I cannot sing enough praise about Jasmine Smith. Not only is she a kind and a generous woman but she is a talented bad ass in the kitchen. She has been a highlight in my life and career, working for the James Beard Foundation, Girl & the Goat and now, thanks to the introduction, Food and Wine Classic in Aspen. I am so excited to introduce you to her and her cooking style.
In her words...
Jasmine was raised in Austin, Texas where the BBQ is served on butcher paper and a food truck is on every corner. As a child she spent many summers in St. Thomas USVI visiting her grandmother, from whom she learned to cook classic Caribbean food.
With a deep desire to learn more about food and a passion for healthy eating, Jasmine set off to college at Johnson & Wales University - Denver. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Culinary Nutrition with concentrations in Food Science and Clinical Dietetics. Her education has provided her with many opportunities to work with celebrity chefs, to study abroad in the Mediterranean region, and to cook in distinguished restaurants across America.
In 2017 after being accepted into an 8-month-long Women in Culinary Leadership Program hosted by the James Beard Foundation, Jasmine made the cross-country move to Chicago to work at a Latin-Indian fusion restaurant, Vermilion. After the program she went to work at Stephanie Izard’s restaurant Girl & the Goat; where she became a tournade after one year.
Aside from slaying away in the restaurant industry, Jasmine is a part of the culinary team for the Aspen Food & Wine Classic where she has gained part time opportunity to freelance for Carla Hall. This route led her to her dream job as a Recipe Developer for Meredith Corporation where she now develops and test recipes for magazine brands such as Food & Wine, Southern Living, Eating Well, and many more.
Recipe Developer & Tester | Test Kitchen Assistant at Meredith Cooperation
Why this career?
I’ve wanted to be a Recipe Developer & Tester since I was 8 years old. My summer vacation consisted of daily trips to the library, reading through cookbooks and magazine and rewriting the recipes that inspired me.
How did you decide this recipe?
I co-hosted a pop-up dinner in Chicago inspired after reading the cookbook, Between Harlem and Heaven by JJ Johnson, Alexander Smalls and Veronica Chambers. It focuses on the African diaspora and the evolution of African-influenced cuisine in America. The book reflects my heritage and inspired me to develop this recipe as one of the main courses on the menu. This dish really shows a mix of my Caribbean and Texan upbringing.
If you could do anything differently to get to this point in your career… what would you do?
Absolutely nothing! I would do every job, volunteer & networking opportunities, schooling, and cross-country moves all again; no matter how bumpy times got. Each journey and interaction made me the person I am today, and taught me valuable people skills and work ethics that I am able to use at my current job.
What challenges have you faced in this line of work?
Ugh. Every stereotype in the restaurant industry. Coworkers abusing drugs and alcohol, management corruption, dealing with the aftermath of a robbery, sexual harassment, late paychecks/paychecks bouncing, etc.…
Why do you continue to do what you do? What drives you?
I want to have a positive impact on the way food is viewed and developed. I believe there is much more to be done with ingredients; and create a world where the food we view as unique becomes the new "norm." My steps to achieving this is living in each moment by stepping out of my comfort zone, building relationships, volunteering, and maintaining competency.
IG handle: jazzy_the_princess
BBQ Beef Pot Stickers - yields 20 pot stickers
1 1.5 lb. boneless beef chuck roast, cut into large chunks
1 medium onion, quartered
4 cups beef broth
3/4 cups BBQ sauce, such as Rudy’s or Stubbs
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
20 3-inch diameter gyozo sheets (pot sticker wrappers)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1. Combine beef, onion, and beef stock in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Bring down to a simmer over medium-low heat, cook until beef is fork tender (about 2 hours). Strain liquid and discard onion. Cool beef until easy to handle, shred meat with two forks, leaving the beef a little chunky. Combine beef, BBQ sauce, salt, and black peppers in a medium sized bowl. Mix until beef is evenly coated.
Green Apple Curry - yields: 4 cups
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 shallots, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic, about 3 cloves
1 serrano pepper, seeded if desired
1 Tbsp. chopped ginger
1 lemongrass stalk sliced, about 1/4 cup
1 Tbsp. jerk curry powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 medium green apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (6 cups)
1 (15 oz) canned unsweetened coconut milk
1 lime juiced
2. While the beef is cooking, prepare the curry. Heat vegetable oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, serrano pepper, ginger, lemongrass, curry powder, and salt, stirring frequently, until aromatic (about 2 minutes). Add green apples until begins to soften, about 8 minutes.
3. Add coconut milk and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are smashable, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Add apple mixture and lime juice to a blender, process until smooth (about 45 seconds).
4. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and dust lightly with flour. Working with one dumpling wrapper at a time, keep remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel, place a tablespoon of beef filling in the center on each wrapper.
Wet the edge of wrapper with water and fold top half over bottom half and pinch edges to seal.
5. Heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add dumplings in an even layer, sealed side up. Fry dumplings until golden brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup water to skillet, lower heat to medium-low, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Let steam until pot sticker is cooked, about 5 minutes.
This is after the steaming process.