Teresa Bradley (she/her) has been steadfastly leading Fringe Grounds Cafe from its inception during Chinook Series 2020 through the past (and very interesting) 15 months. She graduated from the culinary arts program at NAIT in 2004 and has worked in various kitchens, from hotels to locally owned restaurants and non-profits. In 2016, Teresa became a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. She’s also been part of the Fringe family for about six years as the Food Program Coordinator for the volunteer chefs to keep hundreds of people fed during the Fringe Festival.
From there, it was a natural transition to Cafe Manager where her mission is to create balance and comfort for every visitor with fresh ingredients in dishes made with care.
What’s the first thing you’d like people to know about you?
I am undeniably a Cancer. I’m at my most content when hosting friends for a gathering where food is always the star of the show. I go out of my way to make sure everyone feels welcomed and cared for. I’m also a very proud mom and partner, and my world revolves around my family, especially this past year. I’m deeply grateful to raise two adventurous, determined, and incredibly loving kids with my spouse.
How did you first become a fringer?
I remember attending the Fringe when I was little, maybe five or six years old. It felt like no other place I had ever been with all the costumes, stilts, jugglers. It felt like a magical bubble of happiness. I went throughout my childhood and experienced something new every time. Little did I know that Fringe was actually a theatre festival! I discovered this in my late teens when I went to my first indoor show.
What is the most memorable Fringe show or event you’ve seen?
One Fringe experience that will always stay with me is when I was in my early twenties. I was in a large group of friends and one of them took the lead on finding us the perfect show to see. We all went along with it and bought tickets, having no clue what we were in for. We were so boisterous we practically invaded the venue where the average age of the room was about 50! The available seats were all scattered so we had to split up. I’m certain we got a few looks of disapproval. The show was a one-person act called “Near Diamond.” I actually don’t remember much about the show itself – just being in the room with so many good friends and hearing us all snicker at jokes, clap together, and thoroughly enjoying every moment. After that I went and listened to all of Neil Diamond’s work because – newsflash – I had no idea who he was until this show! I’d been living under a rock until that night.
What is something you are learning right now?
This year has brought a lot of opportunities to learn patience and forgiveness. Early in the pandemic, being home from work with the kids all day meant I had to quickly tame my anxiety. I had to learn to take moments for myself. This didn’t come easy and is something I am constantly working on. I started a mindful meditation practice which has been life-changing. I’m human, so I still do have moments, but have learned to forgive myself and adapt to the situation.
What’s a five-star dish that anyone can make?
Margherita pizza with fresh herbs, sweet juicy tomatoes, bocconcini cheese, and arugula with a drizzle of balsamic reduction. A great pizza crust is simple, delicious, and can wow any crowd. Most recipes for pizza dough take about twenty minutes before you leave it to rise – and it’s absolutely worth the wait!
If joy became the national currency, what kind of work would make you wealthy?
Preparing three-course meals for those in need, especially kids and teens who are raised on convenience diets. My dream is to run a community kitchen where kids and teens would learn how to cook and then enjoy an incredible meal they prepared together. There’s no better feeling than watching someone prepare a meal for the first time, taste it, and be so proud of what they created.
If you had an unlimited travel budget, where would you go first, and why?
I would go to South Africa with my family and my in-laws. My partner’s mom is from South Africa. To see where she grew up and listen to the stories of her youth would be an amazing education for our kids and myself – not to mention the beaches, mountains, and all the beauty of the region. I have goosebumps now! When do we go?!
Finally, check out Teresa enjoying a perfect Edmonton summer moment. Here’s to many more days where the only good way to cool off is with a lawn sprinkler (and maybe an iced tea from the Cafe)!
For more about what we do at Fringe Grounds Cafe, check out our guest article by Connor Yuzwenko-Martin, “Brewing New Ways to Connect.”
Catch you later, fringers!