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Jenna Dhanani


When I moved into my first student house in my second year of university, I could only make three things. I decided to expand upon my culinary expertise which sadly resulted in a particularly tragic attempt at tofu curry. I had decided that, given my extensive repertoire of eggs, pasta and cheese quesadillas, I did not need to use a recipe. Chaos ensued between the shaker lid falling off the tumeric bottle and an abundance of the golden spice tumbling into my too hot pan. The result? A curdled, yellow, powdery mess, which I still attempted to eat. After one bite, which I had to spit out, my yellow mess went into the trash.

Despite the unfortunate curry incident, I challenged myself to try again. I followed my mother’s recipe this time and learned how to make a coconut chicken curry. Ambitious, I know. I would FaceTime her every ten minutes to ask if the curry was the right color and if I had cooked the chicken properly. Lo and behold, with my mother’s guidance it turned out. I then went on to successfully cook more dishes, kebabs and curry puffs. With this significant improvement in skill, I began to host potlucks and shared these meals with people who soon became some of my best friends.

Cooking is connection. It is how I have developed and strengthened my relationships with my family, my culture, my friends, myself and now, with StemChef and Ashie. I joined StemChef as an intern because it is a community that connects people passionate about STEM in the unique form of cooking. My passion for cooking and education led me to meet Ashie, the mastermind behind StemChef herself! Through this experience, Ashie has invested a lot of her time and provided me with the resources to help develop an Instagram strategy for StemChef. My passion for cooking and education led me to an amazing mentor and has also allowed me to develop new skills and learn more about STEM. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next!

Be sure to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @StemChef!

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