Jackie used to unwrap these tamales at Christmastime
Get to know Jackie in this Q&A, and get her “Green Chicken Tamales” Monday (5/18) from 5:30-7:30PM!
Q: What can you tell us about your first dish on Shmeal?
Jackie: I am making tamales as my first meal. We always looked forward to eating them because 1) they’re delicious and 2) my mom only made them during Christmastime. So inbetween opening gifts we’d be unwrapping our little tamale treats as well. Those are the memories I always return to as I’m spreading the masa on the ojas de tamal (corn husks).
Q: What’s your cooking background?
Jackie: From the time I was a little girl I have always known a house full of family coming over to eat my mother’s cooking. As I got older I began to help my mom and share in this experience. I’ve always equated food to family, bonding, and friendship. That is why I decided to go into cooking as a profession.
Q: Where did you grow up and what kind of food did you grow up with?
Jackie: I am from Chicago and I grew up in Wicker Park from most of my life until I met my husband and moved to his condo in Uptown. My mom and dad come from Mexico so I was raised with traditional Mexican cuisine.
Q: Anything else we should know about you and your cooking?
Jackie: I went to the Illinois Institute of Art and received my degree in Culinary Arts in 2018. I am ServSafe certified and have worked in the industry for 3 years. Recently I started a food blog of my dishes on my instagram (@Chef.Jackieo).