About Me

My passion for baking was ignited at a young age by my grandmother Evelyn Dean’s southern cooking in Stockton, California, where warm peanut butter cookies and cherished family recipes created lasting memories.

WELCOME TO
CAKES BY JEFF THE CHEF

My passion for baking ignited from a very young age. It was from the sweet memories of my beautiful grandmother Evelyn Dean, a strong black woman who moved from Texas to California when she was a young girl. To those wondering where Stockton is, it is about 30 miles south of Sacramento in California. I remember being four years old, playing in her kitchen with whatever kitchen appliances I could get my hands on while waiting to taste the sweet aroma from her warm peanut butter cookies that lingered throughout the house. My grandma loved to cook and bake for her family. I recall my favorite time of the year was during the holidays because I could always count on her to cook her favorites sweet potato pie, seven-up cake, chocolate chip cookies, and her specialty; peanut butter cookies. She taught me how to crack an egg, how to use a flour sifter, and even taught me all about child labor as she taught me how to clean her kitchen while she baked. You can say that spending time with her, and tasting the different pallets from her desserts and savory southern cooking, inculcated a passion for baking and cooking in me.
I was 30 years old, working a full-time job as a Medical Assistant, and driving 100 miles round-trip every night to pursue my passion at Le Cordon Bleu School. I never missed a day of class, as having 100 percent attendance was a must to graduate. Of course, until one day when I forgot my kitchen shoes. I remembered as it was yesterday, right at the beginning of class, the Chef asked us to line-up so that she could check our uniforms, nails, and shoes. Like a drill surgeon from the USMC, she lined us all up across the kitchen with our hands out to check everyone. I had forgotten to pack regular kitchen shoes, so I wore my sneakers. When she looked down at my feet without missing a beat, she dismissed me for the night. Did I mention this program required 100 percent attendance? As you can imagine, I left that night upset and mad at myself for forgetting such an essential item. And all-of-sudden- like a message from God, I thought to myself, rather than going home, buy shoes. Thus, I googled the nearest Walmart and bought another set of shoes that night. I returned to class with the right pair of shoes, and when the Chef looked at me wearing the right pair of shoes, she smiled and said, “I will only mark you tardy you may return to your station.” From that moment on, I was never more sure of my determination. My professor knew my dedication and love for food. I knew then I was there for all the right reasons, to continue to learn and always value my grandma’s recipes.
In the last decade, I have spent my time perfecting the chemistry of my desserts. I have participated in Sugar Showdown , from The Food Network show, where I have showcased some of my favorites, and in the last year have been invited to several other shows. I am grateful to venture into a new endeavor and share my favorite grandma’s recipes with everyone around the United States.

-Chef Jeff