Artist Spotlight: Jacquie Meitler
Jacquie Meitler is a perennial participant and frequent winner of the Mountain Fair Pie Contest, as well as a board member for the Defiance Community Players.
Her daughter, Jennetta Howell, is board president and will be featured in a future spotlight.
This year, Meitler entered the Glenwood Springs Farmer’s Market pie contest for the first time and came out on top with a blueberry lemon meringue. The feat earned her the title of “Her Royal Pieness,” though her close friends can just call her “Pieness.” We recently caught up with her to discuss her passion for pie.
How did you get involved in the pie contest?
My friend Kitty Anderson from Carbondale was a professional chef, so she wasn’t really allowed to enter, but she always wanted me to do it.
The first pie I took I won first place. It was a raspberry lemon meringue with meringue bigger than your head.
I do have a really good crust that my mother in law, Barbara, gave me years ago. She made like 40 pies a day for her restaurant, so I’ve come from a long line of piemakers.
Other than pedigree, what’s the key to your success?
You’ve gotta tweak things. You’ve gotta put your own spin on it. My friends and family love when I’m getting ready because we taste lots of different pies or I try the same thing over and over. I try to think outside the box. A couple years ago I took a blueberry basil.
Last year was about my 30th pie for Mountain Fair, and I win firsts and thirds, but I never win second place, and that just drives me crazy. I just want the trifecta. I’ve been shooting and aiming for second, and of course my friends think I’m nuts. I’ve said as soon as I get it, I’ll just stop all this pie nonsense.
Tell us about Defiance Community Players.
I did theater all through grade school and high school and sang in community performances. When I moved here, I joined it as an actor. I’ve been an actor, I’ve been a costumer, props mistress, set designer — and sometimes all of those in one show.
I just love it when I see our Defiance kids go out there and make their mark. My daughter became involved, and she became an actress. Now she’s back here doing shows in the valley. She had 30 kids in “Singing in the Rain” tapping in June.
I think Defiance is a staple. We do the Broadway show. Our budgets can run $15,000 to $20,000, and people don’t always understand that. We’ve been really blessed by people who donate their money and time. We always need people on and off the stage. We reach out, and the community just hands it right back.
Anything else you would like to say about pie?
We can go into all kinds of ways in which the circle is meaningful. From the circle of life to the circle of pie! I think pie is a good thing.
I believe in pie.
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