My tagline "food is life" began way before I even knew it.

My whole life I had only wanted to become a chef. I would organize the cupboards and pretend I had my own cooking show using a TV dinner table, spices and muffin cups. I would pretend to turn boxes of puzzles into cakes and write Santa letters wishing for my first set of knives and a blowtorch...to make creme brulee. Well, my dream came true. Fresh out of culinary school, bright and ready to cook, my passion turned towards where my food was coming from, learning how the food was grown and limiting the amount of packaging it came in.

 

I researched every ingredient in the packaged food I ate. I, like many, did not know half of what I was eating let alone where it came from. I wanted to start from scratch, literally. In 2016 I gave up the grocery store for a year. It was my own personal detox from the packaging, the brands' bright colored boxes and designs, the convenience. I would only shop at my local farmer's market and pick up milk from the local milk delivery driver at 5:00 am since they did not deliver in my area. I wanted to know, could we still eat a local diet? Could we preserve food out of choice instead of purchasing an over processed version shipped in from a state or country miles away? Could I learn to trust myself as a cook over a food system that I had no idea who handled my food or what was done to it? 

My tagline "food is life" began way before I even knew it.

My whole life I had only wanted to become a chef. I would organize the cupboards and pretend I had my own cooking show using a TV dinner table, spices and muffin cups. I would pretend to turn boxes of puzzles into cakes and write Santa letters wishing for my first set of knives and a blowtorch...to make creme brulee. Well, my dream came true. Fresh out of culinary school, bright and ready to cook, my passion turned towards where my food was coming from, learning how the food was grown and limiting the amount of packaging it came in.

 

I researched every ingredient in the packaged food I ate. I, like many, did not know half of what I was eating let alone where it came from. I wanted to start from scratch, literally. In 2016 I gave up the grocery store for a year. It was my own personal detox from the packaging, the brands' bright colored boxes and designs, the convenience. I would only shop at my local farmer's market and pick up milk from the local milk delivery driver at 5:00 am since they did not deliver in my area. I wanted to know, could we still eat a local diet? Could we preserve food out of choice instead of purchasing an over processed version shipped in from a state or country miles away? Could I learn to trust myself as a cook over a food system that I had no idea who handled my food or what was done to it? 

 

Could I reduce the amount of packaging waste that I threw away by not purchasing conventionally processed food products? Could I maybe even learn how to grow my own food? Unanimously, yes. In a year I ate a local diet, I preserved peaches, hot sauce, and tomatoes. I ate yogurt and bread I made myself. I cut my waste by half. I grew a window garden and rented an allotment plot in the city and grew an abundance of peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and radishes. I did all of this in a 300 square foot apartment with two people living in it.

 

 

A lesson in primary foods.

 

I began making as many of the packaged foods I once purchased completely from scratch. You know, the primaries as my uncle call them. They are the foods you never think of making because they are always ready to go on the grocery store shelves. From mustard to pasta, apple cider vinegar to jelly. By doing this I gained the by-product of saving money and even time. I have more time to spend with friends and family. I utilize my savings to repair our home and throw dinner parties, and I don't stress about what I am going to cook or eat for dinner.

After writing for Baguette & Butter for eight years as a blog, I decided to turn this space into a business to educate the people I relate to most, city dwellers. We began curating the best resources and programs to empower city dwellers to create sustainable cooking pivots and give them access to the skills that help us save time and money all while eating healthier, local and organic foods. Baguette & Butter gifts free resources such as 5 Products to Quit Purchasing in Packaging Now , and our journal.  Amanda also hosts live online cooking coaching courses to inspire and encourage city dwellers to connect to the food that nourishes them and teach time and money saving tips so we can have more time and money to do the things we love.

 

We want to help everybody.

 

Our goal as a company is to allow cooking and eating sustainably to become second nature for city dwellers. As we continue to grow our company we support efforts for B&B to sponsor scholarships to our programs and offer free classes to low-income neighborhoods in cities that do not have equal access to fresh local and sustainable foods.

staff writer | chicago

Our founder Amanda met Cheryl for coffee to be interviewed for an article that Cheryl was writing at the time. What should have solely been an hour meeting turned into hours-long of chatting as if two friends were catching up and reminiscing of college memories.

 

Cheryl isn't just a writer, but she lives her life in what we'll call the Baguette & Butter way. You can catch her running around the city head to toe in a curated blend of thrifted garments, garnished with sustainable brands like Reformation. Her kitchen houses an edible grove of herbs and citrus and if you're looking to recycle something, its pretty darn certain Cheryl has the resource.

 

The point is, not only are her written words witty, personable, and educational, but she plants, grows, and eats the lifestyle too. 

 

Check out Cheryl's work over in our Journal and don't forget to leave her a comment too!

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As an environmental charity, we are dedicated to making it easier for individuals and businesses to give back to the environment, fight climate change, protect biodiversity and help reforestation efforts around the world. All by planting trees!

Started in 2014, we have more than doubled the number of trees planted year over year. Fast-forward to today, we now work with awesome reforestations partners in North America, South America, Asia, and Africa who help us get trees in the ground to restore forests after fires and floods, create jobs, build communities, and protect habitat for biodiversity. (via. onetreeplanted.org)

 

 

Healthy Soil Compost, LLC is a hybrid hauling solution to organic waste. By utilizing bicycles and motor-vehicles we provide a dynamic approach to community resource transport. We partner with licensed organic recyclers to process local, organic waste back into nutrient-rich energy for increasing soil health and community urban farming. We provide residents and businesses with all materials to start composting and reducing the load headed to landfills every day.

(via. healthysoilcompost.com)

 

Bike a Bee is an urban beekeeping project with about 50 hives on the south side of Chicago. Most of our hives are placed in community gardens, schools, urban farms, and other shared, visible spaces. We believe having bees where people can see them enriches the community’s understanding of bees and the natural systems around them; children, teens, and adults learn through observation and coexistence that bees are our friends, not our enemies! 

We also believe that having a car is not necessary to be a productive beekeeping project. We bike to our hives for weekly inspections, equipment delivery, and honey harvest. By going by bicycle, we are able to slow down and better observe what is growing around us, wave to neighbors, and get in some good exercise.

 

Our honey is the byproduct of healthy hives, loving community spaces, and the bounty of Chicago summers! We bottle our honey according to which garden it’s from, so when you see us at the market or in the store, pay attention to the label! Each neighborhood tastes slightly different from the next, but all Chicago honey is transcendently delicious. We take great pride in making the finest neighborhood-specific honey in Chicago: Our honey is never heated, micro-filtered, or mixed with any fillers, flavors, or anything. We take it straight from the comb, filter out the big wax bits, and put it into reusable canning-style glass jars.

(via. bikeabee.com)

 

 

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