In Alumni News
Kelsey Nixon, an alumna of the BYU College of Fine Arts & Communications, experienced her fair share of trials post graduation.

Kelsey Nixon has experienced a wave of ups and downs with her career and the birth of her son, Oliver since leaving BYU.

When Kelsey Nixon came to BYU in Fall of 2003, she had no idea that her studies would lead to a roller coaster ride through culinary school, national television appearances, an upcoming cookbook and a cooking show of her own.

Though Nixon nurtured a love for cooking since her childhood in North Ogden, Utah, preparation for a culinary career wasn’t the deciding factor in choosing which college to attend.

“I grew up dancing and was attracted to BYU because of the Cougarette program. The Cougarettes are national champions year after year, and I felt like BYU was a very positive place to use those dance skills I had developed growing up.”

In addition to the opportunities BYU afforded her to practice dance, Nixon was also attracted to BYU for its broadcasting program, which she credits for launching her career.

Kelsey Nixon has experienced a wave of ups and downs with her career and the birth of her son, Oliver, since leaving BYU.

“I strongly believe that I would not be doing what I am doing without the strong amount of support I received from the broadcasting program,” she said.

After attending BYU, Nixon attended Le Cordon Bleu-Hollywood followed by The French Culinary Institute in New York. She enriched this training with jobs at “Martha Stewart Living,” PBS’ “Everyday Food,” NBC’s “The Martha Stewart Show” and Food Network’s “Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee.”

Meanwhile, Nixon was a finalist and won the “fan favorite” award on “The Next Food Network Star.” She has also appeared as a judge on the critically acclaimed Food Network show “Iron Chef: America.”

Together, these experiences prepared her to achieve her dream of having a food television show of her own. Her show, “Kelsey’s Kitchen,” hit the airwaves in Provo and was scheduled to film about 100 episodes over the course of two years of her college career.

Not only did Nixon get her start in the media through her television experiences, but she is also looking forward to her upcoming cookbook entitled “Kitchen Confidence.” The book includes 100 of Nixon’s favorite recipes and essential equipment for any home cook.

Growing up, Nixon was inspired by her mother to pursue a career in food.

“My mom worked while we were younger both inside and outside the home, and she always looked forward to making dinner. She was such a joy in the kitchen, and I think that is where she felt [she had] a creative outlet,” Nixon said. “My mom always had a positive attitude towards cooking, and that had a huge impact on me.”

"Kitchen Confidence," Kelsey Nixon's upcoming cookbook, will hit bookshelves on February 11, 2014.

“Kitchen Confidence,” Kelsey Nixon’s upcoming cookbook, will hit bookshelves on February 11, 2014.


But Nixon’s mother wasn’t the only family influence. Nixon comes from a long line of chefs, both professional and amateur.

“My great-great-grandparents ran a diner in Utah, and that initiated some interest in food for my grandma,” she said. “I also have an aunt who baked cakes for a living for awhile.”

When Nixon gave birth prematurely to her son, Oliver, she ran into a number of trials as a new mother.

“It was so challenging to have my son early,” she expressed. “I think the biggest challenge was seeing the mental and emotional toll that it took on our family. It was extremely difficult, but in many ways I feel grateful for the way things worked out.”

Nixon now resides in New York City with her husband Robby and their happy, healthy toddler, Oliver.

Nixon stars in First Time Moma new web exclusive series on Ulive, a digital video site.

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