Julie Anne Rhodes is another Woman Worth Knowing I’ve never met in person. She came to my attention with a literal sucker punch. You see, an 8th grade classmate of mine was crying one morning because Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran and had gotten married. I laughed at her. She punched me in the stomach so hard, I had to go to the nurse’s office. I learned two things that day: Never laugh at a Duranie, and that there was such a thing as Julie Anne Rhodes.
Not long after, Julie Anne appeared in a People Magazine wearing what they called “a dress…only less.” I remember this because I cut it out and kept it. Julie Anne’s backless, bottom cleavage revealing frock lit my imagination. I begged to have something similar, a more modest version, for a dance. My mother compromised with me, and helped me make a headpiece similar to the one Julie Anne wore. My date, definitely not Nick Rhodes, was underwhelmed.
Over the course of the next few years, I would see Julie Anne in candid photos with the likes of Andy Warhol and fashion shots as she made the globe with her husband and career, always wearing something that looked more like art than clothing. Julie Anne made a huge impression on my taste.
Last year, I happened upon her blog, Jewels from The Roving Stove, and was delighted to find that she was wonderful to read. Now an award winning chef and writer with a book on the way, she has gone from “VIP lounges in Versace, to service entrances in [her] apron.”
I tried a couple of her recipes and they were really good. My family liked them. Her instructions were easy to follow, and I managed to cook them without setting my kitchen on fire. I felt accomplished! I sent her an email and she replied graciously, answering my questions and putting up with my effusive proclamations of, “OMG, and that hat! I loved that hat!” Even better, she responded with a list of tools every kitchen should have, and I have been building my tool box using her template since.
Julie Anne writes about cooking with a passion. I hate to call it cooking. She writes about cheffing. She cares about sharing what she knows, and making the world a healthier, tastier place. There is a clear love of her work in her words, and it is a thrill to live vicariously through her blog, detailing her world travels and sparkling celebrity guest list. Getting to know her through her writing was worth the punch in the stomach. I do hope to meet her in person one day, if only to eyeball her wardrobe. If I’m lucky, she’ll have been cooking.
Meet Julie Anne.
Name: Julie Anne Rhodes or just Jewels… I answer to both.
Preferred Job Title: Award-winning personal chef, writer, blogger
Describe your family: ‘Leave it to Beaver’ meets ‘The Munsters’
What does the first hour of your day look like? Snuggled up with my dog Daisy and my laptop
The last hour? Snuggled up with my dog Daisy and my laptop
What makes you feel successful? Knowing my daughter is happy and has found her way in life, hearing “Mmmmmmmmmmm…” coming from the dining room of a client’s home, realizing people are actually reading my blogs, being told my agent (a top NY literary agent) wants to represent my book, and nearly being plowed down (to get to my food) by the crew of the last cooking show I did when the director yelled “cut”.
What brings you joy? When I stop to appreciate how blessed my life has been with extraordinary people, experiences and opportunities. Writing the blog is really just an extension of that joy.
What women do you admire? My Grandma was Auntie Mame, Endora, and Gloria Steinem all rolled into one. I adored no one more… http://jewelsfromtherovingstove.blogspot.com/2009/09/beetroot-war.html
What do you like best about your closest friend? We’re both really busy and live in different time zones, so we may not speak or see each other for quite a while, but we just pick up where we left off without skipping a beat when we do. We just know each other so well instinctively that it is an effortless, but true friendship.
What do you like best about yourself? That I can still find that childlike wonder within that fuels my lust for life.
What advice would you give boys about girls? Old fashioned chivalry is sexy.
What were you like at ages 6, 12, and 24? In too big of a hurry to grow up at 6 and 12, then needed to grow up at 24. I never could do life traditionally like everyone else.
What advice would you give to your 6, 12, and 24 year old selves? Not to believe anyone that tries to tell you that you can’t achieve something, never stop dreaming, and always strive for those dreams. It doesn’t matter if you fail and it doesn’t matter what people think, so long as you know you gave it your best shot.
How do you overcome adversity? Constantly reprogramming my thoughts to think positively, so I see the glass half full. There is a lesson in every experience, even the hard ones, so there is always a gift to be had when you think positively.