It has to be said…I have a great job. People actually pay me to think about food all day. Truthfully I have spent most of my life doing it for free; cooks are generous spirits and I am no exception. Working as a food writer, stylist, and cooking teacher, I am constantly seeking out new ideas, inspirations and cooking trends and thought it would be fun to share with the world. A common thread runs through my recipes-punchy flavours, color, clean health and easy to make ahead. Aspirational cooks seem to like my work best; those who know how to cook but want to push it further with clever methods, presentation tips or using new ethnic ingredients.
A self-taught American cook, London has been my home for the past 19 years. My cooking roots started in Wisconsin, spoiled rotton on home-made, straight-from-the-garden cooking. (This was technically organic, but the word didn’t exist in the 70’s.) The youngest of nine children, my time was largely spent eating, cooking and doing mountains of dishes. (There wasn’t a whole lot going on in rural Wisconsin and our family had a strict militant work regime) My worst mistakes were unleashed on the family at dinnertime but it did teach me how to cook for a large group.
My mother’s Italian cooking was tremendous but I was slowly lured into the world of cookbooks. The Moosewood Cookbook was my first and I then I found my way to Alice Waters and Deborah Madison in California. The Aussies captured my heart after that and the library kept growing. Donna Hay, Nigel Slater….so many favorites I could never pick just one. Although I’d never been out of the States before the age of 28, I felt like I’d been everywhere.
When I moved to London in 1991, I travelled around Europe and Asia, started catering and working at Book for Cook’s cafe. Many talented chefs I met during the first ten years were very generous in sharing their knowledge and skills. I won’t bore you with any more details but I learned to cook from reading, traveling and other cooks. London is an incredible city to marvel at, glean ideas and there is always a new destination or restaurant to explore.
To date, I have written 8 cookbooks (see below) which are published in many countries around the world. Divertimenti and Books for Cooks in London host my cooking classes and I write and style regularly for British food magazines BBC Olive, BBC Good Food. Previously I have contributed to other publications such as Elle Decoration, New Woman, Sainsbury’s Magazine, M & S Magazine and The Telegraph newspaper. If you want to see more, have a look on my portfolio website: www.jenniferjoyce.co.uk