I'm Jenna Edwards, a food aficionado. I love the memories and experiences surrounding food as much as I love food itself. I respect the hell out of food and how it supports my energy, my mind, my mood. I respect its cultural history and its strength to bring us together. In my home, we prioritize vegetables first; we over-rely on dishes we're comfortable with; we wish we could make more of an effort to try something new, but never seem to be ready for the exploration. We enjoy occasional elaborate dishes at a restaurant, but when we choose to cook at home, we always go straight for the clean, elegant meals you might see on a Bourdain field trip to the French countryside.
My philosophy for the video demos is this: we aren't born knowing how to cook, so it's only natural that we experience learning curves when we start trying. I'm here to shorten that learning curve for you. To teach what you don't know to ask.
I grew up in Mississippi, with a grandmother who cherished her vegetable garden. I know the taste of a fresh, juicy tomato and the joy of a tomato sandwich. At the same time, my grandmother didn't teach my mom to cook, so I grew up mostly on canned vegetables and quick meals - it was the 80s; she did what she could & what she thought was best. But we all loved good food. As I grew up, I competed in pageants and eventually that led to swimsuit competitions. I had to learn working out at a gym and dieting. Now we're in the 90s and fad diets are YYYUGE. Weight loss was equated with health, and thus began my confusion with the correlation of caloric intake to "being good." In short, it sucked.
Being a naturally rebellious young woman, I rebelled against the food constraints which led to years of hating food. Why couldn't it just cooperate? I gave up the constraints and ate whatever I wanted. In the midst of the food story, I'm still competing (now in college in Florida) and eventually competed in both Miss America and Miss USA representing Florida. Ironically, I win a swimsuit award while living off cookies and sweets in Atlantic City. Afterwards, I started modeling & moved to NYC. My food story makes a dramatic turn.
So, I'm modeling in NYC & meet another model studying as a health coach. I hire her because of how she talked about food. So much love and respect. I wanted to feel that way about food. And by the way, what is kale? 6 months later, I'm completely changed and my own study began. I, too, became a health coach and started a small coaching business. I then went to work for the training school, developing content for the coaching and vocational curriculums. When that foray ended, I went back to modeling, or rather, commercials and on-camera hosting.
Combining my evolved relationship with food, my experience coaching clients, my time creating teaching videos, and my natural on-camera talent, I created the Cooking Companion Channel. Welcome!
When I'm not making videos, I'm walking or cuddling with our rescued cocker spaniel, enjoying a home-cooked meal by my French husband (we especially cherish our food compatibility), or working on a charity I founded at 18 for kids with cancer: The For a Day Foundation.
Other fun pieces: