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!

Jennifer Farley, Author of Savory Simple
Jennifer Farley of Savory Simple

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.

Maddie: What key elements do you look for in a good recipe?

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.

Maddie: Finally, what are you most looking forward to in this contest?
Jennifer: Finding new and delicious recipes to try!

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