Pop-Up Chef

Jessette Kalsi


About Jessette Kalsi

At the age of seven my grandmother Eilmiana taught me how to roll lumpias, steam rice in a rice cooker, and cook chicken adobo. Grandma the chef in my life, our matriarch, was lead chef for the Chinese Hospital in San Francisco. Whenever I needed inspiration for cooking, whenever I needed to draw strength, I always thought of my grandma. I remember as a child, watching Julia Child’s cooking shows and being so impressed by her cuisine, her distinctive voice, that I knew I wanted to be a chef. Julia once said that non-cooks think it’s silly to invest two hours’ work in two minutes’ enjoyment, but cooking requires patience, creativity, curiosity and most of all persistence. I took that to heart. Whether working for the finest restaurants in the North Bay, including Michael Mina’s RN74 in downtown San Francisco, or Napa Valley’s the Pear, I always brought an unbridled passion for detail, creativity, and style. I love what I do, and it shows in every dish, be it French gourmet, Italian rustic, Indian or Filipino. Using only organic ingredients culled from local Napa Valley farms and purveyors, ensures I use only the freshest products and, moreover, my efforts help support local business.