While Jessica carves out time to work on her photography her fabulous day job is as professional recipe developer for Maya Kaimal Foods, maker of premium Indian sauces, entrees, and snacks.
Jessica learned to cook and bake at her Grandma Bard’s side, making all kinds of cakes from basic 5-tiered classic wedding cakes to bespoke designs (way before it was cool). Grandma Bard had the entire family pitch in to cater weddings, many at Blithewood at Bard College. Jessica was hooked on cooking and was able to get jobs catering through high school (Elisabeth Irwin) and college (SUNY Puchase.) All the while skateboarding, photographing, and living a fun life.
In 1991, she pursued a formal culinary education at The Culinary Institute of America graduating in 1996 from their first Bachelors' class. She stayed on to work at CIA as Photo Editor in their cookbook department. After 5 years, she moved on to magazine work, editing, writing, producing, food styling, recipe development, and recipe testing.
A contributor to Fine Cooking Magazine since 2003, Jessica has especially enjoyed writing about cooking with fresh herbs and seasonal farm market produce. As an avid gardener it’s no wonder her articles have titles like, Make Room For Basil, Many Ways with Mint, and Corn 10 Ways. Jessica is a busy Mom and takes credit for creating dozens of quick and easy recipes. Jessica chronicles her culinary adventures on Instagram @jbardcooks.
Jessica Bard is a culinary professional and life-long foodie, but also an avid photographer. Her current imagery finds a home on Instagram as @jessicatylerbard, but her passion is “re-visioning” her body of work from the 1980’s. As a girl skateboarder, punker, and clubber in New York City and its’ environs, Jessica captured the scenes of her teens and twenties with a naïve, but intuitive style of black and white reportage.
Key images from her massive archive have been sought out by filmmakers and are featured in award-winning skate and music scene documentaries: Godfathers of Hardcore, New York Hardcore Chronicles, OG: the Harry Jumonji Story, and DeathBowl to Downtown: The Evolution of Skateboarding in New York.
Beyond the bounds of the gritty city, Jessica was lucky to have a family home in the Hudson Valley where she could embrace the antidote in nature photography. She now resides at the same family homestead with her husband, daughter, and cats (who have their own Instagram accounts).
Jessica’s interest in photography was bolstered, when her Greenwich Village high school, Elisabeth Irwin, required photography classes and provided free film and a darkroom for 4 years. Working on the high school yearbook, encouraged another skill, photo editing. In college, she refined her talents as photo editor for the student newspaper, The Load, at SUNY Purchase. Still a student, she took a part-time job as assistant photo editor at WWF Magazine (we’re talking the wrestling, not wildlife). But the money was better made in the catering world and as she veered towards the culinary side of things, and moved back upstate, her skateboarding life faded out.
During her tenure at CIA (we’re talking culinary, not government intel) she did her work-study in their publishing department and upon graduating was hired as the full-time photo editor. Books are lengthy labors-of-love and after 5 years, she moved to the faster paced world of magazines. Jessica used her fully established skills to work at food magazines as a photo editor, producer, and stylist.