Website: Cardamom and Cloves
Update: Things are pretty different for Jodi these days – she has set aside the spice retail side of Cardamom & Cloves and focus on becoming a source of information sharing tips, tricks, advice and suggestions for spice in all its forms.
You are a self-professed foodie and you have made a career out of it – working at C’est Bon Cooking as an Event Manager /Tour Guide and more recently with your own new business venture. Did you always have a passion for food?
Food is definitely a passion that developed a little later in life. Sure I would bake as a kid, but getting dinner ready was always more of a chore than a pleasure when I was younger. Once I moved out on my own and started making friends with some amazing people who are equally in love with food, it really became a big love in my life.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
You just celebrated a very important life milestone. Tell us the story behind Cardamom & Cloves.
Cardamom & Cloves has been my project for the past year – my baby if you will! It’s Ottawa’s only shop dedicated to herbs and spices and we opened the doors at the beginning of February. I was tired of having to go on a hunt every time a recipe would call for a semi-exotic spice. Sometimes by the time you have found it, you have forgotten why you wanted it – or you find it but aren’t given any helpful hints on other dishes you could use the spice in so you make that one special dish and that’s all you use the ingredient for. I wanted to open a shop that would carry the exotic, or find it for you if it isn’t in stock, and help you learn to use it.
I have my list of favorite restaurants in Ottawa but every once in a while, I like trying somewhere new. You have visited and reviewed most of the 100 entries in the 2009 Capital Dining Guide from the Ottawa Citizen. What are some of your favorite restaurants in Ottawa?
There are so many fantastic restaurants in Ottawa! From an amazing cozy pub like the Manx on Elgin, to something sleek and sophisticated like Eighteen and NEXT – there are so many great choices. My most recent favorite is the Albion Rooms!
I love the Bucket List feature on your website. What cities are on your dream travel culinary bucket list?
My travel bucket list just gets longer and longer. Honestly, for every item I cross off I add two more and want to go back to the one I just crossed off! I would say the top three for me at the moment are: St. George’s, Grenada (the spice islands); Madrid, Spain and Espelette, France. All of which I would go to for a variety of amazing spices!
Who taught you how to cook/bake? Do you have a favorite childhood food memory?
My Mom was always in charge of meals at our house, so it would be her who first taught me to cook/bake. I also learned a lot from watching and re-watching cooking shows on PBS while I was little. I think that’s one of my first memories, watching Julia Child on PBS while playing with Lego. I think I would have been about 8!
What is your favorite meal?
My favourite meal is my next one. But really – anything with pasta and cheese is the best.
Do you have a guilty food pleasure?
I have been known to eat a lot of processed and crappy food, but only things I ate as a child. I think it’s more nostalgia than anything else. For instance, I adore Tuna Helper. But since I so rarely eat it, I don’t feel that guilty when I give in to my craving.
Who are some of your favorite celebrity Chefs?
I’m a big fan of Michael Smith and Jamie Oliver! I’ll watch anything with one of them in it.
If you had your own show on the Food Network, what would it be about?
If I had my own show it would be about tips and tricks to save a dinner you think you have ruined. I don’t know if I’m qualified to host it, but I would definitely watch to learn what to do when you have added too much of an ingredient or something.
Since we are a fashion and beauty blog, would you mind answering some personal questions?
Do you have a daily beauty routine?
In terms of a daily beauty routine, I would say that I definitely try to take care of my skin. Stress really affects my complexion, and I have some pretty sensitive combination skin so it’s important that I use a cleaner that is gentle but also effective. And I always make sure to moisturize, with SPF in the morning and a deep moisturizer at night.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is comfortable! I’m on my feet all day and hardly ever sit still. Lately I’ve been loving cute dresses with tights – I think of it like an adult track suit. There is nothing worse than being in uncomfortable clothing all day.
Let’s hear some of your favorites…
piece of clothing you own: I have this wonderful little dress I picked up in Thailand – it fits like a glove and is so comfortable!
pair of shoes: I have a pair of Steve Madden kitten heels that are so comfortable they are like slippers – but more appropriate to wear in public.
place to shop: Modcloth – a retro dress shop online.
hair product: I have this great almond oil that I use when my hair is too static-filled – it smells like yum!
makeup must have: Lipstick – my lips feel naked without it.
What is your favorite way to pamper yourself?
Shopping is my favourite way to pamper myself, for sure. For anything and everything as long as I can take my time. Even if it’s just picking up some little treat while grocery shopping.
Finally pick three words that describe you best.
Three words: sarcastic, dramatic and spicy!