Food has always been at the center of Jules Meyer’s life.
“I’ve been in the food industry since I was 18. It was my whole life--working with chefs and with food,” says Meyer, a Mound native.
The chef’s life changed five years ago when her husband’s job was transferred to Arizona. A new place meant a new opportunity. She had always wanted to write a cookbook.
“I’d be at my computer 12 hours a day,” she says. “I perfected all the recipes. It was really hard to choose which recipes I wanted to put into the book. I have binders and binders of my own original recipes.”
She spent four and a half years perfecting and photographing 100 recipes for dinner, lunch and entertaining. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow, and the food is incredible (I mean--pecan smoked chicken wings?!).
What makes the book so interesting and relatable, however, are the personal narratives sprinkled throughout. Meyer beautifully describes her inspirations for the recipes, vividly recalling where she was when she got an idea for a dish. For example, she fell in love with her favorite mini skewers appetizer after being tasked to assemble the delicious flavors of marinated sweet peppers, olives and feta before her dear friend's annual wine tasting party.
When Meyer completed her cookbook titled Passion: My Journey through Food, she realized she'd written her life story: “Cooking is my passion. Everything I’ve ever done, every job I’ve ever had, has been wrapped up into this book." She hopes it will inspire readers to follow their own passions, both in and out of the kitchen.
From the book:
Creamy Baked Brie with Toasted Almonds
5 minutes to prep; 20 to 30 minutes to bake
- 8 ounce Brie wheel (can also substitute Camembert)
- 2 Tbsp. butter at room temperature to slather over the top and bottom of the Brie before cooking.
- 1 cup shaved almonds
- Crusty French baguette, take-n-bake baguette or homemade crostinis
- Set to 350 degrees F.
- Get your Brie wheel. Do not remove the white skin layer. This is holding in the cheese. If you remove the skin and try to bake it, you will have a cheesy mess. Generously butter the top and bottom of the Brie wheel and place in a baking dish or pie plate.
- Top the Brie with all the shaved almonds.
- Set timer for 20 minutes. I like to check the Brie at 10 minutes and then, at that time, put the baguette into the oven to warm. Baguette will take 10 to 15 minutes to warm.
Note: when the brie is done it will puff out, squeeze the outsides with your fingers and if it gives easily and feels like it is about to pop then it’s done.