-- Download My Space as PDF --
In the latest in our series on people’s favorite spaces, Tucson-based food photographer, blogger and cookbook author Jackie Alpers shares her kitchen – a place of work, play and sprinkles.
“We bought this house ten years ago and the kitchen was really why I wanted the house. This kitchen has a lot of space. That and the pantry, which is huge. I walked in and said to the people selling it, ‘You cannot sell this house to anyone else’.
“The house was built in 1965 and the kitchen is original, although I think there might have been a wall taken down in the ’80s. There is a mirror on one wall of the kitchen. I love the mirror being here. It lets me see what’s going on behind me and out in my yard while I’m cooking.
“Up on one shelf there are very old packages; my husband Jason likes the color and design of them. This house is very much a mish mash of he and I.
“Because I cook and take photographs of food for my work, I spend a lot of time in here. Sometimes I’m here first thing and I’m cooking until the room loses light. But the best days are when I just do one or two recipes. While I’m cooking or baking I have my iPad sitting to one side so I can consult that at the same time.
“I’ve always been a pretty good cook and I loved to invent things. I only started photographing food when I worked in marketing for Canyon Ranch and food magazines would want shots of their recipes, so I would shoot them. It was my husband Jason who said, ‘You really have to start a blog, and write down all these recipes.’ And that’s how Jackie’s Happy Plate started.
“My editor at Random House, Margaret McGuire, came up with the idea for the book Sprinkles! She knew it was more of a creative book and she needed someone a little more crafty. I’m coming up with the recipes, the styling, the photographs. You get a whole concept with one person, it becomes a single vision.
“I like to decorate, but I’m not the kind of person who will bake cupcakes regularly. Now, I use sprinkles all the time. You can add a sprinkle to something and it makes all the difference in the world. Also, I tend to follow a low-carb, paleo type diet so I try to keep things low in sugar. Sprinkles add a little extra sugar.
“I try to be good when I’m baking sweet things, but sometimes I can’t help myself. Sometimes I will stop photographing and just eat the cake as if it were a sandwich.”