Culinary Expert Explains What Produce to Pick for Each Season
Food Writer and Culinary Educator, Rachel Weston, talks about the many farmers markets and farms throughout NJ and how to pick the best produce in each season to make your dinner table come to life.
"Welcome back to Life & Living. She's a foodie in every sense of the word, and she's built a successful career around her passion for food. She's Rachel Weston, Food Writer and Culinary Educator, and author of the book New Jersey Fresh: Four Seasons from Farm to Table. Welcome to the program. Thank you so much for having me. We are the Garden State, right? Because we have such an ample amount of greenery produce, vegetables, all of these things that are... I don't want to say "untapped resources" but that so many people don't know about. We're gonna talk about your book, New Jersey Fresh: Four Seasons. We're gonna talk about some of those... that produce, and what people should be doing. But I want to start... I want to let our audience get a better understanding of who you are. You were a journalist for a long time. Talk about your work. I was. I mean, I was in newspapers. I started as an after school clerk at my local newspaper in high school. And then just started working at different newspapers, and spent 20 years in newspapers, primarily as a photo editor. So I did some writing, but I did mostly work with the photography department, which ended up working out so I could take the photos for my own book, which was something that was a really nice kind of marrying of my prior career to my new one. You were writing a lot about food. Talk about the blog that you had, and where you were published. So I was published... I started... in 2008, I transferred to... from culinary... into culinary, went to culinary school. And shortly after that, I started writing a column for the Star-Ledger called "The Gutsy Gourmet" which was a way to talk to the home cook about, you know, things that they could try to take on at home. So you were talking to chefs, and people in the area? Talking to chefs, talking to people who are home cooks. You know, farmers, coobook authors, anybody that I could get some information about some either new or old techniques that people should try at home and not be intimidated by cooking. Where did your love for food first come from? My grandfather was a chef, so there was always great food in the house. He had a little garden in the backyard, so there was always, you know, fresh food. He grew up on a farm in Upper Saddle River, so he always appreciated local source produce, and the freshness. So I from a very young age, I enjoyed, you know, food and cooking. So you went to culinary school in 2008, but you didn't pursue a career as a chef? I'm interested to know why..."