Jocelyn’s a professional chef obsessed with cooking from scratch
Get to know Jocelyn in this Q&A and order her Veggie Taco Bowl and Al Pastor Taco now on Shmeal!
“Over the years I’ve had the privilege to work with great chefs and I try to take a little of the good things I learned from them..”
Q: What is your cooking background?
Jocelyn: I started as a Baker assistant 10 years ago at a small pastry shop. I was a culinary student at the time and was eager and in love with pastry. After I graduated culinary school I worked at a few great places in the River North area, then found the opportunity to switch from sweet to savory chef and went for it. My passion for cooking comes since I remember. I was probably about 9 years old when I started cooking with my grandma. And a few years later I loved helping my dad with his little home catering business. Over the years I’ve had the privilege to work with great chefs and I try to take a little of the good things I learned from them.
Jocelyn’s Vegetarian Taco Bowl: Mexican squash, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, sautéed to perfection in organic olive oil, Spanish rice, pinto beans, cheese, corn chips, and fresh homemade salsas. If you want it vegan, make sure to specify and we can skip the cheese.
My first dish will be a vegetarian taco bowl, I get inspired by going to the produce market and seeing all the seasonal colorful vegetables, when I was little one of my grandma’s comfort foods was rice and beans with some type of side or a stew, when I created this dish I was thinking of my childhood days on my grandma’s kitchen mixed with all this colorful fresh produce. Although I’m not a vegetarian, the veggie taco bowl is one of my favorite meals because is so filling , delicious and good for you.
Q: What’s your favorite food memory?
Jocelyn: My favorite food memory is when we as a family would seat and have these amazing homemade dinners (hand made tortillas, salsas, fresh cooked beans, fresh cut fruits from the backyard trees) with the family and my grandparents would start telling us stories from their childhood about how they learned the dishes they had just cooked.
Jocelyn’s Al Pastor Taco: A symphony of flavors, rice, beans, our home seasoned al pastor style pork, tomato, cilantro, onion, and cheese with fresh homemade salsa on the side.
Q: Where did you grow up and what kind of food did you grow up with?
Jocelyn: I grew up in Mexico but moved to the US when I was 11 years old, grew up eating Mexican food always made from scratch and fresh. Back in Mexico I was always at my grandma’s kitchen watching her making tortillas by hand and fresh salsas on her mortar. Then when we moved to the US my dad was always cooking for his home based catering business. I was always helping him when I wasn’t in school.
Q: Anything else we should know about you and your cooking?
Jocelyn: I am obsessed with cooking fresh from scratch. I love to go personally to the Chicago Produce exchange market and hand pick all the ingredients I’m using. I make my salsas fresh and daily. I go to the meat market and make sure they get me the freshest meats, my butcher is excellent. We also make churros daily!