Thursday, May 26, 2011


Lest you think the Book Blather staff is a bunch of rookies, I’d like you to meet Chef Jean Denham.  I have always admired people who do things well and Jean definitely meets that standard.

Picture this: Waay back before Julie and Julia, 20 year-old Jean Denham’s first dinner party consisted of recipes she found in the newly released book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. After successfully pulling off this feat, she continued cooking for family, friends and coworkers for another 40 years and then entered the American Culinary Federation’s program to become a full-fledged, accredited chef. The program was a three year commitment including 6,000 hours of cooking certification.

After graduating, she was appointed to the Board of Directors and spent two years as Apprenticeship Chair for the Capitol City Chef's Association, a chapter of the American Culinary Federation, in Sacramento, California She began her working career in country clubs and local hotels; then on to the job of Chef at Foresthill Lodge Hotel, in Foresthill, California after 3 years in the culinary field.

Along the way she became involved with the Chef Scholarship Fundraiser Dinner group and cooked with wonderful chefs and cooks from around the country and England. That program sponsored by is still carrying on these fundraiser dinners and raising monies for scholarships. It was during the time of working with this group that her first book, Share a Recipe Cookbook (a collaboration) came into being. The book has already given a $1,000.00 scholarship to a culinary student attending Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Las Vegas, Nevada. All the proceeds from this book continue to sponsor Chef Scholarships.

In 2007 she turned her attention to writing cookbooks and sharing some of the dishes she has cooked over the past 50 + years, with the world. The second book, A Chef’s Journey…Home, is a collection of recipes she, her family and her friends loved growing up and is dedicated to the women in her family who passed on the love of cooking to her. This book was followed by two more books, Pizza, Pizza, Pizza! and Black Beans and Corn. She is currently working on books five and six, plus a volume 2 of Pizza, Pizza, Pizza! Please scroll down for Jean's recipe for corn fritters.

Please note: Jean’s recipes featured on Book Blather reflect Marilee’s demand for simplicity because Marilee as a cook is . . . um, simple. To learn more about our resident chef’s genius in the kitchen, please check out her books at


No comments:

Post a Comment