Cooking Superstar


Cook along with Mary from Chattavore

Mary Haymaker
Chattanooga, TN
Special Education Teacher

When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?

I first started cooking in high school. My mom wouldn’t get home until 6:30 or 7 so lots of nights I would make dinner so it would be ready when she got home. I made lots of roasts, spaghetti, and chicken with Cajun spices.

What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?

My kitchen is small, but I guess I can’t complain too much since I do have four separate counter spaces to use. I try to make sure my dishwasher is ready to be loaded and my sink is empty before I get started. I keep all of my utensils, cutting boards, pots and pans, spices, and oils next to the stove so they are in quick reach. As I finish with a dish I drop it in the sink and if my husband is home he’ll rinse them and put them in the dishwasher or wash them and put them away. I keep my cookbook open (or my tablet open to the recipes I’m using) in a cookbook holder on the table behind me for quick reference.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?

Practice! Don’t ever say that you “can’t cook”. Being able to cook is just a matter of what you are willing to try and how often you are willing to mess up to learn to make a dish. I didn’t start out “knowing how to cook” but learned through lots of trial and error and some really bad meals.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?

I am a raging introvert, so I would probably not invite anyone I don’t already know! So just some close friends and I would make them fondue. It’s not my specialty but it’s so much fun to share with friends!

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

I like to make jewelry but don’t do it very often. Of course, I love photography. I am also a runner.

Which cooking blogs do you love to read?

Mary Haymaker
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Breakfast, Southern

What's your favorite...

TV Show
The Office, Kitchen Nightmares, Modern Family
Pink Floyd

Chattanooga, TN (my hometown), but if I had to choose another city it would be Boston!
Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion
Cook Book
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

besides Southern, I love British and French food

Buttermilk, butter, and bacon, arugula, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, a fried egg on top of ALL THE THINGS.

Kitchen Gadget
Shun chef’s knife, kitchen scale