Chef Sally Jane is an American chef, food writer, culinary instructor, blogger, and caterer living in Beirut.
Her love of food goes back to her childhood when at the age of 9 she sent invitations to her family and sat them down at the dinner table for three courses she’d prepared all by herself. As the daughter of a foreign correspondent, she was lucky enough to travel around the world, and quickly learned that food was a reflection of culture and a wonderful insight into the different places she lived. Whether it was pilmeni and borscht in Russia, borek and kebabs in Turkey, or tea and scones in England, she devoured it all and learned as much as she could at each stop. Perched on a tall blue kitchen stool Chef Sally Jane watched her mother prepare hors d’oeuvres and cocktails for 100 in their two bedroom Soviet apartment and elegant dinners for dissidents and diplomats.
Back in the US, Chef Sally Jane thought she’d follow in her father’s footsteps as a journalist and received her MFA in creative non-fiction writing at Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts, but after years of creating elegant dinners for friends while working in the publishing industry in Manhattan, decided finally to take her culinary career to the next level.
The prestigious French Culinary Institute in New York provided rigorous training in classic French techniques while stages at restaurants around the city opened her eyes to the many flavors and possibilities in the kitchen. She graduated with a Grand Diplome in Culinary Arts.
In the ten years since graduating from the FCI, Chef Sally Jane has worked as a private chef and caterer in New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, and on a grand sailboat in the Mediterranean. Her clients have included royalty from various countries, several rock legends, fashionistas, formula one champions, and many a duke and duchess.
While living in London, Chef Sally Jane was a regular contributor to NBC News’s Today Show where she presented stories on the bourgeoning culinary scene in London including: food artists, Bompass & Parr, market tours, and foraging for Thanksgiving ingredients in a London park. NBC also commissioned a series of cooking demo videos in the run up to Christmas. She was also Travel & Leisure Magazine’s London foodie around town, offering her take on all things edible to their Carry On blog.
In Beirut, Chef Sally Jane has created The Pantry, offering a variety of culinary services. Her philosophy, developed during time spent with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California and her Edible Schoolyard project, celebrates the local Mediterranean climate and its fantastic local produce resulting in a healthy,innovative and (most importantly) delicious, farm-to-table approach to cooking and eating.