5 Questions with Jen Causey, author of Brooklyn Makers

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We’re sitting down with our favorite writers and cooks to talk about their upcoming cookbooks, their best food memories, and just about anything else.

Today: We chat with Jennifer Causey, a Brooklyn-based photographer (and former Food52 contributor!) whose new book, Brooklyn Makers: Food, Design, Craft, and Other Scenes from a Tactile Life documents the artisans behind Brooklyn’s creative renaissance. 

You may know Jennifer Causey from some of her photography featured on Food52, or her delightful blog Simply Breakfast. A food and lifestyle photographer based out of Brooklyn, NY, she began documenting Brooklyn’s budding artisanal culture as part of what would become The Makers Project. From chocolatiers to jewelry designers to florists, Jen interviewed and photographed Brooklyn-based artisans who make things with their hands while making their communities more creative.

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The project has now become a book: Brooklyn Makers: Food, Design, Craft, and Other Scenes from a Tactile Life is so beautiful that it could inspire you to pick up a new craft, or at least to make a trip to Brooklyn. Read on to discover some of Jen’s favorite Brooklyn spots and hear what inspired her to document those who make.

1. What is your all-time favorite meal? 
It’s a tie between my mom’s pot roast and a lobster roll eaten outside on a bench near water in Maine. 

2. What was the inspiration for the Makers project, and how did you first get started? 
It began out of curiosity. I have always been drawn to people who make things with their hands and I loved the idea of getting a closer look through documenting them. I sent an email to a maker to see if I could come photograph them, they said yes, and it just took off from there.

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3. In your opinion, what is it about the Brooklyn community that inspires so much creativity?
First off, it’s such a large community! The support from other makers and from people who buy handmade goods is what keeps the creativity thriving in Brooklyn. I think the proximity to Manhattan has also contributed, with so many amazing people there as well. 

4. What are your current favorite Brooklyn eateries?
Reynards at the Wythe Hotel, Romans, Diner, Vinegar Hill House for brunch, and I can’t wait to try Fletcher’s BBQ. 

5. If you magically had a bunch of free time and could learn one trade, what would it be? What would you make?
I would love to learn how to weave on a loom.

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