Name: Jill Bernstein
Role at Fast Company: Editorial Director
Titillating Fact: Twice, about six or seven years ago, Jill was invited to be a judge on Iron Chef America. "One of the episodes has aired repeatedly ever since, and people think that somehow it's what I do for a living, which is funny. Cooking has definitely always been interesting to me, though. One of my favorite things to do is read old cookbooks, like "The Picayune's Creole Cookbook" from 1901, which a friend gave me recently. Few of the recipes in these books are anything I'd ever want to try myself, but taken together they offer this amazing window into a particular time and place—what technology was available, what foods were accessible and in fashion, how things were presented—and served by whom, to whom. Even "The Joy of Cooking," which is originally from the 1930s, has, amid the sponge cakes and casseroles, a recipe for how to skin, fillet, and cook a muskrat.
Things she's loving:
1. French By Design
It's my first stop whenever I'm looking for décor ideas or solutions, which I happen to be right now. It's run by a French ex-pat whose taste I love—everything she features is spare and sort of industrial/vintage yet always comfortable. Then it's just a matter of sourcing all the cool stuff, which seems a lot easier in Paris than here.
2. Top of the Lake
My husband and I just finished watching this Sundance Channel miniseries on Netflix. It's a gripping, beautifully shot, emotionally rich thriller set in rural New Zealand, and I'm not surprised it's getting so much awards attention right now. It's like National Geographic meets Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The amazing Jane Campion directs, if you think you already like Elizabeth Moss from Mad Men, prepare to like her even more. Here's the trailer:
3. Toca Boca (Toca Lab)
My kids love the haircutting app, the tea party app, and the kitchen app, and now the creators have come out with a fun science one called Toca Lab. Each periodic table element gets personified in its own cute way and bops around exhibiting its particular qualities.