[ TBSP Baker-In-Residence, Cohort 01 ]
Chef, baker and entrepreneur Christina Decker co-owns Thyme A Modern Cookery.
Born in Stony Point, New York, Christina moved to Pittsburgh in 2008 after spending time living in Seattle, WA and Scottsdale, AZ. In 2017, she and her business partner launched a boutique catering and weekly meal delivery service, Thyme, focused on providing fresh, locally sourced, seasonal, wholesome dishes. Since starting Thyme, Christina has had the honor of being a guest Chef at Google FoodTalks and participated in the Frick Environmental Center Harvest Celebration in addition to serving her private clients.
As a self-taught Chef and Baker, Christina’s love of cooking was first inspired by her mother’s creative cooking and baking and her nana’s love for fresh local ingredients.
After 20 years of corporate experience Christina spent time cultivating her culinary skills – the result was becoming a Personal Chef in 2015 combining her passion for cooking with her enthusiasm for travel, taking her all over North America, South America and Europe – some favorites include Belize, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Scotland. She credits her culinary range to the influences of each region and has attended multiple culinary schools and academies along the way.
Christina enjoy’s being an active member of the community as a Board Member of The Children’s Institute, fundraising for the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and a volunteer of 412 Food Rescue. She is also a certified Yoga Instructor and Reiki practitioner.
How/why did you get into baking?
Baking came natural. Creating something by baking is very peaceful to me.
What’s your favorite thing to bake?
Muffins – because they can be either or both savory and/or sweet.
What’s your favorite ingredient? Why?
Buttermilk, because it has so many uses; You can drink it straight (my father loves it), it’s great as a marinade or tenderizer – especially in poultry, and pork, it’s a wonderful additional to creamy tangy dressings and of course used in baking – the lactic acid creates an exceptional moist crumb and a tender rise. It is also wonderful in powder form. Plus it’s low fat and contains probiotics which help aid in digestion. I always have a quart or two on hand.
Sweet or Savory? Why?
Both, in my perfect world you can’t have one without the other.
What neighborhood do you live in?
What hobbies do you have?
TRAVEL! I love to travel and experience new cultures and meet new people. Everyone. Every single person on this earth has a story – unique to themselves. I love to engage, listen and learn. I also practice yoga, pilates, and Reiki. I enjoy hiking, biking and spend time with my dog.
What’s your favorite Pittsburgh eatery?
This is a hard one! Can I say I have many favorites with Butterjoint and B52 being at the top of the list.
What are your aspirations after TBSP?
With luck, I hope to open a cafe and bakery in Pittsburgh.
Favorite 90’s band?
Nirvana. I was living in Seattle at the time of Kurt Cobain’s untimely death. The music, the micro breweries and Pike Place Market were AMAZING. I actually saw Jeffrey Smith – a.k.a The Frugal Gourmet shopping at the market.