Walk A Mile In Her Shoes: Chef Jaydene O’Connor

Hey Stiletto Gals!  

We are back and happy 2014!  As the new year is all about resolutions, this wonderful business woman fits the theme very well with her healthy eating and her out of the box company ideas.

SG:  Can you tell us a bit more about Delectable Creations?  How did you get started as a personal chef and caterer?

CJ:  Delectable Creations started out as an idea to get my girlfriends to cook more in the kitchen.  As it grew, I still wanted to feel elegant and sexy so incorporating the concept of the Vintage Pin Up Girl with an all-female staff was a no brainer.   The 50’s vibe coupled with class and elegance helps my clients feel like they’re part of the family.

I have been in the industry since I was old enough to work, starting out as a server then working my way up to the global operations manager for Mr. Chow.  It was then I decided to start my own catering/ personal chef business.  I needed to have a more one on one experience with my clients.  It was also appealing to me to establish myself as a female business owner and create my own healthy and creative cuisine.  I pride myself in using local, organic (non GMO) foods farm raised and seasonal.  My top priorities are the quality of our food and the satisfaction of our clients.

 

SG:  What would you say was your biggest business challenge?

CJ:  Being a woman who is trying to keep her girly image while running a catering business is tough!  It requires lots of stamina, the ability to work under pressure and can be rough on your feet in cute shoes!

 

SG:  What advice can you give to someone who wants to get into hospitality and start their own business in your field?

CJ:  Staffing plays a HUGE role because they represent your company and image to your clients and their guests.  Hire great people and pay them well!  I spent a lot of time carefully selecting the amazing staff of woman, my Chefettes!   Over the years, they have helped grow my business into what it is today! I love my Chefettes and so do my clients.  I also receive the best feedback and compliments about how professional, elegant and sweet my Chefettes are.

Part of being an excellent caterer is being able to think on your feet and come up with quick contingency plans. If you drop a platter of hors d'oeuvres, then figure out how to come up with a quick alternative.  For example I was catering a Wedding in a crazy rain storm when the power went out in the middle of my cooking, so we scrambled together found candles, glow sticks that we used on top of the chaffing dishes and I had to cook everything on a grill out in the rain. Needless to say it turned out great and it was an amazing story for the wedding party.

SG:  What kind of shoe are you and why?

 

CJ:  Pink Stiletto! Pink is all about me I feel girly,  Its Soft, Sweet, Sassy and Sexy.

As Marilyn Monroe once said “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world."

 

SG:  How do you feel about the gender gap within your industry?  Do you feel that female chefs have a different style than men?

CJ:  Women in the industry are gaining ground every year.  There are some amazing Top Female Chefs like Julia Child she was my inspiration, Susan Feniger & Cat Cora who have set the bar and achieved a high level of influence within the industry.

Woman by design are more nurturing, caring and loving and we have different ways to fuel our passions.  Food isn’t just a substance; it feeds your heart and soul.  The food I prepare needs to reach women in all these ways.  It has to look tempting, taste wonderful and you can feel good about eating it.  Appealing to women is especially important as they are making the decision 80% of the time.

To learn more about Chef Jaydene and her signature food and style visit her website at  www.chefjaydeneoconnor.com