This month it’s time to find out all about Jennie Palmer! Jennie heads up the Design & Marketing Team, and is the go to creative in the business. From websites to exhibition stalls, foodie photos to recipe development, Jennie keeps her eye on all that creativity and helps spread the word about all we do and make.
What is your role at Breckenholme and how long have you been part of the team?
I guess I have been part of the team one way or another since the beginning, but only as a full-time role for the last 4 or 5 years. When the business was first founded, I was working full time as a Theatre Wardrobe Supervisor, helping out with the business on an evening and weekend, when we literally did run the business from our kitchen table! As the business grew and we had our fist child it seemed like the perfect time to step away from my previous career path to focus on Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil and building the brand.
How did you start your journey in food? What is your background?
Although I had never worked in food before this, my life and food have always been very closely entwined. Both my parent are exceptional cooks, and as we travelled when I was a teenager we would always come home and try to replicate the foods we had experienced abroad. I grew up were everything we ate pretty much was cooked from scratch, not because it was the thing to do or healthier, but because we all enjoyed it, and I suppose looking back it was better way of cooking to a budget. I grew up on a largely meat free and Mediterranean diet, and when I came to live with a farmer this all changed! I grew to have a passion for creating a Sunday Roast (one of the many things my mother-in-law does incredibly well!) and learnt to feed the masses on short notice. Coming from a family of 3 this was a real learning curve!
What do you love most about working in the Food & Drink industry?
The passion that drives everyone really captures you and is very addictive. Every producer I have met over the last 12 years has a reason for making the products they make and believe in making the best products they possibly can. There’s a real comradery to the industry, especially amongst the artisan brands. Sometimes it kind of feels that we have all grown up together, having frequented the same show circuits or encountering the same challenges. No one ever gives up! Oh, and getting to eat amazing food is pretty good too!
We know you’re a passionate and creative cook, can you tell us about one of your favourite things to cook?
It sounds cliché but to me it’s not what you are cooking but the quality of the ingredients. I love simple food, home grown tomatoes and mozzarella, with a drizzle of oil, or some epic Yorkshire Blue, smoked salmon or a cracking piece of salami. Even a simple pie or roast can be made incredible by using great ingredients. I cook with our own products all the time, and love experimenting. I’m not one to follow a recipe, more just explore the fridge and cupboard and see what we have in! A slow roasted piece of lamb in our Mint & Balsamic Dressing is always a crowd pleaser in our house, or anything with cheese!
If you do get the opportunity to eat out in Yorkshire, do you have a favourite place that you’d like to share with us?
This is a real tricky one! Obviously places like the Pipe and Glass are at the top of my list, it’s a real experience with delicious food and an excellent atmosphere, but I also love finding somewhere new. Personally, I really enjoy the street food offerings at Spark in York, there’s a great atmosphere and I’ve never had something I didn’t enjoy. I like trying to find places for the children to enjoy new food too. I tend to find it’s not always about where you eat but about the people you are with. I’ve had some of the best food I’ve ever eaten in unexpected places with great company!