We’re here to celebrate home cooking. With simple tricks anyone can make fast, healthy, delicious meals at home. We believe in your inner cook!
Hi there! We are Jess and Frank Smith. We live in Kansas City with our twin daughters, Molly and Clara. We started Inquiring Chef in 2010 when we moved abroad as newlyweds. For the first five years of our marriage we lived in Bangkok, Thailand where we worked for the U.S. government by day and learned everything we could about Thai food by night. It was the adventure of a lifetime, and gave us a passion for creative home cooking.
Want to get started? Check out our favorite Weeknight Meals!
Meet Jess and Frank
Jess studied English Literature and has a Master’s degree in Public Administration but never could shake the feeling that her career should involve chickpeas and chocolate. After nearly a decade of service with the federal government, Jess left the public sector to pursue a career as a recipe developer, food stylist and photographer. She has created original recipes and written on food-related topics for Parade, Honest Cooking and She Knows. In addition to dreaming up a never-ending list of recipes to feature on Inquiring Chef, Jess develops recipes and meal plans for Cook Smarts, an awesome company with a mission to empower home cooks. Contact Jess at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frank has a degree in International Affairs, an MBA and has been traveling the world on his stomach for the better part of a decade. Frank’s wanderlust and desire to make a difference led him to a career in international development where he was fortunate to work with communities in the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central and Southeast Asia. Frank manages social media for Inquiring Chef, develops content, and works behind the scenes as “official taster” helping Jess to develop recipes. It’s a tough job, but (sigh) someone has to do it. He also contributes pieces for on food and travel. Contact Frank at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @smithfj.
Frequently Asked Questions
What camera do you use?
Since 2010, we have used and loved our Canon EOS 60D. Until 2013 we used this bargain 50mm f/1.8 lens which is the best deal around for anyone just getting started with photography. Now we use a 50mm f/1.4 lens which works great in all conditions, even very low light.
How did you learn to cook?
We both come from families who value dinners together, love trying new things, and have serious kitchen skills. We still consult them for cooking advice. Many of the recipes you find here are from our parents or inspired by them. Jess’ mom is her focaccia muse. Frank’s mom made the first ever batch of Stuffing Balls. Jess’ dad was the first to discover Light and Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes, which is one of the most popular recipes on the site. Jess studied Thai cooking while in Thailand.
How did you meet?
We have no idea how we met. It’s true! Read our story here.
I want to make Thai food at home. Help me!
It’s easier than you think to make authentic Thai food at home! Browse our Thai recipes or start with the mother of all Thai dishes – Pad Thai. Check out our Thai archives because we have lots of your favorite Thai recipes with helpful tips, easy directions, resources for ingredients, and lots of photos. We *might* (wink, wink) even be working on an e-book that will help you turn yourself into a Thai superstar chef. More soon!
Where do you get inspiration for your recipes?
Five years in Bangkok and all the travel we did while there gave us so much inspiration. We believe that the best way to get inspired for any creative endeavor is to get out in the world. We travel, go for bike rides, try new restaurants and love being invited into other people’s kitchens. When time and budgets don’t allow us to travel, we read any and every food magazine and column we can get our hands on. Favorites are Food and Wine, Garden & Gun, Bon Appetit, Cook’s Illustrated, L.A. Times, N.Y. Times, and Serious Eats (especially the Dinner Tonight column).
What are your favorite recipes?
The most popular recipe on the site is Sugar Cookie Lemon Tarts, followed by Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Hoisin Peanut Dipping Sauce. Many of you tell us you love 10 Freezer Meals for New Moms and Dads (we love freezer meals!).
I’m going to Bangkok – any tips?
YES! We’re so glad you asked. You can check out all of our tips and a list of our favorite restaurants here.
Forget the food. I’m here for the babies.
We think they’re pretty awesome! Molly and Clara were born in Bangkok, Thailand in April 2014 (on Jess’ birthday!). Our lives were forever changed for the better. And even though dinner time is as chaotic as you can imagine with two toddlers underfoot, they have made us even more passionate about cooking real food and sharing it around the dinner table. You can follow their adventures here.
If you are new here you might want to start with a few of our favorite posts:
A Week in Beijing
Two Years in Bangkok, Two Years of Blogging
Light and Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes (perhaps our favorite recipe of all time)
and then, Glenburn
Expat Living / 3 Years in Bangkok
Molly and Clara – 12 Months
A Bangkok Farewell
We collaborate with a small number of companies that align closely with our mission and style. If you think your organization or product might be a good fit, we’d love to hear from you! Contact Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org.