About Jess

Thank you for stopping in!

I’m Jess - an American who has been temporarily and happily displaced to Bangkok, Thailand.

In Bangkok I work, travel, cook, write, and hang out with my husband, Frank.

 

My Story

I am originally from Kansas, where I grew up on barbeque and sweet corn, and knew exactly what to do when the tornado sirens sounded.  I am the oldest of five siblings.  After 18 years in the Midwest, I packed myself up and moved to Virginia to spend four years at James Madison University (JMU).

After college, I spent a year in Romania, volunteering at a children’s home where I taught English to 14 amazing kiddos.  During that year, I was traveling with friends and emailed a fellow JMU graduate who was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria.  Frank snuck away from his mountain town long enough to show me around for a weekend in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Two years later, Frank and I had both moved to Washington D.C. and began seeing one another thanks to our many mutual friends.

It didn’t take long before Frank and I went on our first date, to a Washington Nationals baseball game.  Once we started talking, we had so much to say that we missed most of the game.  (We’ve barely stopped to catch our breath since.)

 

Moving to Bangkok

In June 2010, Frank and I were married in Kansas City, surrounded by friends and family from every corner of the country, and several friends that traveled all the way from Bulgaria to join us!

Just a few months later, Frank was offered a job in Thailand.  I had been working at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C., and Frank and I had just moved into a new apartment, but we were excited at the prospect of exploring a new place.  We packed up our things, said farewell to friends and family, and within weeks, we were settled amidst the palm trees and traffic of tropical Bangkok.

While Frank jumped right into work when we arrived, I had 9 months off before I started working.  In those early months, I did a lot of cooking, learned to navigate Bangkok via public transportationrenewed my love of yoga, struggled through Thai language classes, and tried my darndest to learn about Thai cuisine.

I also started this blog.  What began on a whim to explore food and have a place to create has quickly become a beloved hobby.

In August 2011, I started a new job in Bangkok.  Working full-time (while keeping me busy) has given me more motivation to write and capture this amazing experience.


About the Food

As expats in Bangkok, we eat a lot of Thai food.  Without a doubt, I love Thai cuisine even more now than I did on the day we arrived.  A number of Thai-inspired dishes are now part of our regular dinner rotation.  I did not own a wok before moving to Bangkok (nor did I know much about Thai cuisine beyond a love of pad thai), so cooking here has been an adventure.

We, of course, do not eat Thai food every night of the week.  This blog contains recipes of all sorts.
Check out a few of my favorite recipes here:

 

Read More

Not only is this a place to journal about what I cook and eat, but a place to capture our adventures in this new place.
More about our life in Bangkok and beyond can be found here:

Holidays.  We try to celebrate both American and Thai holidays (including getting soaked with water at Thai New Year and hanging Christmas stockings despite the 100 degree heat).

Travel.  We ate bugs in China, had Christmas dinner in Tokyo, and zip-lined through a jungle in Chiang Mai.  It’s all here.

The Little Things Snapshots that Frank and I take throughout the week – everything from the view from the back of a tuk-tuk, to the crowds on my morning commute, to the dinner Frank cooked over the weekend.

You can read more of my writing and see my photography in other places around the web on the Publications and Features page.

Please don’t hesitate to drop me a note at inquiringchef@gmail.com.  I would love to hear from you!

- Jess -

 


{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meredith Farace December 23, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I’m so excited to follow your blog! I’m sure I’ll be inspired to cook more. Best of luck.

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2 Laura February 25, 2011 at 11:55 am

I love your blog! The recipes and pictures are great!

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3 Laura February 25, 2011 at 11:55 am

I love your blog! The recipes and pictures are great!

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4 chopinandmysaucepan April 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Street food of Bangkok is so tasty and best of all it’s cheap! I’m sure you’ve got your work cut out. Happy exploring!

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5 chopinandmysaucepan April 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Street food of Bangkok is so tasty and best of all it’s cheap! I’m sure you’ve got your work cut out. Happy exploring!

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6 trialsinfood July 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm

so lucky of you to be able to live there! we went to Thailand for our honeymoon a few years and loved it….the beaches, food…..

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7 trialsinfood July 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm

so lucky of you to be able to live there! we went to Thailand for our honeymoon a few years and loved it….the beaches, food…..

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8 fatisrecipes July 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

You have a very wonderful blog! I’ve really enjoyed reading your recipes…. :)

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9 inquiringchef July 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Thank you! Looking forward to keeping up with your blog as well!

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10 fatisrecipes July 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

You have a very wonderful blog! I’ve really enjoyed reading your recipes…. :)

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11 inquiringchef July 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Thank you! Looking forward to keeping up with your blog as well!

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12 geet2go February 7, 2012 at 12:32 am

So glad I found your blog, Jessica! I’m actually heading to Bangkok for the first time later this month – your posts are definitely getting me excited about going!

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13 geet2go February 7, 2012 at 12:32 am

So glad I found your blog, Jessica! I’m actually heading to Bangkok for the first time later this month – your posts are definitely getting me excited about going!

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14 Mary February 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm

what a coincidence! I’ve also lived in Bangkok for the past one year, soon leaving the country though… i’ll browse through the eateries you’ve posted here :)

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15 Mary February 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm

what a coincidence! I’ve also lived in Bangkok for the past one year, soon leaving the country though… i’ll browse through the eateries you’ve posted here :)

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16 Marie@FeelingFoodish August 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm

What an interesting story! I was just reading about another blogger who lives abroad. Your blog is gorgeous. I’m looking forward to trying some of your Thai recipes..

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17 Jess August 21, 2012 at 12:05 am

Thanks so much, Marie. Living abroad was the inspiration to start the blog, and now I’m so glad that it got me started – it’s been such a great way to keep friends and family in the loop about our life on the other side of the world!

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18 Hannah August 26, 2012 at 3:59 am

Hi Jessica! I stumbled across your blog while looking up Thai recipes to make for dinner tonight. I actually also met my husband at JMU, currently live in DC (Go Nats!) and even lived in Chiang Mai for a few months after college so I’m definitely excited to start following your blog!

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19 Jess August 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Hannah – it’s so good to hear from you – thanks for the note! We just spent the weekend with a JMU friend who was in town visiting – love those JMU connections!

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20 Karli October 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm

a friend of mine recently sent me your blog. It is wonderful. I recently moved to Bangkok in July with my family. Since being here, I have forgotten how to cook. You have re-inspired me. Where do you buy most of your ingredients? I see recipes that remind me of home, but I have not seen the supplies. Also, I love the holiday section. This will be our first year away from family over the holiday season. It is great to have ideas on starting new traditions with my family here.

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21 Jess October 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Karli – welcome! I do most of my shopping at Foodland or Villa. It certainly takes some digging to find more familiar ingredients, but I’ve had so much luck at those two large chains. When it comes to whole grains and baking ingredients, Villa always surprises me – they have a huge variety!

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22 Vicky December 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Seriously so excited I found your blog today! Consider me your newest follower! Looks like we just missed eachother in DC – my boyfriend I moved down there in July 2010 after graduating from college. Very excited to read more about your Thailand adventures as we will be there ourselves in January and could use just about any tips and recommendations available!

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23 Jess December 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Vicky – that’s so funny that you were in DC too! Your trip over these past few months sounds/looks amazing – what an adventure! So glad to have found your blog!

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24 Vicky December 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Thanks! We just got to Hanoi Vietnam and are already enjoying the local food here!

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25 Lorraine January 18, 2013 at 4:06 am

Hi Jess,

Stopped by to see your Curried Carrot Soup and enjoyed perusing a bit. Sweet reading about you :) Looking forward to visiting again!

Kindly, Lorraine

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26 Lenore February 27, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Jess-
This blog is gorgeous! It makes me miss Thai food so much. Keep the Thai-inspired recipes coming!

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27 Jess March 1, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Miss you Lenore! Thailand will still be here for you when you need a bit of sunshine and back soi shopping! ;)

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28 Ana @ fit, fun & delish April 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Hi Jess!

I’m so glad I visited your blog since I’m already in love with it! I love your bio and how adventures how you and your husband are! Can’t wait to read the rest of your blog.

xo,
ana

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29 The Mistress of Spices April 19, 2013 at 11:22 am

So happy to have found your blog (via a random search for the Ottolenghi recipe for soba noodles with aubergine and mango). I’m a fellow Bangkok-based blogger and American too…and I also lived in DC before! Small world. Looking forward to exploring your blog, and maybe we can connect sometime?

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30 Jess April 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Oh my goodness, neighbor! It’s so good to hear from you – so nice to have a fellow foodie/blogger/former DC resident here!

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31 Jill May 3, 2013 at 6:27 am

Gosh, I admire your life learning and travel. I am in my early 30”s and long to …get away and ..find myself :) I know that is a crazy pathetic cliche, but I honestly feel I need to get away and “out of my head” and ExperiencE life you know? I’ve heard Thailand is beautiful.
Just wish I knew how to do that…I live in Canada and basically have no (no) start up money to travel + a less than stellar resume. If you’ve got tips or want a roomie, email me :)

Seriously.

Well. Anyway, nice blog you have here. Lovely phototography and success.

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32 Beth @ Good to be the Cook May 8, 2013 at 1:41 am

OMG! I love your blog. So happy to have found it from the SRC Reveal this month. Can’t wait to read more. What a great story!!! Dying to go to Thailand… looks gorgeous!

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33 Jess May 8, 2013 at 7:11 am

Beth – thanks so much – you’re so sweet! I highly recommend a visit to Thailand! There’s so much to see – the people, the food, and the country are just lovely.

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34 Lindsey May 8, 2013 at 9:07 pm

I’m loving your recipes, words, and photos. When I have more time I look forward to looking at your posts more carefully. My soon-to-be husband is named Frank too by the way :)

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35 Mimi June 6, 2013 at 11:55 pm

What an incredible experience!

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36 Karishma July 2, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Hi Jess,
I have been reading your blog for the last half hour…am thrilled to have changed upon this…there is so much info, beautiful pics, recipes…I am moving to Bangkok in August, new job, and am very excited as well as apprehensive…your blog has put many of my worries to rest and I have bookmarked it…It sure will be a good guide to me…thanks so much for writing this!

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37 Jess July 3, 2013 at 9:00 am

Karishma – thanks so much for your note, and I’m so excited to find your blog as well! You’ll love Bangkok – such a paradise for people who love to cook and eat. Definitely send me a note if you have questions as you prepare for your move in August!

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38 Karishma July 4, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Hi Jess,
Thank you so much for responding to my comment! The more I read, the more I look forward to your new posts! Your posts on Chatuchak have me all waiting to go there, especially since the place I am going to be working and staying is Chatuchak

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39 Bua July 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm

A Thai girl keeps smiling. Love your blog and enjoy the fact of Padthai ingredients. I’ll be home next year!! (In Atlanta, GA at the moment).

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40 Maria@PersonalizedSketches October 4, 2013 at 3:22 am

I’m happy I came across your blog :o) And your “about you” post is great to learn a little about you. …(one of our daughters, her hubby and our grandbaby are currently in Kansas City…in fact, I will be there in a few days to visit ///And our other daughter and her hubby are living in Kansas! I plan to make the 4 hour drive from KC to their place too).

Blessings & Aloha!
If you get a chance to pop over, please leave a comment so that I know you were there :o)

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41 Jess October 4, 2013 at 7:15 am

Thanks so much Maria! Enjoy Kansas – it’s so beautiful there this time of year!

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42 Laurie January 21, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Just found your blog (thank you Pinterest!) and love your recipe collection! Will be following you and look forward to discovering more great recipes. Btw…am the proud mom of a JMU graduate!

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43 Jess January 25, 2014 at 2:09 pm

That’s great! Thanks for sending me a note, Laurie. And go Dukes!

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