Petétra is a caterer who learned hospitality from her mom
Shmeal connects you with the best personal chefs in your neighborhood (like Petétra), so you can order their meals, and have amazing food experiences every day.
Get to know Petétra in this Q&A, and order her meals on Shmeal in the Albany Park neighborhood!
Q: What’s your cooking background?
Petétra: I’m mostly self taught, taking short cooking classes through the years to master basic preparation and servicing. While I served in the military, our kitchen duty prepared 3 daily meals for over 5,000 soldiers/meal. I really took time through my travels to master the food of the places that I’ve been so fortunate to visit.
Q: Where did you grow up and what kind of food did you grow up with?
Petétra: I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, however, my mom is from New York and my dad is from Mississippi. So there was a great mixture of food around at all times. My mother loved a great soup/stew and she taught me how to make amazing broths and roux from scratch. My dad loved making anything extremely flavorful without using excessive heat, and he shared with me the joy of trying everything at least once…which in turn sparked my love of all different kinds of food.
Q: What’s your favorite food memory?
Petétra: I started cooking with my mom and my 4 older sisters at an early age. Holiday time was my mom’s favorite time of year. We’d all pitch in helping her cook, starting with Thanksgiving, including Christmas, and through to New Year’s! There was always family, music, and FOOD! Turkey, ham, pot roast, chitterlings, greens, cabbage, dressing, black eyed peas and rice, mac and cheese, candied yams, green beans, potato salad, cole slaw, pound cake, and ice cream! Yes, for each holiday dinner…my mom believed that everyone who came through our door should have something to eat…always.
Q: Anything else we should know about you and your cooking?
Petétra: I use fresh, quality food and make things with healthy substitutes, if possible, while ensuring I preserve the integrity of taste and adequate quantity for each and every meal created.
I love cooking and sharing my food! I’ve done independent catering for wedding receptions, graduations, corporate dinner parties, Christmas parties, as well as helped with Feeding Ministries and not-for profit engagements. I like making hearty, comfort meals that stick to you and leave you feeling full and satisfied.