Here’s what I had to say in the original letter:
Make one thing really well: This whole food truck mania is not about the pleasures of diesel fumes and plastic forks. It’s about young cooks who make brilliant pizza, or serious ice cream, or bizarrely original tacos. Every chef needs a signature dish that is all hers or his, a lure to the restaurant, a mouthful of nothing-else-like-it that diners dream of days later.
Here’s why I think Reynolds exemplifies this quality:
When she was growing up in Snellville, Reynolds was never allowed junk food, such ascommercial toaster pastries. “We were organic before organic was cool,” she jokes of her upbringing. Not that she minded: it didn’t take long to realize that the peanut butter cookies her mother made with freshly ground peanuts and honey from her backyard bees were far superior to Nutter Butters. Years later, she was working as a paralegal and part-time caterer when a friend gave her the idea for Red Queen Tarts. A fiend for organic ingredients, she starts with a buttery dough made with freshly ground whole wheat flour and fills her tarts with fruits in season, such as peaches, blueberries and muscadines. Following some positive press, her mail order business took off. While she doesn’t yet have a retail outlet, Reynolds sells her tarts locally at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market on Saturday mornings and the Howell Mill Food Park on Tuesday nights. You can eat them right from their bags, but as any Pop Tart lover will tell you, a minute in the toaster does wonders.