About jen


I'm a writer, entrepreneur,

and mother of two living abroad. Though born in Chicago, I grew up in and around San Diego and still consider Southern California my home. My college and grad school career took me to Columbia in New York City, where I lived for five years and interned at Newsweek and The New Yorker. But my writing and culinary life really began after I graduated and moved to China, where I fell in love with authentic Chinese food and went to a local cooking school to master the wok. I published my first book, Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey through China as a result, and I founded the private cooking club Black Sesame Kitchen in Beijing. I met my husband, Craig, along the way. Not wanting to “settle down” after we married, we took an epic journey on the Silk Road to explore the connections between Asian and European cuisine, which became the subject of my second book, On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome with Love and Pasta. Now, with two young children, we continue to live abroad because of my husband’s internationally-focused job. We recently settled in Havana, Cuba, where I’m discovering the secrets of Cuban cuisine, learning how to cook everything that we can’t find from scratch, and finding the beauty and humor on an island where every day is an adventure.