Hello! Welcome to the The Green Turnip.
I am Jessy LeClair. I am a blogger, entrepreneur, and cross-cultural adventurer. I divide my time between the East and West Coasts of the U.S., and Japan. Currently, I am in California.
The Green Turnip – I started this blog to share my travels in Japan and my journey to becoming a Japanese veggie expert.
What exactly is a Japanese veggie expert?
That’s my term for a certificate program run by the Japan Vegetable Sommelier Association. The certificate shows expert-level knowledge of fruit and vegetables (similar to the way that wine sommeliers are experts on the subject of wine). Right now, I am working towards earning my junior level certificate but I hope to reach the senior level. Every weekend, I cook my way through a Japanese veggie salad recipe book (see the “Make Now & Eat Later” page). I am learning all kinds of fun things about veggies, and I hope you can join the fun with me!
A little about me – I grew up mostly in Boston (aside from a few years on a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean).
In college, I double-majored in Japanese and Biology. That’s where I learned Japanese (or at least started to learn Japanese). After graduating, I got a Fulbright Fellowship and lived in Kyoto for a year researching plankton. My problem is that I enjoy chasing whatever is fascinating in the moment. However, delicious food has always held my attention! I spent my first trip in Japan learning about traditional pickling techniques and eating large helpings of stinky fermented vegetables.
My gastronomic adventures also include – poison fugu blowfish, raw chicken, stewed frogs (in Beijing), and sea cucumber, to name a few.
Why The “Green” Turnip?
Since I am always looking for new exciting shiny things, I often find myself out of my depth in totally unfamiliar areas. I always feel a little green, a little new. Also it is a reference to my favorite Dr. Seuss book, “Green Eggs and Ham.” That book taught me the important lesson of jumping into new experiences without thinking too much. (Actually that’s a lesson I am still trying to learn…)
All photos are mine (or my boyfriend’s) unless noted otherwise.
The turnip header was drawn for me by my extremely talented sister, K. LeClair. She is a neuroscience whiz, a fantastic artist, and an all around generous, kind person. So proud of her. Thank you sister!
Please say hi! I love to chat.