IN THE KITCHEN WITH JODI BROWN
2019 US Wellness Meats Featured Chef Q&A
Tell us about yourself:
I’m a chef, educator and organizer (CEO) who reversed my autoimmune thyroid disease through diet and lifestyle changes (AIP) and now help others do the same via coaching and on line group programs. It’s been an incredible journey to better health and I’m so grateful to be able to help others achieve vastly improved health outcomes.
I currently share my time between New Orleans and Pensacola Beach, Florida. New Orleans is a unique American experience that everyone should have, but I love the healing energy of the beautiful white sandy beaches in Pensacola. I’ve tried to make this dual coast reality for a long time and I’m grateful to say I’ve finally succeeded.
How did you get involved in cooking?
Having grown up poor and Irish my culinary skills didn’t come from home, that’s for sure. In high school I got exposed to more ethnically diverse and flavor intensive foods through relationships with school mates. As I matured and became a young urban business professional I had an employer who used to take me out to adventuresome lunches (Thai, Japanese, Mexican). During these midday meals he fueled my desire to travel and experience more foods and world cultures. After this new interest I chatted with someone who was starting a catering company and I offered to help so that I could learn. The rest, as they say, is history.
Describe your cooking style:
Clean whole foods with an international flare.
How did you learn about grass-fed meats?
Joel Salatin, of Polyface Farms was the farmer who brought sustainable farming onto my front burner. In the early days of my wellness journey he became a beacon of sensibility and reason as I navigated the best choices I could make for myself, the animals I consumed and the planet.
What is your favorite recipe featuring grass-fed meat?
Orange chipotle pork tenderloins has been one of my most raved about offerings for friends and family for over two decades. It was inspired by a dish I ate almost 25 years ago at a restaurant called Casa Romero, in my hometown of Boston, MA. Make a bunch and freeze it. You won’t regret it.
You’re stranded on a desert island; luckily, you’re stranded with your top 5 ingredients and one must-have kitchen tool:
Chef’s knife, fine ground black pepper, onion, garlic, lime, USWM bacon
I’m adventuresome but not enough so that I can be on a deserted island without a knife. Aromatics like garlic and onion help to make anything taste better. The acid from the lime will compliment and balance the flavors found in the fruits and fish that are available. The ocean has plenty of salt so fine ground black pepper will help me add a fire and flavor to my food. And bacon…come on. A gal has to have her bacon.
Best cooking secret/tip/piece of advice you’ve learned:
My chef friend, Frank Brigtsen, Brigtsen’s Restaurant, New Orleans always says… “Brown is the color of flavor” and I couldn’t agree more.
What’s your favorite quote/song for culinary inspiration (if any)?
There’s only one thing better than eating food and it’s talking about it. – Jodi Brown
Anything else you want to share?
Over the course of my lifetime I have come to know and believe that food is medicine. The foods we choose to feed ourselves can either support or hinder our health and the health of the planet.
Every purchase I make tells the producer of that product that I want more. In order to be a good steward of the planet, how I spend my dollars has a far reaching affect not only on my own health but the health of the earth. Thank you US Wellness Meats for making this easier.
Lastly, the biggest tip I can offer to any cook is this — Unless you are making baked goods, recipes are meant to be guidelines. Learn to freestyle and substitute to satisfy your own tastebuds. The real freedom in cooking comes from not having to follow a recipe but to fly by the seat of your pants. That’s when the best “mistakes” happen.
Enter to win our February Featured Chef Contest for a chance to win! Contest runs from February 1 – February 13, 2019.