Open, Ouverte, Abierto, Geoffnet
Over the last year, our dear friends Sarah Cramer Shields and Andrea Hubbell, creators of the wonderful local food blog Beyond the Flavor, embarked on a mission to bring the joy and uniqueness of the Charlottesville food scene to everyone’s table – not on a plate, mind you, but rather in the form of a book unique to our charming and eclectic town.
Charlottesville Commons is the result of lives savored with all that graces it’s pages; profiles of food passions, photographs that defy words, anecdotes of inspirational food moments by local chefs, and essays that give you pause. And it is that “pause” which brings me here. As a lifelong baker, who’s joy in all things butter and sugar began as soon as I exited the womb, I have perhaps taken for granted what baking really means. Or maybe, I simply never attempted to put the essence of it into words, rather choosing to convey it’s meaning with something freshly baked.
But as one creates with their hands, another does so with their gift of observation and eloquence, putting into words what others can’t. My understanding of what I do and how it impacts others came full circle in this Charlottesville Commons essay written by my daughter, Alex, who’s ability to “see” with words and ideas consistently blows me away. It’s rare that we, as parents, are reminded that our children hear little of what we say, but see all that we do.
Thank you, “Boo Bear,” for being so amazing and for the beautiful gift of your words. I hope you all enjoy this peek into not only this beautiful book, but into the life behind Paradox Pastry, as it did, indeed, all begin with cookies and kids….