By Scott Carlson
Meghan Gordon remembers when she was not very adept at cooking and baking.
“I didn’t have the patience for it,” Gordon recalled. “I couldn’t even boil water. I was a disaster.”
But then something wonderful happened one day after she and her husband Adam moved to St. Anthony Park 10 years ago, buying the home of celebrity TV chef Andrew Zimmern: She got inspired to cook an Italian pasta dish and discovered she could cook—and actually was very good.
“I had a craving for risotto,” Gordon said. “I was able to perform a minor miracle and made an asparagus and mushroom risotto in my rice cooker that was a wedding present and hadn’t been used in 15 years!”
Eight years ago, the former professional ballroom-dancer-turned-nanny started cooking some dinners for her nanny families. “I enjoyed cooking with the kids and wanted to take dinner off their parents’ to-do lists after a long day’s work,” Gordon said.
A self-taught and self-described Julia Childs-style chef, Gordon’s penchant for cooking now includes baking cakes, cookies and pies. (Her favorite pie is raspberry rhubarb and she loves baking cookies and touching them up with royal icing.)
Currently, Gordon cooks dinner four times a week for an elderly St. Anthony Park couple and is occasionally baking desserts for other people’s birthday parties and graduations. She said her pursuit of cooking and baking is a way of showing love to other people.
And Gordon is gaining a following that has inspired her to seek city licensing for her home-based business and make it a full-time endeavor. “This is my new passion and calling,” Gordon said.
Gordon said the arrival of the global pandemic forced her to stop being a nanny. But that loss has given her the undivided time to pursue cooking and baking on a more serious basis. She is calling her business “The Chocolate Chickadee.” The name is a nod to her grandfather who used to call her “his chocolate covered chickadee” when she was a child, Gordon said.
Prior to discovering the joys of cooking and baking, Gordon was a professional ballroom dancer with her husband. For 16 years, she taught ballroom dancing at the Dancer Studio off of Snelling Avenue in St. Paul. After leaving the Dancer Studio, Meghan started her own dance program called Baby Ballroom, which taught parents and grandparents to ballroom dance with their babies as their dance partners.
Adam, her husband of 22 years, and Meghan have two children: daughter Lily, 18, who is a student at the University of Minnesota, and son Ian, 16, who attends Roseville Area High School.
Scott Carlson is managing editor of the Bugle.