In this episode, Megan chats with Jessica Mode about the impact of going to culinary school on her food blogging career, including learning new culinary skills, kitchen organization and choosing ingredients.

We cover information about what to expect from culinary school, different courses available and how that translate your new skills to food blogging.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

Connect with Homebody Eats
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Jessica Mode created Homebody Eats in 2019 as a way to teach home chefs how to master new culinary skills and create high-quality dishes in their home kitchens. With every recipe, she hopes to teach her readers one new kitchen skill that they can master and use in a future recipe. While you’ll find a variety of recipes on her site, Jessica really enjoys baking and shaking up a good cocktail. Jessica has recently released her first online course, The Macaron Baking Experience, which teaches her readers how to successfully bake perfect macarons. In the coming year, Jessica hopes to release more online courses to share the skills she learned by attending culinary school in Italy.


  • Choose the Right Culinary Institute: Depending on your budget and how much time you want to dedicate to culinary school, there are different courses available.
  • Learn about High-Quality Ingredients: Understand how to select the best ingredients for your recipes, to develop amazing flavor while keeping it simple.
  • Improve Organization and Composure in the Kitchen: Being organised with measurements before you start testing your recipe can streamline the testing process and improve your overall result.
  • Network with Professionals in the Culinary Industry: Get the chance to network with professional outside of the blogging space.
  • Access to Diverse Ingredients and Food Experiences: Culinary school offers new food experiences, like learning how to make pasta, charcuterie and wine pairing.
  • New Recipe Inspiration: Attending culinary school can expose you to new and unexpected flavor combinations and cuisines.
  • Invest and Do Hard Things in Your Business: Investing in your business and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone is a way to prove to yourself that you are committed and want to make your business as successful as possible.

Resources Mentioned

Waitlist for the Italy retreat in 2025 if you are interested in learning more

Italian Culinary Institute


Click for full script.

EBT521 – Jessica Mode

Intro 00:00

Food bloggers. Hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth, and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom. Whether that’s financial, personal, or professional. I’m Megan Porta. I have been a food blogger for 13 years, so I understand how isolating food blogging can be. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported. 

Megan Porta  00:37

I’m not sure I’ve ever been so hungry after recording an interview. I just had this amazing interview with Jessica Mode from the blog, Home Body Eats. She came to this interview to talk about going to culinary school and whether or not that’s a good option for food bloggers. She went to culinary school in Italy for three months last year. And she had the best experience and it has really helped her to round out her culinary skills to learn about new ingredients just become more proficient in the kitchen. She also took away so many valuable relationships and so many other things and she talks about ways that going to a culinary school if that is something that inspires you can really help your food blogging business. She happened to go to school in Italy so she talks a lot about Italian food and how they really focused on high quality ingredients and fresh ingredients and dives into some of the foods they made like pasta and bread and sauces and oh my gosh, I’m starving. I hope you enjoy this episode and I really hope you find inspiration from it. It is episode number 521, sponsored by RankIQ. 

Sponsor  01:53

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Megan Porta  03:23

Jessica Mode created homebody eats in 2019 as a way to teach home chefs how to master new culinary skills and create high quality dishes in their home kitchens. With every recipe she hopes to teach her readers one new kitchen skill that they can master and use in a future recipe. While you will find a variety of recipes on her site, Jessica really enjoys baking and shaking up a good cocktail. Jessica has recently released her first online course the Macron baking experience, which teaches her readers how to successfully bake perfect macrons. In the coming year, Jessica hopes to release more online courses to share the skills she learned by attending culinary school in Italy. Good morning, Jessica. How are you today?

Jessica Mode  04:05

Good morning. I’m so excited to be here. I’m a longtime listener, so very excited to finally get to talk to you. 

Megan Porta  04:11

I love having listeners as guests. It makes me super excited. We’re gonna talk about culinary school today, which is a topic we’ve never ever covered here on a blog talk. I think this is gonna be really interesting. But first, do you have a fun fact to share with us, Jessica?

Jessica Mode  04:26

I do. This is kind of like a throwback fun fact. But in elementary school, I used to be on a jump rope team, which is kind of a unique sport for kids to be part of. Yeah, but we used to go to different schools and do our like jump rope performance as a team we would do like Double Dutch and then the kids at the other schools would watch us perform. So it was a really kind of like fun sport to be part of and I’m not athletic. So it’s also kind of interesting that that was something that I used to do but I just picked up a jump rope recently to see If I could still do a lot of the tricks, and I do still have some of them in the back of my brain somehow.

Megan Porta  05:05

Oh, it’s like riding a bike, you never forget your jump roping skills. So you did like, so people on either end, right. And then you would be in the middle, like doing all the fancy jumping. Yeah.

Jessica Mode  05:17

And then we also would have our own jump rope. So we would kind of like jump in unison to whatever routine our coach came up with.

Megan Porta  05:25

Oh, my gosh, I have always seen those people on TV. And I’m like, I wish I could be that cool. You’re that cool person, let me know if you want me to teach you. I would love that. Okay, if I meet you in person, bring your jump rope. And we’re going to totally get into that. 

Jessica Mode  05:40


Megan Porta  05:41

Love it! Unique fun fact. And also unique topic, I love what we’re going to talk about. But to kind of frame our talk about culinary school, would you give us just a bit of a background about your blog, and I know, you started blogging before you went to culinary school. So maybe talk about how that happened too?

Jessica Mode  06:00

I did. So I’ve kind of been a longtime blog reader. I’ve always been somebody who was just interested in reading blogs, seeing all the recipes that people were creating. So back in 2019, I’m like, Hey, let’s just start a blog, I watched this long, like hour long YouTube video on how to set up your blog, how to get like a recipe card in there, and just went from there. I kind of blog about everything. So I like all different foods, it’s really hard for me to pick one niche. So my kind of topic that I like to teach my readers about is just how to gain a new skill in the kitchen. So my hope with every recipe that I write is always to put some kind of skill in there that my reader can learn about, and then learn how to master and use hopefully on a future recipe. So I have been really excited to just like start my blog, and it’s just been building ever since then with, you know, more recipes and kind of gotten into like YouTube videos and filming online courses as well.

Megan Porta  07:03

Okay, that’s super exciting. And what at what point were you like, Okay, I need to probably go to culinary school, or do you wanted to go to culinary school at what point in there was that a thought?

Jessica Mode  07:13

So back in 2021, kind of right after, you know, we had all been home for a really long time. I started thinking like, Okay, I want to keep getting better at writing recipes and learning how to cook. So although I’ve cooked for a long time, and I’m that nerd who will sit and read culinary textbooks. I was like, Okay, it’s time for some hands on experience. So I started kind of doing some research and being like, Okay, where are culinary schools, and quickly started to realize that if I wanted to go to kind of the traditional culinary schools in the US that they were either going to be in New York or LA, and they were going to cost you know, 50 to $100,000. And take probably like a year. 

Megan Porta  08:00

That’s a lot of money.

Jessica Mode  08:02

So being in St. Louis, I was like, this really isn’t an option for my current lifestyle, I have to figure something out. So at this point, I was looking at a community college near me who had culinary classes, and I actually started to go to some of those. And by the time I went to three to four classes, I was just kind of like, this isn’t what I want. And they weren’t just teaching the exact things that I personally wanted to learn. So I kind of put that on the backburner. And I’m like, if this is meant to be and I’m supposed to go to culinary school, I’ll figure out a way to do it. So fast forward, actually, a year later, I was scrolling on Tik Tok. And I found this Tik Tok of this girl who went to culinary school in Italy. And she was like, this is the best three months of my life. The Tik Tok had them throwing pizzas, making pasta, shaking up cocktails, all on this beautiful view of the sea in southern Italy. And I’m like, sold. This is what I have to do. 

Megan Porta  09:00

Did you go there? 

Jessica Mode  09:02

Yes. So that was actually the school I ended up picking when I finally was like, this is this is it. This is the school I want. And the school is called The Italian Culinary Institute, and it’s in southern Italy in the Calabria region. 

Megan Porta  09:18

So okay, what’s it what is the price difference? So you said going to school in the US was like 50k, which kind of sounds crazy to me. I don’t know why that was just like alarming number, but what is the price difference there?

Jessica Mode  09:31

So I paid right around $20,000 for the three months and instead of like the traditional 50 to 100k that I was seeing on a lot of the schools.

Megan Porta  09:42

Okay, so quite a bit different and what an experience to you get to go somewhere new in the world experience in your country and the food in Italy I’m imagining is amazing.

Jessica Mode  09:52

Totally amazing. It’s so good. Italians are just so good at having food culture really just ingrained in them. Even people who, you know, you don’t think everybody like when you meet people in the US, like, you know, a lot of people don’t like to cook, but for some reason it Italy, they just all have this like, ingrained in them that they love cooking and they love food. And that’s exactly what I loved when I was there is just how it’s just part of the culture naturally. 

Megan Porta  10:20

Okay, I have a feeling there’s going to be like an influx of Italian Culinary Institute attendees, members, whatever. Okay, so did you continue blogging while you were going to school? 

Jessica Mode  10:33

I did. That was the other nice thing about the program I knew. So I had actually quit my full time job, so I went in January to like a little early into April of 2023. And I had quit my full time job back in November of 2022, when I had kind of replaced my income with my blog. So being like super new to being an entrepreneur and doing this full time, I’m like, I know that I have to find a way to work. So luckily, our classes were set up in a nice way where in the morning, we would have a little bit of time to you know, get ready and I would do a little work, then we would move into like the hands on demonstrations of the day in the morning, and then break for lunch. And at the end of the day, we would do more like hands on things ourself. So it was nice, because in the afternoon, I got some time to work on the blog. And while I couldn’t obviously do like recipe testing and writing, I was able to kind of go in and tweak old posts, make new Pinterest pins, all those like VA tasks that we need some extra time for.

Megan Porta  11:38

Do you feel like just the experience of being in Italy was just good for you overall too like, obviously, culinary school was valuable, but the experience of going somewhere new in the world and learning about their culture and their food? Do you feel like that just enhanced your life?

Jessica Mode  11:53

Absolutely. Yes, I’ve actually. So I also studied abroad when I was in college. And I think that’s kind of where it gave me the courage to do it again, like as an adult, I went to Madrid, Spain in college. And I was like, this is just such an awesome experience. But getting to do it around something that I love so much with food was just completely different. So we did a lot of like cultural excursions while we were there, too, which was great, because we not only got to see the Calabria region, but we also went to like Sicily. And then we would have some time, a couple of weeks in between the three month course to do our own traveling. So I was able to go to Florence, Rome and do some of those kind of big cities in Italy as well.

Megan Porta  12:36

I’m so jealous. I want to go. That sounds amazing. Okay, so I imagine you just took so much out of culinary school that has helped you with your blog. So do you want to talk through some of those things that have really shaped you?

Jessica Mode  12:51

Absolutely. Yeah. So one of my main reasons for going I just really wanted to get better at being a good chef and a good cook. So one of the things I wanted to do was kind of learn and refine my techniques. So one of the things that we mean, it’s Italy, you’re obviously going to eat a lot of pasta. So one of the things that we really learned how to do well was make pasta. So not only did we make handmade pasta, and we made you know lots of different variety of pasta dishes from the different regions of Italy. But we learned the techniques for actually making a pasta dish. And this is funny because like As Americans, we make pasta a lot too. But how the Italians do it and their technique is just impeccable. So for example, we learned like not only do you need to salt your pasta water, but you also need to taste the pasta water even though it’s hot. You have to be careful. But to see like, do you have the right level of salt actually in the water before you even put the pasta in? 

Megan Porta  13:58

I mean, do they use typically more salt than we do, we just throw kind of a pension right here,

Jessica Mode  14:03

I would say a decent amount more than you would think. And they use coarse sea salt specifically, which is also interesting. It’s a very refined technique. And then the other thing that we learned really well was how to saute pasta. So you know here we normally make the sauce and then we make the pasta and kind of just combine them but we learned how to make the sauce starting in like a saute pan and then cook the pasta just ever so slightly really you want it to still be hard when it’s coming out of the water and then finishing the pasta by cooking it with your sauce and creating an emulsion because you know Italians love their extra virgin olive oil. So when you add your extra virgin olive oil with your pasta water it creates this delicious and creamy sauce. And it’s like the perfect way to make pasta.

Megan Porta  14:56

Oh my gosh, that sounds so good.

Jessica Mode  14:58

So learning things like that. What was really insightful. And that was just one example of many things that we learned. They cram just so much into three months, every time I’m looking at my notes, I’m just like, how, how did we learn this much?

Megan Porta  15:11

Okay, I could go on and on asking about the food, because now you’re making me super hungry. But let’s see how it did some of the skills translate to food blogging, so maybe like, you know, developing recipes, like that sort of thing.

Jessica Mode  15:26

Yeah, I think for me, one of the biggest things that I took away from school is actually kind of not even related for to food, but it was more how to be organized and very composed in the kitchen. And I know when we’re testing recipes, sometimes for me, it can look like a bomb just went off in my kitchen, there’s like, food everywhere, there’s cookies cooling, there’s, you know, a pasta dish that I’m testing, there’s notes that I’ve kind of half scribbled on, and going to school, we had to do a lot that helped me learn how to be organized. So one of the things that helped most with this, we had an what we call menu execution. And this is kind of like your version of a test in culinary school, we had to create a multicourse usually like about eight courses of a tasting menu. And so our class is pretty small, it was only about 20 people, but we would be split up into teams. And then we would have to compose this dish as a team. So obviously, each of us kind of took different portions of the meal. And we’ll be responsible for that. So having these menu executions really taught me to be good about having a prep list, making sure that I’m mise en place-ing or measuring all of my ingredients before I’m actually starting to cook. And really just stay organized in terms of like taking notes to and like what I need to work on what I need to finish. And this has been such an immense help in my recipe writing. Because we all know like with recipes, it’s easy to accidentally put another number down and like flip measurements. And so I think just the organization I was able to gain was such a big help just with creating recipes in my own kitchen.

Megan Porta  17:13

So not just organization in the kitchen, but also organization with how you develop and write recipes too. 

Jessica Mode  17:20


Megan Porta  17:21

Okay. And have you noticed like, definitely when you’ve since you’ve been back that like yes, for sure I am better at this does it just feel so much easier? 

Jessica Mode  17:31

It does, it feels more effortless. I think there’s just like this calming presence, when I get into the kitchen, my routine is always in the morning. First I need to put away all of my dishes so that when I’m starting with a clean dishwasher, and then I’m measuring out all of my ingredients, and this is a big one for me, making sure that whatever recipe that I’m testing is already out and written on my computer. I’m not trying to guess you know, of course will sometimes put like three cups question mark and come back to it. But I still have a rough idea of what I’m testing and I’m not just starting from scratch. And there’s just this like calmness and like very, you’re able to be so much more present when your recipe testing. 

Megan Porta  18:10

Okay, what you just said is something that everyone is going to want because I feel like a lot of food bloggers don’t have that calm in the kitchen. It’s just kind of chaotic, right? Like exactly where you went to Italy. You probably remember that kind of frazzled, like, Oh, what am I doing? I have to catch up and do all of this crap. But now calm in the kitchen that is so appealing. 

Jessica Mode  18:32

It’s so nice. 

Megan Porta  18:34

Oh, I’m so jealous of that too.

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Megan Porta  19:49

Okay, what else did you learn just as far as like either skills or just anything else that you’ve noticed noteworthy change since you’ve been back? 

Jessica Mode  19:59

One of my three favorite things that we did was learning how to develop flavor through, like really good quality raw ingredients. So Italian cooking is actually really simple. And what they focus on is very in season ingredients with what they have access to them. So if you go to Italy, you’ll notice that if you go to Milan, for example, you’re not going to be eating the same dishes as if you go to Sicily in the South. They eat very regionally with what they can get their hands on. And that’s what makes their food so good. So one of the things that we really learned was how to, like try raw ingredients and assess the quality of those. One of my favorite things that we did, which sounds kind of weird, but we did an extra virgin olive oil tasting. This was like our first day we sat down, we like, immediately started sipping on extra virgin olive oil. So yeah, it’s it’s strange, but it’s a good skill to have. Because they wanted us to be able to taste like what a quality extra virgin olive oil tastes like, compared to just a regular olive oil, or even a very low quality palm oil. So it was fun, because we got to see firsthand how when you choose good ingredients, that translates into a good dish. And I think bringing that back to food blogging, you know, especially our a lot of our readers don’t like to go out and buy 40 ingredients for a dish. So it’s really started to get me thinking, how can we use solid ingredients to make a recipe that tastes good, but we’re not, you know, again, adding 40 different things, and a sauce and all of this but keeping a very composed and refined dish for our readers. 

Megan Porta  21:45

I can see how this might lead to just doing really high quality affiliate marketing to because you select those ingredients that you really believe in that are high quality, and then you can authentically promote those to your readers. Have you done anything like that?

Jessica Mode  22:00

You know, I haven’t it, but I really should, because the first thing that comes to mind is like burlap and barrel spices, they are such good quality. And while they are more expensive, I really can taste the difference between just you know, a generic storebought version. So that’s a great idea. 

Megan Porta  22:17

Oh, good. And then the oil thing that is so interesting. So they had you just literally like sipping, taking little sips of oil, just to, you know, teach you what is quality and what’s not. I cannot imagine sipping olive oil. But do you feel like you have a palate now for you know, high quality olive oil?

Jessica Mode  22:36

I do. I actually one of the first things I did when I got back was I published a video on how to taste olive oil to my YouTube channel. Because you actually have to, like make this funny sound. Because you’re trying to get the flavor not only in your mouth, but in your nose. So you can smell it too. Oh, so yeah, if you’re interested, I can share that video with you.

Megan Porta  22:57

Oh my gosh, yeah, totally. Okay, what else did you learn from just school in the kitchen? Anything else?

Jessica Mode  23:04

Yeah, one of my other favorite things that I learned was just all of the cool people that came to this program. So you know, we talked about networking a lot, just like in a professional setting. And I think this was interesting, because networking, to me always sounds kind of scary. You know, you have to go introduce yourself to new people. But this was a great way to network with a lot of other chefs and chefs that aren’t doing just things like food blogging, I met like private chefs, people that worked in restaurants, one of my friends is opening up an event like bartending kind of gig. And it was just really cool, because they all have different ideas and different perspectives in the culinary world. And now it’s really been helpful because I know we’ve all been at the point where we’re testing a recipe, and we’re like, what, what am I doing wrong? How do I fix this. And it’s really great because I now have friends who I know have the same training and background as me, who I can bounce ideas off of, and they can help me kind of troubleshoot, especially the baking recipes, if I get stuck. So I think just meeting people who are in the food world has also been invaluable to me. And I know that, you know, moving forward, these people are going to have really cool careers and really cool life pads. And knowing that we have that same shared experience, I think will be helpful if I ever, you know, need help with kind of figuring things out as I move forward.

Megan Porta  24:30

Oh, totally. I think that’s probably one of the best things about your experience is just those relationships and what the relationships can turn into and like you said, like bouncing ideas off of them. Have you kept in good touch with all of them or some of them?

Jessica Mode  24:45

I have I there’s kind of like a core group of us that we’ve actually met a couple times since I’ve been which has been really fun. Yeah, and then I tried to you know, talk either on Instagram or through we have our WhatsApp group that we started while we were in Italy, so I try to chat with people as much as possible. 

Megan Porta  25:03

I love that that’s that is invaluable right there. Is there anything that you tried over there that you just like would not have been exposed to here? Like as far as food goes?

Jessica Mode  25:13

Yeah, well, we had access to a lot of seafood since I was on the coast. So I’m in St. Louis, Missouri, which, you know, we being in the Midwest, we don’t have a ton of access to fresh seafood. So that was probably one of the coolest things. We made these really delicious octopus sliders. They were Oh, so good. It was sous-vide pctopus, and then smoked mozzarella cheese with arugula. And this tomato salsa, it was one of my favorite things. And another thing that was really cool is we actually did a week on charcuterie. So at the beginning of the week, we learned how to butcher an entire pig, which is definitely something I have never done here.

Megan Porta  26:00

How did that go? What was your experience with that?

Jessica Mode  26:03

It was crazy. So we there’s obviously two halves to the pig. So we first watched one of the guest chefs come in and demo how to, you know, butcher it and kind of explain all the different parts. And again, Italians really care about their food. So they even were talking about how they got and sourced this pig. And then on the second half of the pig, we actually were the ones that kind of as a group, disassembled it, and then used it to make different things like prosciutto and cured sausages. And then we actually smoked them at the end of the week. So it was very interesting. And something you know, short, my cute charcuterie boards are nothing like this.

Megan Porta  26:46

Do you have those boards on your blog? Do you? Yeah, I was looking at your blog. So you’ve got kind of just like fresh recipes. Do you incorporate anything like that into your blog now?

Jessica Mode  26:57

Not chacuterie particularly, but yeah, one of my goals for this year is to really start using that the the skills that I learned in culinary school and get a lot more Italian focused recipes up on my website. So one of the things I’ve been doing lately is a lot of focaccia bread, which is so fun, I love making bread, there’s just something so therapeutic about bread. So that’s been one of my favorite things that I’ve been working on. And in Italy, like I mentioned, their food is very regionally based. So even foccacia, depending on what region you’re in, they’ll do it a little bit different. So in the Giulia region, they add tomatoes to their foccacia in Tuscany there. foccacia is like a little bit thinner, and it’s used for sandwiches. So that’s kind of what I’ve been working on lately. 

Megan Porta  27:44

Oh, that sounds so fun. Is there anything that you found over there? That is like a good pairing that you would never have thought about otherwise? 

Jessica Mode  27:52

Ooh, that’s a good question. We did. Okay, this one dish, it was a pasta. And it had a pea puree, and brown butter, which sounds kind of like an interesting combo. I don’t ever think to use brown butter and the sense of like, savory thing. And then it had fish on top. It was such a unique flavor combination. And I definitely would not have put that together, but so good, and very, like bright and bold flavors.

Megan Porta  28:22

And do you use any of those kind of more unusual combinations that you learned there now with your blog?

Jessica Mode  28:29

Yeah, I would say just in kind of my own cooking for sure. I haven’t yet brought a lot of these unique combinations to my blog. I think I’m trying to kind of talk to my readers a little bit more and see if this is something that they would be interested in learning, but definitely a possibility.

Megan Porta  28:47

I mean, it hasn’t been too long since you’ve been back. So you have time. Yes, definitely. Yeah. And then I know Italy is really known for wine. Did you learn a lot about wine and how to pair that with food as well?

Jessica Mode  28:58

We did, we did. So the whole program is set up that basically every week, you kind of focus on something different. So we did one week that was focused on wine, and then one week that was focused on cocktails. So for our wine, it was really cool because we did this analysis where we had five different cups of like our glasses of wine, and they all had different varieties. So like reds, white, sweet, semi sweet dries, and then we had different foods in front of us. So we had something that was salty, spicy sweet. And what we did was we ate each of those foods and then sipped on the wine. And you could really see how like pairing a sweet apple with sweet wine worked. But how other combinations you know if the wine was too dry, that might not work with certain pairings so that I’m not great with wine. I want to become better especially after this experience, but I think that it really opened my eyes to how like pairing works, and how important it can be to get a really the right glass of wine with your dish, if you want it to taste and stand out.

Megan Porta  30:11

That is such a magic science, isn’t it? Like, you can have like two different foods and drink the same wine. And it can taste totally different.

Jessica Mode  30:20

It’s crazy.

Megan Porta  30:21

It is. And then I also learned once I did like a was at a food blogger conference many, many years ago, about how you the shape of your glass affects the taste, too. And I never realized how much that really I mean, you hear that and you’re like, whatever. It doesn’t write that big of a difference. But it really, really does like depending on the wine, you need a certain shape. And then obviously the food makes a big difference. It’s really cool. 

Jessica Mode  30:47

Yeah. So lots to learn. 

Megan Porta  30:49

Yes. Okay. So you’ve mentioned a few times about how they use like really inseason ingredients and how they prioritize just like what food they have on hand. And then that determines what they make. Have you brought that into your blog, that concept?

Jessica Mode  31:04

So I’ve been trying to do weekly emails with my email list and kind of queue them in to all this stuff that I’ve been learning. While I was in Italy, I actually recorded a day by day video of what we learned just because I wanted that for my memories. And I also wanted to share in case people were interested in Italian cooking, or going to culinary school, kind of what we learned. So I’ve been trying to share some of that behind the scenes and like how to stock your pantry, how to eat in season, specifically with people who read my newsletter, because I think it is really fascinating, especially when we live in a country where we can get strawberries all year round. But if you’ve ever had really in season strawberries in the summer, especially during like peak season, right when they’re picked, they are so much better. And then learning how to also conserve those and make like jams so that way, you know you can have really good strawberries all year round was something I’m trying to share as well.

Megan Porta  32:01

Yeah, it’s really hard because we do have access year round to things. But like you said, it’s not necessarily the best time like strawberries in January are their strawberries, but right not very succulent and juicy. Right? So just planning your content out that way. Okay, so everything you’ve said is like, oh, my gosh, yes, please, this sounds so delicious. And it’s like such a great experience. Is there anything additionally that you would mention, that would be a benefit for a food blogger considering going to culinary school?

Jessica Mode  32:31

I think for me, you know, I’ve been out of college for a few years. And this was just something for me that I wanted to do for myself. So I think investing in yourself in any way, whatever that may be, if you can’t go to culinary school, getting an online course or, you know, doing local courses, it’s just something that shows yourself that you’re invested in this, and especially when it’s your business. And I think also just for me knowing that, like I can do hard things, and I can, you know, go to Italy for three months, figure it out, learn all this new stuff, come back and practice it. It’s just something that I’ve been like, wow, like, Yes, I did this. And if I can do this, what are all the cool things that I can do with my food blog as well? 

Megan Porta  33:16

Oh, I love what you just said that? Yeah, like, obviously, you took back basic skills and knowledge and like ingredient, information and relationships. But the fact that you flew around the world, and you did this thing that a lot of people wouldn’t do you put yourself out there. I mean, that had to be kind of scary, right? Like totally a new, totally new part of the world. Going to school for a new skill. Oh, that is amazing. So now you probably have this new newfound just like I can do this, you know, like confidence in yourself, I guess. 

Jessica Mode  33:52

Exactly. Exactly. 

Megan Porta  33:53

Oh, so cool. Okay, anything else you want to mention before we start thinking by Jessica? Yeah,

Jessica Mode  33:58

so if this is something that you’re interested in doing going to Italy, I’m actually taking the leap, and I am planning a retreat in 2025. So it’s going to be a 10 day retreat that I’m hosting with the Italian Culinary Institute for you know, kind of people who are connected to me through my blog, or, you know, other food bloggers who are interested in going, it’s, I don’t have all the details lined up quite yet. But it’s going to be kind of the end of the year and 2025. And we’re going to do lots of things. It’s going to kind of be your like one stop shop for learning about Italian food in a short amount of time. So we’ll do pasta sauces that you can use on different recipes. We’ll do pizza, cocktails and probably even some like fun excursions if you know that’s something that you’re interested in doing and maybe can’t justify going to culinary school for multiple months at a time. How do people find out more about that? So I have a waitlist which I can share with you and I’ll I’ll kind of just be sharing information as I know more and as we’ve confirmed things on our end.

Megan Porta  35:06

Awesome. Oh my gosh, that’s so exciting. I hope people take you up on that I am starving. Now it’s 9:53am. And I want pasta and sauces. Thanks so much, Jessica. Perfect way to start the day. And nothing’s going to compare to what you mentioned, like all of that amazing stuff. So thank you Jess. You’ve ruined my culinary experience for the day. I think I have like old salad waiting for me in the fridge or something. 

Jessica Mode  35:31

Not quite as good as fresh pasta.

Megan Porta  35:33

No not nearly as good. But thank you for all of this. This was so inspiring. And again, like not a topic we’ve talked about. So I hope this really inspires people to consider something, doing something really bold and brave, like you did.

Jessica Mode  35:47

Awesome. Thank you so much.

Megan Porta  35:49

Yeah, thanks for being here. So do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with today?

Jessica Mode  35:54

I do. So one of the things I live by is just that if you want to be good at something, you have to practice it a little bit every day. And so that’s kind of what we did in culinary school. You know, we practice cooking a little bit every day and I’m continuing to practice everything I learned at home now. So I think especially as food bloggers there’s so much we need to understand and learn in order to grow our business. So for me, it’s just practicing a little bit every day and getting better. 

Megan Porta  36:24

Love that thank you so much for that. We’ll put together a show notes for you Jessica if you want to go look at those head to eat tell everyone where they can find you, Jessica 

Jessica Mode  36:37

Yeah, so I’m on social media at homebodyeats or @homebody.eats depending on the platform. And I’d love to connect with you. I love talking to other foodies and hearing about everyone’s businesses and what they like to cook so love to chat more.

Megan Porta  36:51

Yes, everyone go check that out and we will put the information in your show notes. We’ll try to keep that updated about your waitlist, Jessica. So check that out too. And thank you so much for listening. I will see you in the next episode. 

Outro  37:06

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be so grateful if you posted it to your social media feed and stories. I will see you next time.

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