Thoughts from a College Church Cook

Julie Busteed first learned how to cook for crowds while attending Moody Church in Chicago. She brought her love of cooking to College Church, when she and her husband, Todd, became part of the church family here.

Julie Busteed loves what happens around food and a meal together. "There's something about food, about eating together. Relationships happen and connections are made in sharing the meal.

If you've been around College Church for any length of time, there's a good chance that you've enjoyed one of Julie's meals.

"I remember cooking dinners for Summerfest back in the early 2000s with Jymette Seager, Lynn Kubat and Shelly Wildman," Julie recalls. The list of ministries for which Julie has cooked doesn't stop there. Julie has created meals for STARS events, missions festivals, Keenagers, Visitors Brunch, children's ministries appreciation dinners, HYACKs, Women's Bible Study and the Workshop for Biblical Exposition.

"One of my greatest joys is to have good food, real food, that nourishes the body in a venue that nourishes family and friendship," Julie relates. And if you've ever eaten Julie's pork tenderloin with chimichurri sauce, goat cheese mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus or Brussels sprouts and spice cake with cream cheese frosting, you know what Julie is talking about.

Julie is in her element--Commons Kitchen getting ready to prepare a scrumptious meal.

Julie is in her element--Commons Kitchen getting ready to prepare a scrumptious meal.

Many of Julie's recipes are from classic chefs Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) and Julia Child. In fact, Julie's favorite piece of advice for cooks is from Julia Child, who said, "Make no apologies." Julie explains, "Never apologize for anything. If you burn something, then that's the way it was meant to be served."

Julie also adds her own wisdom, "When you're cooking for people, don't be a stressed-out host. Plan a meal so you can enjoy it with your guests. It's all right to leave one or two dishes for the last minute, but not the whole meal."

Whether Julie is opening her home to guests or preparing a meal for someone in need or cooking for a crowd at church, she opens her heart and, from her perspective, "Food becomes the vehicle to set in motion the truly important things of family and friendship." Thanks, Julie for sharing your heart and your meals with the church family.