Updated: Feb 9
Hey! I'm Madison, the owner, chef, and vegetable whisperer behind Gypsy Kitchen, a personal chef and private event catering company. Welcome to my little nook of the internet! You may be wondering how I got started and how Gypsy Kitchen came to be. If so, keep reading.
I started cooking when I was young. It was a chore for my siblings and I to cook dinner one night every week, a wonderful lesson from my mother and a great way to keep her from having to do it every night. At first I made easy things like tacos, frozen french fries (I distinctly recall one pan being thrown out into the snow after it had spontaneously combusted in the oven - whoops) and lots of spaghetti. I mean, I was only about ten years old when this all started.
From there, it was a long process of learning that I had a lot of natural instincts in the kitchen. I would pull out a bunch of leftovers from the fridge and whip them into something I figured would be edible. Surprisingly, they were usually pretty darn good! My family would ask why I had combined this with that, and I would say, "I don't know, it seemed like a good idea." Yeah, real deep cerebral stuff happening there.
I eventually learned that cooking was an outlet for me. I became obsessed with watching the Food Network and learning about new dishes and ingredients. I planned Thanksgiving pie sales and Easter Dessert fundraisers, much to the delight of my mother, whose kitchen was always the site for these frenzied baking sessions (which looked like a bomb site when they were done).
The more I cooked, the more I realized that I loved working in the kitchen. I could spend hours and not realize it because I was having so much fun working through different ideas I had for dishes.
I have always been a creative person, but had never found a specific artistic medium that I wanted to hone in on, until I found cooking. Cooking is forgiving. Cooking is flexible. You can throw in a bit of this, a dash of that, and as long as you know the basics, it usually comes out pretty well. That is one of my favorite things about it. You are free to create and explore as many new flavors and combinations as your imagination will allow you to pursue.
How Gypsy Kitchen came to be...
So, how did Gypsy Kitchen get its start?
Well, I have always known that I wanted to own my own business. Always. It's the only thing I have always wanted to do. The business idea may have changed every other week, but the dream to own something of my own one day remained constant. The more I fell in love with cooking, the more I thought about opening a cafe, a restaurant, a coffee shop, and the list goes on. I studied hospitality in college, where I learned the fundamentals of managing a business in the hospitality field. I also gained lots of hands-on experience with cooking and working in the professional foodservice industry. After I graduated, I worked in and managed a variety of foodservice businesses. Finally I landed on catering and personal chef services as the focus for my business.
I love that with catering and special events, your days can all be different. It's not like going in to work in a restaurant and coking the same things over and over again. Repetition and consistency are key in foodservice, but the monotony of that kind of work really gets to me. I need to spice it up sometimes (pun intended). I need to have the freedom to create new menus often, with whatever is fresh or sounds good to my client. Catering gives you that flexibility.
Gypsy Kitchen got its name from the idea that I am mobile. I can roam about and serve my clients wherever their special event is happening. I also love the idea of Gypsies, wandering from place to place and picking up bits of the cultures they experience. I draw inspiration from so many different ingredients, food cultures, and techniques when I cook and I embrace that fully. I love to throw in a few ingredients that are unexpected to surprise people and to expand their food horizons.
With this business, I hope to bring fresh, bold, and beautifully simple meals to people. I love to cook with as many fresh, seasonal ingredients as I can get my hands on. And don't even get me started on fruits and vegetables. Seriously, I cannot be left alone in the produce section. If I go shopping with someone else, they will have all of their other groceries in the cart and be ready to check out by the time I make my way back to them with arms full of strange produce that the cashier will then have to look up one by one (they are probably silently cursing me, but oh well). The point is, I love produce. It's gorgeous and delicious and so nourishing, and I try to let it shine in its own right when I cook. It needs only a little love to make it truly delicious.
So, you know I'm a caterer. You may be asking why I'm writing a blog. Well, good question. To be honest, if I had to ask myself what I would really love to do, like forever, it would be to have a food blog and write cookbooks. Do I love catering? Yes. Do I love events? I do. I truly love being a part of someone's special celebration. But, what I love more is spending hours in the kitchen seeing if this weird, kinda crazy idea I had for a recipe will actually work. I love coming up with an idea and watching it come to life. And I love to write. I always have, actually, I just don't have many outlets for it.
Do you know what I don't love? Recipe blogs that give you someone's whole life story on EVERY entry before they give you the dang recipe that you wanted to look at *quickly* to see if you even had all the ingredients for it. Do you know how mad I get when I have to scroll past ten years of life experiences to get to the recipe and the page keeps buffering and bringing me back to the top? I am not pleased. I would like to write a recipe blog that tells you what you need to know and not too much more (she says all of this after literally giving you most of her life story...ugh I know).
Are you in?
I want this blog to be a space where I can take you on culinary adventures along with me and help you explore new ingredients and flavor combinations that you wouldn't have thought of. I promise not to give you more information than you need. I mean, I don't think you're really that interested in hearing about my life every time you want a recipe for ravioli. I'm not that interesting.
If that sounds like a food blog that you can get behind, then keep checking back here and on our social media pages to find future posts and recipes!