Last week, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gretchen McKay interviewed me ahead of an event this week where I will be speaking. The interview appeared in the Thursday, November 12, 2009 issue of the paper, but below is an excerpt:
“Some people are born knowing they’re meant to cook for a living. Jennifer Iserloh came to this realization more slowly, years after she’d earned her master’s degree in French literature from the University of Pittsburgh and gotten a job with a telecom company in Lugano, Switzerland.
Yet when the urge to become a chef hit at the ripe age of 30, it hit with a vengeance – even though the Sewickley Academy alum had a good job at New York University. Her friends thought she was crazy.
“They said, ‘Don’t you think you’re a little too old to work in a restaurant?'” recalls Mrs. Iserloh of her decision to enroll in 2003 at Manhattan’s Institute of Culinary Education. Then she giggles. “But it all worked out.”
Talk about understatements.
An internship at a New York City restaurant led to a stint with celebrity chef Tyler Florence on the Food Network. That, in turn, gave her enough cred to land a job cooking for photographer Annie Leibovitz and other famous clients through the catering business she ended up starting, Skinny Chef Culinary Ventures.
“And it just snowballed from there,” she says.