“Food is a necessary component to life. People can live without Renoir, Mozart, Gaudi, Beckett, but they cannot live without food” – Grant Achatz
My name is Jana, I’m 30 years old and a chef for almost ten years now.
Like most chefs, I slid in the industry by accident, just trying to earn money to make it through uni. After working in the restaurant for half a year I couldn’t even remember when I had been to uni last. I would have remembered every menu I wrote by that point and the ingredients I needed for most of the recipes I learnt. This showed me very clearly, that university might be for everyone else – but not for me. So I decided to stay.
I absolutely love food, everything to do with it, the comfort it gives you, the memories it creates and the opportunities you get to properly take care of your own body and health and others. Since I started cooking – I recently apologized to my poor mum for all the weird creations she had to eat (and faked they were lovely) when I was very young- I soaked up everything I could learn about cooking, different vegetables, techniques and nutrition. I worked for small restaurants, fine dining, hotels and companies. But the thing I love most is the direct feedback, the moment when my food puts a smile on peoples faces and they are happy – this is all that counts.
I came to London in September 2017 and never regretted it – okay, this once time when I confused white bread mix with white flour and accidentally created gigantic bread-gnocchi… but other than that I am massively happy here.
After working for a tiny gluten free paleo restaurant, I was a sous chef of a traditional english pub, and worked for one of the biggest organic supermarkets in the country. I changed departments from in-store to the pastry section of the central kitchen and started developing their in-house pastry products, some you can even find on this blog.
Unfortunately I couldn’t progress there, so I am now a Chef de Partie at a private boarding school in South London.
Additionally to cooking I’m studying nutritional coaching via online learning and I am also working on a few personal diplomas in herbalism, vegan cuisine and eating psychology.
It is a hard industry and definitely a profession, but I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
There is so much to learn and I don’t ever want to stop evolving and creating.
“No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing” – Julia Child