Jess Jann is many things — a model, actress, food blogger, entrepreneur and (new) wife — but one thing we didn’t expect from the Hong Kong influencer is her love for playing the role of a party host. She lets us in on her signature dishes, tips on how to throw a great dinner, and her obsessive collection for mugs in her kitchen cabinet.
How’s married life treating you?
Married life is great! I didn’t enjoy the wedding planning much as my husband Kenneth is quite the perfectionist, (and I am as well), but he takes it to another level. But now that that’s all over, I really do enjoy married life. It’s great and we’re having a blast!
Now that you’re married, what’s changed?
We try to dine at home more, but I wasn’t gifted with cooking skills! I really admire people who can cook because I love watching all the cooking shows; MasterChef, Top Chef, Final Table, and I wish I could cook like that. I watch food shows religiously on Netflix too. Unfortunately, things get burnt or undercooked when I’m in the kitchen. What I can do is bake desserts though. I find it much easier as all you just have to do is just follow the recipe and you’re good to go!
So that would make Kenneth the chef of the house?
Kenneth is a really, really good cook so I got really lucky because he enjoys to cook and I like to eat. It works out great. I have no complaints here!
What’s dinner like at home?
I love spending time with my family and we’re really close. So we try to get the family or friends over when we can. I like hosting a movie night or game night. Though I’m not a good cook, I’m a really good host. Kenneth does the cooking, and I’ll prepare everything else. I usually have a theme when we host dinners. I make all my guests come in theme, and Kenneth will tailor the dishes to incorporate some element of the theme. I try to make it work, but I’m usually the one who’s really into the theme thing.
What makes for a good host?
Without sounding too cheesy, if you put love onto the table, people really take note of that and appreciate it. It’s all about the little touches you add to it. Kenneth’s mom is a really amazing host — So when she hosts anything, she has matching sets of everything! Placemats, tiny spoons (that I’m not sure what they’re used for), and ice cream makers – everything you can imagine! It’s great because these are the things that people really appreciate. If you put love and attention into it, it really sets you apart! As for myself, I’m really into tableware and making sure everything matches there.
Share some of your home decor and table setting tips!
Our place is currently being renovated, it’s taking a really long time! We put a lot of thought into how our house is going to look. We really enjoy the process of picking things out for our home – we’re still picking out things right now. We picked out some really classic pieces, but we also picked some more playful things for special occasions. I’m personally really into bold and bright colours.
We have an everyday set that we use when it’s just us. But we’ll bring out the fancier, more vibrant pieces when we have people over. I am currently obsessed with the Hummingbird collection by Wedgwood. It’s literally everything that I like – it’s something different that immediately stands out. It’s also different from the other Wedgwood collections that I have too, making it a really great collector’s edition. But these are definitely only for hosting. They’re too beautiful for everyday use!
What is something uniquely you that we’ll find in your kitchen?
I have a weird, almost unhealthy obsession with mugs! I have a huge mug collection and Kenneth has told me that I can’t bring that into our new place because we don’t have enough storage for it. I’ve been trying to defend my collection by telling people that it’s a practical souvenir! I have around 50 to 60! But I only use a few, the rest are just to admire.
How far in advance do you start preparing for home gatherings?
Kenneth is very well prepared. He has a grocery list that he creates in advance, but he doesn’t go to the grocery store until the morning of to make sure that all the ingredients are fresh. He takes his time to go through YouTube videos and cooking blogs for tips. He’s really into the whole cooking thing! I try to assist, but he usually trusts me with the simpler things – like selecting and opening the wine, or picking out the glassware and table sets. I also prepare salads, charcuterie boards and cheese platters.
What are some things that you’ll always serve?
Our lamb rack encrusted with garlic, parmesan and herb is a huge hit. I contribute a little bit with the marinade and rolling the lamb in the crust. We also do a vodka pasta that has now become sort of a signature of ours. My cousins saw a photo of it on social media and had asked us to recreate it for them. At that time we were just testing it out, but over time, we’ve perfected it and they always ask for us to serve our famous pasta dish when they come around.
What makes for a memorable dinner party? What makes it special?
It’s the company and the conversation. It’s a great way to unwind. Especially in Hong Kong when things are so stressful. A lot goes into preparing a dinner for a group of guests, and I wasn’t aware of that when I was younger. As you get older, it takes a lot of effort to get everyone together – so I really appreciate the time that I can share with my family and loved ones as it’s really hard to do sometimes.
The British premium lifestyle brand has a heritage of providing for the Royal Families, Heads of State as well as celebrities across the globe. Founded on the principles of design, quality and innovation, Wedgwood makes the highest quality fine bone china dinnerware, teaware as well as ornamental pieces.
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For more information, visit Wedgwood.com.
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