Rising Star Chef Jessica Koslow of Sqirl - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

May 2014

Jessica Koslow grew up in Long Beach, California, the only child of a single mother. The time they had together in the evenings to cook or at least eat together was important—and as it turns out, formative and fortuitous. In 2005, after finishing a graduate degree, Koslow moved to Atlanta with her career in flux. But she found inspiration after dining at Anne Quatrano’s Bacchanalia and Star Provisions. After a revelatory meal, Koslow went home and emailed Quatrano, who called the next day, laughing, and told her to come in for work. For a year, Koslow learned how to cook with integrity in one of the South’s most esteemed kitchens.

Still, Koslow felt the pull to make her degree work, so she moved to New York to become a television producer. But she couldn’t shake food. She moved to Los Angeles and started working nights, baking bread at Village Bakery, working an office day-job and not sleeping. In 2010, the office closed and Koslow uprooted her life to work at Dench Bakers in Melbourne, Australia.

Returning to Los Angeles a year later, with a brief stop in Atlanta to work at Quatrano’s recently opened Abattoir, Koslow opened her own place, Sqirl. At first selling preserves and then expanding into a small restaurant (and a soon-to-open market à la Star Provisions), Koslow has become an integral part of the East Hollywood community, earning a 2014 StarChefs Rising Star Community Chef Award. She’s also active in Edible School Yard, Bakers Will Bake, Farm On Wheels, and Sustainable Kitchen.