Food and Multiculturalism

On the latest episode of the Amuse-Bouche podcast, Jessica van Dop DeJesus explores how her multicultural experiences guide her work and home life.

Jessica van Dop DeJesus is an incredibly multifaceted person. She is a marine, a world traveler, a food and travel writer, a talented producer and food show host, and does it all while being a mom. So it was a true honor to have Jessica on the latest episode of the Amuse-Bouche podcast.

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I’ve always been struck by Jessica’s ability to adapt to new circumstances. She has a knack for applying all of the skills and talents she’s developed over the years to whatever tasks, projects, challenges, and triumphs lie ahead. Not only is she a successful travel blogger and influencer, but she’s written for several publications, she published The Dining Traveler Guide to Puerto Rico, a stunning culinary tour of the entire island of Puerto Rico, and she’s now producing and hosting The Dining Traveler Cooking Series. Her show not only brings viewers into her home where she shares incredible dishes drawn from her Puerto Rican heritage, she also incorporates food from her Dutch husband’s traditions, and invites chefs along the East Coast to share their culinary cultures as well.

In this episode of the Amuse-Bouche podcast, Jessica shares stories of growing up in Puerto Rico and New York state, her time living in Belgium and having her own “90-day fiancé” experience with her Dutch husband, Martin, what it was like traveling pregnant and exploring the world with a young daughter, Lu, and how all of these multicultural experiences impact her work, her home life, and motherhood. Bubbling beneath the surface of her adaptability is an openness to new experiences and an eagerness to embrace the world’s diversity. It’s a perspective that Jessica credits to her own multicultural upbringing, and is a life lesson that, whether she’s cooking up Arroz con Pollo or Oliebollen, she wants to give her daughter.

Jessica is certainly one of the most inspiring food personalities I’ve met. I walked away from this conversation feeling empowered and, after hearing about how incredible Lu is at the age of 4, hopefull for future generations.

The Amuse-Bouche podcast is available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Amazon Music, iHeart, and elsewhere. Be sure to catch Jessica’s episode here and if you like what you’re hearing please subscribe, review, and share with your friends!

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Appearing:
I’m the special guest on this week’s My Dinner With Ryaneil PT Bardhanlow! Looking forward to having a virtual dinner party with Neil Bardhan and Ryan T. Barlow because, we all know that the best part of a dinner party is the HOT GOSSIP! Tune in Sunday, April 11th at 7:30pm!

Join in the Dinner Party Fun!

Listening:
LoFi music really helps me get into the zone when I’m working. I usually put on a live YouTube channel or play LoFi playlists on Spotify. But if you have any recommendations for playlists I should check out, let me know!

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Watching & Listening:
I’ve been on a John C. Reilly kick lately. It all started with this Wired video of John C. Reilly and Tim Heidecker answering the web’s most searched questions. One of the questions was if John C. Reilly sings all the music from Walk Hard, which, yes — yes he does. In fact, John C. Reilly, grew up with music, fell in love with Irish music (here’s a fun video of him singing in an Irish Pub in Doolin), and has a band called John Reilly & Friends (here’s their NPR Tiny Desk performance).

Turns out, John C. Reilly loves loves LOVES to sing — he’s really good at it and he seems to take advantage of any moment he can show off his pipes. There are the obvious films featuring his musical talents — Walk Hard, which is a goofy movie with ridiculously clever music (I ended up buying the entire album), and Chicago (Mr. Cellophane). But there are other cinematic moments where he busts into song, one of which is the 1999 film, Magnolia, which is what I watched this past weekend. It’s a long film, but because it switches between multiple timelines it seems to move fast. But despite its fast pace, it’ll stick with you for a long time. I’m still thinking about the movie and its many themes. Anyway, glad my journey through John C. Reilly movies brought me to Magnolia.

Watch the Trailer