Jessie Price’s favorite part of her job as EatingWell’s Editor-in-Chief is tasting new recipes in the Test Kitchen. And that’s where she started her career at EatingWell—testing recipes. Since then she’s gone on to work on at least seven EatingWell cookbooks and is the author of the James Beard Award-winning The Simple Art of EatingWell. She is an avid home cook and is known around the EatingWell offices for her heaping servings of vegetables and salads. Jessie grew up in a family fanatical about food and as a young kid spent hours watching her mom cook. She began her professional experience with food during her summers off from Williams College as a cook at restaurants in Colorado and California, including the deluxe Relais and Chateaux, Home Ranch. Jessie lives in Charlotte, Vermont, with her husband and dog. Her latest food passions at home: growing 15 varieties of hot peppers to make hot sauce and fermenting sauerkraut spiked with jalapenos in the basement.
What is your favorite food?
JP: Do I have to pick just one? Artichokes, fruity olive oil and oysters are some of my favorite ingredients.
What is your least favorite food?
JP: I’m having a hard time thinking of anything I don’t like! Oh, wait—tripe. It’s not my favorite, though I’d eat it again.
What is your favorite EatingWell recipe?
JP: That’s like asking which is your favorite child… I love EatingWell recipes for their straightforwardness and all the vegetables they include. I really can’t pick just one, but flipping through an issue of the magazine recently I saw Sarah Fritschner’s story about Appalachian food and I remembered the Stewed Okra & Tomatoes recipe. I could eat that sort of food every night, with a little cheese grits on the side, of course.
What is your pet’s name?
JP: Tricky Woo, very cute, 16-pound Jack Russell terrier.
What is your favorite thing about working at EatingWell?
JP: Tasting recipes in the Test Kitchen.
What initially sparked your interest in food and nutrition?
JP: The kitchen was the focus of all activity in the house I grew up in. So we spent a lot of time in there watching my mom cook and occasionally helping out.
What do you like to do during your time off?
JP: In the summer I love being on Lake Champlain, swimming, boating and fishing. I also play tennis and grow vegetables. I love to grow varieties of plants and vegetables Vermonters aren’t really interested in that I can’t find at the local stores. In the winter I cross-country country ski, ice skate, downhill ski and sled (especially on my high-tech Hammerhead sled). And of course I love to cook. I cook dinner every night and love to have guests over.
What is your guiltiest culinary pleasure?
JP: I never feel guilty about what I eat. But there are some things I try to eat in moderation. I grew up near Philadelphia, so a lot of my hometown foods probably fit into that category—scrapple, cheese steaks and Italian hoagies.
What is your favorite international fare?
JP: That’s a hard one. I’m a very adventurous eater so it’s hard to pick just one favorite. I lived in San Francisco for about 10 years before I came to Vermont, and spent the whole time taking advantage of all the amazing ethnic restaurants around the city. I lived out in the Sunset district where there are tons of Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants that I loved to go to. I adore Japanese food, which I used to eat at least once a week in San Francisco. My most long-standing attachment, and one that’s very close to my heart, is Mexican and all its regional variations. I was born in Texas and my mom’s family lives there, so a lot of our family gatherings are centered around Tex-Mex food. My grandma made a mean taco!
What three adjectives best describe your EatingWell experience?
JP: Delicious, inspiring and fun.