Jennifer Vogliano, food52 Test Kitchen Assistant & Recipe Tester

July  5, 2011

You've seen her striking face in countless photo slideshows. You've read her elegant reviews in Editors' Pick headnotes. You've tasted the fruit of her testing -- many times over. At long last, the time has come to reveal to you Jennifer Vogliano, food52 Test Kitchen Assistant & Recipe Tester extraordinaire.

When not at a Tuesday photo shoot, where she is a fixture (and desperately missed on days when other duties call), Jennifer is testing up a storm in her home kitchen, with a calm only a mother of two young boys could maintain (they're often the benefactors of said testing). She grew up at the stove and makes osso bucco even the in-laws can get behind (and hers own a restaurant!).

Read our interview with Jennifer, a.k.a. jvcooks, below.

  • Jennifer and Amanda making Aioli
  • Always at the ready, Jennifer (right) lends a hand to Amanda -- after all, aioli's a two (wo)man job.

  • What do you like to cook with your sons?
  • Maxwell (11) and Lorenzo (7) both like to cook with me, but Maxwell is a “real chip off the old block”.  He recently learned how to make risotto and wants to make it all the time. Lorenzo more enjoys baking and, every Christmas, the three of us make homemade roll-out cookies with frosting and colored sugars.

  • Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
  • I’m not sure there is one defining experience, but there was always food -- good food.  My mother is a great cook and I watched and learned from her. Without sounding cliché, my Mom watched Julia Child on TV and so, in turn, did I. As far as I can remember, all my birthday parties had a food/cooking theme. And as I got older, some of my first jobs were working in pastry shops, for caterers and in local sandwich stores – always in kitchen.

  • You swam competitively growing up, yes? What did you eat pre/post meets?
  • Pre-swim meets I would eat a Snickers bar. Post-swim meet would be a thin steak fried up in a skillet and mashed potatoes or a dish of pasta. My mom always had homemade tomato sauce in the fridge or freezer.

  • Jennifer's Tomato Salad  Jennifer at work at Amanda's
  • A simple tomato salad you might see on Jennifer's dinner table; hard at work at Amanda's.

    • With in-laws who own a restaurant, what's on the table at family reunions?
    • With my mother-in-law being from Friuli, a special family dinner would include prosciutto San Daniele, Montasio cheese, chicken cacciatore, polenta and a simple green salad.  And of course no meal would be complete without an after dinner grappa.

    • What's your go-to dinner party menu?
    • All fall and winter, I love to make osso bucco. I consider it one of my best dishes. I adapted a recipe from the River Café Cook Book by Rogers & Gray.  Served over risotto or polenta and paired with seasonal roasted veggies. In the summer, things are simple and the vegetables so bountiful -- corn, tomatoes, squash with grilled meat or fish. 

    • What's your least favorite food?
    • Coconut

    • What do you cook to feed the masses (i.e. the boys + playdates + hockey teams + sleepovers)?
    • My boys love meat, especially steak. I cook up a couple flank steaks, steam some broccoli and oven roast some potatoes. And then again, there’s always pizza.

  • Maxwell (left) and Lorenzo (right)  A True New Yorker, Jennifer's Black & White Cookies
  • Maxwell (left) and Lorenzo (right) are never far from la cucina and, a true New Yorker, Jennifer's Black & White Cookies.

    • Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
    • Not really a spectacular disaster, more like a danger.  I’m always burning myself and I have the scars to prove it!

    • You never leave the grocery store without ...
    • Cheese: I’m always picking up an aged Gouda or something soft and gooey like a Camembert or Robiola to snack on.

    • The ultimate chef's question: Your desert island meal?
    • Stoli vodka on the rocks and spaghetti pomodoro.


    • Jennifer Vogliano -- the one with the bowl cut!  Jennifer Vogliano now!
    • Then and now ... but always in an apron: Jennifer Vogliano, food52 Recipe Tester.


    See what other Food52 readers are saying.

    • Jennifer Sherman
      Jennifer Sherman
    • Sagegreen
    • mcs3000
    • tessa022707
    • MyCommunalTable

    Written by: jvcooks

    My true passion is anything that centers around food and cooking. I love to entertain and cook with family and friends. A juicy summer tomato sprinkled with sea salt is my idea of the perfect food and though I have tried it many times, I just can't get myself to like coconut. Braising is my cooking method of choice and I love salt! I prefer to cook then to bake, but regardless, I just love to be in the kitchen. I live in Manhattan with my husband and two children. For more about Jennifer Vogliano, check out the Behind Food52 Page.


    Jennifer S. January 5, 2012
    Jennifer cooked for me when we were kids and it was always amazing! Cook on!
    Sagegreen September 17, 2011
    What a great spotlight! How did I miss this before? How incredibly flattering to be included in your list of favorite recipes you've tested! Thanks, Jennifer!
    mcs3000 July 11, 2011
    Great spotlight - loved the Q&A and pics. Ditto @drbabs: please post the recipe for those beautiful cookies.
    tessa022707 July 8, 2011
    Oh my! Black and white cookies! Such nostalgia! I have yet to find those anywhere in San Diego or So. Ca. I remeber walking home from elementary school, always stopping at the bakery and buying a black and white for 25 cents! Please please the recipe please!
    MyCommunalTable July 7, 2011
    Fun spotlight. Your feed the masses meal is quite similar to my families. We alternate between roasted potatoes and baked sweet potatoes. Thanks for sharing.
    wssmom July 7, 2011
    I loved reading this, and then I nearly fell over when Jennifer mentions A Bowl of Red! LOL!
    EmilyC July 7, 2011
    What a nice Q&A and spotlight, Jennifer.
    Kitchen B. July 6, 2011
    Great to know you a little better Jennifer! i'll have to try out your osso bucco.
    Author Comment
    jvcooks July 6, 2011
    Thanks everyone for all the support and comments! I will post the osso bucco and black & cookie recipes as soon as a get a chance.
    Fairmount_market July 6, 2011
    It's nice to meet one of the food52 behind the scene foodies. I can't wait until my kids are a little older and I can teach them how to make risotto.
    Aperitif July 6, 2011
    Jennifer makes us all so happy at home with her great cooking.
    Way to follow thru with your childhood passion...
    Panfusine July 6, 2011
    Inspiring to see a food52 insider spotlighted.
    Falling in love with the Black & white cookies, would love for you to share the recipe please!
    fo July 6, 2011
    i so love behind the scenes pix etc. how can i become a food tester for food52?? :)
    Amanda H. July 6, 2011
    Love the photo of your boys! And so glad we get to cook together every week.
    lorigoldsby July 6, 2011
    Really enjoy the "Behind the Scenes at Food52" stories. Can't wait to see the osso bucco recipe sometime...that and those cookies might become my new "desert island meal"!!
    boulangere July 5, 2011
    Wait a minute! How do the two of you cook (and obviously eat) so much and appear rail thin?
    boulangere July 6, 2011
    That will be lovely, but would you mind explaining "rail thin" part? Oh, and tall. I'd love to know how you both became so beautifully tall.
    boulangere July 5, 2011
    So this is what the most perfect job in the world looks like. I have a Maxwell of my own, and I hope I get stranded on the deserted island as you.
    boulangere July 5, 2011
    make that the "same" deserted island
    So nice to meet you! Thanks for all the work you do for all of us!!
    amy July 5, 2011
    sister i am so proud of you keep on cooking
    Midge July 5, 2011
    What lucky boys you have! So fun to learn more about you Jennifer.