Belmont Auxiliary Partners Board Announces 2019 Spring Speaker

Anne Byrn, The Cake Mix Doctor, to serve as event’s keynote speaker

A New York Times best-selling food writer and author based in Nashville, Anne Byrn will serve as this year’s Auxiliary Partners Spring Luncheon keynote speaker. The event, scheduled for Tuesday, April 23 at 11:30 a.m., will be held in Belmont’s Curb Event Center.

Belmont’s Auxiliary Partners has provided scholarships for many deserving students throughout the years. Each year, the Auxiliary hosts two luncheons that support its fund, one in the spring and one in the fall. Ticket costs go towards off-setting the price of the event and directly supporting Auxiliary Partners scholarships. Tickets can be purchased here for $40.

Byrn served as the event’s keynote speaker about a decade ago where she discussed her most recent book at the time, American Cake. Now, years later, she’s returning to the Partners event and will be speaking about her latest book, American Cookie, a project she says has found a special place in her heart.

A baker from way back, Byrn remembers the positive feedback she received as a child when she created delicious assortments of treats for those around her. It was that joy that fueled her love for baking and established the foundation of the career she enjoys today.

Detailing the history of the cookie, Bryn’s newest book overviews all types – the snaps, drops, jumbles, tea cakes, bars & brownies that Americans have loved for generations. For Byrn, its these stories that make baking as special as it has become for her. “You unlock your family’s, and our country’s, history through looking at recipes,” she said. “It’s these stories, this history, that makes recipes more meaningful. It’s another added dimension of baking.”

So what’s her favorite? Well…that’s one tough question.

Immediately she goes to what she’s dubbed “The School Lunch Peanut Butter Cookie,” a treat created during hard times in America when public schools were filled with lunch ladies who needed to go back to work to support their families. Finding themselves in a totally new kitchen, the cafeteria, these ladies began cooking for school children as though they were their own. With access to practically endless amounts of peanut butter and vegetable shortening – and just enough sugar and butter to count – the school lunch peanut butter cookie was born.

Bryn’s book is full of stories just like this one – including the history of the original Girl Scout cookie, the first Tollhouse cookie, gluten free cookies in times when wheat was saved for the troops and rice flour was all that was available, Emily Dickinson’s beloved rice cakes and more.

Though the stories of cookies have become some of her favorites, Bryn isn’t stopping there. Her next book, scheduled to be released in just a few months, details the history of the cast iron skillet and features countless recipes that can be made with just that tool.

For more information on Bryn and her work, click here.