Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristina Limoges.
Kristina, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I guess I’ve always just been enthralled by food. It was all I thought about as a kid and there wasn’t a thing I wouldn’t happily put in my mouth. My father is from Galicia, Spain and my mother is German and so naturally we traveled a lot to visit family and also lived abroad. I spent the second year of my life in Spain learning my first words, “hola, que tal?” and sucking on shrimp heads while my elementary and middle school years were spent near Munich enjoying liverwurst and schnitzel. That being said, I figured as a native tri-lingual, well-traveled adult my “talents” would suit a career in international affairs and so that’s what I studied.
After class, I would cook meals for my roommates and often found myself calling home for family recipes, as one does when you obsess about food the way I do! Soon I found myself recreating meals from my childhood that no one kept recipes for and inventing new ways to express myself through similar cuisines or fusion dishes. After a brief stint in the business world and no baking outlet beyond tempting my colleagues with various baked goods, I met my husband who encouraged me to pursue cooking full-time.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Over the years I’ve learned that I can’t do everything! I started out saying yes to everything from catering, personal chefing, food styling, teaching, pop-up dinner hosting, condiment manufacturer, wedding cake baker, photographer and even a full-time two year DIY home renovator with my husband which we took down to the studs and re-designed from scratch.
Today we are almost done with the house (hallelujah!), and I’ve scaled back to mainly in-client-home private events and my own food styling and photography. Of course, I still bake wedding cakes for people I love and who ask nicely and I could never give up hosting dinner parties, those happen at least twice a month and I’m always looking to include new faces! Sometimes I charge for these pop-up dinners and sometimes I just want willing and joyful participants to eat what I put in front of them and tell me they love my food! I only advertise these on Instagram and it’s first come first served.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Limoges Cakes, Confections and Catering – what should we know?
I like to think of my business as cooking “celebration food”. I don’t do meal prep for clients or cook weeknight dinners; I really specialize in creating one-off unique memories and unforgettable experiences and, more often than not, these happen at dinner parties, celebrations and holidays. My favorite lately has been a handful of wine-themed dinners, where a wine rep comes out to the client’s house to showcase his various wines with plated food pairings. A recent dinner featured Ovid Napa Valley wines and we prepared a coastal inspired winter menu that included house-made focaccia and duck prosciutto, agnolotti pasta filled with a mascarpone and mushroom duxelle and a braised beef shortrib with whipped fall vegetables. We finished with a pomegranate pistachio cake, chocolate ganache, and a pistachio praline brittle.
To grow my business, I’ve also been educating myself about wine and training my palate as wine plays such a large part in the world of food. We started hosting blind tastings with friends as a way to discover what wines we enjoy and which countries are producing our favorite varietals. I love that in a blind tasting wine labels and prices aren’t able to cloud your judgment and you actually learn to form your own opinions (I think everyone who enjoys wine should try this!). It’s incredible how all participants’ understanding of wine and wine-vocabulary has grown in a year, from: “this smells like grapes” to “I smell stewed plum, baking spices, cedar”. I never thought I’d be able to pick out those nuances in a wine like I do in my food, but practice and repetition go a long way. It’s hard work but somebody’s got to do it! 😉
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Believe it or not, before I branched out on my own, I started by simply volunteering my time in a cooking school! Cooks Warehouse saw my face multiple times a week from 6PM-10PM, every week for over half a year before I applied to work for a paid part-time position in their cooking school. I learned so much from the guest chefs, the staff and from fellow volunteers that I know I wouldn’t have had the courage to step out on my own without this on the job “training”. This was my informal cooking school and where I learned many of the classic techniques I use today.
Cooks Warehouse opened up so many doors for me, introducing me to chef’s all around the city who I am frequently in touch with and who also employ me somewhat regularly or send clients my way. When I’m not working for my own clients, you can often find me at Piedmont Cancer Wellness Center supporting Chef Nancy Waldeck. She teaches current chemo patients and also survivors how to eat healthier according to their lifestyles and various diagnoses. I’m always inspired by her commitment to a health-conscious lifestyle and, like her, I am an avid label detective avoiding any artificial ingredients and cooking with only whole foods.
I’m also part of a growing group of chefs who gather for a quarterly Cookbook Club where we choose a book and each cook a dish (potluck style) and chat about the industry, encourage one another and share our dreams and struggles. It’s an open house concept in that we like to invite new people to grow our networks and connect with people who cook food differently or are in different lanes in the food industry (restauranteurs, food stylists, food manufacturers, restaurant development coordinators, cookbook authors, etc.). It’s so important for me to stay involved in my cooking community; I never stop learning!
- Website: limogescakes.com
- Phone: 4043944190
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: limoges_ccc
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/limogescakes/
“an_addictedtofoodandtravel” (only pic of ribs with corn)