Fun, educational, boundary pushing, rewarding, friendships
Jr. Chef helped me understand that food is the connection point of all people – we all need to eat no
matter where we come from or who we are. JCC taught me what healthy means and how to implement
healthy cooking techniques to feed my family, even as a kid.
Because of JCC, I was set up for success in the food and nutrition industry. I have cooking skills and
knowledge that I wouldn’t have otherwise, which led me down the career path of becoming a high-end
cook, Registered Dietitian, and freelance food photographer and recipe developer.
How did the program impact the way you connect with food today?
Jr. Chef taught me the building blocks of cooking and nutrition, which helped me to see food as a way to
nourish myself and others and find solace in the kitchen no matter what else is going on in my life.
What do you remember most?
I remember that I was such a picky eater before JCC, but we were immersed so fully in the commercial
kitchen experience that I had to drop that in order to eat what I was making! I remember all of the new
things – stuffing whole birds, deveining shrimp, and accidentally scrambling eggs while baking.
What is your fondest memory?
One of my fondest memories from JCC is bonding and making friends while we deveined shrimp. I had
never eaten shrimp, let alone touched raw ones, so I was very squeamish and unsure. Five shrimps in
and I was having a great time laughing and prepping shrimp like an expert.
What skill, cooking technique or ‘trick’ did you learn from the program that you still use today?
How to temper eggs so they don’t turn into scrambled eggs in batter and how to act professionally in a
What do you wish you knew then that you know now?
All food is worth trying once. There is no point in being a picky eater, so just dive in and experience as
much as you can.
I would recommend Jr. Chef Central to anyone even remotely interested in the program. It will help you
to understand the principles of food preparation, healthy eating, and proper food etiquette. The lessons
I learned in JCC were invaluable in setting the foundation for my career.
Jordan Mitchell is a freelance content creator for James Beard award winning dietitian and jordanmitchellrd.com