Crown Heights native Janelle "Chef Jin" Nicol Galvez has found her calling: showing people how to enjoy food! I know what you're probably saying: That's not something most people need help with.
But with the right ingredients-- including the healthiest choices and the smartest preparation—Jin says, you have the tools to make what you may consider just "good food" even better.
For the past five years, Chef Jin, 34, has been all over Brooklyn giving cooking demonstrations and speaking in the area of food justice, urban farming and holistic. Last year, she quit her full-time job to dedicate her life to the mission.
Currently, Janelle "Chef Jin" Nicol Galvez has her own cooking show on BRIC called "Cooking with Jin," and she also has her own condiment line, Jin's Jams and Jellies. She's even claimed her own hashtag: #BrooklynFoodQueen.
"I did some research on the hashtag and no one was using it, and so I claimed it!" she said laughing.
Jin's latest big venture is The Brooklyn Chef Battle (#BKChefBattle). On Saturday, June 28, from 12:00pm — 5:00pm, at 364 Vernon Avenue in Bed-Stuy Jin, will host an "Iron Chef"-style battle between three aspiring teams who will put their cooking chops to the taste test. Each chef team is intergenerational-- made up of one adult and one youth— which has just sixty minutes to prepare a healthy, three-course meal. Edna Nixon, 34, and Tianna Wallace, 14, of non-profit Tomorrow's Leaders NYC are being sponsored by Oldways and ready to be proclaimed the winning team."We're in it to win it! Bring on the ingredients!" said Edna and Tianna.
Team ENYF chefs Kelvin McJunkin and Kimberly Ramdas are ready, too, having already begun to think about dishes they might prepare, pulling ideas from their urban farm while shouting "Let the battle begin!"
"The Chef Battle will show parents, teens, young children, grandparents, everyone how to live healthier lives," said Jin.
And for those of you who may cringe when the words "healthy" or "organic" are in the same sentence with the word "food," no worries. Chef Jin, has challenged all of the contestants to use a secret ingredient and also prepare the meals in such a way that dazzles!
"People always watch what I eat and make comments about it, or they assume I'm a vegetarian and all I eat is vegetables, which I don't," said Jin. "I love ice cream and I'm not against eating a slice of pizza from time to time, and that's okay. A treat every now and then is fine. I just believe in moderation."
"I'm on a mission to let the world know that Jin is the Brooklyn Food Queen, because that's what my life is about," said Jin. To purchase tickets to the 2013 Brooklyn Chef Battle, go here.