At the tender age of 29, Kelsey Nixon has a large number of accomplishments to her credit. She was the executive producer and star of her own college cooking show, interned for both Martha Stewart and Food Network, attended culinary school, competed on The Next Food Network Star, served as a private chef, developed recipes for corporate brands and restaurants, and that’s not even the half of it.
“I think my parents would tell you that I've been a go-getter ever since I was young, maybe to a fault at times!” the Utah-born Nixon said. “I love setting goals and the sense of satisfaction that comes with accomplishing them. I think that my success has primarily been a lot of hard work and a lot of good luck. I'm terribly blessed and try not to take anything for granted.”
Nixon can now add published author to her list of achievements with the recent release of Kitchen Confidence: Essential Recipes and Tips that will Help You Cook Anything — a cookbook packed with indispensible tips, tricks, and recipes for every level of cook.
“The book is filled with recipes that I believe every home cook should have in their back pocket.” Nixon explained. “I focus on essential tools and techniques that will encourage the home cook to experiment a little in the kitchen, maybe even begin creating a few of their own signature dishes. I think that whether you're stepping in the kitchen for the first time, or you've been cooking for years, this book is for any home cook that loves to cook and is looking to add a few tried and true recipes into their repertoire.”
Kelsey names Ree Drummond, aka “The Pioneer Woman” as her own culinary inspiration.
“I think that she's building an incredible brand by being herself.” Nixon said. “Her recipes are authentic and very relatable to so many. I admire the success she's been able to achieve while still raising her kids. Ultimately I look up to her for the way she's been able to reach home cooks and really inspire them.”
So how does a girl who grew up in rural Utah get used to living in the bright lights of New York City?
“I was a small town girl that always had dreams of ending up in the big city, but I can't shake my roots and I don't really have any desire to,” she answered. “I like to think that I live with one foot in the big city and one foot in my small town. I love the sense of community that exists where I come from, but the energy and opportunities that you find in a place like New York City are unmatched. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today without NYC being a piece of the puzzle.
The one major adjustment to Kelsey’s life has been the arrival of her son Oliver, just over 18 months ago.
“The impact has been drastic!” she exclaimed. “I now frantically work during naps and from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Balancing family and work is no joke. I'm still figuring out how to juggle it all and I've got all the respect in the world for anyone else trying to do the same. I also sleep a whole lot less!”
As a practicing Mormon, Kelsey has developed a unique perspective on food.
“My religion was a big part of my upbringing and the culture that surrounds it had a really positive impact on me,” she explained. “I learned the benefit of being part of a community, and most importantly, how to be industrious and a hard worker. Small things like not drinking alcohol have never really bothered me or held me back in any way. It's a personal choice that I might make with or without the impact of my religion.”
So what’s next for Nixon aside from juggling parenthood and her everyday work?
“The 5th season of Kelsey's Essentials is currently airing on Cooking Channel and the show has just joined the Food Network family!” she answered. “I'm also working on a series for Ulive that merges parenting and food: Family Food and First Time Mom.”
Clearly, Nixon is no slacker when it comes to her work and home life, but can she still come up trumps when it comes to her everyday eating habits? It’s time for Elyse Sosin, RD, to give her feedback.