Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cookie Swap

Julia Usher, author of the new book Cookie Swap, was in town this week as part of her whirlwind book tour. I saw her speak at a private food blogging event at the recently unveiled Sur la Table at The Bravern in Bellevue. (It’s really beautiful, by the way. Lots of space to move, unlike its sister at Pike Place Market). 
The book itself is impressive with over 50 charming recipes, gorgeous color photographs and loads of how-to’s from party themes to decorating tips. But even more impressive was her story.

As a Yale graduate, Julia worked for years in the math and sciences as a mechanical engineer. Despite her analytical, problem-solving personality, her true love was something she had cherished since childhood: baking. She grew up in a household where eggs were gathered, herbs were cut and everything was made from scratch - I’m talking no store-bought cookies in sight. And in this day and age of 30 minute meals, her mantra remains “the more time spent in the kitchen, the better!” 
She eventually decided to turn her passion into a career by enlisting in the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. She went on to open a bakery where the wedding cakes tasted as delicious as they looked. It was a hit, but Julia kept moving. Not only is she now a food writer and stylist, she just added “first-time author” to her list of accomplishments. 

I love when the moral of the story is to follow your bliss.

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