyote Coffee, which is my favorite coffee,” she says.
Not only a baker, JC has also channeled her talent into developing several mealtime dishes, including vegetarian and vegan options. Her French Mediterranean Saute, which features Texas Olive Ranch products and comes together in about 20 minutes, is especially popular. But the one dish that she continually strives to perfect?
“My favorite thing to cook is chili,” says JC. “I make a pretty mean bowl of chili, even though I’ve been told that real chili doesn’t have beans.”
JC is reluctant to pick a favorite local artisan, but says if forced, she’d have to go with Bisous Bisous Patisserie.
“I love traditional French pastry, and chef Andrea Meyer continuously impresses me not only with just how delicious her pastries are, but also how aesthetically gorgeous they are,” she says. “Her Framboise cake is to die for; the best part is the pillowy, silky meringue she uses on the outside. On a recent trip to Los Angeles, I tried macarons from about five different bakeries. None of them compared to the macs from Bisous Bisous.”
When not cooking up something in the kitchen or revealing her inspiration through her blog, JC enjoys raising her two daughters and exploring local restaurants, bakeries and museums.
To sample JC’s creations yourself, you can find her at one of her weekly venues. She sells her seasonally rotating items some weekends at the Four Seasons Market on Campbell Road in Richardson and some weekends at FarmShop Center in Fairview; she has baked goods available for purchase in the bistro as well as in a booth. But the best way to track her down, she says, is through Facebook or Twitter.