MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - During the pandemic, people have been spending more time in the kitchen. One Memphis family turned their time in the kitchen into a unique concept. It’s food you’d expect to see at a fine restaurant, but plated on a highchair.
“Coming into the pandemic, we were quarantined at home so I was cooking a lot,” Co-Creator of Highchair Gourmet Justin Dorroh said.
While Justin Dorroh and his wife Paige spent more time in the kitchen, their daughter Lottie reaped the benefits of their cooking technique. Every ounce of care is taken to provide her a great tasting meal, but one that’s more than pretty tasty, but also looks pretty.
“When I would start putting it on her tray, I would start with very minimal plating and kind of dressing it up a little bit,” Justin said. “Her mom would take pictures and send them to the family.”
Now, the Dorroh’s are sharing family memories with the internet on the Instagram account Highchair_Gourmet. The account featuring little Lottie and her dad’s creations is starting to get a following from all over the country.
The feed’s aesthetic pops as colorful, symmetrical food contrasts with the stark white of Lottie’s highchair tray.
For now, the account is a side project as Justin and Paige both work full-time, but Justin isn’t a stranger to the food business as he co-owned Elemento in Crosstown Concourse which closed as the pandemic was starting.
“At the end of the day, I was ready to move on and experiment with some other stuff,” he said.
The restaurant industry continues to take a hit as the pandemic surges ahead of the holidays. Memphis Restaurant Association President Ernie Mellor said the holidays are a big time for restaurants, but there’s usually a slump in the new year.
He said the outlook could get even more dismal as Shelby County leaders look into possible new restrictions.
“If they close us down for even two weeks, some of these folks won’t come back,” Mellor said.
As for Highchair Gourmet, Lottie is going to keep on eating and Justin will keep cooking. Soon there will need to be room for two highchairs as the Dorroh’s nearly six-month-old son will eventually move to eating solid food.
“I’m not going to stop cooking. It’s really just part of our lives,” he said.