about amanda mclemore //
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 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.
" 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 SAVE US TIME AND MONEY ALL WHILE EATING HEALTHIER, LOCAL AND ORGANIC FOODS."
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.