Food Blogger Tieghan Gerard's New Barn
The author of Half Baked Harvest expands her business right in her own backyard
Tieghan Gerard was a little busy when we caught up with her to talk about her beautiful new barn/workspace/kitchen/studio. Gerard, a self-taught cook and author of the wildly popular Half Baked Harvest food blog and a cookbook of the same name, was gearing up for publication of her second cookbook (Half Baked Harvest Super Simple [Clarkson Potter, 2019]), plotting out recipes for the coming holidays and deciding what cakes she’d bake for the 250 guests attending her brother’s wedding.
In Her Element A constant, fresh stream of gorgeous creations, such as these layered cakes, have attracted Tieghan nearly 900,000 Instagram followers. [Portrait by Kristen Kilpatrick]
“I don’t know how I got talked into cake. The cake menu is still changing day by day,” she reports. “Right now, it’s a chocolate peanut butter cake, a coconut cake, a carrot cake and some kind of a fruit cake, and … a lot of cakes … a lot of cakes.”
Kitchen The barn was planned with an abundance of work surfaces and plenty of range space. “I’m not even exactly sure how many burners I have now,” Tieghan admits. The kitchen’s warm wood tones are a carryover from her previous space, but this time she opted for quartzite rather than marble for the countertops. “It’s similar to marble, but it’s matte, and it’s less likely to scratch or stain—although I have learned to embrace the stains on my marble counter at home.”
— Tieghan Gerard
Pizza Oven Food blogger Tieghan Gerard found that her pizza oven’s stucco surround makes for a lovely holiday hearth in her new workspace. “I’m still mastering cooking in a wood-fired oven,” Tieghan says. “I haven’t perfected pizza over fire—yet.”
With its open, light-filled spaces, double ovens, killer pantry and acres of countertop, Tieghan’s new, almost-5,000-square-foot Silverthorne workspace is the perfect spot for a wedding. It’s also an ideal place for the 26-year-old to cook, create, style and shoot the photos and videos she produces for daily updates to her food blog.
Dining Table “I have no idea where that table came from,” Tieghan laughs. “My dad picked it up somewhere. It’s kind of become his part-time job, hunting vintage stores, junkyards, junk shops for props for me. Sometimes he brings home gems, and other times … not the greatest. But I generally find a way to use whatever he brings in.”
Living Area “I’ve always loved Anthropologie, and one of the first things we did when we moved into this space was a photo shoot with them,” Tieghan says. “They basically furnished this whole seating area, including the painting on the wall. I am not really big on hanging a ton of artwork, but I like this. It’s muted and not super-distracting.”
“The space I had been shooting in was also my house,” Tieghan says. “I was trying to live with all of the props, surfaces, cooking equipment and dishes I've collected since I started the blog in 2012. I have a lot of big pieces for food styling because I get bored easily, and if I use the same stuff over and over, I’m unhappy with it. The business literally outgrew the space. Luckily, we have 11 acres, so it made sense to build a new space right here. It’s really nice not to have to live with, well, I call it my junk—to have to live with my work all day. And it’s right next door.”
Pantry The pantry is a spacious dream of light and space, cream and dark blue, with Farrow & Ball’s Railings cabinet paint. “The shelves never look like this,” Tieghan admits. “I keep a really well-stocked pantry, so no, it is never that clean and tidy. I wish."
The Great Room One of the benefits of a back-yard business are frequent family drop-ins. Kid sister Asher and Merle, the mini Aussie, live in the family log home just up the hill. “Asher comes down when I’m making chocolate-chip cookies, but otherwise she is not much of a cook,” Tieghan says. “She takes more of an interest in snowboarding than cooking.”
With holidays approaching, the versatile space also serves as a favorite family-gathering spot. Tieghan is the fifth of a close-knit crew of seven children, with cousins, partners and friends always welcome. “When family’s in town for the holidays, we all end up down there at the end of the day,” says mom and business partner Jen Gerard. “Tieghan makes the cocktails.”
Bathroom “I wanted a dramatic look for the bathroom,” Tieghan says. The sleek triple sink was her idea. “She saw a picture of one like it, and M. Teixeira Soapstone in Denver built it for us,” says Tieghan’s mother, Jen. The giant floor mirror is from Anthropologie. “I love these mirrors so much. I have three,” Tieghan says. “They get a lot of compliments.”
“It is a crowd that appreciates a good cocktail,” Tieghan says. Also on the menu? “The classics. I hardly ever make the same recipe twice, but for the holidays, it’s our family’s classics. Cheesy potatoes. On Christmas Eve, always my mom’s Death by Chocolate. It’s a very retro layered dessert with Kahlúa, peanuts, whipped cream. Decadent. For Christmas morning, it’s monkey bread and cinnamon rolls. Christmas dinner is a roasted turkey. I love to create brand-new dishes, but when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s about the classics. It’s about memories.”
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