Jeanne Kelley is a cookbook author, food stylist, recipe developer, and frequent contributor to such publications as Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, and Everyday with Rachael Ray. She was a contributing editor at Bon Appétit for over 10 years, and trained at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris. She is the author of Salad for Dinner, the acclaimed Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes: Recipes from a Modern Kitchen Garden, and Williams Sonoma Holiday Baking. She and her husband, Martin, a landscape designer, and their two daughters, live in Los Angeles along with a flock of chickens, a beehive, a dog, six fruit trees, and a large plot in the community garden down the street.
Q: How has growing your own food changed your cooking style?
A: An abundance of fresh picked produce has simplified the way I cook. Homegrown vegetables picked at their peak are so flavor intensive they don't need much in order to taste delicious – a quick sauté or an easy vinaigrette will usually do the trick. Also, my meals tend to have vegetables as the centerpiece as opposed to meat. I'm not a vegetarian, but when vegetables are really good, you don't want to relegate them to the side of the plate.