When asked why she got into the food business, Jennifer Chandler always quickly responds “because I love to eat!”
Jennifer’s love of good food has led her down an interesting …and tasty…road the past 15 years.
In 1993, Jennifer surprised everyone when she told them that she was giving up a career in International Finance to move to Paris to learn to cook. Jennifer enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, took a crash course in French and, a year later, graduated at the top of her class with Le Grand Diplome and a Mention Tres Bien in Pastry.
The year she spent in Paris, which included an internship in the pastry shop of Hôtel Plaza Athénée, taught her to appreciate food as something to enjoy and savor. After that life-changing year in Paris, she cut her teeth in the food biz with a stint at a Washington, D.C. restaurant group, as well as working in the pastry shop at one of the east coast’s top caterers. After moving back home to Memphis, Tennessee, Jennifer briefly considered getting a 9-to-5 career, but soon found herself dreaming of the kitchen.
For several years, Jennifer owned a prepared foods market and bakery in Memphis called Cheffie’s Market and More. “Our customers loved the convenience of Cheffie’s. They could pick up pre-cooked fresh and delicious meals that only needed to be briefly re-heated to serve,” says Chandler. “Our selection of over fifty items—ranging from salads to side-dishes to entrees—was prepared fresh daily by a team of the top chefs in Memphis.” Voted “Best New Restaurant in Memphis,” Cheffie’s received much acclaim and many awards. While the restaurant closed in 2001 so Jennifer could focus on her expanding family, it has been reincarnated as Cheffie’s Café which opened mid-March 2011 to widely anticipated excitement by the entire Memphis community.
With the birth of her second child, Jennifer decided to turn her food career into a more family-friendly one and, because she couldn’t leave the business altogether, she started food writing. A contributing writer to several magazines such as Prevention Magazine, Pilates Style, MidSouth Magazine, Nashville Home & Garden, Memphis Magazine, Edible Memphis, Real Food, and Delta Magazine, Jennifer is also a contributing food columnist for The Commercial Appeal (Memphis’ newspaper).
Jennifer has appeared on numerous broadcast cooking segments including Food Network’s “Dinner Impossible”, Better TV (Meredith Corp., syndicated in 84 markets in the U.S.) and is also a frequent contributor to Martha Stewart Radioon Sirius/XM.
Jennifer’s cookbooks, Simply Suppers, Simply Salads, and Simply Grilling are available wherever fine books are sold or on www.amazon.com.