Friends of Graza: Connay Bratton & Tembe Denton-Hurst
Q: How do you describe yourselves?
Connay & Tembe: Sundays is run mostly by me and my fiancé Tembe so we'll both answer this one! I would say I'm pretty chill and easy going. I love being around my friends and feeding them. That's my idea of a good time.
Then there's Tembe (me, hi!), aka the biscuit wife. I handle all of the logistics for Sundays (social media, orders, etc.). I'm a writer and author by day and biscuit manager by night. I'm pretty much my fiancé's manager aka, I remind her to post photos of her food and schedule all the things. I love food and coming up with random things for her to try. I'm just happy to be on the receiving end of the stuff she comes up with.
Q: Finish this sentence: Cooking for me is…
Connay: My happy place. It’s the space where I feel most creative and fulfilled. I can explore new flavors while making everyone around me feel good in a single bite.
Q: What's your go-to crowd-pleaser meal?
Connay: It depends on the season. In the winter it’s short ribs and cornbread. Everyone always requests it as soon as the temperature drops. It just feels cozy. In the summer it’s my grilled corn. I smother it in butter and grill it in the husk. It's always a hit.
Q: Who do you turn to, watch, or follow for food inspiration?
Connay: My entire social media is just food creators. My algorithm is almost creepily spot on. But seeing all the different recipes is inspiring to me. I'm also inspired by my dad. He had a catering business when I was young and I spent a big chunk of my childhood helping him with events. To this day if I'm ever stuck on a recipe or trying to come up with something new, I call him.
Q: What’s one piece of advice or a practice you see in the food world you think is overrated, overly aspirational, unhelpful, or is otherwise just not the vibe?
Connay: Measurements are overrated. I hate watching a cooking show or a reel and creators give you exact measurements. For me, measurements take away the fun and feeling that cooking gives me. I say taste your food and add what you want. Your tastebuds know best.
Q: What are your all-around life mottos, mantras, philosophies? What guides you in the kitchen?
Connay: For me it’s not a motto, it’s people. My grandmother and my father are my motivators. They're all different types of cooks. My dad is a true chef and his mom spent most of her career as a baker. Growing up, my father would call me out of bed to show me how to cook. He would teach me the basics and how each seasoning pairs with one another, how to elevate simple ingredients.
My grandmother taught me how to use my food to show love. Every holiday she would make me and my cousins our favorite dessert. It made us feel special and to this day, I always associate Congo Squares with her as a result. She passed away but we still keep up that tradition. Between these two power house cooks, I was surrounded with their love for food and others which guides me and informs the way I think about what food can be.
Q: What led you to starting Sundays Only? Why biscuits in particular?
Connay: My partner, now fiancé, is what led me to start Sundays Only. Her grandmother always made her biscuits as a kid, so one weekend she woke up with a taste for them and asked me to make them. I said "Bet, let’s do it." I found a basic recipe and she liked it enough that I kept making them. Over time I perfected the recipe, trying out different ratios, playing with ingredients. it became a weekly thing, especially when friends would come to our apartment. She started posting our friend's reaction to the biscuits, and everyone started asking how they could get them. We started delivering them to a few friends and then it just snowballed from there. Biscuits are also very Southern, and I'm from the South. They just feel like love.
Q: You've experimented with everything from buttermilk bacon cheddar to funfetti limited edition flavors. What's your favorite flavor you've ever come up with?
Connay: My favorite flavor is bacon and Gruyère. It’s cheesy, salty and has such a rich flavor but it's still savory. On the sweet side, it’s my peach cobbler biscuit. I tend to make it as a dessert with ice cream. It just melts in your mouth.
Q: What are you up to and creating when you're not baking?
Connay: Anything and everything. We subscribe to Farm to People so that box comes in the mail every other week and there's a range of locally sourced ingredients. I challenge myself by creating different things using whatever comes in the box, especially if it's something I don't typically cook with.
Q: What's on the horizon for you!
Connay: From here only up and more love through food. I want to teach people how to cook and how to make the most of the stuff they already have. It's gonna be cool. Stay tuned.