Meet Janine

Janine head shotJanine MacLachlan is a farm groupie and local food advocate with a passion for small farms, where food is produced by people who care for the earth.

A few food highlights:

Volunteered on behalf of Slow Food and Chicago’s Green City Market, American Farmland Trust.

Enjoyed award-winning success as public relations exec specializing in food and wine clients, including Land O’Lakes butter, Quaker oatmeal, California Wine.

Worked with food luminaries like legendary Julia Child, dessert doyenne and part-time Parisian Dorie Greenspan, Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa fame (and the list goes on).

Wandered around food destinations in France, Italy, Switzerland and Great Britain seeking traditional tastes, new ingredients and fun stories to share, and found delicious food close to home too.

Attended Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Used free time to scout out Napa Valley’s best restaurants and wineries. Learned vegetarian flavor fundamentals from Chef John Ash, culinary director of Fetzer Vineyards. Indulged in the occasional mud bath in Calistoga.

plums Opened the Rustic Kitchen cooking school in Chicago kitchen to put personal recipes to use. Relieved to see classes fill quickly. Moved classes to 1881 weekend farmhouse in Fennville, Michigan as an excuse to get there more often.

Set off in sporty roadster to visit eight states to research Farmers’ Markets of the Heartland, published by University of Illinois Press in spring 2012. Mourned tomato failure that summer.

Frequently humbled in the vegetable garden, and often thwarted by varmints.

She was contributing editor for the Slow Food Guide to Chicago and Celebrated Chefs.  Her writing and recipes have appeared in Relish, Midwest Living, Country Home (may she rest in peace), Rural Life and more than 14 Tribune Company newspapers.  She has cooked up custom recipes for oatmeal, milk, cheese, mushrooms and other delicious ingredients.