By Jenn Press Arata
As a former red carpet reporter for Life and Style Weekly Magazine, I’ve interviewed my fair share of celebs, but it wasn’t until I started working for Food Network’s Iron Chef America that I felt truly starstruck. As I stood on set and watched Bobby Flay and Morimoto battle it out over the secret ingredient, chills ran down my spine. I couldn’t wait to go to work each day and I ate up every delicious second of it.
My next endeavor was casting and production for Food Network’s Chopped, before the show even aired. Meeting with passionate, innovative chefs and watching them work their craft made me salivate at the endless possibilities of the food world. Throughout my career I’ve encountered a variety of inspiring chefs and eaten at some truly outstanding restaurants. Each time I have interviewed a chef to write about their establishment, they’ve fed me in return. Full feasts. At times, I’ve even been able to bring guests to receive this very special treatment. On other occasions, I’ve been out with friends when the manager has sent over a complimentary dessert or app. To me, this is the highest honor. Growing up, my father always told me “you want to be recognizable enough to get a good table at a restaurant.” Now I understand why.
Once I realized how many people ask me for suggestions on where to dine, and the fact that I post more photos on Facebook about food than people, I knew I had to do something bigger. Whether it’s featuring a new recipe I’ve tried, a restaurant that just opened, an interview with a chef, a happy accident in cooking or a spotlight dish of the week, I will hand you our little food community on a silver platter. While not everything I’ve tasted has been my favorite meal, I understand what it’s like to put your heart and soul into something so I will focus my energy on highlighting the best of the best. Therefore, everything posted on this sight will have the That’s So Jenn official stamp of approval. I personally don’t want to read why I shouldn’t eat something, but rather why I should. Those descriptive details of the five senses of food can make you experience a meal just by reading about it, and that’s how I want to interact with my foodie friends. I’ve literally turned off a trailer for DDD, hopped in the car and driven 45 minutes to check out the delicious BBQ Guy Fieri was talking about. I too, want to connect and inspire. I want to get the goods behind a restaurant, the motivational stories, the heart behind a dish and find out why these chefs and restauranteurs do what they do. We’re so fortunate in this world not just to have food, but to have great food, and to have food that is literally handcrafted artwork to so many who put it out there. Every plate tells a story and it’s my goal to find out just what that story is.