Hi! I'm Jess.
I’m a passionate food educator, chef and entrepreneur. I currently teach cooking lessons and work as a personal chef in San Francisco. My mission in life is to positively change eating habits in America, and my life goal before I die is to get cooking taught in all schools in America. Based on real-life results from the lessons I teach, I am building a practical cooking curriculum that teaches people how to make cooking an enjoyable, ingrained habit in their lives. It will integrate my own food philosophy, recipes and experience with scientifically-based, habit-forming practices that will ensure participants change their behavior and cook regularly as a result of the program. With the help of scientists and doctors*, I will then seek to prove that habitual cooking measurably improves mental health and well-being (in addition to improving physical health, of course!). Once we prove this, we will begin the work of getting doctors and psychologists to prescribe our program to patients - thereby scaling our impact and making Americans healthier! (Yes, I’m a little bit crazy and a bit ambitious.)
*Do you know a behavioral psychologist, a nutrition-focused doctor, or another expert who might be interested in helping me with my plan?! Please have them email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I need all the help I can get on this enormous undertaking!)
How did I get here, you ask? Well - it took a full two years since I quit my “real job” to get to this place of the BIG IDEA - there’s been a whole lot of soul-searching, testing my theories, working on a farm for 3 months, cooking a TON, constantly reflecting and questioning and iterating, and working through the inevitable roller coaster of self-doubt. I’m glad I didn’t know this before I quit: entrepreneurship is NOT for the faint of heart, AND it is worth it.
Before going off on my own, I spent three transformative years working at Revolution Foods, an amazing company that makes healthy lunches for schools across the U.S. There I designed and taught nutrition education activities for students across the Bay Area, and later went on to become Marketing Manager for the schools business, a role in which I designed and implemented programming for our schools nationwide. In my time at Rev, I witnessed firsthand the importance of teaching healthy eating habits from young age. My experience in schools provided the foundation for my life goal to get cooking taught in all schools in America.
…Did you actually read all of that? WOW! Now you know that if you take a cooking lesson or buy one of my meal plans or annual calendars, you will be supporting me in this lifelong work to positively change America’s eating habits. I cannot express how much your support means to me. Thank you!
Why GARLIC PRESS, you might ask? The garlic press is one of my favorite kitchen tools, for sentimental reasons. I'm Italian and Lebanese, so we eat A LOT of garlic. Growing up, my mom would often give me the task of pressing the garlic (a great job for kids!), and my Nonna's shiny silver garlic press was always out on the counter waiting for me when I came over to help make our ultimate family comfort meal - spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce and garlic bread.
Like a garlic press, I like to squeeze the very most out of life - both in and out of the kitchen. Oh, and I like things that rhyme :)