Jessica Koslow is founder of the L.A. preserves company Sqirl and just opened a cafe in her production space on the edge of Silver Lake. In addition to making jams, marmalades, chutneys and fruit butters, Koslow is overseeing the Virgil Avenue breakfast-and-lunch spot, turning out dishes such as brioche toast with greens, tomatillo, lacto-fermented hot sauce and fried egg; applewood-grilled sardines with fennel, beets, jicama and arugula; and kabocha with lambs quarters, romanesco and Baserri sheep cheese. And there’s no shortage of jams: How about Moro blood orange and vanilla bean, wild blueberry and tarragon, or Mission fig with Mourvèdre?
What’s coming up next on your menu? Spiny lobster lightly grilled over binchotan [Japanese charcoal].
Latest ingredient obsession? Jimmy Nardello peppers from Windrose Farm. They're in our dishes raw and fermented. Fruity, sweet, a little kick in the seeds — they're fantastic.
The one piece of kitchen equipment you can’t live without, other than your knives? My beautiful copper jam pans.
The last cookbook you read — and what inspired you to pick it up? “Mouneh: Preserving Foods for the Lebanese Pantry.” Edward Behr wrote about it in the Art of Eating earlier in the year; however, it was not available for sale directly in the U.S. until recently.