I’m a lover of good food and sweet treats, and Lizzy has yet to disappoint when it comes to creating both. We have laughed together, vented to one another, shed tears, share a similar sweet tooth, and dreamed big dreams, while continuing to push each other to pursue those dreams. To see one of her dreams come to fruition brings me great joy.
While at the new location of Adrienne and Co. Bakery & Cafe in New Albany, Indiana, siting in a cozy corner nook, next to a giant window that was pouring in the warmth from the sunshine, taking in the smell of new construction and sipping coffee in the company of my dear friend, I took the opportunity to pick Lizzy’s brain about a few things. Things such as the details of the new Adrienne and Co. location, the classic dishes she was planning and excited to serve as head chef, and more about Lizzy herself…
What is the Style of the Café?
“The concept is fast casual, no waitresses.”
What Kind of Food will be Served?
“Southern theme of breakfast and lunch with southwestern influences. Such as Pancakes and Waffles from scratch, Queso Omelets, Shrimp and Grits. We’re working to get ingredients such as eggs, produce, etc… from local farmers.”
Favorite Thing to Cook?
“That’s really tough, Trina. Everybody has an answer but me. I like to cook anything that’s hearty or soulful. It might be a soup; it might be a pasta dish, or things that are completely off the wall. If it challenges me, definitely. I guess I’m more about the process.”
What’s Your Favorite Part of the Process?
“To be honest, my favorite thing to do is to stand over the pot, stand over the pan, while it sizzles, the sugars are caramelizing, the fats are melting, the aroma just overwhelms you, its beautiful. I really also enjoy planning it, and giving it to someone else to enjoy. When your sitting there and your watching someone else eat it, and you can tell all their senses are involved, and there is a smile on their face, their bellies are full, it’s warm, it’s hearty. It’s kind of a high, actually. Then in a restaurant, I love the really slammed busy time you can hardly talk to each other, but you’re all just in movement, and the whole kitchen is just working together, like a machine, and you can’t stop. I love that! I love it. It’s about working with the people, and good food.”
Favorite Thing to Eat?
“I love spicy food. I love Italian food and pastas. I’m really adventurous, so put anything in front of me, I don’t care what it is. It probably goes back to the time when I was little kid. My dad would get pretzels and then dip them in hot sauce and give them to me. At the time I really hated it, I’d run around screaming ‘Milk, Milk, Give Me Milk!’ So I think I just built up a tolerance for spice. He helped me be adventurous from a very young age… I’m not a picky eater, as long as it’s tasty I’ll try anything.”
How Did You Learn to Cook? Where Did You Go to School?
We grew up sitting at the kitchen table watching my mom decorate cakes, and make confections, and our house was always an open door for anyone. We always had people over when they were from out of town with the church or my family. We’d have big Italian dinners, with homemade sauces, meatballs, lasagnas, and she’d make fried dough. That was always a really big thing and I always enjoyed that. I try to take a lot of that from my mother. She has no problem being outgoing. She is so vibrant and so energetic, and welcoming, she can make anyone feel comfortable, and if she can feed you then she’s done a good job, and I think that’s where I got it. From a very young age, I always wanted to be involved. I wanted to go to cooking school right out of high school, but I didn’t think it was acceptable, so I went to U of L and I was a political science major. I went there for almost 4 years, but it was really hard to do a full time job, and go to school full time. Soon I realized that it just wasn’t my passion anymore. So I went to Sullivan later in life. I gained experience working for catering companies, diners, small cafes, traveling to Canada and working for a fishing club. We’d go there [to the fishing club] every summer, for 3 weeks at time, so it was a huge learning experience for me. It was on an island, and the closest major grocery store was an hour away, so we had to pre-plan. Every thing was from scratch. I learned how to use the same ingredients in a lot of different ways. I also learned a lot about myself, not just as a cook but as a person.”
What Do You Like to do in Your Spare Time?
Best Memory as a Child?
“I could tell my first memory as a child, I was only two when my little sister was born, but I remember going up the stairs of the hospital and my dad was on one side, and my pastor was on the other side of me. I remember going in the room and putting on the gown and holding my sister for the first time. I can’t believe I remember that, I think I have a memory like an elephant. [haha] She’s a little stinker, but I love her with all my heart. I also remember going camping with my dad when I was 6 or 7, and we would go with a loaf of white bread, suckers, and waters. [haha]”
Do You Have a Favorite Quote?
“One would be a Mexican proverb- ‘They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds’. That sums up me. The other is Philippines 1:6 ‘And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it onto completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’ ”
Lizzy’s gourmet breakfast and lunch dishes can be enjoyed at Adrienne and Co. Bakery & Café, located at 133 E. Market Street, New Albany, Indiana