This article is part of a Jersey Bites series focusing on women chefs in the Garden State.
Years ago, as a college student focusing on organic chemistry, Jessica Alfreds had her first direction-changing moment. “At some point in [nutrition] class, I was like, ‘Maybe I should cook for a living,’” Alfreds said. “So that kind of switched my path.”
A New Direction
Over time, Alfreds worked in various positions in the kitchen. “When I had my daughter, that was the lightbulb moment when I knew restaurant-chef life was not going work if I wanted to be the type of mom that I want to be,” Alfreds said.
Alfreds knew she needed to have a schedule that was more her own. She took the plunge and decided to start her own meal prep service, appropriately named Jessica Alfreds Food. “This is certainly more flexible,” she said.
Do Your Own Thing
Every week, Alfreds prepares a full menu based on the freshest ingredients available from local farmers on the East Coast. She creates fully prepared meals, but curated baskets of raw ingredients are available as well.
Running a business is not easy, but Alfreds advises it is definitely doable—especially for people looking for an alternative to the hectic hours of a restaurant chef. She stresses that thinking outside the box has helped her find a much more flexible work schedule.
“Break the mold. Do your own thing.”