WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
In the Ozark Inn dining facility, before the sun rises over Whiteman Air Force Base, the lead baker begins crafting culinary creations.
“I can’t really complain though,” said Airman 1st Class Alexis M. Taylor, shrugging her shoulders and smiling. “I wake up early and spend my day doing what I love.”
Taylor, assigned to the 509th Force Support Squadron here, is the mastermind behind the dessert display case.
The Omaha, Nebraska native spends most days covered in baking ingredients, jamming out to her favorite music.
“It’s usually R&B or gospel,” said Taylor. “Anything upbeat, really. It will have me wiggling here and there as I get through my work.”
Taylor, her voice a mellow sing-song and her demeanor seemingly as sweet as the food she makes, has a long history with food.
It all started with easy stuff like breakfast foods when I was eight or nine years old, she said.
“I would do this thing where I would add food coloring to everything,” said Taylor, beginning to bubble with warm laughter. “Guess what, Mom? We’re having green pancakes today!”
Taylor’s inspiration comes from the women in her family.
“My mom, my older sister and I would make just about anything from scratch,” she said. “My mom would just open up one of her cookbooks and we would find something new to make. I can definitely say that my love of cooking comes from her.”
Although geographically separated from her family, cooking keeps them connected.
“I can call or text them any time and we’ll tell each other which recipes to use and which ones to stay away from,” said Taylor.
She brings that desire to experiment to her work in the Air Force.
“I try to take the recipes the Air Force gives me and personalize them as much as I can,” said Taylor.
The positive feedback she receives about her food from her family and customers motivates her to pursue her dreams.
“After I leave the Air Force, I want to open a catering business,” she said.
Being able to cultivate her passion for cooking while in the military has left Taylor feeling prepared to chase that dream, she said.
“If I can handle people and the workload within the Air Force, I think I can handle just about anything,” said Taylor.