Jennifer is a classically-trained chef and food journalist. She’s new to Charlotte but not new to the food scene. You can read all about Jennifer’s food adventures on her blog, Finding Tasty.
What was the dish your mom made you when you were sick as a child? My grandmother’s chicken noodles – not chicken and noodles, just ‘chicken noodles.’ Double strength stock (whole chicken slowly cooked in chicken broth), Amish egg noodles, and the chicken meat, shredded; maybe a couple of cracks of black pepper and that’s it. I still make it today when anyone in the family needs some comforting.
The thing you’ve tried and will NEVER eat again? Fois gras. I refused to eat it all through culinary school for humanitarian reasons (the geese or ducks are fed in a cruel, absurd manner). Several years back I was in Paris with my husband and on the menu at this posh restaurant was fois gras – I figured if I was ever going to try it, it should be in Paris. Thank God I didn’t like it; otherwise, I would forever be tormented between staying true to my beliefs and satiating my palate.
What’s your most memorable meal (good or bad)? A few weeks after the birth of my first daughter, my mother invited my husband, our baby and me over for dinner. I remember being so tired. I hadn’t been cooking the way I normally would and was dying for something soul-satisfying. My mother baked a simple, exquisite Amish ham, my father made his fabulously buttery mashed potatoes and there were also very fresh, steamed green beans. It all tasted so good that I sat at the table and, half way through the meal, cried. It really was just the food – not the family togetherness – eating a meal so delicious, that someone else prepared for me meant so much.
What can you always find in your fridge? Claussen kosher dill pickles, skim milk, a growler of Catawba Valley Firewater IPA, slowly rising pizza dough, a pound of butter, and, because I have a gaggle of school-age-snot-nosed kids, a small pink bottle of Amoxicillin.