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BELLAIRE • MEMORIAL • RIVER OAKS • TANGLEWOOD • WEST UNIVERSITY

Kellies in the Kitchen: Thanksgiving Cooking Demonstration

Kelly Engler
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Kelli Bunch, who attended the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, Calif., created this Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Beet Salad with Bleu Cheese Crumbles and Pomegranate recipe, perfect for Thanksgiving. Here she teaches friend Kelly Engler how to make the recipe. (Video: Dylan Aguilar)

A memory: I am 9 years old. I wake up to the smell of frying bacon at my best friend’s house. I stretch, get out of bed and walk to the kitchen only to find my friend, Kelli Bunch, working over the stove, insisting that I sit down while she whips up breakfast for me. 

Flashback to a week ago: I am 23 years old. I ring the doorbell to Kelli’s house. She answers, gives me a big hug and insists that I sit down while she pours me a glass of wine and heats up some tortilla soup for us. 

I’ve known Kelli for 18 years now, and not much has changed. She loves serving delectable treats, spreading joy to others through the food she crafts with focus and care. She has a natural flair in the kitchen, and her passion for cooking is tangible.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Beet Salad with Bleu Cheese Crumbles and Pomegranate. Watch Kelli Bunch make this recipe here.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Beet Salad with Bleu Cheese Crumbles and Pomegranate. Watch Kelli Bunch make this recipe here

A Bellaire native, Kelli has been cooking from her days at Condit Elementary to her high school years at St. Agnes Academy. After completing her undergraduate at Ole Miss, she attended the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, Calif.

“I vividly remember crackling my first egg at age 3 with my dad watching over my shoulder, making sure I didn’t get any shells in the bowl,” Kelli reminisces. “When I was 10 years old, my dad and I made a pact that when I graduated from college, he would send me to culinary school, and trust me, I held him to it!”

Kelli is now culinary coordinator at A Fare Extraordinare, a prestigious catering company in Houston, and she hopes to eventually open neighborhood fine foods markets. 

“Whenever I travel out of the country,” Kelli says, “I make sure to scope out local farmer’s markets. They inspire me to curate new food items and learn more about foods in other cultures.”

Kelli and I had a great time creating this video of her demonstrating how to make her original Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Beet Salad with Bleu Cheese Crumbles and Pomegranate, perfect for Thanksgiving. Be sure to watch the video to learn how to make it, too. 

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