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Gina Edwards
. . . and she cooks, too!

 

As a full-time writer and designer, Gina Edwards still finds time to cook, too.

Since 2003, Edwards has been sharing her love of cooking, gardening and decorating with audiences through the online magazine, andshecookstoo.com, and through her creative and entertaining demonstrations.

Growing up in the Midwest, Edwards learned how to cook at a young age on her grandparents farm where they raised chickens, farmed popcorn and had a large garden and orchard. Her mother’s cooking, which always included all-natural and organic foods, furthered her love of whole foods and home-cooked meals. To this day, some of her most prized recipe collections are her grandmother’s recipe box and hand-written cookbook that was handed down from her mother to her.

As a child, Saturday mornings were spent watching food and gardening shows on PBS instead of cartoons. While in college, Edwards really started working in the kitchen teaching herself how to make the family favorites she had grown up enjoying – and creating her own recipes as well.

Edwards put herself through college with the help of writing and advertising scholarships while working as a line cook, grocery store clerk and library page. After graduating with a degree in public relations from Bradley University, she started her career working in the hospitality industry. Today, with more than 10 years experience working and volunteering for nonprofit organizations, Edwards works for the United Way as a writer and designer responsible for in-house design of print materials, community-wide public relations and production of various videos and television specials.

In 2002, she began entering baking contests at the local and state fairs and was awarded multiple blue ribbons including a best of show for a lemon twist pizzelle cookie. When her husband was laid-off from work that year, Edwards began baking cookies for co-workers, friends and family to earn extra money during the holidays. Since then, the holiday baking has now grown into a gift-giving tradition that includes baking more than 250 dozen cookies and cooking more than 25 pounds of homemade candies each year.

The idea for the andshecookstoo.com website came from volunteering at a writers’ workshop for her alma mater’s library. Since writing is a major part of her daily job, writing about food, her favorite hobby, became a natural fit. Today, the website is dedicated to providing straightforward, resourceful ideas about cooking, gardening, decorating and entertaining.

Before the website was completely up and running, requests started to come in requesting Edwards to present cooking demonstrations. For groups large and small, these fun presentations on cooking, decorating and entertaining have consistently received positive feedback from those attending.

With a library of more than 400 cookbooks and travels across the United States, the United Kingdom and Greece, Edwards furthered her culinary education by attending short courses at the Le Cordon Bleu School in London studying regional French cuisine and patisserie in 2005. She is currently a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

In 2006, to answer the need for a series of classes often requested at previous demonstrations, Edwards has partnered with the Peoria Heights Public Library to offer classes one Saturday a month in the library’s meeting room.

“I really feel that "and she cooks, too" is a business model and philosophy. We all have jobs, families and responsibilities - and we all have to eat. It's a realistic approach to food, decorating and entertaining because I have a job just like the person sitting in one of my demonstrations or the person searching the website. When I'm working on a recipe or a decorating idea, I can tell them how long it takes me to do it and how I work it into my busy schedule,” Edwards said.

For more information on upcoming demonstrations, visit our Appearances page. If you have any questions, email gedwards@andshecookstoo.com.

 

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