Creating Culinary Confidence

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Lindsey Hargett creates recipe of spreading love of cooking to friends and neighbors

   We would all love to live next to Lindsey Hargett. Those in her Pleasant Grove neighborhood know when she cooks something — for a class, a client, a social media post or for fun — she’s going to reach out to share the leftovers.

   “Food connects people,” says Lindsey, owner of Lindsey Kaye Cooking. “Sharing food is the way I get to know people. It’s a selfish thing. It’s how I make friends.”

   Lindsey’s desire to cook came early in life, but she knew if she was going to be serious about it, she would need to develop a more sophisticated palate.

   “I’m a reformed picky eater,” she says. “I would push my palate and have found it’s like a muscle that grows from being challenged.”

   With picky eating running in the family (at least with the children), her siblings rarely appreciated her culinary experiments and often met them with the question, “How many bites do I have to eat before I can eat something else?”

   In fact,  Lindsey didn’t know if she was a good cook until she went to college and would prepare meals for her roommates.

   But that didn’t stop her from training. The Springville native finished a two-year culinary program at MATC (known as M-Tech at the time) and loved the confidence that course gave her. It’s a confidence she works hard to pass on to others.

   “We have to eat and if we have confidence that we can prepare delicious, healthy food for ourselves and others, it goes a long way toward having a healthy relationship with food,” she says.

   That is why Lindsey spends much of her time and her business in teaching others how to cook. While much of her teaching is done in one-on-one sessions, she loves teaching larger groups, which are often more than 50 percent male.

   “I find a lot of men like to cook,” she says. “I have a lot of women who buy cooking classes for the spouse and it’s like a gift they are really giving to themselves. He will turn around and feel confident in sharing that responsibility of feeding the family.”

   Lindsey is also passionate about teaching children’s cooking classes for many of the same reasons. In fact, after she started a kids summer cooking camp, she appreciated the notes she would get from parents.

   “I would get these messages from parents showing their kids cooking breakfast for the whole family,” she says. “It’s a rewarding experience to see these kids gain confidence in the kitchen.”

   For Lindsey, the holidays — and winter in general — are made better with good food.

   “I’m not a cold-weather person, but food gets me through,” she says. “Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, which I’m sure is not a surprise.”

   Food is also what makes up Lindsey’s holiday gifts to friends and neighbors.

   “It might be treats or homemade vanilla extract or something else fun and food-related,” she says.

   While the culinary certificate might make people think Lindsey is more comfortable with cuisine than cookies, she considers herself a baker as much as a chef. In fact, some of her earliest professional training came as a baker at Magleby’s restaurant.

   “I love both sides,” she says. “Cooking makes the most sense to my brain. It taps into my creativity. But when people ask me my favorite thing to cook, I usually say baked goods because they are my favorite things to eat when I’m done.”

   For more information about classes or to follow Lindsey Kaye Cooking on social media, visit lkcooking.com.

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Greg Bennett

Greg Bennett is an editor and writer with Bennett Communications. His primary responsibilities are with Utah Valley Magazine and the company's custom publications division. He's the father of four children and has been married to his wife, Adria, for 19 years. Contact Greg at greg.utahvalley360@gmail.com.

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