Video: Day in the Life, Local King Cake

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STARKVILLE, Miss. – (WCBI) Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday,” always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This year, it is February 17th. Celebrations are already underway, and bakeries are cranking out King Cakes.

The kitchen in the Veranda happens to be one of those. For Jay Yates, of the Veranda in Starkville, Mardi Gras is all about memories.

“My mother, Judy, who lived in New Orleans for 20 years, she passed away a couple of years ago. She was all about NeW Orleans, she was all about Mardi Gras, and entertaining. She always had a King Cake at the house and gumbo on the stove, and red beans going. This is for Mom,” says Yates.

So, out of love for his mother, he taught himself how to bake King Cakes.

“It took some doing, because baking is a process. It is a completely different thing from any other type of cooking. It more of a science than an art.”

It is a two day process to let the dough rise, develop and bake to perfection. When it comes to decorating, he sticks to tradition.

“Green represents faith. Yellow represents power. Purple represents justice. So, faith power and justice. Those are the traditional colors of Mardi Gras. When we get ready to decorate, we come through and we like to have a nice drizzle. First of all, you want to make sure your cake is completely cooled.”

“We will ask the customer or guest if they want the baby or not, we leave it out on the side if someone is scared about biting into it. The tradition with the baby, is there are all these parties during Mardi Gras. When you go to someone’s party and eat the King Cake, and you get the piece with the baby in it, then the next party is at your house and you have to bring the King Cake,” Yates explains.

For Jay Yates, bringing Mardi Gras and memories to the Golden Triangle is just one more day in the life.

If you’d like a King Cake from the Veranda, be sure to call a couple a days ahead of time.

Contact information is listed below:
208 Lincoln Green, Starkville, MS 39759
(662) 323-1231

Categories: Local News

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