Siblings Kelly and Paul Bishop grew up in a family of chefs. Their family owns Pasquale’s Diner in Morehead, Kentucky. But the culinary roots go beyond the restaurant and back to community and family meals orchestrated by their grandmother.
“Food is such a communal thing,” says Paul. “We had a lot of gatherings that everyone would sit in the kitchen and cook and they would tell stories.”
“Every Sunday we would have breakfast at Mamaw’s and the whole family would be up there,” says Kelly and Paul’s mother, Jan. “I miss it! I miss the camaraderie around the table with everybody. She was just a great cook. She did fried chicken better than the Colonel and I still don’t know how to do fried chicken. I’m not the cook my mother was. Kelly’s more the cook mom was.”
Kelly started working in the restaurant when she was just 10, bussing tables and washing dishes. Later, she took to baking, making treats like chocolate chip cookies for the diner.
“When they started school, I tried to get Kelly to go culinary and Paul baking, but they both went baking,” Jan remembers. “I told them that if they would get the schooling and five years of on the job experience, that I would help them put in a bakery here.”
The Bishop siblings and their mom held up their respective ends of the bargain. Paul and Kelly both finished culinary school and worked in the industry away from home. Now The Bakery on Main operates right next door to Pasquale’s.
“A restaurant is like a living, breathing creature,” says Paul. “Every day it takes on a new face, it does something different. You’ve just got to roll with the punches. It’s very rewarding at times but it makes for some early days too.”
The Bishop’s get inspiration for their baked good from inside and outside of the family tradition.
“Mom taught me how to do the coconut cream and the chocolate pies years ago,” says Kelly. “Some of the others, like the brûlée, I’ve picked up at different places. Some of the other things Paul’s picked up in other places. We’ll try just about anything if you have an idea.”
“We’ve had a lot of people come in with recipes that their parents or grandparents used to make and they’ll ask us if we’d replicate it,” says Paul. “It’s really good for us because it puts us through trying to learn about a recipe… and also make somebody happy [when we] rekindle a memory or something nostalgic from their past that they just can’t replicate themselves.”
This segment is part of Kentucky Life episode #2017, which originally aired on May 9, 2015. Watch the full episode.