Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Jenn de la Vega
Image by Bryan Derballa.

Jenn de la Vega

Culinary artist

Posted in food, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Jenn de la Vega, a culinary artist.

I cater custom events as small as dinners at home to BBQ-themed weddings. I wrote a cookbook called Showdown last year and I just finished artist residencies at Kickstarter and Taste Cooking. I'm currently freelancing as a recipe developer and tester.

What hardware do you use?

I have a MacBook Air with a dead battery, so I am tethered to a wall most of the time.

I take photos and video with my iPhone SE. I did have a 6, but it really cramped up my tiny hands.

My Amazon Basics tripod is fitted with a Square Jellyfish mobile phone adapter.

My kitchen is lab-like, outfitted with an Anova sous vide circulator, Excalibur dehydrator, Aroma rice cooker, CrockPot, Griddle Gourmet panini press, spiralizer, Searzall, digital scale, Cuisinart food processor, popcorn machine, Whynter ice cream maker, and ice crusher (great for impromptu shaved ice parties). I still have the same chef's knife from dropping out of culinary school, a Mercer.

There is always a spare phone battery charging somewhere in my house.

And what software?

On my iPhone, I use Todoist to prioritize my projects and Google Docs to manage them. Buffer helps me schedule social media, always full to the brim with 100 posts. For safety, 1Password keeps track of all my logins (that I promptly forget). Timepage is Moleskine's gorgeous calendar app that has a countdown widget that I use to motivate me for upcoming vacations.

It costs a pretty penny but Scrivener was great for syncing my cookbook via Dropbox to my phone so I could write on the NYC subway.

I lost my Adobe license when I left my desk job but Canva is a good, free alternative for making menus and flyers for events. If you ever need free stock photos, Pexels is a helpful database.

What would be your dream setup?

The dream is a kitchen studio with cameras in the fridge; really good track lighting, photography surfaces (I am really obsessed with Surface Archive). Outside I want a smoker, grill, automated spit rotisserie, and enough land to bury a pig. I need a legit camera and a MacBook Pro to do more video!