People often remark that my going from fashion model to personal chef was an odd choice. Not really. You try living on 3 lettuce leaves a day and various stimulants and see where that gets you…a seat in an AA meeting feeling very, very hungry! Just for the record, I will be 11 years sober Sunday.

Julie Anne Rhodes in the Jessica Rabbit Dress

First off: I am not a classicaly trained chef. While other kids were out climbing trees, I had “concoction days” in my mother’s kitchen…you could say I have over 40 years experience cooking. Needless to say I have vastly improved since the days of presenting my father with smashed Oreo cookies mixed with lunch meat. The poor man gagged it down, all the while pretending it was the best thing he ever ate. That made the look of pride on his face when I won “Best Poultry Burger in America” on Food Network’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown all the more rewarding.

I was born into a retailing family, so fashion has always played a large role in my life. I grew up with Halston and Bill Blass staying in our house while they did trunk shows at the Younker Brothers stores. I idolized their glamorous models, and dreamed of being just like them one day. Modeling was no hardship…I loved strutting the runways of Versace and Alaia, and shooting with legendary photographers like Peter Beard, Matthew Rolston, and Norman Parkinson. In fact many of my friends and clients still are in the fashion industry.

Jewels with her parents

Fortunately my culinary talents became more refined as I was exposed to a multitude of international cuisines while modeling, touring with Duran Duran, and eating in many of the world’s top restaurants…but I couldn’t wait to get home to my own kitchen and recreate some of my favorites. Believe me, as a foodie with a career that depended upon keeping my weight rediculously low, every meal (few and far between) was savored.

Lets face it…models have a limited shelf life. After moving back to the United Sates in 1998, a chronic illness left me housebound for several years. With little else to occupy my time, I watched Food Network nonstop, and invited friends over for dinner often. Cooking was once again at the forefront of my creative passions, and that is how The Roving Stove was born in 2002. Gone were the days of 3 lettuce leaves. Instead I am whipping up 5 square meals a week for my time-starved clients to enjoy during the week. I found a career that truly satiates me.

Jewels Turkey-Jasmine Burger

My Award-Winning “Jewels” Turkey Jasmine Burger

Servings: 4

Cucumber salad

1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced rounds
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt



1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
1/3 cup steamed jasmine rice
1/4 cup panko
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 Thai chili or serrano chile, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon peanut oil
4 sesame hamburger buns

Wasabi mayonnaise:


1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise or store-bought
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon peel


Cucumber salad:

1). Toss cucumbers, onions, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Let it marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.


2). Mix ground turkey, rice, panko, green onions, egg, sesame oil, soy sauce, Thai chile, and sugar very well. 3). Make into 4 patties. Season with salt and pepper.

4). Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute burgers until cooked through, approximately 5 to 6 minutes per side (depending on how thick you make them).

Wasabi mayonnaise:

5). While burgers are cooking, toast buns, and mix mayonnaise, with wasabi powder, ginger, and lemon peel in a small bowl.

To assemble:

6). Drain cucumber salad well.

7). Smear 1 tablespoon wasabi mayonnaise on toasted bun halves, spread with a layer of drained cucumber salad, then top with burger and cover with bun top.

Click here to see recipe ratings on

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  • May 1, 2009
    9:45 pm

    Welcome to the blogosphere! Love it! It’s my pleasure to call you a friend. I was just craving your award winning burgers today.Looking forward to future posts.

  • May 2, 2009
    11:09 am

    Nice burger mom!

  • May 2, 2009
    3:07 pm

    Hey Jewels – I’m definitely going to make one of your famous burgers! Maybe even put it on the menue of Poppy Cafe one day!

  • May 3, 2009
    7:52 pm

    i am sure this is fantasic and it looks great.(i am so lost in a kitchen.LOL)anyways i am sorry to read that you were ill for so long(had no idea)but i’m glad that your better now and it lead you to something you enjoy doing wishes,laura lynn

  • May 4, 2009
    6:55 pm

    Love it Jewels. This is awesome. I look forwared to reading this everyday…… or when you update. Thanks

  • May 7, 2009
    5:19 am

    Kris Etze at 11:31am May 2That burger is da bomb! Clients can’t get enough of them, Jewels. You amazing woman….congrats on your victories

  • May 7, 2009
    5:23 am

    Budgie Bradbury at 4:57pm May 3My dad just made the burgers tonight and we all loved them! Just fabulous! Thanks 🙂

  • May 7, 2009
    5:24 am

    Hillary Short at 3:13pm May 1congrats for sunday Jules and as a starting out chef I love reading your blog

  • May 20, 2009
    7:42 pm

    Hey Jewels…great to hear from you and we LOVE the blog.I’m glad you found me on Facebook.Terrific work. Reading it simultaneously makes me remember some fabulous days and feel hungry at the same time! We’ll be passing the blog info to our pals. Good luck with all your endeavors and please stay in touch.Remember the Limelight?Keep us

  • January 24, 2012
    9:29 am

    One of my favourite blog posts. They – and this dish – never get old.

  • April 23, 2014
    1:45 am

    LOVE this post! It’s always fun to take a look back at where it all started and look at where you are now.

    You’ve come such a long way since 2002! Here’s to many more glorious years for you and the PCA!