Meet your Chef, Jen.
It began in Cornwall...
I first started cooking professionally 8 years ago, in beautiful Cornwall. I had always loved food and wanted to learn how to cook like a pro - so I headed over to the restaurant that was sat at the top of Trip Advisor and asked for a job!
Luckily the head chef was in real need of an extra pair of hands, and for a while it was just the two of us - which gave me a very rapid and efficient education across all areas of a professional kitchen.
I learned so much - butchery, prepping fish and crabs, making fresh sauces, pastry - even ice cream. The head chef had previously run the Dorchester… so he gave me a real taste of the discipline and focus required to work in a professional kitchen, too.
I also developed a passion for fitness, through Muay Thai boxing. After a few sessions, I was totally hooked - and went from completely out-of-shape and asthmatic to fighting fit - competing in three professional fights.
My first taste of business...
After spending two years at that amazing little restaurant I wanted to marry my new-found passion for health and fitness, with the skills I was learning in the kitchen. I set up my own little meal delivery service across Cornwall, starting with members of the gym I trained at and growing through word of mouth.
Since that day, it has always been my dream to grow a successful healthy food business - and I certainly learned a lot along the way!
Moving to Manchester...
My next move up north, saw me set up and run a meal prep operation for a global gym brand. I originally joined to help to develop healthy recipes for clients to follow, and then we moved into meal prep.
The goal was to make very strict diets as tasty as possible, so I got a real education in weight-loss dieting, macro-nutrients and making food taste amazing without loading it with fat and salt.
They put me through a full fitness transformation too - see the results at Ultimate Performance here.
Continuing with Personal Trainers...
After leaving my role to give my own business another go, I decided to start partnering with friends in the fitness industry. I was excited to cater for a retreat in Italy, with We Train Cornwall, and then went on to partner with close friend Sam Says to launch our own 'Big Fit Sleepover' in Shropshire.
I also spent a year working as an agency chef, and supporting fellow Chef's whom I admired in the industry, to really push my culinary education. I hosted my first supper club, and found myself heading to London to really explore the exciting food scene.
Cooking across Europe on the BBC...
I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in a three month TV experience travelling Europe with renowned Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton, competing against local restaurants on BBC2's Chef's Brigade. It was an incredible experience which gave me an intensive learning experience, working with incredible produce and talented chefs across France, Spain, Italy and Norway.
That experience truly reignited my ambition to share my personal flair for cooking fresh, healthy food that is full of flavour and so I headed to the capital to cook.
Moving to London...
When I first got to London, I worked as the head chef of a Soup Kitchen feeding over 100 guests a day from donated ingredients and produce. It was a great lesson in creativity, and I would spend my mornings there and my afternoons starting to work directly with clients in their homes - designing and cooking bespoke menus to suit their tastes and dietary requirements.
It didn't take long for word of mouth to mean my schedule was full, so I took the leap and By Chef Jen was born.
After lockdown prevented me from cooking in clients homes, I pivoted my business model to deliveries and now cater for busy clients all across London.
I currently live in Maida Vale with my Personal Trainer partner Michael, and together we hope to inspire as many people as possible to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.