Jessie YuChen wearing glasses and wearing brown sweater

Reunion: Jessie YuChen

Jessie YuChen (she/they) is a food and lifestyle photographer based in Brooklyn, New York.

Hailing from Taiwan, they create images to process personal experiences as a queer immigrant and explore others’ vibrant stories. Jessie first picked up the camera to document their culinary work as a chef, and has since been in the world of image making as a director, photographer, and food stylist.

Their editorial work has been published in Bon Appétit, The Food Network, and Saveur. They have worked with brands like Rémy Martin, Samsung, Chobani, Shake Shack, and many others. Jessie was nominated for the James Beard Foundation Journalism Award for a story on hot pot in 2023.

What's your favorite dish that evokes nostalgia?

It depends on the mood, the season, and the weather. As of right now, I am craving Taiwanese-style ginger duck soup eaten with a group while sitting on little stools on the side of the road, hotpot style. 

What's your go to restaurant for reunion meals?

Wenwen in Greenpoint or Wu’s Wonton King in Two Bridges, if not in my dining room.

What are your favorite food cities? What are some restaurants that taste like home to you?

My favorites are Taipei, Los Angeles, and Osaka. Some recommendations that taste like home to me around New York include Yumpling, 886, Ho Foods, OK Ryan, Meet Fresh, Taiwanese Gourmet, Main Street Imperial Taiwanese Gourmet, Formosa, Taiwan Pork Chop House, Gulp, Sunmerry Bakery, Fong on, Win Son Bakery, LaoJie, and Yin Ji Chang Fen.

What do you do for inspiration?

I am constantly searching for interesting work or subjects that spark creativity. I identify as a quiet extrovert. Being around my talented friends helps me recharge and get inspired. 

What's something you're obsessed with right now?

The Yun Hai Selection Dried Fruit Gift Box. Just look at it! It is the cutest package design I’ve ever seen for the best-quality assorted dried fruit from Taiwan.

Follow Jessie on Instagram.

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