She’s a foodie at her core - and despite trying several careers - she couldn’t shake her passion for ingredients and cooking. From pastry at Anne Quatrano’s James Beard award-winning restaurant Bacchanalia in Atlanta to New York for a brief stint as a television producer to Australia and then back to Los Angeles where she started Sqirl in 2011, Jessica Koslow is proof that some people are simply meant to be in the food world.
Sqirl, which launched in 2011, is a preserve company that people are obsessed with - witness the craziness surrounding her at this year’s Los Angeles Food & Wine in August. Sqirl celebrates the seasonal local California produce from family-owned farms that practice sustainable, certified organic methods that are uber local.
Sqirl is also a breakfast and lunch restaurant, for which Jessica was one of 100 chefs in the US to be nominated for F&W’s People’s Choice Chef of the Year.
Jessica was a competitive ice skater growing up in Long Beach, CA. She studied economics at Brandeis University and went on to get a Master’s Degree from Georgetown University. And when she emailed Anne Quartrano at Bacchanalia after an incredible meal, she was given the opportunity to come in and work, proving herself over the course of a year. Who could ask for a better mentor than Anne Quatrano?
Jessica is all about the authenticity of what she is making and creating and even makes her own pectin. The best news? Not using commercial pectin reduces the amount of sugar that she has to use, which is great for so many health reasons, but is really great because you can actually taste the fruit.
At first selling preserves and then expanding into a small restaurant that is open for breakfast and lunch - two meals sometimes ignored by chefs - Sqirl will soon also have an open-later-than-4pm AWAY (cleverly “squirrel away”, right?) for people who want to bring the amazing menu home. Her following of regulars has been chomping at the bit for AWAY to open, which currently says “Soon” on the website.
Can’t make it to LA? The website also boasts a cool store where you can order to your heart’s content.