I’ve adopted a blogger. Kristen of Dine and Dish sponsors Adopt-a-Blogger, a program that pairs experienced bloggers with newer bloggers. This is my first time as a mentor blogger, and I’m excited to introduce my adopted blogger, Jennifer Adams of Palate to Pen. Jennifer is a food and wine writer in Cambridge, MA and is currently study for her WSET® advanced certificate, and she’s toying with the idea of becoming a sommelier. WSET® stands for Wine & Spirit Education Trust® (yes, I had to look that up), and they offer classes in wine all over the world. Considering her experience in food and wine writing—she’s been working in the field for about seven years—I feel a strong sense of irony that I’m mentoring her. Seems like it should be the other way around! She’s a fabulous writer.
I thought the best way to introduce Jennifer would be with an interview, so I subjected her to a list of questions, which she graciously answered. (And of course she turned right around and sent me a list of questions, too!) So without further ado, meet Jennifer!
How did you get started as a food and wine writer?
When I graduated college, I moved to Boston’s Italian district, the North End. The air is filled with the scents of garlic and baking bread — one can’t help but be inspired to cook. Also, the simple act of grocery shopping is romanticized through that neighborhood. There is a small mom n pop shop for everything. There is a butcher, a tea/spice/coffee shop, bakeries for bread and cookies, etc. I grew to have relationships with the merchants and they would share recipes and warm hugs. These experiences prompted cruising the Web for recipes, and became known as the resident “foodie” of the office. After I was laid off, I waitressed and worked p/t for a restaurant trade publication, and that’s when I learned about food writing. As a former English major and foodie, I couldn’t fathom a more perfect profession for myself! I wrote a few pieces for the magazine and a dining guide, Hungry? Boston. Took off for NYC for a few weekends to study food journalism and recipe writing classes as well as in Boston. I wrote restaurant reviews for a local newspaper and started ptp three years after I conceptualized the domain name.
Where are you studying for your WSET advanced certificate?
Wine stepped in when I visited my dad in Northern Cali, where I was born and partly raised. A few trips for wine tasting tours, and I was hooked. I decided to study wine to broaden my writing scope. I studied two levels at Boston University, then switched to the WSET program offered through the Boston Adult Ed Center. Class ended last spring, but I was really sick the week of the exam, so now I plan to take it in Feb…
Your favorite foods?
avocados in any and every form. cobb salad. chicken-fried steak. biscuits and gravy. cheese, cheese and more cheese…creme brulee
(my dad is from Texas, my Stepdad from NYC and my mom from Cali, so my tastes are kind of eclectic…)
Your favorite wines?
Marqués de Cáceres. Lake Sonoma Red Zinfandel. Ladybug Red. Fenestra Lot 21. Big fan of Malbec, Tempranillo, Cotes du Rhone, Gwerztraminer, Riesling, Ice Wine.
What would you want for your last supper?
I’ve been asked this question before and it’s so trying for me to imagine! I feel like I’d want bites from all of my favorite meals that have made me happy and brought comfort. My mom’s cherry chip Christmas bread and cheese log and roasted chicken & potatoes; my first taste of creme brulee; the gnocchi from my surprise 30th birthday that my friend made from scratch; the fried fish from the first dinner my fiancee cooked for me; the bacon-wrapped scallop my future father-n-law served to me that coaxed me back into the world of meat eaters after two years of straying; my great grandmother’s peach dumplings; my other great grandmother’s jarred pickles; and sugar-coated blackberries my granny plucked from her backyard. The list could go on and on…
So now that you’ve had a chance to learn a little more about Jennifer, make sure you visit her at Palate to Pen and say “Hi!” Jennifer and I will be working together for the next few months, sharing ideas and talking blogging, food, wine, and other fun stuff.