Hello! I’m Kendall Vanderslice – yes, before you ask, that is my true name.
It’s just by chance (or the humor of God) that I ended up in a field so fitting. I’m a baker and writer, whose best thinking occurs as I work dough between my hands; I scribble down thoughts on pieces of parchment dusted in flour, until I can parse them out later before my keyboard. When I embarked on a career as a pastry chef, I found that my love of bread transformed the ways I read scripture. Fascinated by God’s use of food throughout the arc of the Gospel, I merged my work in the kitchen with academic study of food and theology.
I’m a graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois (BA Anthropology 2013), where I began engaging questions of food and faith. Interested in commensality—or, the social dynamics of eating together—I studied food at Boston University (MLA Gastronomy 2016). I’m now a student at Duke University, studying the theology of bread (MTS 2019).
My first book, We Will Feast: Rethinking Dinner, Worship, and the Community of God, releases May 2019.
I write about tension, about existing at the intersection of many different communities.
The tension of living in the already but not yet, of being generously orthodox. Of fasting and feasting, chasing hope and joy within despair. Of following a God that is both three and one. The tension of being a part of a faith that makes itself known through the tactile, the taste of bread, and questioning what this means for Eucharistic living.
Though my faith has developed through the influence of many different denominations, I’ve found a home in the Anglican Communion. I find great safety and risk and beauty in a tradition that holds fast to the mystery of faith: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. You’ll find evidence of my love for the interplay of the catholic, charismatic, and evangelical littered throughout my writing – I hope you’ll come to find these creeds and traditions dynamic and captivating too. Despite my love of this tradition, however, I’m committed above all to pursuing the unity of Christ’s diverse church. It’s messy and oftentimes painful, but I’m convinced that at the table, God calls us to seek the unity of the Body—even, especially, when our theological, social, and political differences threaten to tear us apart.
Eating points us towards continual communion with one another, with our bodies, with all of creation, and ultimately with God. From recipes and book reviews, to essays on the life of faith, I ask you to join me as I explore the many facets of food, delighting in a foretaste of God's heavenly feast.