TL&CC Q&A: Jessica Azeez, co-owner, Seylou Bakery & Mill, Washington DC, USA

28 March 2019

Jessica Azeez is the co-owner of SEYLOU. Her background is in fashion, Waldorf education and yoga teaching. Over the years Jessica has accompanied husband Jonathan on his various baking expeditions and has served as his assistant at world-class events. She worked alongside Jonathan at Blue Hill at Stone Barns last spring and has attended bread course seminars and trainings at the San Francisco Baking Institute. She brings her keen eye for design to the layout and execution of SEYLOU. She also brings her love of herbal medicine into the various teas and drinks that are offered.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Feeling vibrant and full of life in a beautiful and natural environment with my beloved husband.

What is the best thing you can do with your hands? Connect with others through touch, touch is a powerful medium that reminds us that we are all connected and living this human experience as spiritual beings together.

What was your first experience with sustainable eating? Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

What do you love most about what you do? The feeling of making a positive difference in the world and in the community.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A dolphin.

Are there any mentors or food heroes you would like to thank? Dan Barber and Dr Stephen Jones from The Bread Lab in Washington state.

What are your favourite books or cookbooks? You Are Your Child's First Teacher, by Rahima Baldwin Dancy.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you are doing? Travelling the world.

How do you like to spend your day off? Hiking in nature with Jonathan.

What does success mean to you? Feeling as though I am flourishing and living without fear.

What are the qualities you most admire in others? Hospitality, generosity, warmth.

Which three words best describe your cooking style? Simple, organic, easy.

If you could eat only one thing today, what would it be? Coffee.

What do you see when you think of the cuisine of your own country? Broad spectrum/multi-cultural.

Which producer or supplier really brightens your day? Next Step Produce, an organic and bio-dynamically-inspired farm in Maryland.

Which talent would you most like to have? A bold public speaker.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? More outgoing.

What do you think the food of the future will look like? I think there will be two polar opposites playing themselves out. One will be a world of convenience and shipping; the other will be an approach back to the land and sustainable agriculture.

Do you have a motto or mantra? Live each day with gratitude.

What is your number one sustainability tip or trick? Support your local farmers.

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