Please come and join us to congratulate one of our January Food Trend Game winners, Jennie Schacht, from Oakland, CA.
Jennie will be at the Winter Fancy Food Show, walking the booths, checking out the trends on the actual floor! Enjoy the exclusive interview below with Jennie:
Q: Please tell us about your current job and what it entails. Where are you located?
A: I live and work in Oakland, California, across the Bay from San Francisco. I have a double career life but the two are tied together — my company, Schacht & Associates, consults in community-based health care, and I also write cookbooks. Some of my health care clients are involved in food-related efforts, such as hunger relief or
developing policy and community efforts to address childhood obesity. On the cookbook side, my next book out is called Farmers’ Market Desserts, published by Chronicle Books. I also help would-be authors write book proposals, and I work with chefs to help them bring their culinary voice to the written page.
Q: What professional food related publications, blogs, etc. do you read regularly?
A: I read the San Francisco Chronicle food section and other food sections online, as well as the following food websites:
But there are many, many more wonderful sites than I could possibly list here. So much to explore — it’s hard to get anything done!
Q: When you go out to eat do you go to the same place or do you explore other cultures and types of restaurants?
A: To me, there’s almost nothing better than a neighborhood place with good food and a friendly greeting that makes you feel at home but, I also love exploring. In the Bay Area, you could go to a different restaurant every day, three times a day, and still not cover them all, and you can find food from so many regions and cultures. It’s a fantastic place for a food lover to live!
Q: What is your favorite type of food? Favorite meal/dish?
A: I don’t like to play favorites. The food I like best is well prepared, typically from fresh, local ingredients, and tastes great. I love almost anything from Italy and the Mediterranean, but I also love Japanese, Spanish, regional Mexican, Moroccan, and many other cuisines. I like food that lets the ingredients speak for themselves.
Q: Favorite cookbook and cooking resource?
A: I love cookbooks that tell a story, but I also love a great recipe. I rarely follow a recipe exactly as it appears. I like to put my own spin on what I bake–I’ll look at what I have on hand, page through a few books with recipes using those ingredients for inspiration, and come up with something I want to make.
Q: How many Fancy Food Shows have you participated in through the years? Do you have any tips to offer for attending/walking the show?
A: I’m not sure I know how many shows I’ve been to — maybe half a dozen? Maybe more. My advice is to plan in advance and to focus. I generally have the best experience when I limit myself to one or two areas — olive oils, for example, or teas, or grains, or new products I haven’t seen before. I also think about anyone I’d like to make a connection with, or people coming to the show from out of town who I’d like to catch up with. Without a plan, the show can be overwhelming. There’s so much to see and taste and learn about.
Q: What are you most excited about for the upcoming Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco?
A: Since I have Farmers’ Market Desserts coming out soon, I’m looking forward to searching out opportunities to share my excitement about the book and partnerships to help get the book out to the public. In addition to tempting recipes and gorgeous photography, the book is all about the family farmers who grow food across the USA and the farmers’ markets that help connect those farmers with their neighbors so that people can know who grew their food and how it was grown. I’ll be looking for locally grown products that can be made into great desserts, and stories that make the food taste even better.
We hope everyone is enjoying their time at the show. We will be announcing the “Trendiest Person” on Monday, January 18th!