Nir­vana leave s your ta ste buds want­ing more

Janelle De­sir aka Chef KoKo may well be the Ju­lia Child of this gen­er­a­tion; her mouth-wa­ter­ing dishes not only taste good but look di­vine. She re­cently hosted Nir­vana, her com­ing out party, which was an ex­cep­tional mid­night brunch af­fair. The at­mos­phere w

The Star (St. Lucia) - Life Begins 2 Nite - - FRONT PAGE -

How did the name Chef Koko come about?

Janelle: It really doesn’t have any his­tory be­hind it, my friends started to call me Chef Koko be­cause I would al­ways make them food.

Did you al­ways know you wanted to be in the culi­nary field?

Janelle: No ac­tu­ally, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be a chef. I stud­ied mar­ket­ing in school, so this def­i­nitely was not the ca­reer path I was headed to­wards.

Tell us about your re­cent event, Nir­vana.

Janelle: Nir­vana was my com­ing out party, a way of in­tro­duc­ing Chef Koko to the pub­lic and get­ting them to ex­pe­ri­ence what my busi­ness has to of­fer. It's not only about food; it's a life­style. Cre­at­ing an at­mos­phere that pro­vides a sexy am­biance, sexy food and sexy cock­tails.

What was it like plan­ning your first event?

Janelle: It def­i­nitely had its chal­lenges, more so be­cause I was also cater­ing the event. It re­quired me to put in double the amount of work com­pared to other event plan­ners be­cause I was wear­ing both hats. I had an amaz­ing team that sup­ported me through­out the en­tire process.

Most peo­ple when plan­ning an event for the first time have at least one ma­jor break­down, did this hap­pen to you?

Janelle: Yes. I ac­tu­ally cried twice, once be­fore the event be­cause of the pres­sure at the time and the other at the end­ing of the event when peo­ple started to show me this over­whelm­ing amount of love and feed­back. It felt good to know peo­ple were sat­is­fied with the prod­uct and that my ef­forts paid off in the end.

Do you dance or sing in the kitchen?

Janelle: Yes! I love to dance and sing while cook­ing. I usu­ally play mu­sic very loud, most times dance­hall. I of­ten have my own lit­tle prep party.

What’s your favourite food?

Janelle: Fried plan­tain!

What do you con­sider your dream meal?

Janelle: My koko shrimp cre­ole. It’s a sig­na­ture ex­otic dish I cre­ated us­ing shrimp, pineap­ples and co­conut milk, served in a dry co­conut.

Where do you see your­self in the next five years?

Janelle: I see the brand Chef Koko grow­ing. I see my­self do­ing a few more sig­na­ture events and hav­ing my own restau­rant, with peo­ple com­ing in on a daily ba­sis to see what Chef Koko has to of­fer.

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