Janelle Desir aka Chef KoKo may well be the Julia Child of this generation; her mouth-watering dishes not only taste good but look divine. She recently hosted Nirvana, her coming out party, which was an exceptional midnight brunch affair. The atmosphere was chic and trendy as patrons of all ages dressed to impress. Chef Koko provided live pasta and taco stations, seafood hors d’oeuvres, and a dessert bar straight out of a cookbook. We met up with the young, beaming star to get the scoop on not only Nirvana, but Chef Koko herself.
How did the name chef Koko come about?
Janelle: It really doesn’t have any history behind it, my friends started to call me Chef Koko because I would always make them food.
did you always know you wanted to be in the culinary field?
Janelle: No actually, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be a chef. I studied marketing in school, so this definitely was not the career path I was headed towards. Tell us about your recent event, Nirvana. Janelle: Nirvana was my coming out party, a way of introducing Chef Koko to the public and getting them to experience what my business has to offer. It’s not only about food; it’s a lifestyle. Creating an atmosphere that provides a sexy ambiance, sexy food and sexy cocktails.
What was it like planning your first event?
Janelle: It definitely had its challenges, more so because I was also catering the event. It required me to put in double the amount of work compared to other event planners because I was wearing both hats. I had an amazing team that supported me throughout the entire process.
Most people when planning an event for the first time have at least one major breakdown, did this happen to you?
Janelle: Yes. I actually cried twice, once before the event because of the pressure at the time and
the other at the ending of the event when people started to show me this overwhelming amount of love and feedback. It felt good to know people were satisfied with the product and that my efforts paid off in the end.
Do you dance or sing in the kitchen?
Janelle: Yes! I love to dance and sing while cooking. I usually play music very loud, most times dancehall. I often have my own little prep party.
What’s your favourite food?
Janelle: Fried plantain!
What do you consider your dream meal?
Janelle: My koko shrimp creole. It’s a signature exotic dish I created using shrimp, pineapples and coconut milk, served in a dry coconut.