On New Year’s Eve, I was happy to announce that Jaclyn Fishman, of Food Plus Words, would be guest blogging once a month. Today I wanted you to get to know this talented chef-to-be a little more. Enjoy!
S : Tell us a little about yourself. (Where you’re from, what you do, etc).
J : I spent my childhood in North Dakota, where we lived for a little more than eight years. I have such vivid, fond memories growing up there; helping my parents tend to our massive vegetable garden in our backyard, and passing hours upon hours playing in the snow. I’ve been in Florida for 15 years now, and I miss snow so much! I have a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida, where I also studied Mass Communication. Originally, I wanted to write copy for an advertising agency, but after an internship doing just that, I actually kind of hated it! The two things I’ve loved for as long as I can remember are food and writing, so I started a food blog and enrolled in culinary school. I’m having the time of my life right now, spending all day learning about food and baking, and since I’m not currently employed, I get to spend lots of time with my dogs, my fiance, practicing yoga, and writing. Things are pretty much perfect right now!
S:What are you passionate about?
J: Food, of course! I’m always striving to push myself, to learn more, and to better understand the how and why of cooking and baking. Baking specifically is such a science, and I’m just beginning to scratch the surface of understanding the fundamentals of baking, even though I’ve been making sweets forever! I’m also really passionate about writing; I have my B.A. in Creative Writing, and after I graduated, I lost my voice and my passion for a while. I started my blog and began writing about food, the narrative and storytelling just flowed really naturally, and it’s so rewarding to fuse my two passions together to produce something I’m really proud of.
S: What’s playing on your iTunes/iPod/?
J: Right now, I’m listening to a lot of Metric, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, Ella Fitzgerald, Goldfrapp, the Smiths, She & Him, and the Bird & the Bee. I love folk, indie, jazz and classical music, too!
S: What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
J: On the weekends, I love to take my dogs to the park, relax with a cup of tea and a good book, and hit the flea markets/thrift stores/antique shops! Sunday brunch is a must, always, with plenty of mimosas!
S: What is one thing you recommend everyone do if they have one day to spend in Orlando?
J: If you’re here on a Saturday, don’t miss the Winter Park Farmer’s Market, home to local produce, amazing artisan breads, bagels the size of your face (not kidding!), and passionate vendors selling all sorts of amazing products! And any night of the week, you should definitely head to BAR BQ Bar, my favorite hole in the wall downtown, and hit up Planet Pizza for a slice of the best pizza in Orlando. No kidding, it’s really the best!
S: Savory or sweet. Which do you prefer?
J: Since I’m studying baking and pastry in culinary school, you’d think I’d have an enormous sweet tooth, right? Actually, I’m all about savory foods! Give me bread, mashed potatoes, pot roast, or stuffing any day of the week, and I’m a happy girl!
S: What’s you favorite kitchen gadget?
J: As far as gadgets go, I’m pretty much completely in love with my KitchenAid stand mixer. It’s so versatile, and I use it multiple times a week. In terms of low-tech equipment, it’s a tie between a long-handled wooden spoon and a spatula. With those two items, you can do almost anything in the kitchen!
S: Who is your culinary inspiration?
J: I adore Julia Child, of course! She was so feisty and funny in the kitchen, and I really try to emulate her fearlessness and tenacity. I’m also enamored with Ina Garten; as far as I’m concerned, she can do no wrong! She’s fabulously classy, but also seems so sweet and down-to-earth. And of course, who doesn’t aspire to be like Martha Stewart?
I just realized that all three of these women have one thing in common: a penchant for butter. I think this might be the reason I like them all so much!
S: If you could travel for a month, where would you go?
J: I’d love to cook and eat my way through Europe! How amazing would it be to dine at the sidewalk cafes of Paris, cook using freshly-pressed olive oil in Spain, and hand-make fresh pasta in Tuscany?
S: What blogs do you read daily?
J: I love Smitten Kitchen, the Pioneer Woman, Honey & Jam, Love & Olive Oil, and Joy the Baker. Also, I’m absolutely obsessed with Tastespotting, FoodGawker, and since I’m getting married this year, I’m always browsing 100 Layer Cake and Ruffled!
S: Tell us one fun fact or quirk about yourself.
J: I was the state bowling champion of North Dakota when I was eight years old. Yup. Crazy, huh?