Hi, all! I'm super excited to introduce this live chat, not only because the featured guest, Chris Taylor, is a fierce competitive baker, but also because this chat marks the first in my CookieCon 2018 interview series! Woo hoo!
Over the next few months, my aim is to conduct live chats and in-depth Cookier Close-up interviews with all of the fabulous core presenters on the CookieCon 2018 roster. If you're not familiar with CookieCon, it's the country's biggest cookie-only convention and art show, and its instructors always include some of the nation's best and most interesting cookie decorators. This year is no exception, as you can see from the lineup below.
As for Chris, well . . . his bio (below) pretty much speaks for itself. In and around a full-time job as a scientific researcher, he's somehow managed to win five first-place blue ribbons at the American Pie Council National Pie Championships, be a finalist in Food Network's Spring Baking Championship, and rack up myriad other baking awards. During this chat, we'll learn how he manages to swing all of this, what goes into prepping for competitions, and how the writing of his first pie cookbook is going! (Yes, he's got a book deal too!)
(1) Please feel free to enter advance questions now by following the instructions at the top of this chat page. (As always, it's super helpful for questions to be logged early, so our guests are able to prepare answers beforehand and to field more questions during live chat time.)
(2) Please note that any advance questions will reveal one at a time, in the order received, only after the chat goes live. Do not expect questions or answers to appear immediately.
(3) Last but not least, as with all of these chats, you have a special opportunity to see inside the minds of some extremely talented decorators, so I encourage you to do your homework before jumping on the chat. Please review Chris' bio below, his website, and various social media links.
Chris Taylor, owner of Flour Sugar Butter, is a cookie decorator, pie maker, and all-around baking enthusiast. He decorated his first cookies more than ten years ago after he saw a television show featuring a company designing its own custom cookie cutters. The challenge of decorating cookies is an artistic escape from his full-time job as a public health researcher in Atlanta. His cookie sets often feature an assortment of techniques, including piping, stenciling, and handpainting. He enjoys creating a wide variety of decorated cookies, especially those with playful and tongue-in-cheek designs.
In addition to decorating cookies, Chris is a competitive maker of all things sweet, including cakes, candies, and especially pies. Chris has earned more than 300 awards for baking at local, state, and national baking competitions, including the 2017 Best of Show Award at the National Pie Championships. He and his husband, Paul, are looking forward to the publication of their first cookbook all about pie baking. Their book, The New Pie, will be released by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in March 2019. To learn more about Chris and to see some of his cookie work, please visit his website and Instagram and Facebook pages.