Jennifer Burns Bright is an Oregon writer, teacher, and food consultant who splits her time between Portland and Port Orford, valley and shore, city and country. This migrancy allows her to report on the agricultural avant-garde in the Willamette Valley and foodshed development on our dynamic Oregon coast. She specializes in investigating local terroir, cooking with regional specialties, and connecting those who harvest with those who consume. In 2017-18, Bright is speaking in towns throughout Oregon through the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project on the topic of sustainable seafood.
Bright taught literature and food studies at the University of Oregon for seven years, led a faculty research group in the emerging discipline of food studies, and won a national pedagogy award for a team-taught, interdisciplinary class on bread. She holds a PhD from the University of California at Irvine and a Master Food Preserver certification. As a community organizer linking local producers and consumers, Bright often speaks and teaches at events. When she’s not out gathering seaweed or smoking black cod, she might be found judging culinary masterpieces or interviewing luminaries in the food world. She still misses cohosting the fabulous radio program Food for Thought on KLCC, Eugene’s NPR affiliate. Her writing — on subjects as varied as confit on a budget, heritage squash, foraging boletes, seed science, Dutch herring, and the history of restaurants — appears in Gastronomica, Oregon Quarterly, NPR’s The Salt, AAA’s Via, and Eugene Magazine, among others.