Yeah, you know.

Hi, I am Reverend Jeff and the Queen of Java Street Project. My love of food, wine, and the mind expansion that comes with it are the reasons I am here. Food is a creation, like art, and it tells a story. Through food, we learn history, the values of others, and the influences of other cultures on our everyday lives. We learn new words and find ways to communicate with the world. Eating local while traveling is tremendously essential to understanding our neighbors. Like math, food is universal. You can taste a connective history when you eat naan from India and khachapuri from Georgia. It is also important to understand the impact of actions throughout history. For instance, tomatoes were not growing in Italy before their discovery in the “New World”. And it was around 300 hundred years later when tomato sauce began to appear in written records. Classic red sauce Italian food would not be if it were not Columbus, as conflicted as that appreciation may be.

When we consume food that we need to be aware of where it comes from and what stories it tells. This reminds me of the scene in “The Devil Wears Prada” where Miranda Priestly breaks down the history of a cerulean blue sweater. What we eat and drink has origins that sometimes belie their current appropriation. Let’s take matcha, the once luxurious powdered green tea from 7th century China that was brought to Japan around 1200 BC where it evolved into a very high quality and unique ceremonial tea. Now lower quality matcha is used to flavor sweet lattés and delicious Kit-Kats. Matcha moved from high to low, though high-quality matcha is still used in the tea ceremony. It took 1400 years for matcha to go from exclusively a Chinese luxury to a Starbucks latté served throughout the world. Granted, that latté is still a pricey luxury to many people.

I am the founder, illustrator, coördinator, writer, and generator of print projects. After spending many years steering the ships and running the trains of several media brands including Real SimpleMarie ClaireMaxim, and Reader’s Digest I stopped. Having contributed food reporting to Real Simple and Reader’s Digest as well as having been an NYC correspondent for vegansaurous.com, I decided to do it for myself. Soon there will be a cookbook and maybe an app. Time will tell.

Favorite food: Biscuits and pizza.