We had the good fortune of connecting with Cara Bukacek and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cara, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I have always been a creative. Photography and cooking give me an outlet to create, share, and relieve stress. During the early days of the pandemic, I had lots of time to play around with recipes, food styling, and food photography. After sharing some of my photos and recipes on social media, I started to receive postive feed back that inspired me to consider food photography and recipe development as a potential career. Since I have made the decision to pursue this “dream career” I have experienced a sense of contentment and excitement that I have never before experienced. I truly believe that I have found my calling.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is comprised of 3 working parts: cooking, styling, and photography. I like to think of myself as a triple threat because I want to be great at all 3. In the world of food photography, there is typically a chef, a food stylist, and food photographer. I am proud of my ability to cook, compose, and capture food that looks so good you not only want to take a bite, but perhaps attempt the recipe yourself.
I am still very early in my professional career. I started with online classes and utilized social media platforms to share my work. My followers began asking for recipes so I needed to create a website to make recipe sharing easier. A food blog seemed like the next step in my progression. Unfortunately, as a stay at home mom of 15yrs, technology has passed me by. My major challenge was trying to figure out how to build a website with little to no experience. After a year of attempting to create my website, I finally gave up and reached out to the professionals. Avery Cegielski of Marked Digital Marketing took my ideas and aesthetic and created my website in 2 weeks! If I could go back in time, I would have hired her in the beginning. Lesson learned!

My ultimate goal is for my audience to see cooking as an attainable skill. I truly believe that everyone can learn to cook. In my food blog, I cover cooking tips, kitchen tool recommendations, organizational ideas, and to share inspiring stories from local women in the culinary industry. I also love promoting my favorite restaurants. I am bonafied foodie who wants to share where one can find the best eats that Colorado has to offer. I want my food blog to be a resource for cooks, foodies, and tourist coming to visit our great state.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My perfect Colorado Springs itinerary would be as follows: Day 1 – Black Forest
Breakfast – Mountain View Cafe
Activity/Lunch – hike section 16 or Fox Run and then head over to The Backyard Market to buy some baked goods, fresh produce, and Colorado made goods. While at the market, find some authentic tamales, lumpia, and fireroasted pueblo chili creations for lunch.
Imbibe – stop at the Black Forest Meadery or Black Forest Brewing to sample some delicious adult beverages.
Dinner – using items from the market, prepare a farm to table meal.

Day 2 -GOG/Manitou Springs Day
Breakfast- Garden of the Gods Cafe
Activity 1 – drive through the Garden of the Gods and stop for scenic pictures and a morning hike.
Activity 2/lunch – Head to Manitou Springs to search for and sample all of the natural spring water – there are eight distinct wells and flavors. Do some tourists shopping and eat lunch at Mona Lisa Fondue or Manitou Brewing.
Dinner – You will be tired so pick up a pizza from one if the 3 best pizza places in the Springs: Slice 420, Parry’s on Interquest, or Walters 303

Day 3 – Mountain Day
Breakfast – Denver Bisquit Company
Activity- Drive to the top of Pikes Peak and take pics and grab a bag of mini donuts. Then drive over to the trailhead of the Seven Bridges Hike. Hike to the Seventh Bridge and enjoy a picnic lunch in Nature.
Imbibe/Dinner/Play – head to Cerberus Brewing or Ivy Wild School for beer/cocktails and amazing food

Day 4 – Downtown Colorado Springs
Breakfast- The Wild Goose Meeting Place
Activity- rent a scooter and check out the downtown area. Look for an art/music festival and check out some cool spots like, Local Relic and Coati Uprise for instagramable photo ops.
Lunch will happen organically as you scoot down Tejon and follow your nose. You can’t go wrong with any of the downtown eating establishments.
Dinner – The Rabbit Hole- this is a dining experience unlike anywhere else!
Imbibe – Distillery 291, Shame and Regret, several great breweries

Day 5 – Zoo Day!
Breakfast – First Watch
Activity- spend the day at the zoo and immerse yourself in the mountain zoo experience
Lunch – I tend to pack a lunch for a zoo day but there are also some great eats at the zoo!
Dinner – The Public House – this is an absolute foodie destination!

Day 6 – Tourist Fun Day
Breakfast – Adams Mountain Cafe
Activity1 – Cave of the Winds and/or The Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Lunch – Border Burger Bar
Activity 2 – take a stroll and shop in Old Colorado City.
Dinner – Paravicinis or Sopra

Day 7 – Adventure Day
Breakfast- Roll Up – grab some insanely delicious breakfast burritos for the road
Activity- drive to the Royal Gorge and walk the bridge, zipline, and take in the incredible sites
Lunch – White Water Bar and Grill or the Lost Cajun (Canyon City)
Dinner – you will be tired from you day’s adventures so order in some delicious take out from Korean Garden and enjoy it outdoors with a view of the Mountains in your final day

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to recognize my family who fully support me following my passion. They are my favorite cheering squad and recipe tasters.

I also need to recognize Avery Cegielski. I lacked the technology component when it came to making my food blog a reality. She not only built and created my incredible website, she provided step-by-step instructions for maintaining and running my site. She was exactly who I needed at just the right.time.

Website: peakthyme.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/peakthyme

Twitter: @peakthyme

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peakthyme/

Other: Pinterest www.pinterest.com/peakthyme

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