Named one of America`s finest home cooks, Andrea LeTard, the Memphian behind the renowned blog Andrea’s Cooktales, doesn’t just write about food. Andrea’s Cooktales uses food as a conduit to write about travel, inspiration, and memory. To her, food is a centerpiece of culture and celebration. Every recipe and every good meal has a story behind it — hence, the name “cooktales.”
LeTard earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Memphis. Cooking was her therapy. After a long day at work, she could usually be found in front of her cutting board, a glass of wine at the ready, surrounded by candles, chopping fresh produce, honing the upscale-yet-playful style she describes as “next-generation Southern cuisine.” She eventually walked away from a high-paying day job and dedicated her life to her foodie passion.
Relatively quickly, LeTard has captured the attention of a vast audience that is attracted to her creativity, consistency, simplicity and impeccable cooking skills. Inspired by her grandmother’s heirloom recipe book, LeTard competed on “Master Chef Season 6.” While she didn`t bag top prize, she became a fan favorite, launching her career as a culinary thought-leader. LeTard approaches cuisine from the point of view of a home cook: healthy, clean and simple, but unafraid to splurge or indulge every now and then. She uses local ingredients creatively, laying out her process with clear, easy-to-follow instructions. Her presentations are fantastic, the flavors second to none, as are her efforts to promote the local cuisine of the South.
LeTard’s success as a blogger gave rise to the award-winning book “Andrea’s Cooktales: A Keepsake Cookbook.” Tailored to people who enjoy cooking with their families, the book serves up quality over quantity. LeTard has packed the book with her tastiest, most time-tested recipes. In her world, food is only as good as the people we share it with. She encourages her readers to write down their own family recipes. “Andrea’s Cooktales” (the book) includes a “notes” section at the end. Readers can use this section to inscribe their favorite memories and stories related to food. LeTard dreams that her readers might use her cookbook to create their own culinary legacy to pass down for generations.
Born and raised in Mississippi and now settled in Memphis with her husband, LeTard is an avid wanderer. Her travels inspire her recipes, as do the memories she has made through meals enjoyed with friends and family.
Memphis foodies don’t even have to enjoy “Andrea’s Cooktales” from afar. In addition to her success as a blogger and writer, LeTard runs Southern Belle, a renowned full-time cooking business in Memphis. She is a personal chef, small party caterer (cocktail parties, dinner parties, showers, etc.) and a cooking instructor. A consummate professional, LeTard designs sample menus tailored to the theme of the party, with an option for clients to customize their own menu.
A true storyteller of the kitchen, Andrea LeTard offers a delicious blend of innovation and tradition that makes Memphis proud.