Tim Gordon returns to passion for cooking with Chislehurst Kitchen

Some of Chislehurst’s cinnamon rolls, before (right) and after baking.

Some of Chislehurst’s cinnamon rolls, before (right) and after baking. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon stands outside of his custom-built “man-cave,” a small kitchen built to commercial standards in his front yard.

Tim Gordon stands outside of his custom-built “man-cave,” a small kitchen built to commercial standards in his front yard. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon mixes a chocolate food dye into freshly melted chocolate, coloring it blue to resemble robin eggs. 

Tim Gordon mixes a chocolate food dye into freshly melted chocolate, coloring it blue to resemble robin eggs.  STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon distributes melted chocolate into egg-shaped molds.

Tim Gordon distributes melted chocolate into egg-shaped molds. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon displays finished chocolate egg shells.

Tim Gordon displays finished chocolate egg shells. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon of Jaffrey operates Chislehurst Kitchen out of a small custom-built facility on his property, in the shadow of Mount Monadnock.

Tim Gordon of Jaffrey operates Chislehurst Kitchen out of a small custom-built facility on his property, in the shadow of Mount Monadnock. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon has perfected his recipe for blueberry cream cheese coffee cake, which he will debut at the Peterborough Farmers’ Market.

Tim Gordon has perfected his recipe for blueberry cream cheese coffee cake, which he will debut at the Peterborough Farmers’ Market. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon displays chocolate egg shells that will be filled with blueberry ganache.

Tim Gordon displays chocolate egg shells that will be filled with blueberry ganache. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon scrapes excess chocolate off of the mold he uses to make candy songbird eggs.

Tim Gordon scrapes excess chocolate off of the mold he uses to make candy songbird eggs. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon inspects some freshly baked cinnamon rolls.

Tim Gordon inspects some freshly baked cinnamon rolls. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Four varieties of finished songbirds of New England chocolates from Chislehurst Kitchen.

Four varieties of finished songbirds of New England chocolates from Chislehurst Kitchen. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Robin egg chocolate shells after being filled with a blueberry ganache. 

Robin egg chocolate shells after being filled with a blueberry ganache.  STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

A mold filled with chocolate that will eventually become candy robin eggs.

A mold filled with chocolate that will eventually become candy robin eggs. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

A mold filled with chocolate that will eventually become candy robin eggs.

A mold filled with chocolate that will eventually become candy robin eggs. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon fills chocolate egg shells with blueberry ganache.

Tim Gordon fills chocolate egg shells with blueberry ganache. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

To create the chocolate egg shells, Tim Gordon fills a mold with melted chocolate and allows the outside to harden before pouring the excess out, which creates hollow shells.

To create the chocolate egg shells, Tim Gordon fills a mold with melted chocolate and allows the outside to harden before pouring the excess out, which creates hollow shells. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

A selection of Chislehurst Kitchen products.

A selection of Chislehurst Kitchen products. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon cuts a slice from a freshly baked loaf of blueberry cream cheese bread.

Tim Gordon cuts a slice from a freshly baked loaf of blueberry cream cheese bread. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

A selection of Chislehurst Kitchen products.

A selection of Chislehurst Kitchen products. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Robin egg chocolate shells after being filled with a blueberry ganache. 

Robin egg chocolate shells after being filled with a blueberry ganache.  STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Finished chocolate robin eggs, packaged and ready to be sold.

Finished chocolate robin eggs, packaged and ready to be sold. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon pipes blueberry ganache into chocolate robin egg shells.

Tim Gordon pipes blueberry ganache into chocolate robin egg shells. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon brushes unbaked cinnamon rolls with an egg wash.

Tim Gordon brushes unbaked cinnamon rolls with an egg wash. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon takes freshly baked cinnamon rolls out of the oven.

Tim Gordon takes freshly baked cinnamon rolls out of the oven. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon pours warm liquid chocolate into egg-shaped molds to make his songbirds of New England chocolates.

Tim Gordon pours warm liquid chocolate into egg-shaped molds to make his songbirds of New England chocolates. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Tim Gordon checks the temperature of melted chocolate, as it needs to be at around 92 degrees for ideal pouring.

Tim Gordon checks the temperature of melted chocolate, as it needs to be at around 92 degrees for ideal pouring. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

By CAMERON CASHMAN

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 05-13-2024 12:07 PM

Chislehurst Kitchen, based in Jaffrey, is one of the Peterborough Farmers’ Market’s newest vendors.

Every Wednesday at the Peterborough Community Center, Chislehurst’s chef and proprietor, Tim Gordon, displays his homemade treats. Gordon specializes in what he described as a traditional New England “old inn” style of cooking – small-batch jams, jellies and preserves, fresh-baked goods and candies, particularly chocolate. 

Gordon, who grew up in Jaffrey, has a lifelong love of food and cooking. He said it began when he was 15, when he started working at the Woodbound Inn in Rindge. From there, he received a culinary degree from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. But despite his background in cooking, Gordon’s career path took a slightly different direction when he started attending hotel school. 

“I’ve always loved food, loved cooking – but I eventually found myself on the front side of the door, managing, instead of cooking,” Gordon said.

Before his retirement in 2020, he managed Niblick Golf, where he operated a portfolio of golf resorts scattered across New England -- three in Massachusetts, and one in Connecticut – with hundreds of employees across each location, all of whom Gordon was responsible for. As he got closer to retirement, he rediscovered his love for cooking after the departure of a caterer at a golf resort he was consulting for gave him the chance to step up as chef for a few small weddings.

“I found that it was just so much fun!” he said.

He immediately started thinking about taking up cooking again. 

“In 2019, and when the pandemic came around, it just happened to be at a confluence of events where a bunch of my contracts were coming to an end,” Gordon said. “I decided that I wanted to step back away from the pressure of all that, and pursue a passion.”

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So he retired from managing golf courses and set his sights on an area of his lawn he knew would be perfect for a man cave, but instead of flat-screen TVs or pool tables, he filled it with a kitchen built to commercial standards.

Gordon, who said he has a love of marketing, set to work building a brand. He decided on the name Chislehurst, which was the original name of his Jaffrey property back when it was a dairy farm that belonged to Pope Yeatman, an industrialist from Philidelphia who worked as the chief engineer for M. Guggenheim and Sons in the early 1900s. 

Adorning all of Chislehurst Kitchen’s products is the image of a biplane, representing Yeatman’s daughter Georgina, an accomplished aviator. Back when Yeatman owned the property, he would clear a large section of his field for Georgina to land her Waco silver biplane. It’s this same field that Gordon looks out over every day from the window of his kitchen. 

Gordon ensures that Chislehurst Kitchen offers a “core” selection of jams and jellies available year-round – including flavors like three-berry, cherry-cranberry and pepper-garlic. He also specializes in shortbread cookies – plain and toffee – and is offering four varieties of songbirds of New England chocolates. Chislehurst’s baked goods include cinnamon rolls, coffee cake and banana bread.

All of Chislehurst’s products are available on its website at chislehurstkitchen.square.site, as well as at the Peterborough Farmers’ Market every Wednesday afternoon.