7 Questions with Jorj Morgan

7 Questions is a series of interviews with the culinary movers and shakers you want or ought to know better.

If you have not heard the name Jorj Morgan then where’ve you been?  Morgan is the author of five very popular cookbooks: At Home in the Kitchen, At Home Entertaining, Fresh Traditions, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Good Fat, Good Carb Meals and most recently Gorgeous! The Sum of All Your Glorious Parts (with Dr. Harry Moon and Mary Ellen Clark).

Jorj’s expertise has been tapped for articles in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Reader’s Digest and Boston Globe.  She has also appeared on many television programs both regional and national like At Home Live, Good Morning Texas, Cookin’ with Carol, QVC, WFTX Fox 4 in Naples, FL and the nationally syndicated Daytime.

Sarah Cahon of the Well Fed Network said of Morgan’s Gorgeous! The Sum of All Your Glorious Parts, “use it as a great reference and a good cookbook. Even try the meal plans when the myriad of fresh produce are in season.”

Recently Jorj Morgan was kind enough to answer 7 Questions:

1. How old were you when you first started to cook?

Jorj Morgam: My earliest memories are standing on a chair next to my paternal grandmother as she pours buckwheat pancake batter into one of two cast iron skillets. The pancake fills the bottom of the skillet and we (9) cousins line up to get our fair share of Sunday brunch while our parents look on. My maternal grandmother lived just down the street. When I pull my chair beside her, we carve carrots and celery for her relish tray, which we then place on her formally set dining room table. Two worlds – both filled with food and the socialness that dining together brings.

2. When did you decide that you could make food your career?

JM: As a young mother of three sons, I was looking for a career that would work around the children. I had entertained clients for my husband’s business since we were first married and participated in all sorts of charity events. Catering and party planning was the obvious choice and with my two best friends I opened Memorable Occasions. Later, when my oldest son went to college, I began writing recipes and kitchen tips for him and his friends and that led to my first cookbook, At Home in the Kitchen.

3. Which chefs/cooks have influenced you the most?

JM: Martha, Martha, Martha. Her book Entertaining was the bible for my catering company. Later, I learned from her ability to market herself through a multi-media approach.

4. If you hadn’t followed this career path, what other career could you see yourself in?

JM: I studied to become a teacher and definitely would have followed that path. Teaching is very much a part of what I do today as I’m writing and interacting with readers.

5. What’s the highlight of your career so far?

JM: Holding the first copy of my first book was incredibly moving for me. Getting published was always just a dream, and to see it come true is just amazing.

6. What aspect of your professional life do you enjoy the most?

JM: I love to write. I love to cook. I love to teach cooking classes. I love to blog. I love to interact with readers. I love to do television segments. I guess I just love the whole thing!

7. What’s next for Jorj Morgan?

JM: My next project is a cookbook for grandmothers. There are plenty of cookbooks that are written for parents and children, but not one that is written from grandmother to grandmother. Grandparents are a huge segment (43 million at last count!) of our population and many of them are intimately involved in the lives of their grandchildren. From Nanas Kitchen with Love instructs the excited, new grandmother to cook nutritiously and adventurously, serving up food that’s fresh, fun and fortifying, all the while becoming grandbaby’s favorite babysitter.

This book is an education that builds on that lifestyle, supplying new grandmothers with culinary know-how in everything from preparing toddler food for picky eaters to hosting Sunday dinners replete with well-thought out leftovers for the busy family.  My website www.FromNanasKitchenwithLove.com encourages grandmas to join The Nana Network and interact with each other in order to help raise a generation of fit and healthy children. Readers can follow the progress of the project on the website and on The Nana Network Facebook fan page.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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