The Chef & The Baker

The Chef & The Baker

I recently had the pleasure of meeting September Burton and Taylor Miller, who opened The Chef & The Baker in Maggie Valley this January. They are a talented couple boasting a multitude of culinary skills. September and I sat down for a Q&A where she shared a little about their lives and the story of their new business. 

Rumble: Where are you and Taylor from and how did you meet? 

September: We’re from Colorado and met when we were both working at Freemont Provisions in Cañon City where Taylor was owner and executive chef. 

Rumble: When did you move to the area? 

September: We moved here in November 2021 and opened the restaurant in January. I was working at Annie’s Bakery in Asheville, and Taylor was interviewing for executive chef positions, and then this opportunity just sort of fell in our laps. 

Rumble: Is your background in culinary arts? 

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September: I did four years in the navy and when I got out, I went back and forth between studying nutrition and culinary arts. I went the nutrition route for a while. I learned how to keep food healthy so we can keep our bodies healthy. That’s when I got into sourdough baking, which uses natural leavening and is much healthier for the body and the digestive tract, and it also tastes delicious. I also bake custom cakes. I do not use any artificial dyes, refined sugars or other unhealthy, unnatural ingredients 

Rumble: How did you come up with the idea for The Chef & the Baker? 

September: We came up with the idea when we were still in Colorado. It just seemed we always worked well together and our strengths were in different areas. One of our first collaborations was where I would pick a country and bake a type of bread from that region and Taylor would create an accompanying butter or chutney. We realized how well our skills blended and thought it would be fun to open a restaurant like this one. When we first came up with the concept, we were going to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I think we are going to just stick with breakfast and brunch. 

Rumble: How are you settling into the Haywood County community? 

September: We are connecting with other business owners, getting to know people in the area, and working hard to meet with local farmers and purveyors. We’ve had such a warm welcome from both locals and visitors. 

Rumble: Is it hard working with your partner? 

September: It’s the opposite of hard. In fact, on our day off we have to force ourselves not to come in and work. Taylor and I have a lot of fun together, especially in the kitchen where we are both doing what we love. We goof off and listen to good music. 

Rumble: What is something you would like customers to know about your business or products? 

September: We are very particular about the products we use. For instance, we make everything in-house including ketchup, hot sauces, aolis and other sauces. We are focused on showing people that we’re beyond farm-to-table, which is a term that’s become a little cliché and watered down. We shop at farmers markets and source local produce and meats. Our spices are from a place in Asheville. The flour I use is from North Carolina and is not even milled until we put in the order. We put so much care and passion into the food we make, and we hope people can feel that when eating our dishes and breads. 

To learn more about The Chef & The Baker, visit their website or on Instagram and Facebook

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