Welcome to Blue Jean Gourmet!  BJG is based in Houston, Texas and powered by the lovely people you see below.  We post twice a week–and will never bother you with recipes that aren’t worth your time.  Have a question or suggestion for us?

Email: bluejeangourmet (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks again for stopping by!

Nishta, Blue Jean Gourmet (follow me on Twitter)

in the blue jean backyard

I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, which accounts for a lot of things (see: love of pulled pork barbecue, insistence on calling all sodas “Coke,” inability to leave the house without my toenails painted). I’m also the first-generation daughter of Indian immigrants, so I learned to cook at my mother‘s hip and developed my adventurous palate by mirroring my epicurean father.  Cooking is my absolute favorite way to display affection.

Outside of the kitchen, I spend my days teaching English to some awesome eighth-grade punks. I’m also currently at work on a memoir.

Jill, Blue Jean spouse & food stylist (follow her on Twitter)

we're a blue jean pair

In addition to being an incredibly tolerant spouse (see: piles of dishes in the sink & open cabinets) and instinctive food stylist, Jill happens to be a total badass in her professional life as a scholar, writer, & speaker. Culinarily speaking, Jill grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana with an incredible, cast-iron cook of a mother; that’s why she handles all of the cornbread in our family. She’s also grill-master, vegetable gardener, bird hunter, and the love of my life.

Sonya, Blue Jean photographer (follow her on Twitter)

one of the few photographs on BJG she didn't take

An incredibly talented, self-taught photographer and painter, Sonya generously lends her talents to the Blue Jean Kitchen. Unless otherwise noted, all of the photographs on this site are attributable to her. Sonya is also most often the Blue Jean Kitchen DJ, forcing us to stop & dance from time to time. For all of her hard work, we reward Sonya with margaritas and fried plantains, her favorites.

Heather, Blue Jean technology goddess (follow her on Twitter)

what is this thing they call "art"?

Thank goodness for Heather! Her knowledge of all things web-related and her generosity in sharing that knowledge allowed for the birth of Blue Jean Gourmet. In addition to patiently guiding me through this wild, wiki-fied world, Heather spends her days being a hip librarian, art historian, committed vegetarian, & awesome stepmom.

Anders Zwartjes

Anders, Blue Jean Sommelier

Anders is a native of Camden, Maine and proud owner of omnivorous and transient tendencies that have led him to live and eat extensively in Europe, Central America and now in Washington State.  Currently, he is the Sales and Marketing Director for Gilbert Cellars Winery in Yakima, WA.  Anders has received his level I and II certifications from the International Sommelier Guild.  When it comes to wine, he takes a pirate approach, advocating “guidelines not rules,” making wine accessible and fun for everyone.

39 responses to “About

  1. Wow, Nishta….great stuff! Congrats!

  2. Looks great ladies! I’ll have to bring some of your H-Town goodness to the Upper East Side. Yum!

  3. WOW ladies!!! This is awesome!! I would love to join you sometime. Could I be the official “BJT” (Blue Jean Taster) 😉 I love FOOD and I love learning new recipes. Great job and this is going on my favs!!!

  4. Fantastic job ladies! Sonya, i am so proud of you and your exceptional talent! (tear!) love you and the woman you’ ve become!
    Already added to the faves list.

  5. Nishta, the site looks awesome! And looks like a ton of fun– wish I could join y’all for a kitchen dance party with plantains. Looking forward to reading more!

  6. Ok – you are fabulous, fantastic, superb, delish-kapish (as MaryGrove would say), all rolled into a beautiful package! Well done!

    Add some recipes for kiddos!

    • bluejeangourmet

      Thanks so much, Al! Kiddo-friendly recipes (both making & eating!) are definitely in the plan.

  7. Hooray! It’s beautiful and so are you. Much love and good food until the next time you’re in our kitchen …

  8. nishta, this is pure genius. if anything/anyone is going to break the inertia of my so-so eating habits (example: dinner=chips and salsa, cheese, and “not the drink of my people” chai)… it will be you with this site! bravo.

    • bluejeangourmet

      Katherine–thank you. can’t wait to be cooking in your kitchen again!

      Annie–I’m so glad to hear it; I hope I can be an inspiration and/or motivation. let me know how the progress comes along…and truly, no shame in the salsa, chips, & cheese dinner–I’ve so been there!

  9. Great to see another Houstonian intersted in food! I’ll subscribe to your feed…please check out my site too…I blog about food, Houston (restaurants, of course), and keeping active!

    • bluejeangourmet

      thanks for checking me out, Stef! I’m looking forward to enjoying your site, especially future restaurant reviews–my biggest Houston weakness (and happiness!)

  10. As an unabashed foodie who’s always looking for that rare food blog that’s worth going back to again and again, I am SO THRILLED that the first one I’ve seen that reminds me why cooking is so lovely–it brings us together–happens to be by one of the most amazing women I know. No coincidence. Nishta et al, congratulations on a job so very well done!

  11. Charlyne Hochschild


    I loved reading the excerpt. I felt like an invited visitor into the world of your youth. I cannot wait to read the published book.


  12. Hi Ms. Mehra! This is Lindsay W (your student). I love your website and I am definitely going to be coming back to this site. Right now in tech, we are learning about blogs and you were our first blog.
    Lindsay W

  13. Meagan Glover

    Ms. Mehra,
    I LOVE this blog!! It is so cool. Next time I am going to cook I will look at your blog!! I love this website, and it is amazing! You are a great teacher!
    Meagan Glover (student)

  14. Sarah Horwitz

    HEYY! I didn’t know you had a blog. Thats so cool! You never told us that. I am going to try one of your recipes for dinner tonight! But which one? They all look so yummy!!!! Will you make one of the recipes for your phish food class? (maybe one with chocolate?! LOL!)

  15. Nishta – I’m reading The Odyssey this summer (it’s about time – to keep up with the grandkids) and Finnegan’s Wake if I make it. Good luck to us both.

    • bluejeangourmet

      Carolyn–thanks for taking a look around here. The Odyssey is one of my favorites–I HIGHLY recommend the Fagles translation–so very lovely and eminently readable. I’m re-reading his translation of The Iliad now. Did you see “The Reader?” “Sing to me, O Muse, of the man…”

  16. Nishta – I do have the Fagles translation and it is excellent. “The Reader” is a fine book – it blew me away – but I did not see the movie. Glad school is over.

  17. Hey ms. Mehra!!!! It’s Jamie! I didn’t know you had a blog! It’s cool… I don’t know how to cook, but i have always wanted to learn. Well, gotta go bye!

  18. Just found your blog through an ad on Facebook. I love your style – I’ll be checking in regularly!

  19. Hey! @foodloves here, stopping by to learn more about the Twitter friend who gives great Colorado tips! Sounds like we have a lot in common, as I’m also the daughter of an Indian immigrant (Mom’s mostly Italian), got my undergrad in English Ed and, obviously, have an obsession with food, food, food! Great to meet you. 🙂

    • bluejeangourmet

      Shannalee–I’m glad you stopped by for a visit & I love that we have some aligned interests. welcome!

  20. Lauren Santerre

    Well ladies you know I love you both! Beautiful pics and fun reading…I’ll have to try out some of the recipes!

  21. Hey, Nishta! I am a young blogger (I am blogging since one year about food) so it is no wonder that I am always thinking about food too 😛

    Wish you to drop by and see the zen of my kitchen!




  23. Natalie and Danielle

    Hi Ms. Mehra,
    It’s us! Yes, Danielle and Natalie. We just saw your website and it is so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!! yah we LLLOOOVVVEE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    D and N

  24. Hey girl it’s Courtney’s Uncle Bubba.I love your sight i’m getting hungry already.Let me know if you want any of my recipes.

  25. Hey Nishta! I found it! Website looks great. Maybe this will finally inspire me to cook more often.

  26. Pingback: A BIRTHDAY & A WELCOME « Blue Jean Gourmet

  27. You are amazing! I love your blog, this is SO WELL DONE! Way to go. I love it. Nice photos and lay out. I know it’s a lot of work…. Wow.

  28. Just found your blog from the HP Blog Stars story (http://www.houstonpress.com/2010-03-18/news/blog-stars) I’m not really a foodie but I am just in love with Sonya Cuellar’s food photography!

    Glad I find yall! Maybe I’ll learn to cook a thing or 2.

  29. I love your website. You have some great insight on life. I will be a follower for here on out. I know, I sound country, can’t help it I am. Any of your eighth graders pick up your pearls of wisdom? I certainly hope so. I’m going to refer your site to my eighteen year old daughter. Your love of food, live and people are contagious. dd

  30. Looks like a terrific team! Love your site, and all its generous insight. You’re an inspiration.

  31. hey nishta! i hope you’re doing great. the site looks tastier than ever. i was inspired to revisit it because i’m actually (gasp) cooking a bit lately! right now i’m on a mission to use up all the ingredients in my house before moving cross-country so that’s making me creative. by the way- i’m thinking of actually growing a few herbs (and other plants?) once i’m no longer living in a freakin’ desert, and i got to thinking: i dunno if you grow your own herbs or veggies at all, but i think that would be an awesome post– an inspiring, un-intimidating, eloquent how-to in the same vein as your cooking instructions 🙂 anyways, enjoy and take care.

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