I am Jane Evans Bonacci, a native Californian, avid cook, baker, and passionate foodie. I fell in love with cooking when I got my first Easy Bake Oven. It was fascinating that I could put something in the pan and a few minutes later, having “cooked” under a light bulb, I had a cake. It was magic to me then and I still feel the same way every time I pull something out of the oven.
I am a food and travel writer, cookbook author, recipe developer, editor and tester, event manager, passionate baker and cook. I stood next to my grandmother and mother at the stove, watching every move, absorbing the details of how a dish is constructed. I learned how to set a proper table and the intricate art of timing a meal so that everything is done at the same time. I worked in several cooking schools, assisting some of the finest chefs in the country – what an education! At The Heritage Cook I share my passions, memories, and years of experience in the kitchen, hopefully encouraging people to get back in the kitchen and helping them become as ardent about cooking and baking as I am. With luck, our culinary traditions will continue to be passed from one generation to the next.
UPDATE: In the summer of 2012 I was diagnosed as gluten-intolerant so while the focus of my blog will remain the same, the content will reflect my new cooking style. Wherever possible I will include gluten-free modifications to convert traditional recipes and more naturally gluten-free recipes will appear in the future. Click on the Gluten-Free tab at the top of page for additional information on ingredient substitutions and recipes for alternative gluten-free flour blends. My photographs are of the gluten-free versions that I make for The Artist and myself. I am grateful for my years of experience in the kitchen as I navigate this new culinary challenge!
About the Blog
The Heritage Cook was created to share recipes, stories, and the skills taught me by my grandmother and mother. I share my passion for fresh ingredients, my love of cooking and baking, and the lessons I learn every day living and cooking gluten-free. Each week starts with Chocolate Mondays to bring a smile to your face. I love to experiment with new ingredients, techniques, and equipment. I believe in supporting local vendors, sustainable and organic farming, and being kind to one another. I hope you will have fun sharing in my kitchen adventures.
- Char-Broil All-Star and recipe developer/contributor
- Gourmet Garden recipe developer/ambassador
- Food Network recipe developer/contributor
- San Francisco Professional Food Society Board, Membership Chair
- Chair for the IACP Digital Media Awards & IACP Cookbook awards judge
- Baker’s Dozen, San Francisco member
- International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association member
When I decided to start blogging, I chose WordPress as the platform for my website. It is extremely easy to use and offers thousands of themes you can choose from. It is by far the most expansive platform currently available. You can create any look and feel you like. If you are new to blogging and looking for a free theme, I have found the “Atahulpa” theme to be very flexible and easy to work with. It is well designed and you can customize most of it without knowing any programming languages. The only drawback is that it currently isn’t designed to be mobile-friendly.
When I started I used the free version of WordPress.com and then upgraded to a “self-hosted” site. The primary reason I upgraded was to provide you with additional functionality and to have more control over the formatting of the site. I use Bluehost to host my site. I am very pleased with the fast, personable, and high quality support they provide.
After 5 years of blogging and in anticipation of the publication of my cookbook, I hired Peppercorn Creative to redesign my blog and move me onto a responsive, mobile-friendly theme. I could have done it myself, but having a professional giving you advice and bringing their expertise to the project, not to mention doing the work for you, is pure heaven!
Photos and Photography Equipment
In the beginning, time constraints and lack of a decent camera precluded me from always being able to photograph my own creations. When I can’t shoot my own, I find and purchase the rights to photos that match as closely as possible to the way I make each dish. I have written a post on my Top 5 Food Photography Tips to help you improve your own photos. I hope you enjoy it!
I did a lot of research before buying my photographic equipment and got good advice from other food bloggers. I have been very happy with the quality of each item and if you choose to purchase them, I hope you are just as pleased:
A great entry-level camera that is simple to use and not too intimidating to first time photographers. Learn how to use the AV setting and you’ll be taking beautiful photos in no time.
Next Level Camera
When it was time for me to upgrade to a more professional camera I chose the 70D. I wanted more functionality for the best price and this camera really delivers. If you already have lenses from an earlier purchase, just buy the body only and save more money.
- Canon EOS 70D, 20.2 MP Digital SLR; APS-C CMOS sensor & DIGIC 5+
ISO 100-12800 (expandable up to 25600)
Touch panel LCD screen; video capability; built-in WiFi
Lights / Props
- 2 Lowel EGO Digital Imaging Tabletop Fluorescent Lights
- Neewer Portable 5-in-1 Collapsible Multi Disc Light Reflector Set
- Black and white foam core boards
- Melamine-coated Masonite boards
I LOVE to hear from you! Writing a blog is a little like living in a vacuum. We never know if we are giving you what you want unless you tell us. So please let me know what you like, what you don’t, and what you want to see more of. If you see any mistakes, typos or incomplete instructions, please let me know so I can make the corrections. You can enter comments at the bottom of any posting. I will answer as soon as possible!
Endorsements / Recommendations
These are my personal recommendations and do not reflect the opinions of any other organization or individual. I only endorse products that I use and love. Many of the companies I recommend support the causes I am passionate about: local, organic, seasonable, and sustainable food; protection of heirloom foods; support of local vendors; ecology and green-technologies; re-purposing, and recycling.
Affiliate Links and Advertising
You will see a few ads on the site and there may be links to products, books, and ingredients within my posts. In some cases, if you purchase something, I will receive a small stipend as an Associate Member. These help offset a small portion of the costs of operating this website.
Most of all Thank You!
Thank you for coming along with me on this journey. I hope your house will be filled with the aromas of baking, braising, and roasting, your stove will have pots simmering and skillets ready to sauté, and your grill will be full of sizzling foods. I’m certain you will fall in love with cooking and baking the same way I did when I stood cooking alongside my mother and grandmother!
The Heritage Cook is not affiliated in any way with The Heritage Cookbook by Marlin E. Foose.
If you have any questions, requests, feedback, or comments, I would love to hear from you! You can post comments on any of the recipe pages (scroll down to the bottom of the page) send a comment to me via the form on this page, or you can find me at the following addresses:
Contact Me: Email me at The Heritage Cook or fill out the form below. Thank you!