We continue our “Meet the Judges” series with Jennifer Farley, culinary school graduate and blogger extraordinaire! Jennifer’s evocative food writing has been featured on such high-profile websites as Williams-Sonoma and Washington Eats. Here, she shares a little more about her passion as well as some great insights into turning recipes into an artform!
Maddie: Tell us a little about yourself and your blog!
Jennifer: I’ve always loved food, but it wasn’t until my mid-20s that I developed a passion for cooking. Several years ago I decided to change careers and attend culinary school. In 2010 I graduated from L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, MD. I’ve been cooking and baking professionally ever since! I currently work as a cooking instructor and social media marketer. Savory Simple was originally created to document my time in school, but has evolved into a creative outlet for recipe development and food photography.
Maddie: What’s your typical breakfast?
Jennifer: I have a green smoothie every morning, typically consisting of almond milk, a banana, an apple, almond butter, flax seed and spinach. It’s filling, delicious, and energizing.
Jennifer: If someone takes the time to include cook time and yield information, I’m more likely to try the recipe. That indicates attention to detail and testing. I also really like a quality photo that shows me what the finished product will look like.
Maddie: Speaking of photos, what role do you think visuals play in recipes?
Jennifer: If I find a recipe online or in a cookbook, I want to see what it looks like and I want the photo to make me hungry. Sharp, bright and colorful photos sell the food. We eat with our eyes first.
Maddie: In food writing, there’s a fine balance between information and anecdotes. What are your tips for including personal touches without overwhelming the content?
Jennifer: Personally, I don’t read long anecdotes or stories that don’t relate to the recipe itself. I follow a lot of blogs. I don’t mind a paragraph or two, but I prefer not to have to skim over irrelevant photos and anecdotes in order to get to the recipe. I think it’s similar to the philosophy behind food photography. Highlight the food and focus on the important details. On my own site I often include a paragraph about current life events or details about the inspiration behind the recipe, but that’s usually it. I know a lot of people love reading blogs for the stories, though, so it’s a matter of preference.
Jennifer: Finding new and delicious recipes to try!