Feasting Famously: Jennifer Farley
Not so simple recipe developer & photographer behind Savory Simple.
There’s no denying that we live in an age of an almost toddler like longing for information, visual and mental stimuli, the likes of which a 1980 public library could not satisfy. Between the various social media sites that spring up like weeds in a garden – once you master
In this over-stimulated, ADD information-driven world, there is one medium that has been trending for quite some time with no sign of fading: food blogging. However, as with all great trends, the market tends to become oversaturated quickly. When this happens, the good rises to the top, and the bad falls by the wayside.one site, another one is taunting you as being behind the trend – the jumping continues as your brain tries to filter between information it needs, information it wants, and things are just pure stimulative.
Jennifer Farley, and her blog Savory Simple, exemplify the good side of food porn. Not only do her pictures make me want to lick my computer screen, but thanks in large part to her formal culinary training (L’Academie de Cuisine, 2010), she produces original recipes along with the photos; win-win.
Working as a social media marketer and occasional cooking instructor, combined with formal culinary training, gives you a recipe developer who runs one hell of a food blog.
I start by asking Jenn what her general favorite foods are, and what she is obsessed with at the moment. A short pause, a nervous laugh, and a one-word answer that men love to hear women say: bacon. “That’s such a common answer, but I’ve been eating a lot of it lately,” she says. “I’ve also been obsessed with avocados lately because you can do a million things with them. You can mix them with bacon,” she quips as I am already thinking of my next bacon-avocado creation in my mind. She also loves eggs for much of the same reason, “you can eat them a million different ways.”
I am happiest when baking. I love sugar, I love decorating it, nothing makes people happier than giving them cookies, or cake, or a dessert.
Despite her love for bacon, avocados, and eggs, after culinary school she freely admits, “I am happiest when baking. I love sugar, I love decorating it, nothing makes people happier than giving them cookies, or cake, or a dessert.” Bacon-cupcakes with avocado cream frosting perhaps? Well, maybe not, although I hope I just gave her a blog post idea. We’ll see.
Being a lover of all things sweet, I figure she self-identifies as a cookie, cake, or pie person; yet she is stumped at the question. “I knew I should have studied before this,” she remarks, but the answer is in the exact order I phrased it. She is a cookie girl first, then cake, then pie. “I really, really love cookies. Out of everything I make, when I make cookies I start harassing my friends to come get them because I will just sit there and eat all of them.” Jenn, hello, you can ship cookies! (If I just started your mail order business I want some royalty action!) Keeping things simple, sweetly simple, chocolate chip is her standard favorite.
Moving on from sweets, and admitting she lives in Bethesda, not DC exactly, she loves the entire food scene in the area. From the variety of options offered such as numerous ethnic restaurants, to the skill of rising young chefs, and the quality of ingredients found in the area, Jenn’s a big fan. In DC, she admits she loves Rasika (I mean, honestly who doesn’t), “absolutely amazing,” she says. “I have had a wonderful meal at Michel Richard’s Central and I highly recommend to anyone who likes food to go to MiniBar at least once.” MiniBar is the molecular gastronomic brain-child and 2011 James Beard award winning restaurant from Chef José Andrés. A small, intimate setting, patrons in groups of about six sit across from a bar where your food is prepared right in front of you and served in small or single bite portions.
I would like to get in a food fight with Anthony Bourdain.
Moving forward, and secretly trying to edge something a bit salty from the otherwise extremely pleasant and sweet Jennifer Farley, the discussion turns to food fights. “I would like to get in a food fight with Anthony Bourdain,” she says proudly as if it’s a sin for one to go after the Chef and writer whose M.O. is to go after others. “I love him, but he says a lot of things that really piss me off,” yes, I think, now we’re getting somewhere. Show your evil side pastry queen! “Well, he thinks vegetarians are horrible people. He’s joking, but he’s kind of not. There’s a little bit of venom in his voice….I’ll throw a bunch of vegetables at him!” This is better; I like eggplant smashing Jenn over sugar cookie Jenn. Bring the pain! “He also said no one over 30 should go to culinary school,” – ouch, that one hits home a bit for Jenn. “That comment…it’s just…whatever,” she says very bluntly, almost catching herself from saying anything too bad. “It’s not like people over 30 are trying to work the line,” she says then admitting his main point was indeed about the endurance it takes to work in a high-paced kitchen. “He just riles me up,” she says with a laugh as we close that topic a bit too soon, I was liking veggie-chunking Jenn.
However when all is said and done, Jenn and her creations are sweet and honest. One of my favorite posts is about her self-reflection on her time in culinary school, what a typical day was like, and her advice to those thinking of attending culinary school. Her blog as a whole is very easy to read and follow, her recipes are to the point and laid out in a way those of us who did not go to culinary school can follow, and her pictures are amazing.