Jess Thomson

Jess Thomson is a food and travel writer and the author of 8 cookbooks, including A Boat, a Whale and a Walrus. Her most recent book, A Year Right Here, is a food memoir about her family. She lives in Seattle, with her husband and eight-year-old son.
What Is Soy Chorizo and How Do I Cook With It?
Meet the meat substitute with all the flavor.
Aug 11, 2022
Meet Your Meatless Match: A Personal Guide to the Best Meat Substitute for You
Meatless Match
Impossible, Beyond, jackfruit, seitan... which freshly popular meat substitute points the way to plant-based nirvana for you? Take our quiz, try a recipe, and eat less meat in 2020!
Jan 17, 2021
In Defense of Cute: Why Lunch Should Be Fun for Kids
There is a strong segment of the breeding population that believes children should always be given the same food as adults. They say putting food designed or altered specifically for small people in a kid’s lunchbox—think sandwiches cut into cars, rice balls with panda faces made from nori, heart-shaped cucumber slices, or selections from the now-extensive catalog of “healthy” prepackaged snacks, no matter how nutritious—is a travesty.
Sep 30, 2020
I Pack My Kid’s Lunch (but Not Because It’s Healthier)
September brings many things, chief among them the switch back to school — school wake-ups, school bedtimes, schoolwork, and school lunches. For many parents, this means asking a question about lunch, which theoretically constitutes about a third of the food our kids eat: Who’s going to make it? I think it’s worth parents’ time and money to pack their own kids’ lunches, but perhaps not for the reasons you might think.
Sep 30, 2020
Bento or Bust: Why This Is the Perfect Lunch Box for My Kid (and Maybe Yours)
In theory, a lunch box only has a few specific jobs: It has to transport food from your kitchen to your kid’s cafeteria, it should keep a meal reasonably intact and possibly cold, and a nifty design on the box or bag itself carries serious importance for most little eaters. But more matters than whether Batman or Elsa stares up at you each morning — think parental sanity, environmental consciousness, and crucially, whether your child actually eats what’s inside.
Sep 30, 2020
Help Them Help You: How to Organize Your Kitchen for School Lunch Making
I made my own school lunches as far back as I can remember. Our son — a six-year-old with mild cerebral palsy who can’t stand at the kitchen counter without help yet — has neither the interest in food nor the physical ability to do much of the chopping, spreading, and packaging a school lunch entails. But the more I chat with other parents, the more I realize it’s a plight that extends far beyond palsy; fridge foraging is a skill that all kids have to learn.
Sep 30, 2020
How Our Weekly Dinner Calendar Gets My Kid in the Game
Some kids are notorious for craving predictability at dinnertime. They like the same pasta served in a particular bowl. Or they only eat tofu pho, which sounds adventurous, without green things, from one Vietnamese restaurant, and only on Thursday nights. (We’d like the table by the window, please.) Or they eat gyoza, but only at a certain friend’s house, because her dad really does make it best, and in that case he’ll have 20. I have one of these children.
Sep 30, 2020
10 Moms on the Best Tricks for Packing a Better Lunch
How each parent defines a “better lunch” is different. For some, it might mean more healthful food choices (or even just a little weekly variety); for others, it might simply mean something that doesn’t come back home at 3 p.m. Whether you’re looking to get calories in, expand your kids’ palates, or make lunch-making less boring for yourself, there’s always room for new ideas.
Sep 30, 2020
10 Cool Moms on When to Break the Rules About Healthy Eating
Here’s how “mom life” is supposed to work: You get home from long days of (fill in the blank: work, school, play, travel, life), open the fridge, and find an abundance of fruits and vegetables for a perfect nutritious meal. (You’re doing such a good job of planning ahead these days!) The kids play quietly while things come together in about 30 minutes, and someone else takes over the dishes while you have a few minutes to relax before the bedtime routine begins.
Sep 30, 2020
10 Moms on the One Vegetable Their Kids Love to Eat
I’m pretty sure kids have hated vegetables since the beginning of time. One of these days anthropologists will unearth new cave paintings depicting families eating dinner together, and there, between the fire and the spear, will be a pictograph of a kid refusing to try his spinach. That’s the kid mine descended from, at least. I really try not to hate the moms who say, “Oh, vegetables? I just stick anything I can into Sally’s sandwich, and she eats it.
Sep 30, 2020
10 Moms on How They Deal with Sugar
We know most kids seem to love sugary foods. What we often don’t know is how to decide how much sugar is too much, whether we should use sugar as a reward, or when we should let our kids indulge in the sugar-laced treats we say are off-limits. Parenting is not an exact science; there’s usually no firm right or wrong answer for child-rearing questions when it comes to food. And sometimes choosing what’s best for your family is a matter of shopping around for ideas.
Sep 30, 2020
Recipe: Pomegranate Tonics
Because sometimes you want all the flavor but none of the hangover.
Sep 24, 2020
10 Prep-and-Pack Lunch Ideas That Aren’t Sandwiches
For kids and grown-ups alike.
Aug 18, 2020
What’s the Difference Between Beyond Meat and Impossible Meat?
It turns out there are a few key differences.
Aug 3, 2020
Recipe: Herring Butter
Seattle chef Renee Erickson is known for drop-dead gorgeous restaurants and carefully sourced produce, meats, and seafood. Between the oysters at The Walrus and the Carpenter, her sardine toast at The Whale Wins, and the beef from her own farm at Bateau, she’s also making her mark in the sustainability department, focusing on highlighting foods that aren’t seen as often (think: tiny fish and less traditional cuts of beef).
Feb 3, 2020
Recipe: Easy Grilled Salmon with Plum-Basil Relish
Seattle's most revered cooking icon has the secret to moist and silky salmon.
Feb 3, 2020
Recipe: Gingered Hot Cider
Hot cider is an unbeatable winter classic for a reason: It’s wonderfully sweet and tart at the same time. It’s easy enough to make by shuttling a favorite old mug to the microwave, but if you stew it in a big pot on the stove with cinnamon and make sure guests know they can refill their mug anytime, the entire house feels warm and celebratory.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Bacon and Kimchi Pancakes
When you hear “pancakes for dinner,” you probably don’t think of bindaettuck, the traditional Korean mung bean pancakes. But while they may require ingredients you haven’t used before, they’re just as quick and easy to make. At Revel in Seattle, chef Rachel Yang offers ever-changing twists on tradition, from sweet corn pancakes (crusted with corn flakes, natch) in the summer to everything bagel-spiced pancakes with whitefish in the winter.
Jan 22, 2020
What Is Impossible Meat, and How Do You Cook It?
This meat alternative was developed to be a complete replacement for ground beef. Here's what you need to know.
Jan 21, 2020
What Is Beyond Meat and How Do You Cook It?
Beyond Meat is a super-approachable product for anyone who already knows how to cook with meat.
Jan 21, 2020
What Is Meatless Gardein Chick’n and How Do You Cook It?
Here's everything you need to know about cooking with this staple meat substitute.
Jan 21, 2020
10 Perfect Potluck Themes That Are Guaranteed Crowd-Pleasers
Potluck Week
Want a potluck that feels more like a meal? Issue a theme for guests to follow.
Nov 15, 2019
How Growing Up in the Low-Fat Generation Made My Mom See Food
This month we’re looking at the way our mothers fed us. We interviewed five women about how their body image was formed or affected by their own mother, and how their approach to food has (or hasn’t) changed over the years. If you’ve been reading food blogs for some time now, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with Molly Wizenberg, writer behind the award-winning site Orangette and co-owner of the Seattle-based restaurant Delancey.
May 30, 2019
Seattle Chef Rachel Yang Talks About Being a Mom & Kid Food
Rachel Yang has become a household name in Seattle food circles and beyond. Together with her husband and business partner, Seif Chirchi, she has three restaurants in Seattle and a fourth in Portland. Their first restaurant, Joule, earned the pair a James Beard nomination and a nod from Bon Appetit (the magazine ranked the Korean steakhouse #9 on its annual Best Restaurant in America in 2013).
May 30, 2019
Recipe: Boozy Caramel Milkshake
This is not a drill.
May 29, 2019
This Savvy Leftover Strategy Saved My Vacation
And especially for summer vacations.
May 27, 2019
20 Smart Food Tips to Help You Actually Relax on Vacation
Because vacation should not make you feel stressed!
May 27, 2019
At Home in Seattle with Chef Renee Erickson
When Renee Erickson opened her first French-inspired restaurant in Seattle, Boat Street Café, she was barely out of college, winging it in a major way with the support of friends and family, but not much else. Fast forward a few decades, and she has become a cornerstone of Seattle’s food scene, with a James Beard Award and heaping platefuls of national accolades.
May 24, 2019
Kitchn’s Bite-Sized Guide to Seattle, Washington
Maybe you already know Seattle by heart. It’s that famous Pike Place Market sign, with a passenger ferry gliding peacefully along Puget Sound just beyond it, or a glamour shot of the towering Space Needle, with snow-capped Mt. Rainier boasting its 14,000-plus feet in the distance. It’s fat, tender salmon, roasted perfectly, and exquisite coffee at Starbucks’ flagship roastery. It’s a good bar with a serious water view.
May 24, 2019
The 3 Best Things to Buy in Seattle
From salmon and crab to berries and wild mushrooms, the Seattle region’s natural resources make it an eater’s paradise. For visitors, a week eating here can feel like a fantasy — but how do you capture all those magical bites and take them home? I can’t beam you back to your favorite restaurants, but I can tell you that some of Seattle’s best bites actually do travel well.
May 24, 2019
A Food-Lover’s Guide to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Airport food is tough. You’re often lucky to pick up an overpriced, pre-packaged salad or sandwich. The same goes for food souvenirs. They’re usually the most appreciated by friends at home, but when it comes to convenience, they’re not ideal — edibles are often hard to pack and even harder to get through security.
May 24, 2019
The 5 Best Places to Buy Kitchenware in Paris
From a pragmatic standpoint, it makes zero sense to purchase kitchen equipment in Europe if you live in the United States. If you’re buying more than a few linens, it’s either heavy to haul or expensive to check in the belly of an airplane. I know from experience that people stare at you if you walk through security with a fine mesh strainer. Depending on the exchange rate, it can be expensive. And, well, don’t you already have silverware?
May 24, 2019
5 Essential Neighborhoods to Help You Experience Seattle Like a Local
Seattle is undoubtedly a city of neighborhoods, from the shady streets of Pioneer Square, to the cozy cafés in Capitol Hill, to the family-friendly brick streets of Ballard, to all the mini neighborhoods in between. It’s in those little corners that you’ll find the city’s most amazing food — the delicious evidence that Seattle’s become a cornerstone of the national food scene. Here are my favorite neighborhoods, and what I can’t miss when I’m there.
May 24, 2019
A Mom of 3 on What It’s Like Feeding Her Kids in Italy Every Summer
Michelle DiBenedetto-Capobianco’s life sounds awfully romantic. During the school year she lives in Port Washington, New York, and each summer she packs up her husband and three sons — ages 9, 10, and 12 — and moves to a tiny town in the mountains of Italy for the summer, where she runs a cooking school and tour company. The village, called Salle, where her father grew up, feels frozen in time. “There are no stores in Salle,” says Michelle.
May 24, 2019
A Mom of One on What It’s Like Feeding Her Family in Paris
Ann Mah, a D.C.-based writer and author of the novel The Lost Vintage, tends to move around a lot because of her husband’s job as a diplomat. They spent four years in Paris, and bought a small apartment there to have as a home base —which means that now she spends each summer there with her 4-year-old daughter. She also happens to be a friend of Kitchn (and you should check her work out here).
May 24, 2019
The Jump Start You Should Be Giving Your Greens, According to Alex Guarnaschelli
We all know green vegetables are good for you. Sometimes, though, it feels like the preparation process can take forever — especially at the end of a long day. We often skip greens altogether, which means dinners are less nutritious or, more importantly, less delicious. Chef, restaurateur, and mom Alex Guarnaschelli, author of The Home Cook: Recipes to Know By Heart, is big on greens. At home, they love green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, and kale.
May 24, 2019