ode boutique

October 2017

Jessica Weston: Chef, Author, Healer

October 13, 2017

Superman gets a cold. Yeah, he's Superman, but it's been a rough stretch, late nights, a world that needs saving. Who should he fly to for help? We'd recommend Jessica Weston: holistic healer, owner and executive chef of Superfresh! Organic Cafe, and culinary creator and author of Healing Tonics, Juices, and Smoothies. A superwoman in her own right, Weston calls on and culls from the earth's bounties to feed, fuel, and nourish the body and soul. She will be here at Ode on Friday, October 13th, from 6-8 for a meet and greet...and eat, with tastings from her cafe and from her newly released recipe book. A little food for thought from Jessica Weston:

What is your signature elixir?
This would probably have to be our Superhero Hot Chocolate.  I am a loud and proud chocoholic!  Especially when it comes to super high quality cacao.  We use organic heirloom Arriba Nacional Raw Cacao from Ecuador.  This is the best cacao I have ever experienced and is perfect for hot chocolates and raw desserts because it is super smooth, extremely pure, and very powerful.  The flavor here is unmatched, in my opinion.  This hot elixir is filled with many of my favorite go-to superfoods including maca, lucuma, and shilajit.  It also has vanilla, cinnamon, and either local raw honey or VT maple syrup.  I sometimes add a teeny tiny pinch of Himalayan salt and if I’m really feeling it I sub the hot water for either an herbal tea (think rose, medicinal mushrooms, or nettles) OR hot coffee! 

Describe a place that heals you.
Nature - either with a mountaintop or water destination.  My two favorite local spots are Kilburn Pond in Pisgah State Park, NH or Black Mountain in Dummerston, VT.  I take my dog on hikes to these spots frequently.  With everything I hold running my business(es) I have to find ways to fully unplug and recharge as often as possible.  I find the more I slow down, the more effective, healthy, and happy I am to conquer anything that comes my way.  I also receive such huge downloads of inspiration in nature; words flow through me, ideas pop up, solutions to problems arrive, etc.  Without this dedicated time I find it extremely hard to fully disconnect from technology and I am inevitably left drained.

What's the best flavor in the world?
Is it too corny to say love?  Ha!  But seriously, anything made with love and care is going to taste SO much better.  But, to answer your question more specifically… this is a tough one, as there are SO MANY amazing flavors to choose from… but my top two (at least for today) would probably be maca and ramps.  Maca is a magical aphrodisiac adaptogenic superfood, a root that is grown in the high Andes of Peru.  It has a smooth, malty, nutty flavor that makes everything better.  I mostly use it in hot or cold elixirs and raw desserts.  It is great paired with VT maple syrup… I think they were made for each other.

Ramp season is arguably one of my favorite times of year (and yes my favorite times of year are centered around what foods are available).  Ramps, otherwise known as wild leeks, are a wild food source that are packed with flavor – super garlicy, super pungent, SUPER DELICIOUS!  Make sure you’re getting them from a sustainable source or harvesting sustainably if you’re gathering them yourself.  Never take everything you see, and more importantly, only harvest the leaves.  While the bulbs are delicious, pulling them out of the ground is very detrimental to their over-harvested existence.  I like sautéing ramps with coconut oil and salt, dehydrating the leaves to use year round, adding them to batches of kimchi, and my most frequent / favorite use is a simple pesto.  Seriously the BEST PESTO EVER.  Seriously.  All you need is ramps, cashews, lemon juice, and salt.  If the ramp flavor is too strong you can add other more mild greens like spinach and basil to calm it down a bit.  Put it on anything.  Especially a pizza topped with sautéed fiddle heads!

You start to feel a winter cold coming on. What’s your routine and remedy?
When I start to feel a winter cold coming on I go all out.  I start drinking regular shots of fire cider and elderberry syrup (about 3 times a day).  I make sure I am drinking plenty of water, along with at least one green juice a day; my favorite is the Green Goddess that we serve at Superfresh! and that is in my cookbook (kale, apple, ginger, lemon, celery, cucumber) – I also add garlic and cayenne.  I whip out my doTERRA On Guard essential oil in full force; I use it topically dabbing it on the bottom of my feet and my neck, I diffuse it in my home, and if I’m really worried I take a drop internally (p.s. don’t do this with any old essential oil – doTERRA oils are certified pure therapeutic grade and even still, not all are meant for internal use).  And I make sure I let myself get as much rest as I need.

You eat and drink and live health. What’s your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure would probably have to be vegetable pakora; an Indian appetizer that is a chickpea fritter filled with veggies.  I make special trips to Northampton just to get them at India House (topped with tamarind, onion chutney, and mango chutney).  I also occasionally make my own version at home that I fry in coconut oil.  Honestly, it’s a kind of boring, not that guilty “guilty pleasure” since the worst thing about it is that it is fried… Since I eat so clean and in tune with my body, partially do to various food intolerances, I don’t have the craving to go too far out into the junk food realm because at this point in my journey I know how sick I’d feel so quickly.

What’s your driving on a fall day song?
Currently: “Steady” by The Staves

In 10 words or less, what led you to where you are now?
Family, friends, support, passion, courage, happenstance, love.

Describe your spirit’s style.

Bohemian hippie earth goddess wolf mama.

If you could cook for anyone, who would it be?
My Grandma Erma.  She was almost always found in the kitchen over a pot of sauce, making meatballs, baking cookies, and simply nourishing our family with love.  She taught me some of her secrets and I’d love to share with her the love I put into the food I create and how my story has grown.

If you could choose one person to cook for you, who would it be?
Pascal Baudar; wild food guru.  I have a deep passion and fascination with wild edibles.  I am slowly learning more and more each year.  The work Pascal is doing is bringing us back to the land that supports us in ways that I think are crucial for survival.  Wild foods are more nutrient dense, generally readily available, very sustainable (for the most part), often considered invasive, and slam-packed with flavor!  Plus there is so much to explore, making it so very exciting in the kitchen!  He’s been writing beautiful cookbooks sharing recipes, tips, and tricks; teaching workshops all over; and sharing so much on social media.