Recipes From Jacqueline Duffin
Born to Grill With Jacqueline Duffin
Everyone's got their go-to grilling style. What's yours?
My favorite and go to grilling style is focusing on two important things - high-quality local ingredients and having fun. I live in the PNW (Portland) so I'm fortunate to have access to amazing local ranches, fisheries, farmers and even award-winning cheese and dairy. Since I’m always cooking for my family of five and our house usually has a friend or guest visiting on weekends I do my best to serve well rounded, flavorful dishes but have a fun time while doing so. The grill (especially when cooking over charcoal or live fire) can be such a great focal point for the event. Wether its a casual weekday evening catching up with my husband or kids about their day or sharing a few drinks over the grill with friends on a sunny weekend, it's all about creating an enjoyable environment at my place and on the grill.
Could you tell us about your earliest food memory?
Earliest memory for me is tricky, I feel like I've spent my whole life cooking ha! Both of my parents were into cooking, food, and international travel. Between lots of home-cooked meals, traveling to try new cuisines, and growing up in Vancouver, BC and being exposed to international food from an early age...all of that definitely had an early influence on me. But I remember when I was either 8 or 9 I started taking over Christmas morning breakfasts. When you think of someone that age serving family breakfast you would assume toast, fruit or maybe bacon...nope! I had a full service omelette bar and perfected my Jacques Pepin French omelettes for my family and that turned into a little tradition. Eventually by the time I was in high school I began cooking and managing entire family Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners (we usually had 20-30 guests too!) And my parents gave me the space to do so and be adventurous about it.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I’ve always had an interest in cooking and sharing that passion, but wasn’t sure how I could make that happen for myself without working in a professional kitchen or culinary school - which didn’t seem to be in the cards for me. Early 2021 and bored at home I felt ready to explore sharing my recently learned BBQ and other recipes online (after the encouragement from my husband and friends). Once I started posting and meeting others in the BBQ Community, I never turned back. Not only is the BBQ community so supportive and fun, having an online brand helped give me my own identity back. Becoming a mom and being married to someone who is a public figure I had grown tired of always being referred to just someones wife or mom for the last few years, which I know a lot of new moms or women can relate to. But now having a channel I get a creative outlet to share my recipes as well as show off my personality and skill. Its one of the best things I’ve done for myself just by putting myself out there online plus a heck of a lot of hard work. Fast forward only a year later I have been featured on Food Network’s Fire Masters, working with amazing brands such as BBQGuys, Weber, Green Mountain Grills and others. It's been an amazing ride.
What nurtures your spark for cooking?
Honestly - I don’t think my spark ever runs low when it comes to cooking. So much so I have an evening notepad I write down different recipes or photos I want to create that I have to force myself to write down so I'm not up all night thinking about how I want to execute them. I'm also a visual person and might be one of the few left who still has magazine food subscriptions mailed to their house. Seeing beautiful pictures or different ideas chefs have and share keeps me motivated. During the summer months I love to shop local and buy local. I mean visiting my local farmer who is just a few blocks away and playing around with recipes and meals that feature fresh produce of the day and/or what’s the fresh catch of the day. Not only does that force me to stay out only doing routine dishes but I also can highlight some of the amazing things available in the PNW.
Let's say you're cooking to impress. What's your favorite BBQ dish?
Depends on my crowd, I'm all about cooking for your guests, not just myself. I think a well-executed, grilled, medium-rare rack of lamb is one of the most delicious things you can make. But! I know lamb is not for everyone. If I’m cooking for a bigger crowd, doing a classic Texas style brisket is so fun because they are definitely a labor of love and you truly become the backyard hero when you serve a delicious, juicy brisket with some classic BBQ side dishes like Mac and Cheese and homemade corn bread.
Tell us what's on the horizon for you and your brand.
Continue sharing beautiful yet approachable recipes that anyone can tackle. Encouraging more women out there to take a stab at spending time outside and grilling over a weekend or function (and give them the confidence to master that!). And making another appearance on Food Network would be fun, I mean who wouldn’t want to see a Jacqueline Duffin x Ina Garten BBQ collaboration?! One can only dream!
Check out More Born to Grill ™ Stories
Danielle "Diva Q" Bennett
Let me tell it to you, as straight as I take my bourbon: I’ve been living the barbecue lifestyle for a long time now. Ever since the week I judged my first competition in 2006. And I’ll tell you, just like I tell everyone I talk to,
Life is too short for bad BBQ!®
From the world-traveling and my stint at the CDC to competing on Netflix’s American BBQ Showdown… It was never a question of how or why. I just do things. And I don’t let anyone outwork me.
Chef Tony Matassa
When it involves telling the story behind great ingredients and awesome flavors, well… I’m always going to be the first one there and the last one to leave.