Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spotlight: Meet Jennifer Resick Williams

How did you get into public relations?

In college, I took a corporate communications course taught by a VP from Ketchum's Pittsburgh office. I was always interested in working for an agency, but I didn't know much about the difference between public relations, advertising and marketing. After taking his course, I knew I wanted to work for Ketchum. So I got an internship in their Pittsburgh office and worked for Ketchum in Los Angeles and D.C. for almost seven years. 

Any exciting upcoming projects to share?

In January, I started Know Public Relations. I've just gone through the branding and website development process, and I am excited to be working with some very talented culinarians and restauranteurs in D.C., including the teams at Art and Soul, Ripple and Sticky Fingers Sweets and Eats. I have been working with Mike Isabella for a year and a half now, and we have a lot of exciting projects in 2012.
Favorite ingredient?

Avocado. Sliced, diced, mashed or whole I find a way to use avocado in dishes several times a week.

How would you describe DC Cuisine?

Like any major city, I think you'll find an eclectic variety of restaurants and types of cuisine. In the last year or two, there has been a shift among new restaurants from large fine-dining establishments to smaller, more casual neighborhood concepts with great food and attentive cocktail programs.

How long have you lived in the DC area and how did you end up here?

I've lived in D.C. for almost seven years, but unlike many Washingtonians, politics didn't lure me to the capital. I grew up outside Pittsburgh, but have always been drawn to the pace, beauty and culture of D.C. After college I moved to Los Angeles to work for Ketchum and a year later put in for a transfer to work in the D.C. office. A position opened up for me about six months later, and it was time to return to the East Coast.

Favorite farmers market?

My favorite farmers market is open year-round on Sundays in Santa Monica, CA. It's a mix of fresh produce, live music and prepared food from local merchants. I enjoy the organic coffee, pancakes, tamales and crepes. Not all in one sitting, of course.

Do you have a favorite cookbook?  Number of cookbooks in your collection?

I have eight cookbooks and Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home is my favorite. In addition to great recipes, it also teaches basic techniques that every home cook should master, such as pan-roasting, searing, braising and some butchering. I still have much to learn.

What are your most exciting challenges right now?

As a career publicist, I'm accustomed to directing brand building for personalities, products and organizations. As a new business owner, I now need to build my own brand, so business development and branding have been fun and rewarding challenges.

Kitchen appliance you can’t live without?

My food processor. I enjoy making hummus, romesco, pesto and other dips and sauces. It comes in handy for purees and soups too.

Where's the best place you've traveled to and why?

Last summer, I visited Barcelona for the first time and it went straight to the top of my favorite cities list. The food scene was perhaps more progressive than any other city I have visited. No doubt a result of Ferran Adria's influence and several successful restaurants from his brother and proteges. The Boqueria open air market was as impressive as I had heard, and the local wine was both noteworthy and inexpensive. The city is architecturally beautiful, teeming with energy at night and filled with a friendly international crowd.

Any upcoming trips?

My husband and I just returned from a two-week trip to Australia and New Zealand where we visited Sydney, Melbourne, Yarra Valley, Queenstown and Marlborough. For me, Marlborough was the highlight - rolling green hills home to herds of grazing sheep and acres of grapevines.

We had some outstanding meals at wineries with dishes made from local lamb, venison, beef, and salmon. Each cellar door tasting was intimate, and some wineries without cellar doors permitted tastings by appointment. While Marlborough is famous for their Sauvignon Blanc, many of the vineyards produce well-balanced Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Montepulciano. We unfortunately don't see much of those varietals from Marlborough in the U.S. 

Thanks Jen! 

No comments: