Hi! I’m Kelsey, nice to meet you.
I host Kelsey’s Essentials and Kelsey’s Homemade on Cooking Channel and I’m the author of Kitchen Confidence. Most importantly, I’m a mom to Ollie (5) and Nora (1) with Robby (29ish) as my partner in crime.
I launched my career in food on season 4 of Food Network Star just as I was wrapping up my undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University where I created and hosted a college cooking show called Kelsey’s Kitchen that focused on fast, fun, and affordable meals for college students. Food Network Star led me to Kelsey’s Essentials, executive produced by Bobby Flay, which was one of the first pieces of original programming on Cooking Channel and earned me a daytime Emmy nomination – the most important thing about this event in my life is that I got to sit next to Ina Garten at the Emmys and chat with her and Jeffrey over dinner (!!). Kelsey’s Essentials eventually grew to Kelsey’s Homemade and somewhere in there I wrote my cookbook Kitchen Confidence to help home cooks feel more comfortable in the kitchen. I’ve been part of the Food Network family since 2008 with appearances on Iron Chef America, Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, Guy’s Grocery Games, and Unique Sweets. I also regularly appear on the Today Show and Rachael Ray. My exclusive product line with HSN features a rotating cast of innovative kitchen tools and small appliances designed to help you cook with greater ease, confidence, and style.
We called New York City home for nearly a decade before trading skyscrapers for evergreens and making a cross-country move to Portland, OR. In NYC our careers and family flourished, but we suffered an insurmountable loss in 2015 when our premature son Leo passed away. This family tragedy paired with a significant struggle to grow our family broke us in many ways and we eventually found ourselves seeking a fresh start. Our son Leo’s passing prompted a unique opportunity to grow our family through gestational surrogacy and my angelic sister-in-law offered to carry a baby for us. After lots of prayers and hard work, we welcomed our sweet Nora just days before Thanksgiving in 2016. After Leo’s loss and Nora’s miraculous arrival, we were emotionally exhausted.
Our family ultimately found healing around our dinner table. Family mealtime became far more about what we were doing rather than what we were eating. We learned first hand the importance of breaking bread on a daily basis with loved ones and committed to Cook Better to Feel Better in our home. Mostly cooking better just means cooking anything at all! We fell into the rut of conveniences foods and far too many PB&J dinners as we were wading through our grief. Ultimately it was my passion for food and family that helped lift those heavy clouds and we began making meals together. It’s not always perfect and there’s always some level of chaos involved, but it’s the most sacred (and fun!) part of each day in our home.
I’m so glad that you’re here! I hope you’re inspired to cook a little more and gather those that you love most around your table.