Who Is The Grateful Gourmet?
My name is Desiree - also known as Desi - and I am The Grateful Gourmet.
Growing up in a large family of six, we rarely went out to eat. My mother would buy exciting cookbooks that explored cuisine from regions all around the world. From the age I was old enough to stand on chairs and step stools, I would help my mother and my grandmother choose what we were going to make for dinner.
My mother’s cooking was influenced by her German heritage, so we always enjoyed savory, home-cooked meals and delicious home-baked breads and desserts. My grandmother, hailing from the Pennsylvania Dutch, blended the long-held traditions of her own family's recipes with that of the the Southern variety, passed down on my Grandfather’s side of the family who were from Virginia. This approach to cooking proved adventurous, inventive and exciting and inspiring.
We were a farm-to-table family, long before that was even a thing. My parents were self-sustaining Philadelphia area transplants, living on a rural mountain upstate, with an industrial refrigerator in the kitchen, bushels of apples on the table, and hand-raised food on our plates. Economical, healthy, and out-of-this world delicious.
I started falling in love with food, and being in service of it, as a teenager working in the restaurants business. I often found myself stepping in to help tend bar or get behind the grill for the day. In college I would cook for my roommates, feeding anyone that couldn’t make it home on weekends or holidays. We were all on tight budgets, so everyone would pitch in for groceries, and I'd whip up a nice, homemade meal. They all loved it... and I loved doing it.
Even upon entering into the corporate world of sales, as a specialist in training and recruiting, I always kept my toe in culinary waters. I became known in the office for being the one who brought in the delicious dips, cakes and casseroles. Soon I found myself booked for small catering gigs, birthday parties, bridal and baby showers, weekend festivals and eventually larger community events and weddings. I delighted in customizing my menu for each unique client.
Enter the COVID-19 pandemic, when corporate cutbacks unexpectedly propelled me into realizing my long-held dream of launching the Grateful Gourmet into the world. Whether by way of food truck, home delivery or custom catering services, The Grateful Gourmet is officially here and happy to serve. The brand was born from the love of music, fellowship and food. It's the stuff of happiness. I always say, "If you bring your heart to the table, the rest just follows."
Things I love outside of food include music, reading, entertaining and event planning. I find joy in giving back to those who serve in the healthcare community and local food banks. Somehow, for me, it just always comes back to sharing gratitude for all things: peace, love and good food.