By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
Robin Dimos has a photograph of her daughter, Kristy, in the kitchen cooking with her great-grandmother. Kristy’s cheeks are covered in a dusting of flour.
She is 3 years old.
“For as long as I’ve known, I’ve loved being in the kitchen,” said Kristy, now 20 and a freshman at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville. “I guess I really knew in high school that I wanted to do this for a living. One time I was visiting my grandparents in Virginia and my grandmother and I made up a menu for a restaurant – hypothetical, of course. And sometimes, I’d be in school and I’d be doodling names for a bakery or a restaurant.”
Kristy will spend two years at NEMCC before heading to the culinary arts program at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus.
“Right now, I’m interested in food styling,” she said. “In the past couple of years, I’ve started decorating my plates and stuff. I’m more interested in the presentation – I like to make it all look good.”
She said that last year, she made a cheesecake, and then decided to dress it up. On each serving plate, she placed some chocolate syrup in the middle. She topped that with a slice of cheesecake and another drizzle of syrup. Then she placed a dollop of cherry pie filling on top and let some of the juice drip over the side – yummy and pretty, too.
“The thing I like about desserts, I think, is the fact that you don’t have to worry about making someone sick with your food,” Kristy said. “I know that sounds weird, but with baking, you know the temperature it needs to be and you put it in the oven and it’s done.”
About a year ago, Kristy started a food journal and when she has perfected a recipe, she puts it in the journal, along with the date and the occasion she made it for.
“I have seven or eight entries so far – mostly desserts,” she said without apology.
But the petite brunette can also put a hearty meal on the table. She likes to make spicy things, like chili, taco soup and Mexican casseroles.
“At least once a week, I make a dessert to last through the week,” she said. “My dad is not really a health nut, but he tries to tell me I can’t make another dessert until I’ve made ‘real’ food first.”
In 2011, Kristy got out the good china and prepared a dinner for her family using a steak recipe from Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” cookbook.
“Oh, it was soooo good,” she said. “I want to do it again this year. I got a Dutch oven for Christmas and I’m going to try to do something in that.”
Do you know a good cook? Send your nominations to Ginna Parsons, Cook of the Week, P.O. Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802. Or you can fax them to (662) 842-2233 or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.