About Chef JoAnna

Growing up as a first-generation Italian, JoAnna always loved when her family got together for celebrations. Whether the party was taking place at her own home or at one of her many aunts' houses, there was always a lot of emphasis placed on making & sharing food. With such a large extended family, and everyone bringing something to share, there was always a huge spread of food!

When she went away to college, and started cooking for herself, she did what most college students do: make food that was easy, fast and cheap. After she got married, though, that wouldn't cut it! She threw herself into expanding her culinary skills. She started clipping recipes from magazines, copying from cookbooks, and of course building on family recipes. Her husband was an eager test subject, and she had friends over for dinner as much as possible, just for the chance to cook.

JoAnna had started a Human Resources consulting business, but when the "dot-com" boom started to bust, she took a long, hard look at her prospects. Looking for a new opportunity, she asked herself one of those life-changing questions:

    If I were to start over, and do anything at all, what would I do?
    ... and the answer to that, of course, was to cook!

She enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at the Art Institute of Los Angeles, earning a 4.0 GPA while establishing "Chef JoAnna.com" as a brand for her in-home catering and personal chef service... It was such a success, she hired culinary school classmates to work for her!

In September 2008, she and her husband chose to move on to greener pastures, quite literally, when they purchased land in Middle Tennessee to build a house, plant a garden and raise a few chickens. They named the property Mockingbird Acres, after Tennessee's state bird. Part of her negotiation with her husband was that, if she left Los Angeles, she'd get to build her dream kitchen.

My kitchen is amazing. I have a restaurant-style three compartment sink, both a gas and an electric range, two refrigerators, and every countertop appliance you can imagine. It's part laboratory, part playground, and a great space for cooking.

Her food is delicious, her menus creative, her presentations are clean and elegant, and her fun personality and lively sense of humor have her clients calling back.


Training, Certification & Qualifications

  • Classically-Trained Culinary Professional: Art Institute of California at Los Angeles
    Earned a 4.0 cumulative GPA
  • Certified in Sanitation (Serv Safe)
  • Certified in Nutrition (Pro Mgmt)
  • Certified in Kitchen Management (Pro Mgmt)
  • Certified in Cost Control (Pro Mgmt)

There's more to putting on a lovely event than just the food…

Chef JoAnna can arrange for everything you need.

If you have more guests than you have place settings, just let Chef JoAnna know. She owns enough matching china, flatware and stemware to serve up to 12 guests, and can provide you a quote for rental.

Don't worry if you don't have your own platters, serviceware or chafing dishes: Renting from Chef JoAnna is affordable. All her equipment is in perfect condition, and everything matches.

Once you decide on the place settings you'll need to set your tables... you might realize you need more tables, tablecloths, and chairs! No problem, everything can be rented from a 3rd party vendor.


What's it like to host a Formal Dining event in my home?

Chef JoAnna creates a restaurant-quality experience in your home.

Chef JoAnna will interview you over the phone to get a feel for your tastes and to ask about what your kitchen is like. She will ask about your cooking appliances and help you decide how you want your food served.

Based on your needs, Chef JoAnna will help you create a menu that best suits your event, your tastes, and the dining space. You will always have final approval on the menu.

Chef JoAnna built her business on catering to small-but-elegant events. She'll do everything from a romantic dinner for two, to a 6-course dinner for eight, afternoon tea for 16, or a brunch for 20.

Because the cooking is done in your home, you can see exactly how it's done. Chef JoAnna buys groceries at the same stores you shop at every day, as well as some specialty shops for more exotic ingredients. As your kitchen fills with the smell of delicious food, you'll know that everything is being made FRESH before your eyes.

CLICK HERE for more details about Formal Dining, or submit a reservation request!

Photos ©ChefJoAnna...Really!

Chef JoAnna says:

I remember being six years old, standing in my Aunt Maria's kitchen in Chicago. She always used fresh basil, fresh oregano, fresh everything. I remember thinking, "I wish I could eat like this for the rest of my life." Read more…