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Kelly D Fields Books In Order

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The Good Book of Southern Baking (With: Kate Heddings) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Kelly Fields is a renowned chef from Pasadena, Texas who is best known as the chef and owner of “Willa Jean,” a hip restaurant in the central business district of New Orleans.

She was still very young when she discovered that she loved Southern baking. She would then go on to work with Susan Spice, a New Orleans chef, and then went to the Charleston-based Johnston & Wales University for a degree in pastry arts and baking.

In New Orleans, she worked at the “Restaurant August” as a pastry chef for three years before she moved to Asheville, North Carolina where she worked at “The Inn on Biltmore Estate.”

After working for “Martins West Gastropub” in Redwood City she would move once again and worked for the “BRG Hospitality Group” as an executive chef.

In her latter position, she oversaw all pastry programs before she left in 2015 and moved back to New Orleans to set up “Willa Jean.” In 2019, she was the winner of the Outstanding Pastry Chef James Beard Foundation award
She has also won several awards including a Reader’s Choice Chef of the Year Award and Southern Living’s Southern Kitchen Magician.

Fields has also won critical acclaim from the likes of “Dessert Profesional magazine,” “Bon Appetit,” “Garden & Gun,” and “Saveur.”

The celebrated chef was born in Ohio but when she was still very young, her family moved to Charleston, South Carolina.

Shari her mother was not much of a cook, even though she was good at baking biscuits, cakes, pies, and cookies, which she used to do on most weekends.

Kelly Fields still remembers how she used to swipe many of the cakes that her mother loved to store in the microwave. Kelly Fields used to take turns with her siblings making meals and cleaning up afterward.
During this time, she often bribed her siblings to let her change her cleaning shifts for cooking shifts since she loved cooking so much.

It was not long before Fields was good enough that she would cook dinner taking inspiration from the many cookbooks her mother had. Moreover, she was close to her grandmother Willa Jean who encouraged her growing interest in cooking.
After graduating from high school, she moved to New Orleans where she got a job working at a bakery. Her grandmother encouraged her to figure out what she wanted to specialize in by working with the best.
Since she has seen Susan Spice the New Orleans chef on the “Food Network,” she walked into her deli and bakery and asked to be given an apprenticeship.

After working for Susan Spicer for several months, she went to the prestigious culinary program of Johnson & Wales in Charleston.

Following her graduation in 2002, she went back to New Orleans and went to work for John Besh the acclaimed chef before his fall from grace.

Back then, he was one of the most celebrated chefs and it was an honor to work as a pastry chef at one of his finest establishments the “Restaurant August.”

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit destroying much of New Orleans and in the process also destroying most of the notebooks full of recipes she had collected over the years.

She left New Orleans and traveled on the East Coast and North Carolina where she spent much of her time recreating her recipes. She would then work in California and then traveled to the Middle East and Europe.
In 2010, she made a stop in New Zealand and checked her mail to find a message from the head chef of the “Restaurant August” Michael Gulotta. He was looking for a pastry chef and this marked her return back to New Orleans.
She would spend several years working under chef John Besh before she moved on to work under other chefs such as Mike Carmody among many others.

Surprisingly, Fields would later on hire Carmody to work at her Atlanta-based “Proof Bakeshop,” since she always saw him as a little bit of a genius baker who was also cool and hardworking.

After working for several years in New Orleans where she had the privilege of working under some very good chefs she opened her own restaurant. She got much of the inspiration for “Willa Jean” from “Hominy Grill” the Charleston restaurant.
It had been her favorite restaurant growing up and she loved the many breakfast treats she had there and still thinks it is the best dining experience she ever had.

As for the name, she just took it from her paternal grandmother and slapped it on the restaurant as a way of paying homage to how much she had done for her.

Kelly’s Southern-inspired repertoire at her bakery has gone on to win her national and local acclaim. She has been named one of the “Most Influential Women in the South” by “Garden and Gun.”
One of the most interesting titles she was given was “Best Kitchen Magician of the South” by Southern Living.

“The Good Book of Southern Baking” by Kelly Fields is a work with more than 100 delicious recipes. These are recipes that prove that American baking is for the most part Southern baking.
Given its popularity, it made the lists for Best Cookbooks of the Year from several prestigious magazines including “Bon Appetit,” and the “New York Times Book Review.”

Kelly Fields as a celebrated pastry chef spent many years trying to figure out how to make the best peach pies, biscuits, butterscotch puddings, cornbread, and just about any pastry from the Southern repertoire.
In her first book, the chef brings us into her kitchen as she shares ingenious ideas and boundless expertise.

The work has more than one hundred recipes for cakes, quick breads, tarts, muffins, pies, biscuits, galettes, cookies, crisps, bars, cobblers, custards, and puddings. Fields also include many variations making this the new standard for Southern baking.

The author of Deep Run Roots Vivian Howard has said that the author bakes with the skills of a master, the curiosity of a student, and the soul of a grandmother.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kelly D Fields

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