Jessica Gavin's Science of Cooking

Meet Jessica, professional Food Scientist. She's constantly curious about how to create modernized nourishing meals backed by science.
SideChef
Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.

We are excited to have Jessica share with us her recipes for success not only in the kitchen, but in life.

What’s your favorite word related to cooking?

Caramelized.

What’s your earliest positive food memory?

My mom bringing home pink boxes filled with Chinese parties from Oakland Chinatown on the weekend. I have a weakness for custard tarts and steamed buns!

What’s your favorite cooking tool?

I can’t live without my instant-read thermometer or Vitamix blender.

What do you crave when you have a cold?

A big bowl of piping hot pho or Nabe Yaki Udon.

What do you cook when you’re happy?

In the morning mickey mouse pancakes for the family, it’s instant happiness! I really enjoy the process of making a big pot of risotto. It makes you slow down, pay attention, and use all of your senses. I love seeing the rice transform into the most creamy texture. Plus, I get to enjoy some wine too!

Your ultimate guilty pleasure food:

Croissants and hot chocolate, together.

What’s your favorite kitchen sound?

The sound of cold eggs being cracked into a hot skillet.

What’s your favorite cooking smell?

Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (hello Maillard browning!) and the first 30 seconds of garlic sizzling in olive oil.

Who’s your favorite person to cook for?

I love cooking for my husband Jason. I promised to always make him his Grandma’s famous meatballs in my wedding vows (once a month!). I love seeing him light up with a huge grin across his face when I make them for dinner.

You get invited to a dinner prepared by any food icon dead or alive, who is it?

Thomas Kellar.

What do they say to you on your arrival?

He says “Your dreams just came true. I hope you’ve come hungry!”.

What are your 5 top cooking tips or tricks?


  • Take the guesswork out of cooking! Use an instant-read thermometer to gauge for doneness of meats and baked goods. However, your senses are the best indicator, cooking becomes instinctual with practice.

  • Use a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients like flour for baking to get consistent results every time.

  • Bloom spices at the beginning of cooking or baking help to draw out their aroma and boost flavor. Gently heat spices in cooking oil or butter before adding in other ingredients like meat. This works great for spices like Cardamom, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry powder, nutmeg, paprika.

  • Match the right cooking oil with the method. I use high smoke point oils for sauteing, pan-searing, and stir-frying like olive, grapeseed, and avocado oil. Deep frying requires peanut or canola oil for prolonged cooking. Use butter at the end of cooking to add flavors and nutty browned notes.

  • Take into account carryover cooking! When you remove food like steaks, chops, and baked goods from the hot cooking environment, the temperature will continue to rise. For meats, stop cooking when it’s 5 to 10 degrees from the target serving temperature, and let it rest for about 10 to 15 minutes. The only exception is poultry and fish because their muscle structure is less dense and doesn’t retain heat like a steak.

If you could sum up your cooking style into one sentence, what would that sentence be?

Simple and technique-driven, constantly curious about how to create modernized nourishing meals that are elevated by science.

Love this interview? Try these amazing recipe and cook with Jessica Gavin.

PREMIUM
SOY-FREEPESCATARIAN
Fresh Berry Tart with Blueberry Yogurt
Jessica Gavin
Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
Sign up for Our Newsletter
Will be used in accordance with our PRIVACY POLICY.
TRIED & TESTED
When to Fall off the Bush: Raspberries and the Art of Letting Go
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
Everything With Jam: How to Bake with Jam
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Introducing: SideChef Premium
TRIED & TESTED
Sausage Rolls Aka The Lazy Lady’s Beef Wellington
LEARN COOK EAT
10 Ancient Grains You Need in Your Life
TRIED & TESTED
Hot Cobbler Summer
TRIED & TESTED
A Lesson in Cheeseless Cheese Sauce and Self Love
TIPS & TRICKS
Healthy Substitutions
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
The Cure for Cooking Fatigue: Quick Meals with Panasonic
TRIED & TESTED
The Perfect Summer Meal: Gazpacho
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
The Maine Squeeze: New England Cuisine at Home
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
Seung Hee Lee's Cooking Korean
TRIED & TESTED
When to Fall off the Bush: Raspberries and the Art of Letting Go
How I stopped being prickly about being gluten-free and started to make the food I love for myself.
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
Everything With Jam: How to Bake with Jam
Introducing a new column covering everything JAM with Jam producer Jan Hogrewe, of Just Jan's.
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Introducing: SideChef Premium
Building your kitchen confidence has never been this easy.
TRIED & TESTED
Sausage Rolls Aka The Lazy Lady’s Beef Wellington
A lifelong love for Sausage Rolls, and an updated (veggie-loaded) recipe for the next generation.
LEARN COOK EAT
10 Ancient Grains You Need in Your Life
Ancient grains are the kind of healthy carbohydrates you want in your life.
TRIED & TESTED
Hot Cobbler Summer
The three keys to fruit-cobbler-baking success, plus some of our favorite recipes.
TRIED & TESTED
A Lesson in Cheeseless Cheese Sauce and Self Love
Inspired by Taco Bell: a cheeseless bean & cheese burrito that slaps.
TIPS & TRICKS
Healthy Substitutions
Here are some of the easiest and most effective healthy substitutions to make any recipe guilt-free.
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
The Cure for Cooking Fatigue: Quick Meals with Panasonic
We have teamed up with Panasonic to bring you quick and easy work from home recipes, ready to eat in under an hour.
TRIED & TESTED
The Perfect Summer Meal: Gazpacho
A classic Spanish cold-soup, prepared raw, the perfect dish for hot summer evenings.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
The Maine Squeeze: New England Cuisine at Home
Learn more about the best of New England Cuisine and ways to give that frozen seafood a boost!
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
Seung Hee Lee's Cooking Korean
Learn about Seung Hee's go-to cooking tips and her favorite kind of people to cook for.
You're one smart cookie! 🍪
By using this site, you agree to the use of cookies by SideChef and our partners for analytics and personalized content. ACCEPT
SideChef: 18k Recipes, Meal Planner, Grocery List, Personalization
INSTALL APP
Make cooking easy
Discover personalized recipes, organize your meal plans, shop ingredients, and cook with confidence alongside our FREE, step-by-step cooking app.