Meet Your February Jumpstart Judge: Marisa McCLellan

When we announce the winners of the February Jumpstart Project next Monday, there will be a winner in each category chosen by your reader votes. But we've also asked honorary judges to award a Judge's Choice honor to one more entry in each category.

For The Kitchn, that judge is Marisa McCLellan of Slashfood and Fork You! We've been admirers of Marisa's writing, video blogging, and all-round cooking for a long time. Here's a little more about her, including her favorite kitchen tool and proudest kitchen DIY!

Marisa lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she has a wonderfully funny and interesting video blog called Fork You!, where she and a team of friends create videos on everything from beekeeping to jam-making to bread-baking. It's a great set of videos; check it out here:

Fork You! TV

She also has been the lead blogger at the giant food blog Slashfood, although she tells us that her gig there will be ending soon. That's a shame, as she is our favorite blogger there.

Slashfood

Marisa will be choosing her favorite from all the Jumpstart entries, so we thought we'd get to know her a little more, along with her own favorite kitchen DIY.

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What's your favorite kitchen tool?
I have a hard time picking just one, so I grabbed the four that I most love. A small, flat whisk (I fell in love with this item after watching Nigella Lawson use a similar one on Nigella Bites, more than seven years ago. She raved about it and she was totally right, it's the best); an worn wooden spoon that feels just right in my hand; my microplane (really, it needs no explanation) and the perfect silicone spatula (handle is encased in the silicone, to prevent separate and the growth of nasty bacteria inside the spatula head). [All pictured above!]

What was the last thing you cooked?
Sunday, I spent most of the day cooking. I made scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes for my fiance (we both love having savory and sweet in the same meal). Later in the day, I used my 40+ year old slow cooker to turn a pork butt into pulled pork and I finished the day off with a batch of granola, which I sadly overcooked.

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What was your proudest kitchen DIY?
One entire corner of my kitchen was done by me and my dad. I live in apartment that once belonged to my grandparents, neither of whom were particularly interested in cooking. So until I moved in during the spring of 2002, nothing had ever changed in the kitchen. My dad flew out from Oregon and helped me close off the second door to the kitchen, construct a whole wall of shelving in front of the door. Later on, I bought two carts from Ikea to construct more shelving and a counter. It's the most used corner of my entire kitchen and made it 100% more useful.

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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