I had the pleasure of meeting today's Guest Blogger, Chef Kendra Peterson, owner of Drizzle Kitchen, during one of my frequent trips to Chicago two years ago. I was working for Groupon remotely out of my studio apartment in New York and flying to their home office in the windy city on a fairly frequent basis. In addition to the work I did in Chicago, I would always scout out fun and interesting activities to experience. When when my friend and old roommate, Monica from my years in Atlanta, invited me to an in-home cooking class lead by one of her good friends, I accepted with great delight.
I loved meeting Kendra! Not only is she a lively ball of energy, and quite the entertainer, her recipes are delicious and simple to make. The best part is they provide great health benefits, making them worthwhile additions to my recipe collection. The cooking classes during my trips to Chicago became a regular activity that I looked forward to as it allowed me to make friends with all of the other "Drizzle Girls,” like-minded friends that all enjoyed learning how to cook healthy meals—and drink wine. I no longer have to travel to Chicago for work but the Drizzle Cooking classes are something my Chicago girlfriends are still doing on a monthly basis and something I'll look forward to joining the next time I'm visiting.
By Chef Kendra Peterson
I grew up in the family kitchen. As the youngest of three, my mother was juggling everything so I became the “tag-along” wherever she was and much of the time that was the kitchen. My mother passed away when I was eight years old, but my memories of the time cooking with her kept me in front of the stove. I grew to love food more and more and by the time college applications came around I knew I wanted to figure out how to marry food with nutrition.
A few years later, nutrition and food science degree in hand, I spent some time working with Williams-Sonoma doing many things including opening stores and teaching cooking lessons. But I knew that was just a stepping-stone to the food career I had yet to conceptualize. Then one day, one of my sister's friends who is a mother of five with very picky eaters, inquired as to whether I would make meals for the family and deliver them. And that was the day Drizzle Kitchen was born.
Since then, the business has grown from a few clients with needs across the board, to many clients with the sole intention of healthy, clean-eating that is delicious, convenient, and gluten-free.
As a private chef, the best part about what I do is that I get to introduce some of my favorite foods and recipes to people everyday. Delicious food that just so happens to also be healthy, gluten-free and packed with nutrients. Many of my clients are referred to me through doctors, dietitians or even other clients. They come to me after a recent diagnosis with a gluten allergy, celiac or some other food allergy and feel helpless. While it is a very difficult time for them, it is my favorite time because I get to give hope again. I get to help people feel that they can totally live a normal, fun life with fabulous foods that they love.
Now that you know all about me…..I want to give you a little post-holiday present as my new friends! This present consists of delicious, healthy recipes that will help detox your body naturally with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Recipes that will leave you feeling great and give you lots of energy throughout the day.
These are recipes that many of my friends, family, and clients ask me for after the holidays, as they’re try to lose the pounds they added during the lovely month of December but I eat these recipes all year long. Of course there is the occasional French fry, molten chocolate cake and entire bar of chocolate (whoopsie). But mostly I am eating things like caramelized root vegetables with chipotle-maple rub or quinoa-vegetable salad with lemon-chive vinaigrette and sheep’s milk feta or salmon with pumpkin seed pesto. Those all sound pretty delicious—don’t they?
These two recipes all include foods that will give you sustained nutrition, plenty of vitamins and minerals, and will make you feel good about the food you are putting in your belly. So instead of depriving yourself this post-holiday season, eat up! Your body will thank you.
Signing Off Happily Eating Healthy,
Renee & Kendra
Kendra Peterson is a chef enjoying the culinary delights of Chicago. She is the owner of Drizzle Kitchen, a gluten-free private chef service which provides weekly meal service to clients that range from professional athletes to busy families to actors. With a degree in nutrition and a taste for all things delicious, Kendra and her team have been able to help their clients discover that eating gluten-free is not only easy, but also satisfying and delightful. Kendra is working on her first cookbook and keeps busy with ballet classes, brunch with friends, and traveling.