Nicole Cherie Jones

I was never a picky kid. My love of oysters on the half shell with Tabasco started when I was about 5—I remember eating them with my dad. My mom—who is an amazing, adventurous cook—introduced me to artichokes and scallops, which she made regularly for us kids.

I’ll try anything at least once, and have sampled thousands of food products over the years. Alcohol tastings in the middle of the day can make it tough to hit the gym after work. I once tasted almost 70 different kinds of bacon when I was an editor at Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. In addition to tasting it, I had to cook it, and smelled like it for weeks. When I go grocery shopping with friends, I catch myself giving them a rundown of the best brands in any given aisle. Silk dresses invariably end up with spots on them. My husband says there are lots of perks to being married to me. I think it might have something to do with the free samples.

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