Inspiration and Courage

By Kelly Jaggers, Evil Shenanigans

I can pin-point the exact moment I knew I would become a baker.

I was watching an episode of “Baking with Julia” and she welcomed to her kitchen Esther McManus who was going to demonstrate the finer points of croissant making. Never did I imagine that I could make a croissant at home. The delicate, buttery layers and elegant shape seemed beyond my reach as a novice home baker. Skeptical, I sat and watched as Esther worked and Julia asked questions designed to demystify the process to those uninitiated in making croissants. So inspired was I, so confident, that I went directly into my kitchen armed with my new knowledge and give it a go. While my first attempt was not a roaring success they were certainly edible and I was hooked. Not long after this I entered culinary school, and I am happy to report I have mastered the croissant.

“You must have the courage of your convictions,” – Julia Child

Julia’s gift is her innate sense of her audience and their needs. She encouraged experimentation, yet made it clear that if the food was not perfect it was ok. In fact, she would make mistakes on her cooking shows and those mistakes were proof that she was just like everyone else. It was this quality that endeared her to her us in a way nothing else could. I always feel that, somehow, Julia is there to cheer us on in the kitchen. She reminds us not to be afraid of our food, even if what we are cooking is unfamiliar.

It is no wonder Julia became a household name. Her legacy is found in cooks all over the world, and most certainly in me. Where it not for her I would not have been inspired to try croissants for the first time, which ultimately led to my career in food today. While so many have helped and taught me, I give all the thanks to Julia for the inspiration and confidence!

About Kelly Jaggers

Kelly Jaggers is a cookbook author, recipe developer, photographer, and founder of the recipe blog EvilShenanigans.com. She began blogging in 2006 to document her culinary school adventures. Today she specializes in creating indulgent recipes featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients … and lots and lots of butter.

You can find Kelly at her website Evil Shenanigans, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.