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.