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Buck, Buck, Moose

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Written By liz Miller

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faronda davis owner, sweet buds kitchen Written By Sarah Kloepple


CHeSTeRFIeLD, Mo. When Faronda davis of aBc

chefs cooking academy started teaching cooking-enrichment classes at parkway and rockwood district schools in 2005, she never imagined it would catch on so quickly. now, more than 10 years later, davis is rebranding her successful children’s cooking classes by adding new recipes, expanding adult classes and focusing more on cupcakes in the form of Sweet Buds Kitchen. at her shop in chesterfield, Missouri, patrons will find classic cupcakes such as double chocolate and its best-selling birthday cake flavors, plus specialty creations like maple-bacon, as well as pour-over and French-pressed coffee. along with the cupcakes, which are supplied by a small local bakery, Sweet Buds Kitchen offers children’s cooking classes, birthday parties and summer camps as well as adult cooking classes and events. davis, a self-taught chef and baker, is working on even more projects – including two cookbooks – after one of her busiest summers. How did you teach yourself to cook? one of the first things i learned to cook was from a box. i was learning how to cook, and i made lasagna – box pasta and jar sauce. i really enjoyed making it, and everybody loved it, so i stuck to pasta because it was such a crowd-pleaser. Baking took me a lot longer to master. learning measurements and just the patience of waiting for a dish to completely bake were issues for me in the beginning. What are your favorite cupcakes at Sweet Buds? My favorite are red velvet and carrot cake. i am a Southern belle, and they remind me the most of my Florida home. We have different cupcakes every thursday through Saturday, so sometimes i fall in love with a new cupcake flavor each week, and we keep it on the menu. Why do you think cooking is a good activity for children? it’s an invaluable skill. We teach kids more than just cooking: We teach 46

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photography courteSy SWeet BudS Kitchen

them how to be safe in the kitchen, from using stoves and setting temps to knife skills, so they will be safe even at home. We [also] think it’s important for kids to be exposed early to trying new foods. it leads to exposure and creativity in other areas, as well. a lot of kids who cook with us have severe allergies, [so] they get to make their foods from scratch and see that there are so many different foods for them to eat, instead of focusing on what they can’t eat all the time. this summer we had a little chef who wasn’t able to eat anything with skin (veggies, fruit, nuts, etc.). She was able to cook all week and was able to eat everything we made. her parents were so thankful because it’s normally a problem for her to attend camps. Tell us about your daughter, Ayla, and her stint on MasterChef Junior. ayla being on MasterChef Junior was such a great experience. the moment we saw that there was a cooking show on tV for kids, my husband, Steven, and i knew for sure ayla would be on it. She did great in all the auditions, mainly because she has been cooking with us since she was 6. She was the only one on the show who did not burn or cut herself because she had more kitchen hours than any of the other kids. What’s next for Sweet Buds? We have extensive experience cooking with kids, and we wanted to combine our years of experience into an easy-to-read cookbook for families and kids, which will be available in november. the other cookbook, focused on healthy and vegan recipes for kids and families, will be out next month, too. We’re also hosting a free mixer event this month for adults, with food, drinks and live music, to show that we’re not just for kids and to show more people what we do. We’re striving to be a bigger part of the St. louis culinary scene; Sweet Buds has a lot of great things to bring to the table. 636.543.8650,

last month, author, angler and hunter hank Shaw released his third cookbook, Buck, Buck, Moose, a follow-up to his 2013 release, Duck, Duck, Goose, which focused on how to cook waterfowl. this time, Shaw turns his attention to antlered animals including deer, elk, antelope and moose. the book is divided into two parts: the first is informational, with a comprehensive guide to skinning, gutting, hanging, aging, butchering and storing game meat at home. the second part is considerably lengthier, featuring more than 100 recipes organized by cuts and dishes. there is also a section detailing how to cook “the wobbly bits” such as heart, liver and kidneys. the recipes range from internationally inspired – think venison bulgogi and Vietnamese pho – to traditional, including chili and steak. Shaw describes the book as “not your father’s venison cookbook,” and unless your dad is a pro at making venison potstickers, you’ll likely agree. By Hank Shaw

MeeT THe AuTHoR Don’t miss Hank Shaw on his fall and winter book tour in support of Buck, Buck, Moose. He’ll be hosting a book dinner at Celebrations Restaurant and Bar in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, on Dec. 10, in St. Louis at a to-be-determined venue on Dec. 11, and presenting a lecture and book signing at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center in Kansas City on Dec. 12.

October 2016 Feast Magazine  

Inspired by our love of nature, this issue of Feast is dedicated to the joys of fall in the Midwest. Crack open a cold one, find a place to...

October 2016 Feast Magazine  

Inspired by our love of nature, this issue of Feast is dedicated to the joys of fall in the Midwest. Crack open a cold one, find a place to...