Get to know Dana! Dana graduated from Elgin Community College with her Culinary Arts degree in 2011. Dana has a passion for creating healthy and nutritious meals and believes that the right food choices are necessary for longevity, mental health, and reaching physical goals. Dana has worked as a personal chef for over 6 years, serving clients with a variety of dietary needs including but not limited to: gluten free, dairy free, mitochondrial, elimination and autoimmune diets. Learn more about Dana in our Q & A below:
Q: What motivated you to become a personal chef?
A: Having the opportunity to work one-on-one with my clients and working closely with their needs and wants to creating a healthier lifestyle. I enjoy cooking good food in small batches that make a big difference in my clients’ lives. Being a personal chef allows me to also be very creative with their health goals in mind. I love having their trust in me to cook their meals which excites me that they love my recipes!
Q: How would you describe your cooking style?
A: Well-being! I overall cook healthy, hearty dishes without it being a specific cuisine. I cook with fresh, comfort and nutritious all in the back of my mind when I prepare any dish. I love to take any unhealthy dish and recreate it to be healthy and guilt-free.
Q: What advice do you have for people that are just learning how to cook?
A: Have fun with flavor and colors! Start with a minimum of a few ingredients, taste, and add as you may need different spices, herbs or main ingredients. The key is to let ingredients stand out on their own and not over power one another, but to compliment each other. Think of a couple ingredients you love, and master a few methods of cooking using those ingredients you’re familiar with until you’re comfortable cooking with other ingredients you’re not yet use to.
What’s your favorite meal and why?
A: Oh! My favorite meal is Polish sauerkraut aka “Bigos”. I am 99% Polish and grew up eating homemade sauerkraut only a couple times a year on special occasions. I don’t cook this meal regularly or for my clients, it is simply just a meal I look forward to when my dad cooks it for the family. I love this meal because it is the utmost comforting of meals to me and to not mention how healthy it is for you!
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: I like to call up my friends and just chat or get together! But I also love to workout which is fun when I need “me” time. Indoor rock-climbing, outdoor hikes or jogs, bake, play with my dog, to just name a few more!