hI, I'm jaCQUIE,
My grandparent's backyard wasn't even a backyard - it was a temple of green bubbled over with peonies, the twisting arms of baseball bats of zucchini, green beans hanging and sweet, summer berries. It grew all around me as I grew, so you could say I inherited my love for food from them. I’ve carried that garden with me everywhere I’ve gone even in the times I’ve pulled my spirit so far away from it, nearly losing my grounding + my life.
I'm not going to play into those stereotypes, but I grew up trying to do it all. I was an 'A' student, sobbing the day I received a 'C' in math for one quarter. (Not a big deal, obviously). I danced up to 20 hours a week when I was competitively dancing. When I shifted my focused to Irish Step dancing in high school, I danced professionally, looking forward to touring with Lord of the Dance.
and it went down from there...
While studying in North Carolina, I was on my own for the first time trying to find my place, my purpose, new friends and having a hard time - a really hard time. To cope, I started to control the one thing I loved - food - and slowly succumbed to anorexia and bulimia, and slowly that garden and my connection with it started fading. My addiction forced me to cut college short and retreat home. Once there, I took a job at the Great Harvest Bread Company in town and soon found the therapy of baking finding its way back into my hands. Eventually, I could feel that garden start to grow again, as if my hands were reviving my own spirit in all those early bakery mornings.
Now, With almost 15 years in the hospitality industry, I’ve been in every nook + cranny. Here, I’m going to share all that I’ve learned + all that I know, but let’s work through the highlights…
I’ve been in the basements of NYC restaurants prepping + in pastry under executive Chef Dan Kluger of Loring Place + Pastry Chef Nancy Olson, formerly of Gramercy Tavern respectively.
I can be found in the acknowledgements of four women authored cookbooks, and happily, ghostwrote the recipes for one of them.
I’ve managed over 150 chefs - many James Beard recipients, nominees and topping the World Best's list - at a 4-day industry only culinary conference. twice.
I’ve produced over $2 million in revenue in a year working with brands like NYTimes, Sonos, Tribeca Film Festival Conde Nast + the British Consulate.
But the one thing that gave me the most stability in my healing was the farmer’s market. At my core, I’m someone who craves deep connection that none of these accolades can provide. After years of struggles, I moved my career from classic pastry to foods that nourish you fully from the inside out. The farmer’s market was my therapy + my reconnection, where I met the people who nurtured, cared and grew the food I was buying.
By respecting the food that my friends grew, I indirectly starting to treat myself with that same respect. By respecting my friends, my creativity in the kitchen was strengthened. I learned about new vegetables, fruits, ways to cook the whole animal so nothing goes to waste. I felt a greater connection with my community, the seasons and simply, my life. I know I’ll always be healing, but now, 14 years since I hit rock bottom + 6 years without a behavior in sight, I celebrate the abundance of where I live + travel and want to share that with you!
can't live without
A MILLION LITTLE THINGS
ALL the flowers,
helping you connect with
your unique body
"fall in love with the process of trying new things without worrying about what will be."
— Morgan Harper Nichols
WORdS TO LIVE BY