Barry-Jester ain’t no Jester

To say the least, Ann Barry-Jester knows her food.


Anna’s GoPro fork while taste-testing burritos (Photo courtesy to Anna Barry-Jester)

A writer and documentary photographer for FiveThirtyEight, Anna Barry-Jester is famously known in our class more specifically for her Burrito Bracket Challenge. Although Anna’s focus is on Public Health, she often covers food as well considering they go hand-in-hand.

We had the privilege of getting to know Anna better and her motives behind her food writing, the burrito bracket, and the chance to ask her opinion on the famous Tortilleria y Taqueria Ramirez here in Lexington, Kentucky.

This video provides an introduction to Anna’s rubric for researching burritos across the United States.

Getting to talk to Anna helped me understand her food writing. I was very interested in how she exactly did everything based off of a rubric, so I decided to ask during the Skype session, “Do you think your hunger each day changes what you think about the burrito?” I was curious mostly because I personally don’t think I could give a fair judgement if two burritos were just about equally as good, yet you were in a better mood one day than you were the other, so you may have preferred one burrito over the other. I don’t think I would be able to separate my feelings and the satisfaction of my taste buds enough to fairly decide which burrito was better. Her response, though, was that she doesn’t really care what a restaurant looks like and the atmosphere doesn’t affect how she view the food. She has low expectations, but she did say it may have been a mistake not completely factoring that in because sight greatly affects your experience.

Anna went on to describe some research that had people try food blindfolded to see the role that sight has in our enjoyment of food and explained that it was proven that being able to see your food and know what you’re eating affects the level of enjoyment of the meal.

I was really impressed with Anna Barry-Jester and honestly jealous of her job. She seems like a very down-to-earth, fun, and passionate person who loves food, travelling, and writing. Thanks so much, Anna, for taking time to speak with us!

If you’d like to see more about Anna Barry-Jester, check her out on her webiste, Twitter & Instagram here:
Twitter: @annabarryjester (
Instagram: @annabarryjester (

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