About Jared Olkin
BACKSTORY I grew up in a family of food lovers. My mother was in the first female class of graduates from the Culinary Institute of America and she also owned a homemade ice cream store in Chapel Hill, where I grew up. Food has always been central for us! I came into my own as a cook when I was 18, living in Israel for the year. In college I really delved into it, combining my passion for cooking with my then-recent interest in healthier and more sustainable eating, which culminated in a vegetarian underground dinner series I ran with a friend of mine during my final semester (http://www.revolutiongelato.com) FOOD PHILOSOPHY I want to make and eat food that I love and that I feel good about. For me, that means interesting, flavorful dishes made with ingredients that are healthy, environmentally friendly, and ethically sourced. I choose local and organic products whenever possible. WHAT I COOK I tend toward ethnic -- I love everything from tacos to takoyaki -- because I like strong flavors. But truly, my influences are varied: I was born in Austin, grew up in North Carolina, went to school in Boston, studied abroad in Israel and in Argentina, and have family in California. I also have a slight obsession with the continent of Asia. The food of all of these places make their mark on what I cook. Inspiration comes to me from the ingredients I have on hand, and I love the creative process of developing dishes from seemingly disparate food items. All of the food I cook at home is vegan. You do *not* need to be vegan to enjoy it!