Although she never had any formal culinary training, Bonnie is hard at work every morning Wednesday through Saturday preparing the dishes served at High Tea. Following the technique she learned from her grandmother, she considers herself a “dump cook—a handful of this, a pinch of that,” she says. “I’ll find a recipe and play with it.”
One of Bonnie’s signature dishes is a salad, pictured above center, although its popularity lies in the dressing. “The one thing I’ve been warned that if I change it people wouldn’t come back is my poppy-seed dressing,” she comments. And, she says, customers call year-round to inquire when she will make her pumpkin soup with bourbon croutons, which she serves every November and December. Her most popular dessert is best described as a mélange of chocolate: a chocolate fudge cake laced with Chambord, topped with a white chocolate mousse with Godiva chocolate liqueur.
The insistence of loyal customers inspired Bonnie to share her recipes in a cookbook, Recipes from The Front Porch Tea Room, that was released in November 2016. “I’ve had customers asking me for a cookbook for 17 years,” she says. “And I’m so proud of it!”