October 25, 2023

Adventurous Chef Discovers Unexpected Love Affair with Cooking

1.3 min read| Published On: October 25th, 2023|

By Cindy Peterson

Adventurous Chef Discovers Unexpected Love Affair with Cooking

1.3 min read| Published On: October 25th, 2023|

Jill Holland

My journey:  I tried several different careers: retail at Disney for six years, Real Estate office assistant for six years, Realtor for about a minute, swimming instructor for three years, and I helped my husband with his comic book and gaming store for a couple years. Around 2006, I attended an in-home cooking class for a friend’s birthday party and fell in love with cooking. At the age of 36, I entered the Culinary Management and Restaurant Management Degree programs at Valencia College. 

Why I joined Second Harvest: I had been teaching in-home cooking classes and thought this would be a fun way to reach out to people wanting to learn more than just home cooking. 

Plate Above’s mission: Is to help others. I instill it in my team. As a social enterprise, I get the privilege to do what I love – catering – and through our success, support the program as it nurtures and guides students on their own journey and careers. I love watching the students build their careers and then fly the nest.

When cooking, I love: The artistry of combining flavors, the science and magic of “a little bit of this and a smidge of that” to make the ingredients sing in harmony. I love the community that food brings together. Food is nourishment for the body and soul.

A fun fact about me: I love adventure in all shapes and sizes. It could be going on a cruise with my hubby, kayaking, horseback riding, or zip-lining. It could be playing Dungeons & Dragons each week with a group of friends, trying a new restaurant or a day at the beach with my best friend.

A saying I live by: In the kitchen, it is “Cook Good Food!”  In life, “just keep swimming.”

My message: Be kind even when you don’t want to be. Even when all you want to do is jump out of your skin with anger, be kind.

Leave A Comment

About the Author: Cindy Peterson

Originally from the small town of Berryville, Arkansas, Cindy has become a multimedia specialist in journalism, photography, videography, and video editing. She has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Central Arkansas and produces Style Magazine's Sports Hub Podcast and the Healthy Living Podcast. She also produces for Beacon College’s Telly Award-winning PBS show, “A World of Difference.” When she isn’t working, Cindy loves traveling the National Parks with her husband , Ryan, and son, David, photographing wildlife.

Share This Story!

Never miss an issue,  Sign up for the Style Newletter!