• Jerrelle Guy's Pantry •
Jerrelle’s inspo comes from near and far, a quality that’s apparent in her blog (Chocolate for Basil) and in her pantry, too. She lives in Boston, but a childhood in South Florida and Asian and Filipino heritages are just a few of the influences that make up her food style. While the flavors from these places are important to her, so is the local food scene, hitting up neighborhood markets for eclectic staples like fresh ginger, alternative flours, and local IPAs. For Jerrelle, the magic’s in the local/global mash-up.
Most of all, we #pinefor her strong sense of self. She writes that her book Black Girl Baking is all about claiming her blackness, bringing that identity into her food space, and owning it.
Let’s peek into this Boston-based eclectic pantry.
- "In my food, you'll see the roots of my childhood growing up in South Florida, a lot of my Southern influences from my dad's side, Asian and Filipino influences (from my mom + college life), Italian influences and Tex Mex too. We cook a lot of plant-based meals, but lately I’ve been focused on baking. Desserts are a nice common denominator between people, especially when I can make the recipes vegan or gluten-free without losing integrity. Usually by the end of the day though, I’m tired and end up stir frying some leftover rice--my reason for keeping batches of cooked brown rice on standby in the fridge--or cooking pasta for dinner.
- My kitchen style is a bit eclectic. The apartment building is art deco. Then there's vintage things and more modern bits interspersed with splashes of industrial steel. It's a small space and there's lots of personality coming from all the different ingredients and props and equipment and spices, etc., so I just let them speak for themselves while keeping things contained, staying fairly minimal and making sure I can see what and where everything is with the least amount of distractions. I've made this kitchen a place that feels inviting and fresh when I step into it--not overwhelming-- so that I can think and work efficiently in it for long stretches of time.
markets & shopping
- Because I do a lot of freelance R+D and food photography, assignments come to me in the middle of the week with different goals, so I find myself constantly balancing my own food needs with buying groceries for these projects. So it really depends on the day of the week and the project. On weekends we walk or take the T (train) to different places to get groceries: the Whole Foods down the street; Trader Joes, my favorite Indian or Russian Bazaar off of Beacon for special spices, more tahini or wine; Ming's Supermarket(!!!) for extra lbs of ginger, big bags of fresh greens, fresh tofu + rice in bulk; up to North End to buy fresh bread or more olive oil from Bricco; Copley Square Farmers Market for Field & Vase sunflowers. Boston Public Market for pressed juice from Mother Juice, some Taza Chocolate, Q’s Nuts, Apple cider donuts from Red Apple Farm, or some local IPA; Haymarket is right next to Boston Public Market and sells produce for insanely cheap year-round. I especially love weekends at Haymarket because of the energy there, strolling the stalls and being swallowed by the crowd and loud noises just gets me out of my head. You have to be in the moment when you're there, because it’s an experience. But in the middle of the week if I'm deep into a project and need ingredients I'm quick to call a local grocery delivery service instead.
- Inspiration usually starts with a craving or a lightbulb idea inspired by a picture I saw or something I remember--which essentially turns into just another craving. I try to bring the idea to life how I imagine it to taste. Then I take it at least one step further, always with more intentional ingredients that make me feel good.
- inspirations in order of influence:
- A craving or memory
- Any of my friends on Instagram (@justcrumbs @wildsunflowerchef @acozykitchen @shiramcd @mydailysourdoughbread @samanthajamesbolton @dianagalt @thedaleyplate @halfbakedharvest @vegetarianventures @fannythefoodie @food52 @thefeedfeed @thekitchen @sarahjampel ++++)
- Newsletters and blogs coming into my email
- I call my mom - she is always on some new diet, and you wouldn't think it, but diet books introduce ingenious ways to rethink ingredients.
- Old magazines
- Herbs--I always have some herb especially for food styling (it's my styling crutch)
- Butter. Lots of butter and different types for baking and for lattes. (Melt, Irish Butter, Earth Balance, etc.)
- Salad Greens
- Limes and lemons
- Ginger root
- Cooked brown rice
- Organic tofu
- Tempeh or (Smiling Hara Hempeh!)
- Nut milk or oatmilk or flaxmilk
- Frozen blueberries, I don’t think I know what unfrozen blueberries taste like.
- Frozen bananas, for nice cream
- Ice cream, for ice cream
- Cookie Dough, I always have some kind of cookie dough hidden in there
- Frozen peas and spinach
- I make sure to restock my pantry with basic baking ingredients. Every once in awhile I pick up fancy alternative flours or different spices for experimenting, but for the most part I enjoy celebrating the basics, because when you have less material to work with, it's much easier to get creative.
Cacao powders + nibs
Cocoa powder + chocolate chips (lilly’s + enjoy Life)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Homemade chili oil
Brown rice and brown rice pasta
Coffee beans and instant coffee (Elite Coffee)
Vanilla bean paste and extract
Almonds and almond butter
Tahini + sesame seeds
Vitamin D pills
Protein Powder, the brand changes
My handheld frother #1 right now
Ice cream scoop-- for cookies, drop biscuits and ice cream
Baby spoons- I eat most things with a baby spoon…or a set of chopsticks
Bench scraper-for cleaning the counters
Offset spatula- finally beginning to appreciate it
Measuring cups and spoons. I'd be nowhere without them.
- It’s rare that I cook from cookbooks, which is weird because they make me so happy. I love buying them for the stories, photos, how they make me feel, and to learn about the authors’ process and approach to cooking. I’m currently loving Nopalito by Gonzalo Guzman, The Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen and Cravings by Chrissy Teigen. For the most part, I love collecting and reading classics."
To Sum it Up:
pantry item she can't live without: salt
her go to inspiration cookbook: tough one, but probably The Flavor Bible just because the suggestions never get old; there is always a new pairing I’ve never tried.
her most trusted kitchen tool: oven
5 adjectives that describe her pantry style: essentials, visible, efficient, refillable, multipurpose
women she pines for: Lauren Nixon, Klancy Miller, Jessica Jones and Wendy Lopez of @FoodHeavenShow, Alexandra Elle, Kerry Diamond, Diana Trout, Sara Elise, Jenne Claiborne, @BrownKids, Lauren Noel, Rachel Ryle, Cleo Wade, @yesbabyilikeitraw
her favorite music to jam out to in the kitchen: Lianne LaHavas, Masego, Daniel Caesar, Lauryn Hill Unplugged, Fugees, Erykah Badu, Allen Stone. Any jazzy soul music and lots of classical music and instrumentals too especially when I’m baking because vocals can distract the number-counting in my head
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