“Cooking is just how I communicate with and love my people.”— Taylor Swager, owner of The Taylored Plate
Growing up, Taylor Swagert’s parents jokingly called her Rachel Ray, Swagert’s favorite TV personality and chef, because of her love of cooking. As an adult, she almost always shows up at a gathering with a dish or two to pass.
“Cooking is just how I communicate with and love my people,” she said.
Swagert, of La Salle, recently began her own food truck business, The Taylored Plate.
“I’ve always wanted my own restaurant where I could prepare whatever I wanted and have the ability to change things up seasonally — including options that may fit into a certain category of healthy, or other times, an indulgence. I just love real, homemade food.”
Her family opened up a cupcake shop, Two Girls and a Cupcake in Utica, in 2012.
“Most of us loved to cook, and originally wanted to open some type of a restaurant, however cupcakes were very trendy at that time. So, we took a risk and tried our hand at baking and 10 years later, we’re still doing it.”
In 2016, she started a food blog chronicling her husband’s food sensitivities and started recreating their favorite meals, many free of dairy, gluten and eggs. In 2020, she published her first cookbook, “The Seasoned Bowl,” geared toward those with similar food restrictions.
The food truck is attractive because it allows her the freedom to change locations, she said, and to offer mobile event services.
“I’ve always loved the aesthetic of a vintage-style food truck that offered more than your normal concessions.”
If you’re a first time customer, Swagert recommends the Adobo Chicken Nachos or the Elote Street Corn Salad.
You can find The Taylored Plate at Illinois Valley Animal Rescue’s Pet Fest on Saturday, Sept. 10, and at Vintage Illinois in Utica on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18. For future event schedules, check out The Taylored Plate on Facebook and Instagram.
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