With our large family, our childhood was filled with alot of children to grow up with. It took a short amount of time for us to realise how similar we were the older we got, which only brought us closer together. Right around ages 11 & 14 is when we became inseparable. Our relationship had a major upgrade! We were suddenly like sisters. And despite living on different ends of the planet, with Soph in the U.S. and Jess in the U.K., we are best friends.
Food, like with many families, plays a major role in how the family relates to one another. Whatever the reason for coming together, there was always food at the center of it. During Sophie’s visits to the U.K., which were mostly always during the summer, the family would be abuzz with reasons to celebrate. Many family birthdays fall in the summer. Summer is just an awesome time in the U.K.. The weather is brilliant!! This meant that every summer there was a lot of celebratory food to consume. We were always the first ones to tackle the mountains of food, as kids. As we grew older, we wanted to participate in the creation of the feast. Everyone in the family had a role to play. Uncle David, Jessie’s dad, would spend months on end fine tuning sauce recipes and envisioning the journey that our taste buds were about to go on. In addition to her very important position as sous-chef to her pops, Jessie wore her bakers hat. She would always arrive with killer delicious cakes and pastries. Grandma would provide the mains - the show stoppers - and Sophie had the vital role of taste testing, display management, and acting as occasional second sous. On the day of the event, whatever the event was, David and Grandpa would transform into grill masters and the rest of the family would arrive to party! The “Garden” parties, they were all named, would last days and there were many of them. The rest of the year, we would all spend the better part of our time focussed on food and creating the next best treat.
Some of Sophie’s other favorite memories include when she made a flan for David & Jess and forgot to add the sugar (I, Sophie, was 10 and will forever cherish that memory!!), the flour dusted countertops of our Grandparent’s home & smells of sunday roast, Christmas dinners with her mama, recreating meals from different tv shows/movies, exploring every cuisine type possible and foodie adventures with my husband & kiddies. Jessie’s favorite memories of food include cooking anything & everything with her Dad, the many BBQ’s, burnt sausages (seriously, they’re magic!!), studying recipes shared on American cooking shows, and enjoying all of the unique food during her travels around the world. One of our most favorite memories is when, together, we cooked a massive seafood feast, which included mackerel three ways, for our Grandma’s birthday. We were very little, maybe 10 & 13, and were very proud of ourselves. Haha!
When it comes to professional experience, Sophie says “Having grown up in a family that really appreciates quality food, that has been my main source of education & experience”. As a history buff, She received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. Why? Because culture is awesome!! A huuuuge reason for her obsession with food comes from her obsession with culture. She has always found it fascinating that we live on one earth, but there is so much variety within human life. She feels one of the best ways to explore a new culture, or even an ancient one, is to explore their food.
Jessie is definitely the most experienced in a professional setting. In fact, it’s no contest really. The gal is seasoned pro! Jessie has worn many hats in the professional kitchens of the U.K. She has filled roles in both the front of house and in the kitchen. One of her favorite roles was commis chef for a large event venue, and another was working in a much loved, London based, bakery.
While we have grown up together and tackled many meals together, we have our differences. Which brings us to our “why”. So, why did we create It’s All Jus? 2020 was a rough year for the world. Our family suffered from some major losses, and the pandemic meant we all had to remain apart. Borders were shut, and the world went silent. We were determined to keep each other's spirits up, and to maintain some silliness through it all. Naturally, “food” popped into our heads. We have always wanted to work together exploring the subject of food, all food. The challenge of U.S. vs. U.K. cook-off was born. It’s always been pretty fascinating to us that both countries share so many similarities, and yet we often cook completely different meals for the same event. Garden parties, in the U.K., often have an assortment of sausages, light salads, tea, fish and victoria sponge. In the U.S. brisket, hamburgers, corn on the cob and thick potato salad are the staples. At an English Christmas dinner, you will find an endless supply of yorkshire puddings, a goose, and gorgeous roasted potatoes. In America, many tables will have a ham, green bean casserole and mashed potatoes. With our dream clear as ever - let’s explore food (and eat it!) together - Its All Jus was established, and our first U.S. vs. U.K. challenge was declared!
In addition to covering the history of food, reviewing the many eateries around the world, sharing our favorite recipes and just embracing the foodie within, every week we will compete in the U.S. vs. U.K challenge (a.k.a Across the Pond Challenge). Each week a topic is chosen (ex. mac n’ cheese, pie, yellow, etc.), and on the following wednesday we share with everyone what we each made. Neither one of us knows what the other is cooking up until post time! You will always be the one who declares the winner in the weekly polls. For now, we have chosen the topics ourselves. With the launch of our website and official start of It’s All Jus, we would really love to include you in the fun!! We want to know what you would like to see us tackle. So, what do you think we should be making, or baking next? To us, the topic of all things food has inspired us to explore, love and create. Our hope is that we create a new way for fellow foodies to play with their food. To participate in the fun, follow us on instagram @its.all.jus!! We look forward to meeting you there!