Jody Eddy gives a warm hygge
Jody Eddy has two passions: writing and cooking. With six cookbooks under her belt and a seventh on the way, writing cookbooks and helping others tell their stories is the perfect role for Eddy.
Finding the career that intersects her two passions was a bit of a journey. After graduating with an English degree, Eddy moved to New York and decided to indulge her passion for cooking. She attended, and graduated from, culinary school to launch her career as a chef.
“I worked at restaurants in New York and England but my mom’s voice was always ringing in my ear, reminding me of how much I loved to write,” she says. “When I was hired as the Executive Editor of Art Culinaire … I finally merged my two great loves. Cookbook writing felt like a natural progression and best of all, the decision made my mom really happy.”
“Being a chef has enabled me to empathize with the chefs that I’m writing about in a way that I never would have been able to had I not worked as a cook myself,” Eddy explains. “Although the hours in a restaurant kitchen are long and the demands are high, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else.”
Eddy focuses on exploring the culture behind her topics in all of her books. Her latest, The Hygge Life: Embracing the Nordic Art of Coziness, published in 2017, is an account on how hygge (pronounced hue-guh) influences daily life in Scandinavian culture.
“It’s a lifestyle … about creating an inviting setting for the people you love in a simple yet impactful way,” explains Eddy. “We all respond to that feeling of being embraced and loved in a setting that feels easy and comfortable and that’s what hygge is all about.”
She was first introduced to hygge in 2008 when she traveled to Iceland. That same trip was also where she met Chef Gunnar Karl Gíslason, her co-author for The Hygge Life, as well as her 2014 book, North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland.
“As a native Minnesotan, I’m drawn to cold places. Iceland was always at the top of my list to check out,” she says. “I’ve traveled throughout Scandinavia countless times (50 times to Iceland alone) since I first met Gunnar and have always admired how Scandinavians create cozy atmospheres that feel warm and welcoming even in the darkest, coldest winter.”
“My mom passed away unexpectedly a year and a half ago,” Eddy mentions. “As an only child raised by a single mother, it was a really devastating loss. My friends and family embraced me in a way that mirrors the principles of hygge. They made me feel supported, loved and embraced in warm and remarkable ways … The book enabled me to explore how to incorporate hygge into my life in tangible and lasting ways, such as in the ways I decorate, cook, dress, travel and entertain. Embracing hygge makes life feel gentler, softer, easier and more inspiring.”