Fayetteville Sharon Bailhe’ spent much of her young adult life traveling the world and eating in the finest restaurants. She credits her acute taste in food to both her travel history and her experience eating in some of New York City’s best restaurants as a child growing up in Wilton, Connecticut. When she and her husband finally settled in Fayetteville about thirty years ago, she said she wasn’t in love with Central New York restaurants.
“I moved here and had four children and I thought, ‘if we’re going to eat really nice food, I’m going to have to make it myself,” she said, laughing. “I’ve been spoiled, I have very discerning taste.”
And that’s how it all began. Bailhe’ said that as her children were growing up, she always made a point to have everyone sit down around the table at least four times a week for a family dinner. This was not always an easy task, she said, as her four children were involved in lacrosse, tennis, football, basketball, skiing and sailing until they went to college. Bailhe’ said her favorite thing about cooking is sharing what she makes with others, and more importantly, spending time with the people she shares it with.
“I love the sense of community when you sit down at the table and you have a conversation,” Bailhe’ said. “We’re enjoying what’s in front of us and we’re having a good time. Life is to be lived and enjoyed, one of the most beautiful things is sitting down at the table and hearing about each other’s day – connecting.”
Bailhe’ began to make her first “cook books” for her children after they went away to college. She said she would make little books using the same 20 basic ingredients, and if her kids had those 20 things, they could make almost anything in the book.