Atlassian Heidi van Gennep shares how salt, fat, acid, and heat make up a weeknight staple

Our next Great Atlassian Bake Off feature is @Heidi van Gennep , who's here today to share her favorite Atlassian value, and how she applies the principles of iteration to cooking!

Tell us about your role and team at Atlassian! What’s your favorite Atlassian value, and why?

I’m a Customer Success Manager (within the CSI org) out of Austin, Texas. My favorite value is Don’t F*!$ the Customer.

As a CSM, so much of what we do is client advocacy and promoting magical experiences for our customers. DFTC is an additional source of recognition that what we do is meaningful and valuable, and for the organization to support that through DFTC is wonderful.

We heard you love to cook! How did you start learning, and what do you love most about it?

I grew up watching people in my life cook, but first took home economics in middle school and continued through high school, even though after two classes it was an elective. In my junior year, we even catered in the teachers lounge for lunches. You do, in fact, need entirely too much mayonnaise for the perfect chicken or tuna salad.

I love cooking more than baking because you iterate and do not need to follow the recipe exactly. Once you learn the basics: knife skills, mise en place, etc., it’s really hard to go wrong.

Samin Nosrat is right: salt, fat, acid, heat.


Do you have a favorite recipe that you’d like to share?

I was inspired by this recipe for Smoked Chicken with Chimichurri, but tweaked it make it easy for weeknights and definitely NO need for a Traeger:

  • Preheat oven to 400*
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (serves 2) (skin is fat!)
  • Italian style seasoning (as long as it has onion powder, garlic powder, some salt or pepper variation), sprinkled on both sides of the chicken, just to barely season. (salt!)
  • Paprika. Way too much paprika. A massive heaped tablespoon for the 4 thighs. Coat the chicken ALL over. (heat!)
  • Pop in oven for 30 minutes, skin side up
  • Last few minutes, turn to a broil to get the skin crispy
  • Serve with couscous, tabbouleh, grits, polenta, egg noodles, quinoa, whatever you’ve got!
  • Make sure to serve with lemon wedges (acid!)

Additional serving suggestions:

  • A bright acidic chimichurri (Whole Foods sells a great pre-made one. Don’t have that? Add any kind of vinegar to a pesto sauce)

  • Sliced cucumbers

  • Feta

  • Walnuts soaked in water to remove their bitterness

  • Pomegranate arils

If you liked that, you’ll also like Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Stories.

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What kind of kitchen collaborator are you?

Probably a bad one 🤣 I zone out and don’t hear anything happening around me. It’s very meditative!

What’s a go-to “ingredient” or quality that successful teams have?

The desire to lift everyone up!


Any advice for those participating in the Great Atlassian Bakeoff?

Watch your favorite cooking show for inspiration!


Thanks, Heidi! Submit your recipe at Great Atlassian Bake off, and follow along with the fun at #AtlassianBakeOff.

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Community Manager
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December 8, 2021

Ooooh, this is so inspiring! I definitely want to try the smoked chicken recipe :)

I'm also working on my kitchen collaboration skills - although the last time I delegated to my partner, he cut off the top of his thumb and halted operations all-together 😶

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