When she was young, Jessie Price spent her summers on Thompson’s Point, where her grandparents had a year-round home, so it was only natural that when she wanted to take a break from her job in San Francisco she would head to Charlotte. What started as a three-month hiatus soon became the start of a new career at Eating Well magazine, then based in Charlotte but now in Shelburne.
An art history major at Williams College, Price didn’t have a set career path when she graduated. Since she had always enjoyed cooking, she decided to take a job in a restaurant. “There were things I really liked, but the way of life was hard and I didn’t know how to have a career in food that wasn’t in restaurants, so I went on a different path,” she said.
Price became a senior accounts manager for a market research company. She was successful at her position but found that when it was time to take clients out for meals she was more interested in what restaurant they could go to and what food would be served than the business they were going to talk about.
When Price took her hiatus, her sister was freelancing for Eating Well. The magazine had an opening, so she began working as a recipe tester before becoming assistant food editor. “I didn’t think I’d be here for more than a year or two,” Price said. “I did think it sounded like an amazing job, but I didn’t know if it would work out.”
Things worked out well enough that Price kept getting promoted and eventually became editor-in-chief in September of 2013. While at Eating Well, Price has authored or co-authored seven cookbooks. A 2013 book, The Simple Art of Eating Well, won a prestigious James Beard award.
Price and her staff are hard at work on a new cookbook which will be out in June called Eating Well Vegetables: The Essential Reference. Over 500 pages will be devoted to providing an alphabetized reference book on vegetables with information on how to prepare and store each one, together with recipes.
Price is hard-pressed to come up with a favorite recipe but admits she’s totally obsessed with soups. In January, Eating Well will come out with its first book-a-zine; a special magazine issue on fancier paper which will be available at newsstands. Eating Well Soups will include both well-known and not-so-well-known recipes including a Bolivian Quinoa Peanut soup which Price enjoys making.
When Price first moved to Vermont she had a large garden and grew more than she could eat. “I was totally overwhelmed and discovered I hated weeding, so I realized a crazy, giant garden was not for me,” she said.
Price decided to limit her garden to produce she couldn’t get locally: okra, tomatillos and exotic hot peppers. These days her garden just consists of peppers which she uses to make hot sauce. That allows her to spend more time on Lake Champlain, whether it’s swimming, fishing, boating or skating in the winter. From her childhood days with her grandparents to now, one thing is constant. “I just love the lake,” she said.