Kirstin Jackson is our January Chef of the Month!

Published books:

“It’s Not You, It’s Brie: Unwrapping American Cheese Culture”

1. What inspired you become an author?

I’ve always read like crazy. My happiest days as a child were when my parents dropped me off at the library during summer vacation for hours on end, and I today I still keep stacks of books by my bed, waiting to be read. Since reading and writing have always been ways I’ve understood the world and expressed myself, it made sense that it was a perfect way to spread my love for cheese—the best food in the entire world.

2. What are your hobbies outside of the kitchen?

Cooking at home! Making cheese. Reading. Hiking. I just finished my second sewing class. And, trying to achieve a work-life balance (working on that!).

3. Everyone remembers their first encounter with burrata. What is yours?

My first encounter with burrata was in Florence, Italy, on a trip my mother and I took together. I’ll never forget breaking into that perfect burrata sphere with my spoon and watching the cream and curds spill out.

4. If you could make dinner for one person, who would it be?

For inspiration—Alicia Garza. For stories—Jim Jarmusch and Michelle Obama.

5. What is your favorite dish to cook and why?

Lasagna. I could eat it for a week and never tire of it. It freezes well. And it’s filled with all the delicious things in life.

6. What has been your greatest accomplishment?

Making space, funds, and time in my life to travel whenever possible. It helps keeps me centered, aware, and creative. Also, after failing for years on end, I just mastered pie dough with the help of Cook’s Illustrated—pretty special.

7. If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

You’ll need to try harder and longer than you imagined to make special things in your life happen, and there will be many twists and turns along the way. Enjoy the asides.

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