Meet the Board: Emahlea Jackson

This is the latest post in our “Meet the Board” series. Each Monday, we’ll feature one of our 2017-18 board members, not stopping until we run out of board members (in late January).


Emalea Jackson
Student Representative (Seattle Pacific University)

Emahlea JacksonI am in my senior year at Seattle Pacific University. Prior to studying nutrition and dietetics, I worked in IT and computer repair. Currently, I volunteer as a kitchen coordinator at Ballard Saturday Soup, and I work as a research assistant in a nutritional epidemiology lab at Fred Hutch. I also recently completed a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute where I coordinated an epidemiology research project. During my free time, I love to experiment in the kitchen, play guitar, and travel.

Favorite food: Am I allowed to say dessert even though I’m a nutrition professional? Because it’s totally dessert. I love pie – fruit pie, chocolate pie, custard pie, squash pie… Especially with coffee. Mmm.

Homemade lemon curd pie with blueberries

Favorite form of physical activity: I love to lift weights! Getting stronger has been empowering. Who knew picking things up and putting them back down could be so much fun? I also love hiking – the PNW has no shortage of beautiful places to trek around!

Hiking to the top of Diamond Head in Oahu

Favorite travel destination: I just went to Tokyo for the first time a couple months ago, and I’m already itching to go back. Everything there is so bright and colorful and weird. I was lucky enough to score a reservation at Sukiyabashi Jiro, the restaurant owned by Jiro Ono from the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi – and the sushi went straight from his hand to my mouth! Also, there are coin-operated prize machines for literally everything there. I left Tokyo with so many useless trinkets.

With husband Brian and chef Jiro Ono at his restaurant in Ginza

Favorite food city: This is a tough one! In the United States, Seattle is easily one of the best food cities, but my favorite food city is probably Washington, DC. José Andrés has been my favorite chef since I was a teenager, and I always have to go to Zaytinya when I’m out east. Outside of the US, I would have to pick Copenhagen. Everything you can get there – even simple snacks (like danishes!) – is pure heaven on a plate. While I was there, I had the luxurious fortune of dining at Geranium, a Michelin 3-star restaurant with 20 courses of unbelievably amazing food.

Salted hake, parsley stems and Finnish caviar in buttermilk from Geranium in Copenhagen, Denmark

Favorite hobby: It’s a toss-up between cooking and playing guitar! I spend most of my free time trying new recipes and learning new songs.

Something that most people don’t know about me: I used to volunteer at a planetarium in my hometown that used one of the old school mechanical Zeiss projectors. I learned how to work the projector and assembled handmade special effects (think like shining a light through colored cellophane to simulate a dramatic sunset). And…it’s my birthday on Sunday!