ANV Cooking Challenge: Brunch! Celebrity Chef Jennifer Booker
Southern-born, Jennifer Hill Booker traveled to Paris to study French cooking at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts only to discover that rustic French and Southern dishes use many of the same ingredients. Using this as the basis for culinary exploration in her second cookbook, Dinner Déjà Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow. The author of Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent, uses one list of fresh ingredients to create two meals, one Southern and one French in her latest cookbook, resulting in less food waste and fewer trips to the market. Combined grocery lists also provide time-saving tools for recipes from cocktails to desserts and everything in between, drawing on the strengths of both regions makes recipes like Southern Berry Bramble Cocktail, Brown Butter Banana Pound Cake with Crème Anglaise, and Pimento Cheese Stuffed Deviled Eggs both approachable and delicious. A charming personality, she is also a mother of two who knows exactly what it takes to create enticing meals with limited time and ingredients.
Chef Jennifer’s culinary path has not always been a linear one. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Tulsa; eighteen months later graduated first in her class with an Associate of Occupational Science from Oklahoma State Institute of Technology. Extensive travel while married to a United States Army Officer pushed Jennifer to blaze a trail that fit her unique situation-a female African American chef, living abroad. As a result, her first culinary company Your Resident Gourmet was born. During her time living in Germany, Jennifer honed her culinary talents by providing cooking classes for both military and German families. She was also able to fulfill a lifelong dream of attending Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Paris, where she proudly graduated top of her class. Twenty years later Jennifer finds herself once again blazing culinary trails as she wears many culinary hats as chef, reality TV personality, culinary educator, business owner and cookbook author.
She is an Impact Fellow with the James Beard Foundation, a Georgia Grown Executive Chef for the GA Department of Agriculture, the Culinary Explorer for the Georgia Department of Tourism and Travel, and is the founder of Cast Iron Chronicles dinner series. Chef Jennifer is an active member of the prestigious Atlanta chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, a member of SlowFood-Atlanta and of Atlanta’s No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. Chef Jennifer currently sits on the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Committee.
Weaving her love of traditional Southern cuisine with her belief in incorporating healthy, seasonal foods and her classic French training, Chef Jennifer created a unique style of cooking that she terms Modern Southern Healthy Cuisine with a French Accent. Chef Jennifer shared this brand of cooking through her cooking segment ‘Chef Jenn to the Rescue,’ on CBS46’s Atlanta Plugged In, many television appearances, with original recipes in such publications as Waste Not Cookbook, Southern Living Magazine, Garden & Gun and Essence Magazine as well as her Food Network debut as a finalist on Cutthroat Kitchen. She has worked with such renowned chefs as Jeff Henderson, Tyler Florence, Tiffany Derry, Giadia Laurentis, Patrick Neely, Master Chef Daryl Shular and Mashama Bailey. Her website, ChefJenniferHillBooker.com provides information about healthy eating, food trends, culinary travel, and recipes that reflect her unique culinary point of view of Modern Southern Healthy Cuisine with a French Accent. Her cookbooks, Dinner Déjà Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow, and Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent, are available at many national retailers including Pelican Publishing Company, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
Chef Jennifer spends her free time in her kitchen, vegetable garden, or at her local farmers market. She currently resides in Lilburn, Georgia with her two daughters Jenelle and Regine and their KorgieJack, Pudge.
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