Cooking Superstar


Get creative in the kitchen with JJ from 84th&3rd!

Sydney, Australia
Advertising strategist, recipe creator, blogger

When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?

I've been cooking and baking since before I can remember. There are photos of me sitting on the counter covered in flour at about the age of 3. I can't recall the first thing I made but Gingerbread Cookies would be high on the list.

What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?

Our apartment has yellow laminate countertops from the 60s they are hideous but there's a decent amount of space so I can't complain too much. I collect vintage dishes, have roughly 15 different kinds of flour and at least 7 types of salt - if that gives any indication of my cupboards. I try to clean as I cook whenever possible, it makes things much less overwhelming when I'm done!

What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?

Be fearless, it's only food. Master basic techniques and have a few go-to recipes then play with flavours and more complicated recipes from there. Find great resources that you trust to deliver successful dishes.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?

Oh I've never been any good at this kind of question! I'd probably collect our friends and family from all corners of the globe in one spot. As for what I'd cook... Christmas lunch, or maybe a huge Brunch spread, or maybe High Tea. In any case there would be Pie, lots and lots of pie.

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

I sew, craft and draw occasionally. As for hobbies, other than the baking and blogging I run to stay sane(ish) and practice yoga to stay calm(ish). Oh, and brunch... my obsession is so advanced it borders on a hobby!

Anything else you want to add: I'm known for creating slightly crazy recipes. I see food as an adventure and finding ways to substitute ingredients is something that keeps my mind ticking over. I get inspiration everywhere - restaurant meals, movies, the middle rows of the grocery store - you name it and I've created something from it!

Which cooking blogs do you love to read?

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Low Sugar, Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free, Whole Grain

What's your favorite...

TV Show
Anthony Bourdain No Reservations, Magnum PI
Paul Simon, U2 & Tom Petty are what tend to get played during weekend baking sessions
NYC, no questions asked.
Too hard! But Princess Bride is a perennial favourite
Cook Book
How to choose?! My go-to is an old 1965 Gold Anniversary Edition of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, I recently purchased a 1933 edition of it as well. It has a great mix of classic dishes and highly amusing mid-century dinner party creations.
South American and anything wrapped in a corn tortilla, Thai, proper Nonna Italian, and Chocolate Cake - that counts as a cuisine, right?
Avocados, apples, quinoa flour, rice syrup, coconut oil, almond milk, cocoa powder - humm, that almost looks like a recipe!
Kitchen Gadget
My immersion hand blender, I use it for everything.