Host of Popular Blog 'Grandbaby Cakes' & Cookbook of the Same Name Looking Forward to Returning To the Holy City
Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer
Jocelyn Delk Adams is a writer, baker, and national TV personality guesting on shows like TODAY, Good Morning America and the Food Network, as well as being profiled in magazines such as Southern Living and Bon Appetit. To her followers she's the host of the popular food blog Grandbaby Cakes, an online journal where she shares recipes with a side of herself.
Jocelyn along with five other guest celebrities will take part in the 2023 Illumination Charleston event taking place December 1st and 2nd. The two day event features a Holiday Market on Saturday, a full day of cooking demonstrations and gift shopping opportunities at the Charleston Visitors Center.
Founded in 2012 Grandbaby Cakes was inspired by her grandmother Maggie aka 'big mama', which lead Jocelyn to offer up a dessert cookbook of the same name 'Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories'. In the award winning cookbook Jocelyn's recalls spending time with her grandmother and savoring the sweet treats 'big mama' cooked up.
Despite spending all that time during her younger years in the kitchen and eventually leaning that way, Jocelyn says she never imagined cooking would be her calling. "Not at all. I got into my culinary career in my late 20's and early 30's. After college I did some television. I minored in that, and began on that career path. But what I really wanted to do was direct movies. I never considered being in front of the camera."
Jocelyn admits it was a slow process. "My culinary TV career happened organically. I was never an overnight success. First on a local level, then regionally. Before I knew it I was judging contests, and then I kind of took off nationally. But now I really believe I'm doing what I was meant to do all along."
While the blog provided Jocelyn credibility, it was the cookbook which debuted in 2015 that helped put her on culinary map. "It's 100 percent a tribute to my grandmother." Adding, "And so many other people in my life, my mother and my aunt."
Gleaning and recalling everything she could during those precious moments with 'big mama' including the incredible smells is precisely what Jocelyn wanted to portray in the book. "I wanted it to be a time capsule, full of my memories and anecdotes of spending time in the kitchen with my grandmother and other family members. We are a very close family, and sharing recipes and stories in the kitchen is just something we've always done."
In the fast paced viral world we live in with many among the Gen Z crowd not having embraced cooking or a love for the kitchen, Jocelyn understands she's reaching a targeted audience. "Oh my gosh, yes! I'm 42 and many of those following me through my website are around my age. Some are younger, but mostly they are my age and a generation older."
She would welcome influencing a younger audience but is happy to start in her own home. "I have a 5 year old daughter named Harmony and she spends a lot of time in the kitchen with me, and I absolutely love it. The other day we baked cookies together."
Jocelyn hopes to pass her passion on to her daughter and maybe make a generational connection as well. "She's always asking me about what we do and what I do. She's inquisitive. Harmony loves getting in the kitchen with my mom as well. I definitely see a lot of me in her."
Branching out, Jocelyn's latest cookbook 'Everyday Grand : Soulful Recipes for Celebrating Life's Big and Small Moments' is somewhat of a departure from desserts. "My first book was just sweets, and those great recipes my grandmother made her own and that inspired me in the kitchen. My new book is a nice blend of savory and sweet. I wanted to share a different side of me."
Putting her own spin on the book was essential to Jocelyn. "They are definitely family recipes. But they are my own. I put my own creative play on recipes some might be familiar with. With the new book I want people to respect who I am, and how I've evolved in the kitchen."
Jocelyn admits she looking forward to returning to the Holy City. "I've been to Charleston three or four times over the years. I did a demo during the Food & Wine festival, and I've been to Charleston just to visit friends."
Illumination Charleston is something she's equally excited to be taking part in. "They contacted me back in summer and I think I said yes right away. I hadn't been to Charleston in a few years, but I love the city. I love the food and beverage scene and the people."
She adds, "It looks like it's going to be an great event. It's a great space for me to share recipes from my new book. So I'll be doing that and signing books. Maybe I'll get some time to check out the food scene, do some shopping. When you're in Charleston you have to soak it all in."
For more on Illumination Charleston hosted by Explore Charleston and Southern Living visit https://www.southernlivingilluminationcharleston.com/ and for more on Jocely Delk Adams visit her blog website at https://grandbaby-cakes.com/