Culinary Creations With The Jaded Fork
Lindsey Cook and Annie Esposito are more than the chefs for The Jaded Fork. They are also the business managers, promoters and visionaries for the business. Owning their own catering company means they have to wear more hats than just the tall, white chef’s hats—Cook and Esposito get to wear all of the hats—and that’s the way they like it.
“It’s common for people in our industry to reach a point where you just get a little jaded working for other people,” says Cook. “Annie came up with the name. It’s time to turn the jadedness into something positive!” If you’ve eaten any of their fare, you’ll agree that something positive is definitely spinning out of The Jaded Fork.
Well known in the area for their bakery and savory delights, the pair has swept the local West Chester Farmers Market off its feet. At the market, they are known for their gourmet and old world bakery items. Esposito focuses more on the dessert and bakery side of the business, while Cook prefers the savory.
“Because I don’t like to measure stuff,” Cook confesses with a smirk.
“That’s the difference between those that want to be precise in their measurements and those that are more…free spirited,” laughs Esposito.
In addition to their stand at the Market, they are also known for their top-notch catering, as well as for private cooking classes, kitchen organizing help and party and holiday planning.
Holiday Tips From The Jaded Fork
The women of The Jaded Fork know their way around a busy, holiday kitchen. They can easily feed a small dinner party or a large group gathering.
What’s on the holiday menu this season?
“Soup!” they say, in unison.
“It’s a proven fact that warmth is comforting and it calms people down,” says Cook. “Soup is warm and filling and you can serve it at the beginning of the meal. Keep it warm for later in a crock pot.”
“It is also especially good if you want to get away with a really small turkey. Serve people something filling to begin with,” says Esposito.
Holiday entertaining in The Jaded Fork’s style doesn’t have to be expensive or hard. Cook suggests saving peels from an orange, lime or lemon, and placing them in pretty vases with water to serve double duty. Not only is it attractive, she says, but it also gives a natural aroma that is appetizing and cleansing.
When it comes to decorating, many of us are guilty of using too many aromatic air fresheners and candles. The Jaded Fork gurus suggest banishing them from the dining area.
“Scented candles are really bad around where you are going to eat your food,” says Cook.
“If you have this really strong smell in your nose, it’s going to effect the way you are going to taste your food,” says Esposito. “It’s like if you put a banana in your lunch box, everything’s going to taste like banana.”
Presentation is key at the holidays, and Esposito makes it sound simple.
“Use risers if you are leaning towards a family or buffet style,” she suggests. “Take something like a cake pan or soup pot, flip it upside-down and throw a tablecloth on top of it, and then put your platter on it. Add another platter in front of it. This produces levels of interest.”
“It’s called table-scaping,” says Cook. “And Annie’s a pro at it.”
Cook and Esposito love to help plan the perfect party. However, they suggest that sometimes you just need to call on a caterer.
“It depends on the number of people you’re serving and how elaborate it needs to be and your confidence level,” says Cook.
“There are events that are so high stress that you should not be doing it all yourself. Especially if you have guests from out of town and there are a hundred other things you are doing,” Esposito says.
“No one is capable of doing it all,” says Cook. “We like to take the edge off the host. Just call us, and we’ll do it for you!” A holiday served up by The Jaded Fork duo may be the holiday tip to top them all.
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