The goal of BiteSized is to create a beautiful, single bite of food with a unique flavor. Our inspiration comes from our constant quest to share food by making each other the best, quintessential ‘bite’, and the combination of our love for cooking and photography. Over the years, BiteSized has also become a place for us to share our travels, our experiences together in New York, and our favorite, non-BiteSized recipes that we cook for friends and family at home. In allowing each of our innovative passions to meld, we hope to share a story of who we are as a creative team. Jessica is a cook and a writer. She works as a Sous Chef at Mas (La Grillade). In her spare time she loves to write and cook for her friends and family. Jonathan is a freelance photographer specializing in food, still life, and travel photography. You can see more of his work on his website: www.jonathanmeter.com.
Q: How did you get involved in cooking to begin with? Was it something you learned to love early on or did you come to it later?
I’ve always cooked at home with my mom and dad, my mom is a very good home cook, especially in the summer when she has more time to relax. Later in life I went to culinary school — it wasn’t something I knew I wanted to do for a living right away. Cooking was always something I did to help me relax and feel happy. Then I decided to go to culinary school, and have been working in restaurants ever since.
Q: Why is eating grass-fed meat and sustainably-caught fish different? How does it affect your cooking?
Sustainably caught fish is important because of the over-fishing that’s happening all over the world. If something isn’t done soon, we may lose our fish populations forever. Grass-fed meat is better for the environment and for your health — the Omega3 fats found in grass-fed meat are really important to our health, and help balance out the overabundance of omega6 fats that most Americans have in their diets.
Q: Is it just about health? Or is there more to it than that?
It is definitely about health AND the environment, and the well-being of the animals. Animals that are fed grass are healthier and tend to also be treated better than cattle that’s kept in barns all day long and fed corn-based diets. It’s painful to read about the way the majority of cows and other animals are treated all over the country.
Q: How did you learn about grass-fed meat?
I’ve read about it a lot, in the news, online, and of course at the restaurant where I work - we only serve grass-fed meat.
Q: Why is it so important to have the right ingredients?
Good ingredients are essential to good cooking. Fresh, local ingredients make your food taste better, and are better for you. Who wants to eat something out of a package that’s been shipped from half way around the world when you can shop locally at your farmers market and be connected to the land and farmers around you?
Q: What are the most important keys to success for the home chef?
Stick to the basics, master a few simple techniques, and always buy the freshest, highest quality ingredients available.
Q: What are your best tips for home cooking?
Don’t be too concerned with adhering exactly to a recipe — learn to season by taste, not by measuring down to the last teaspoon. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to make mistakes or cook a disastrous meal — it’s how you learn! And also makes for a good story.
Q: What is your favorite recipe using grass-fed meat?
I love making a simple, seared steak and serving it with a sauce made from the juices in the pan, or a compound butter with herbs and lemon zest. Serve that with roasted potatoes and a fresh green salad — what could be better?!