Meet Chef Jen!
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For as long as I can remember I have loved making food! As a child I was often in the kitchen preparing food for my family. There was never a question in my mind about what I wanted to be when I grew up! I knew I would be making great food for great people. What I didn’t know was would this be in a restaurant or in some other way.
I attended Culinary School in 1986, and began working as a private chef after graduation. I was also catering and in 2004 opened a restaurant. Unfortunately I chose a partner that was not a good match for me and it did not work out, the restaurant closed even though our reviews were off the chart.
I reinvented myself as a caterer with a marketplace when I opened Jennifer’s Kitchen in 2006. My vision of making great food and sharing my favorite food, gourmet items, and wines was finally realized. We offered many wine dinners, wine tastings, were open for lunch during the season, made specialty foods for take out. I offered my services as a private chef and for catering too. It’s been fun and for a while I have felt like something was missing.
As someone who works with food every day of my life I have noticed some things that were disturbing and concerning too. The quality of the food that we have become accustomed to in the Standard American Diet, (SAD) has decreased and the taste has been compromised as well. Food including beef, chicken, pork, eggs, and dairy products are produced using factory farming practices that are not natural and are in many cases inhumane. Fruits and vegetables are being genetically modified, picked before they are ripe, gassed, irradiated and shipped thousands of miles.
I realized there had to be a simple solution that would allow me to be connected with my passion and provide delicious great quality in the food I make. After all food is a canvas for creating a masterpiece and the quality of the food impacts the appearance, taste, nutritional value and the health and well being of the person who consumes it.
Over time I have decreased the amount of meat and dairy in my diet, and increased the amount of raw, locally produced and organic ingredients. There were days that I didn’t feel as well as I wanted too, and because I knew there was a connection between what we eat and how we feel I began refining my choices. I found out too that I was gluten intolerant and learned why.
The more I researched food and the food industry the more I was drawn to sustainability and farm to table options. While it may be more expensive to choose organic, beyond organic, sustainable, farm to table and locally grown options, it is the right thing to do!
And in some cases like herbs; what you need to get a particular flavor will equal 1/10 of the amount from an organic farm to table herb than you would need of a conventionally farmed herb. Then if you factor in the health and well being you experience in your lifetime these choices become a “no-brainer and not expensive at all!
I have a confession: I don’t eat the way I have been cooking and catering! Over the last few years the quality of the food and the type of food I choose for myself has changed.
I have embraced a simple concept which is “Clean Food.” It’s true; one day I realized that what I make for myself is very different than what I make for my clients. You see I thought I had to compete with others in this field and didn’t realize that what I really needed to do was embrace my preferences and gifts.
I realized that ”I want to cook and prepare the food I want to eat!” Both Jennifer and Jennifer’s Kitchen have been reborn!
The fundamental values we embrace are:
So meet the new version of Chef Jennifer and Jennifer’s Kitchen! It’s important to me to provide the best quality in terms of the food that I prepare because I have learned too much about where our food comes from that I can’t do it any other way.
I choose green, local, sustainable, and organic or beyond organic, farm to table, and if these values are important to you, you will too and you will choose me as your caterer and event planner! I look forward to your next event!
“To Your Health!”