Food. It’s a connector of cultures, traditions, and generations. Sounds, smells, and recipes bring back memories of childhood, the people we love, and those who love us in return. And as KSL recently put it, “food can serve, heal, connect, bind, and uplift human hearts. Food is service. Food is love.”
In a documentary discussing the importance of food and how it brings us joy, KSL TV highlighted women who love to cook and who share that love with people around the world. Among those interviewed were three Latter-day Saint women who have been featured on LDS Living. Learn more about these women and what they love about food below.
Although cooking in the kitchen with her kids can be messy and chaotic, Courtney Rich explained to KSL TV that it can be a great way to connect with her children. She also recalled Sunday dinners with her family and how the kitchen was a safe place for her as a child.
“Even from a young age, I have just these very vivid memories of laughter and music and food. It will always, for me, be my safe place like I hope it is for my kids,” she said. “For me, food is joy.”
Rich was a guest on the All In podcast last year where she opened up about her parents’ divorce when she was a teenager and the depression she felt. Depression has been an obstacle in her life ever since, but Rich testified that being all in the gospel of Jesus Christ means “not giving up.”
“It means not giving up hope, it means not giving up on Heavenly Father, even when you feel like He doesn't see you. It means hanging on to maybe just one ounce of that testimony that you knew that you had,” she said.
Listen to the episode below.
Fourteen years ago, Si Foster started her blog, A Bountiful Kitchen. What started out as a hobby has since grown into something much larger, and now Foster has an Instagram following of more than 83,000 people. She is also a missionary in Barcelona, Spain, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In her interview with KSL TV, Foster shared a story of how food is an opportunity to serve. She recalled one day when her oldest son was in high school, and he and his friend decided to visit people on Sunday evenings and take them a treat. And what better thing to make than chocolate chip cookies?
“We were making cookies every Sunday night and that turned into a tradition that has lasted for years now, where those cookies have turned into just a family staple,” she said. Whenever they learn someone is in need, it’s also the “first thing that goes out the door.”
“Food is just the universal love language,” Foster said. “For me, food is service.”
On her Instagram page, Foster often shares her faith. In a recent post, she explained how she has been working on making sourdough bread for over a year. She has made loaves that are lopsided, too tall, too hard, too heavy, too chewy, or not chewy enough, but she said she is learning.
“Friends, this bread story is much like life. There are many times we don’t get it right. We experience frustration and failure. We make mistakes and sometimes we even make the same mistake multiple times. We feel like we aren’t enough, and we feel like giving up,” she wrote. “Here is the good news. We have a Savior that gets it. He loves us beyond comprehension. He will never, ever turn away from us because of our mistakes or imperfections no matter the circumstances. Yes, even your circumstances.”
Learn more about Foster and her family in LDS Living magazine.
Ever since she was a child using her Easy Bake Oven, Tara Bench loved making food. So studying the culinary arts with a minor in journalism at Utah State University was a natural step for her. Intent on finding her dream job, Bench landed an internship at Martha Stewart Living and stayed for about six years. Afterward, she was asked to fill in as food director at Ladies’ Home Journal and stayed on in the role.
Now, Bench has struck out on her own. She shares her recipes and cooking tips on her blog Tara Teaspoon, which has grown into a business, and recently published her very own cookbook.
“I really do see cooking in my life as a talent, and if we don’t develop our talents, they go away. I have made an effort to develop that talent and to turn it into something bigger in my life. And it’s been a blessing in so many ways. It’s helped me in church callings, it’s helped me connect with people and different cultures. Who knew food would take me where it’s taken me? Food heals. Those family meals heal. Food is a connector—a connector of people,” Bench told KSL TV.
Bench was also recently highlighted on the All In podcast. Listen to the episode below.
Watch the documentary on KSL TV.
Featured image: KSL TV screenshot
As a former food editor and stylist with Martha Stewart and food director of Ladies’ Home Journal magazine, Tara knows how to create and showcase gorgeously themed meals for every lifestyle and occasion. In her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously, she shares more than 120 showstopping recipes that are designed to impress.
From leisurely weekend brunches spent over burrata cheese with grilled peaches and orange zest chimichurri to easy weeknight rice bowls with carrot-ginger dressing to a mouthwatering Italian crostata baked tart, Tara explains how to put together and master several special go-to dishes from the culinary capitals of the world to add to your repertoire.