Best Chef 2020 South Sound Magazine
JAN Z. PARKER IS A WIFE OF A RETIREE IN THE ARMY AND CURRENTLY LIVES IN TACOMA, WA. SHE CREATED A SUCCESSFUL CULINARY PROGRAM AT THE USO RHEIN-MAIN IN GERMANY FOR THE MILITARY COMMUNITY OFFERING A WIDE ARRAY OF CLASSES & EVENTS. JAN GRADUATED WITH HONORS FROM THE ART INSTITUTE OF SEATTLE WITH A BACHELOR OF CULINARY ARTS MANAGEMENT AND AN ASSOCIATE OF BAKING & PASTRY. HER ALMA MATER SHOWCASED HER WORK IN A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN, “CREATE TOMORROW”.
JAN’S PROFESSIONAL CULINARY EXPERIENCE INCLUDES COOKING AT THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL IN SEATTLE, WORKING ON A PRIVATE ESTATE, AND CATERING ON YACHTS. SHE HAS MADE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE FOOD NETWORK'S SOUTH BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL AND THE EMMY AWARD-WINNING SHOW ON PBS, NICK STELLINO COOKING WITH FRIENDS. CHEF JAN LOVES HOW FOOD BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER AND ENJOYS TEACHING ALL LEVELS OF COOKING. SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT SHARING WORLD CUISINE FLAVORS AND INGREDIENTS. JAN TAKES PRIDE IN HER ‘COOKING FROM SCRATCH' APPROACH AND INCORPORATES THIS STYLE IN ALL OF HER CREATIONS.
HER PREVIOUS COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION WAS MENTORING THE WIESBADEN HIGH SCHOOL CULINARY TEAM FOR THE DODDS EUROPEAN CULINARY COMPETITION. SHE HAS ALSO WORKED WITH PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS THE LOCAL SPOUSES CLUB, GIRL SCOUTS, MOTHER'S OF PRE-SCHOOLERS & HOMESCHOOLERS. HER CULINARY EXPERTISE ALLOWED HER TO MAKE FREQUENT APPEARANCES ON THE AFN RADIO NETWORK IN WIESBADEN AND PROVIDE COOKING ADVICE TO ITS LISTENERS.
SHE CAN BE FOUND AT HER MOBILE FOOD STAND SELLING "FRESH & DISTINCT" FILIPINO CUISINE AT THE LOCAL FARMER'S MARKET IN TACOMA, SUCH AS THE PROCTOR AND DOWNTOWN TACOMA BROADWAY LOCATION, AS WELL AS THE TACOMA NIGHT MARKET. CREATING A SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS IS IMPORTANT, CHEF JAN HAS A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CSA URBAN FARM-SHARE THE WEALTH ORGANICS AND FREQUENTLY USES THEIR PRODUCE AND FARM FRESH EGGS.
THIS YEAR SHE WANTS TO CONTINUE TO BUILD STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH FILIPINOS IN THE TACOMA AREA AND CREATE EVENTS HIGHLIGHTING HER CULTURE.
CHEF JAN DREAMS OF BUILDING A CULINARY CENTER IN TACOMA FOR IMMIGRANTS AND PEOPLE OF COLOR. THIS SPACE WOULD PROVIDE BUSINESS ACUMEN EDUCATION AND A COMMERCIAL KITCHEN WHERE PEOPLE CAN BUILD THEIR FOOD VENDOR BUSINESS. MOST IMPORTANTLY A PLACE WHERE THIS COMMUNITY WILL BE COMPELLED AND PROUD TO COOK FOOD FROM THEIR HERITAGE.
I met Chef Parker when I signed up to take a cooking class through the USO in Germany. I always loved to cook so when I came across the announcement I didn’t hesitate to enroll and let me tell you I’m glad I did it, not only did I get to learn new recipes and meet new people, it was a pleasure of meeting Chef Parker, she's not only made us feel comfortable but had a lot of patience and took pride in teaching us how to make lots of good food. After the first class I decided to continue taking classes with her and in one of those courses, I enrolled my husband, a guy who has not cooked anything in his life but to my surprise, he enjoyed it very much and was very pleased with the class and the Chef. He ended up taking one more class with her. Chef Parker engaged everyone in the class making it fun. I will take more classes with her anytime.