photo by Hannah Burton for Bustle

about

Hello! I'm Jenny. I'm a professional chef, food writer, speaker and social entrepreneur based between Los Angeles and NYC. I use food to express the full range of human emotions and social commentary about the world around us. I believe food has a special way of exposing the banal routine and social norms we find ourselves in. It can be a powerful medium for storytelling and create a place for genuine interaction -- if we choose to use it as such.

 

My mission is to use culinary arts as a platform to evoke introspection, empathy and real emotion. Sometimes my food or the environments I create make people uncomfortable, and that's the point. I don't plan on being complicit with the way things are; I want to change the world with my art, even if it's just one honest conversation at a time.

Before I started my journey in food, I was addicted to social acceptance (I still am, just less so). I started my career as a very (literally) hungry management consultant in the fashion industry before moving on to become the youngest MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. Shockingly, resume accolades do not make us truly happy and I found myself depressed and lost. I decided to take a sabbatical and go "find myself" -- which led me to culinary school, various fancy-schmancy starred restaurants and a bizarre set of jobs (ironic highlight: selling cold-pressed juice door-to-door to Silicon Valley VC firms). Through these twists and turns, I parlayed my abilities into a culinary consulting business, which I feel lucky to say has been successful and rewarding while forcing me to grow up and be a professional.

But I wanted more. At the beginning of 2017, I had an epiphany (at acupuncture) that I should use augmented & virtual reality to make my work more impactful. My experiments with these emerging technologies in the 'immersive' world has helped me narrow in on which social issues I'm particularly passionate about, and with that has birthed Studio ATAO. The Studio is my nonprofit baby that keeps me up at night as I rack my brain of ways to keep pushing people's boundaries with food & art and make them feel something. Where does this road lead? I'm still not sure. It's been a hell of a ride so far, but there's no saying what excitements and failures it still has in store. What I do know, however, is that I'll never wake up and wonder "what if?".

And yes, that's a photo of me being doused in honey mustard, because life is about living and the internet is forever.

My company Studio ATAO (pronounced a-tao, stands for all together at once) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit community think tank that creates content & experiences at the intersection of food, art and social impact. We're a scrappy, nimble org with 2 main branches: public programming & community initiatives.

Public Programming: We concept, build, execute and tour our own proprietary culinary-based public programming experiences across the United States. Our flagship series, Asian in America is an award-nominated experience fusing food & drink, virtual reality & poetry examining the trials & tribulations of the Asian American identity and has been on tour since 2018. Our series HIDDEN, a multi-sensory food, art and dance journey, debuted in 2019. We are also in pre-production for our newest series, Glass Through Skin, a therapeutic exhibition & dining experience exploring the invisibility and normalization of female pain on the axes of the body, pleasure and beauty.

Community Initiatives: We gather industry professionals together for small-group dinner-and-discussions we call Experimental Salons, where we tackle a social impact topic pertinent to their work. We then use these conversations to create toolkits and resource documents for the general public to use. Most recently, we worked with food media professionals to create a toolkit on recognizing, disrupting, and preventing tokenization as well as the Asian Americans community to develop a toolkit on unlearning scarcity and cultivating solidarity.

You can learn more about Studio ATAO's mission, vision for the future and work at our official site www.studioatao.org. If you love what we do, please consider supporting us by via Patreon (monthly patrons) or GiveLively (one-time donation). If you're also a thoughtful, mission-driven individual, come join our digital FB community Social Impact Professionals where we discuss current news and cross-pollinate learnings across industries to grow and become better humans.

 
 
 

writing bylines

Articles

How to Fund a Food Business for People Who Have No Idea Where to Start - VICE

How Virtual Reality is Training the Next Generation of Restaurant Workers -- Tasting Table

How Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Reshape the Food Industry -- TechCrunch

Drink Cocktails in Outer Space with this VR Experience -- Thrillist Supercall

Sommelier Chad Walsh on Why All-American Wine Menus Matter -- Michelin Guide USA

How One Chef Is Rising to Obama’s Call for Action -- Taste.Company

Chef Tatsu and the Art of Edomae Sushi -- Michelin Guide USA

Naem: The Art of Fermentation with Sticky Rice -- Life & Thyme

A Chef Uncovers the Secrets of Umami -- The Takeout

The Best Ramen Restaurants in America -- Thrillist

Make Restaurant Leftovers Your Cooking Superpower -- Eater

The Two Signs of a Great Recipe -- The Kitchn

What Will Happen to Food Influencers Post-COVID? -- Food & Wine

Why Do Fast-Casual Restaurants Get a Pass on Appropriation? -- Eater

Essays

I’m Chinese, but It Took Me 28 Years to Buy My First Wok -- Food52

Yes, This Meal Is Supposed to Make You Feel Uncomfortable -- Narratively

Failure Chronicles: The Surprising Power Of Being ‘Chopped’ -- Girlboss

Sitting at the Table with Shame -- Sumac Magazine

I Left My MBA To Become A Chef... And This Is What Happened -- The Huffington Post

Asian in America: A Symbolic 3 Course Meal -- Hyphen Magazine & Goldthread

What 5 Entry Level Jobs Taught Me About Running My Own Business -- SWAAY

4 Life Lessons I Learned From Being On Reality TV -- Thought Catalog

Columns

Khao Piak Sen Is Lao-Style Chicken Noodle Soup With Soul -- Serious Eats

Kanuchi and the Search for a Native American Soup for Thanksgiving --- Serious Eats

This Mochi Soup Is How Japan Welcomes the New Year -- Serious Eats

Obe Ata Is Saucy, Spicy, and It's Good With Anything -- Serious Eats

How to Make Nem Chua (Vietnamese Cured Pork with Garlic & Chile) -- Serious Eats

Ditch the Can and Make Mussels Escabeche at Home -- Serious Eats

Books (Print)

Kodawari -- Omakase Room by Tatsu Restaurant, 2018

One Pot Meals -- Dash, 2018

Air Frying for Everyone -- Dash, 2018

Mastering the Instant Pot -- SkyHorse Publishing, 2019

Joie de Vivre -- Boucherie Restaurant, 2019

Healthy Cocktails -- SkyHorse Publishing, 2019

The Infrared Grill Master - Ulysses Press, 2020

Branded

Inside Eater and Hennessy V.S.O.P’s 2nd Annual Supperclub -- Eater

4 Unexpected Foods to Pair with Sake -- Eater

Where to Drink Sake (and Pair It With Delicious Food) in NYC - Eater

 

food portfolio

See complete food & styling & photography portfolio.

If you are interested in my custom ceramics that are often paired with my food, click here.

 

I've been fortunate to work with a wide range of interesting companies, from Fortune 500 brands to nonprofits to local chains. My background in finance, management consulting, and global R&D has given me a unique perspective on what makes for a successful food-based venture, and I enjoy tackling age-old problems in creative new ways. I've launched new restaurant and culinary concepts (nationally and internationally); developed recipes and wrote cookbooks; planned and executed custom events large and small; made experimental content (branded and non) for audiences from social media to editorial. I love projects where I have the freedom to take big, abstract ideas and turn them into culinary content or experiential events. If you have an interesting concept you'd like to make even more delicious, please contact me below.

client list

OpenTable

Fair Trade USA

Panda Restaurant Group

Storebound

Hill's Pet Nutrition

Harper's Bazaar

Blue Marble Dreams: Bel Rev

O2 Aspen

Food Arts Center

San-J

Eventbrite

Ito En

June Life

BCBG Max Azria

Vox Media

Milk Money Kitchens

National Honey Board

Food Loves Tech

Well + Good

LinkedIn

IACP

Charleston Wine + Food

Noodlelove

Everyday with Rachael Ray

Chef's Feed

Chef's Roll

Cooking with Scraps

Blood Sugar Miracle

The Future of AR in Restaurants

Restaurant Managers Handbook

 

awards & speaking engagements

2019 Regional Finalist (North America), San Pellegrino Young Chefs

2019 The Art of Plating "On the Rise" Honoree

2019 James Beard House Featured Chef

2018 Finalist, Future of Storytelling "Bridging the Divide" Award

2017 Les Dames D'Escoffier Legacy Awards

2016 Winner, Beat Bobby Flay​ on Food Network

2016 James Beard Foundation Jean Louis Palladin Professional Work/Study Grant​

2015 Bocuse d'or Ment'or Continuing Education Grant

2012 Les Dames D'Escoffier New York Culinary Arts Scholarship 

I've been fortunate to share my story in front of a wide variety of audiences these last few years. In everything from keynotes and workshops to moderating panels or judging, I pride myself in being authentic and honest about all parts of my journey, even the ugly, scary, and disappointing moments. I've had the great pleasure of speaking at many companies, organizations and conferences I respect, and just gave my very first TEDx talk in March 2020.

TEDxIVC

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Future of Storytelling Summit

ReThink Conference, Culinary Institute of America

Tech Inclusion Conference

Charleston Wine + Food Festival

Crushing the Myth

Yellow Creative Summit

Happy Family Night Market

FAB Charleston

Union Square Hospitality Group

Tiffany & Co.

Thomson Reuters

Food Network

Frame.io

Asia Society

Institute of Culinary Education

Museum of Food & Drink

ATTN

International Association of Culinary Professionals

If you're looking for a culinary voice for an event, please contact me below.

press

Jenny Dorsey Chef Culinary Consultant Career Brit and Co Press
Jenny Dorsey Chef Wall Street Journal
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Jenny Dorsey Chef Secret Undeground Supperclub Bustle

Knives & Ink (Bloomsbury, 2016)

Adventures of Women Entrepreneurs (Radius, 2017)

Dark Horse (HarperOne, 2018)

 

work with me

Interested in working together on something awesome?
Download my media kit, or send me a note below or at hello@jennydorsey.co and I'll be in touch!
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© 2020 Jenny Dorsey Culinary Consulting, an arm of Hump Day Encounters LLC