SALT LAKE CITY — Avid fans of the "Our Best Bites" blog got to meet Sara Wells and Kate Jones, founders of the popular food blog, in person and outside of their computer screens.
Wells and Jones' blog has evolved over the past few years, garnering more than a million page views each month. The two cooks published a cookbook in February and were in town to introduce "Our Best Bites: Mormon Moms in the Kitchen."
Wells and Jones showcased their culinary skills at a cooking demonstration March 11 at the Orson Gygi demo kitchen. The 60 who were present watched and laughed along with Wells and Jones as the two got to know the large, fancy and foreign kitchen they were cooking in and listened as the they shared cooking tips and humorous anecdotes from their lives.
"How many bloggers does it take to turn on hot water?" Wells joked, as she and Jones adjusted the sink faucet in the unfamiliar kitchen.
In the audience, there were only a few men, two of whom were Jones' father and brother.
Original plans for the event included a single cooking demonstration at the retail store with book signings at Deseret Book. However, because of the large response, a second demonstration was added. Through the "Best Bites" blog, 120 tickets were given away to the more than 600 people who requested them.
Wells, who is an LDS returned missionary and now lives in Idaho, and Jones, of Louisiana, whipped up creations from their cookbook and enough samples for everyone in the audience to taste. Herb-Rosemary Focaccia Loaves, Panzanella, Chicken Cacciatore, and Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Tarts with Chocolate Mousse were on the day's menu.
If the sound of these foods is making your mouth water, it might not surprise you that after sampling these delicious foods, the dry turkey sandwich waiting back at the office for me didn't quite cut it.
As they cooked, Wells and Jones addressed a wide range of topics: How do I properly measure flour? What is the difference between pressed garlic and minced garlic? How do I cut tomatoes so my salad doesn't get slimy with tomato "guts?"
Jones shared secrets about getting good flavor in foods, including "Marjoram is the red-headed stepchild of Italian seasonings," she said. "Everyone forgets about it, but it makes things so good."
The laid-back atmosphere in the kitchen allowed audience members to ask questions at leisure. With their familiarity of Wells and Jones' blog and cookbook, many asked specific questions about various recipes.
Wells and Jones are both mothers and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with various responsibilities, so these women are busy.
"Our jobs as moms come before anything else in our family," Wells said.
The two consider themselves lucky because their jobs involve cooking, which is something they already do for their families.
Several prizes were given away throughout the demonstration, including cookbooks and cooking classes at Orson Gygi, and spatulas to the entire audience.
Wells and Jones said they would like to publish another cookbook in the future.