Jack V., Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Jack V. has tested.

Jack Van Amburg

Food has always been a central part of Jack’s life, back to the days of standing on a stool in the kitchen so he could keep an eye on his toaster waffles. When he wasn’t learning from his mother and his grandmothers, he was watching Food Network and reading back issues of Gourmet and Saveur. A classically trained cellist, Jack started working in kitchen stores during grad school for fun and loved getting to try out all the new cooking products and running cooking demonstrations. After six years and three different companies, and with virtually nothing left to use his associate discount on, he returned to Los Angeles for sunny weather and a change of pace.

He loves cooking for his friends, especially on Waffle Sunday. He’s teased mercilessly by his family for his cookbook and cookware collections and there are rumors of a potential intervention for his eighteen pieces of Staub cast-iron, which he vehemently argues is still not enough. He is very firmly Team Pie (sorry, not sorry, cake) and loves exploring hole-in-the-wall restaurants and markets across the LA region. He can be found on Instagram.

Two grilled scallop kabobs on a blue oval platter with a dish of dipping sauce on the side.

Grilled Scallop Kabobs

These easy grilled scallop kabobs get a flavor boost from a quick marinade and a smoky scallion-sumac dipping sauce.

A white oval serving platter filled with carrot ribbon salad and garnished with cilantro leaves.

Carrot Ribbon Salad

We’re declaring this easy, healthy salad of carrots, cilantro, and toasted cumin vinaigrette your summer go-to salad.

A white bowl filled with warm marinated lentil salad with feta cheese slabs on top.

Marinated Lentil Salad

Love lentils? Us, too. Even if you don’t, give this recipe a whirl. The combination of lentils with a spiced nut vinaigrette, fresh basil, and slabs of feta cheese may change your mind.

Dried fruit and nut cake cut into three slices on a cutting board on marble

Dried Fruit and Nut Cake

Chock-full of crunchy nuts and moist dried fruit, this cake is a taste sensation. May we suggest a choice of apricots, plums, pears, or peaches?

Creole shrimp and grits in a white bowl, with a spoon above the bowl with a shrimp in it.

Creole Shrimp and Grits

Tanya Holland gives us Southern comfort food with Big Easy flair. That’s what we think of these perfectly spiced shrimp swimming in a slightly spicy sauce with ample cheesy grits to soak it all up.