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Chef Jennifer Pike to Plate cooking private cooking class

My Story

"The only source of knowledge is experience." - Albert Einstein

When we arrived in Seattle on April 21st, 2016, it was a warm day. Spring flowers were in full bloom, locals were sporting tank tops, and though I didn't know it, my life was about to change. The next day was a stark contrast. Gray skies, light rain, and a damp chill in the air. I made my way to Pike Place Market and it was love at first sight. 

I spent nearly four hours winding my way through the Market. Bouquets of colorful flowers  dazzled my eyes with their warm colors. There was the slight smell of the sea, combined with the rich scents of food being prepared in a nearby stall. The downstairs held random treasures, some old and some new. It did not take me long to fall under the Market's spell and know for certain that I wanted it to become part of my life. 

Fast forward 3 years. We finally decided it was time to travel outside of Washington for the first time since we had moved here. A couple of friends asked if we would be interested in joining them in Croatia. We had never really thought of visiting that country, but it took no convincing to get us to go. On the last day of our trip, we decided to sign up for a cooking class.

Ivana arrived to the cafe. Her brightly colored attire and the little owl pinned to her shirt were signs that she was going to make this a fun and memorable day. Over pastries and coffee, we discussed Trogir's Green Market and a potential menu. We set off on foot to the maze of stalls which held the harvest of local farmers and makers. 

After loading our bag with meats from the butcher and produce from a kind older lady, we made our way back to the kitchen. For the next hour or so, Ivana guided us through cooking a traditional Croatian lunch, while we discussed the country's rich culinary history. The meal not only filled our bellies, but it filled my head with ideas.

Now it's my turn to bring Pike Place Market and its goodness to you - its sights, its sounds, its scents, and its flavors. Join me as we take the best of the Pacific Northwest from Pike to Plate. 


Jennifer O'Connor

"Nothing makes me happier than having people gathered around the table, eating and laughing."

I got my very first cookbook when I was 10 - the Better Homes and Garden New Junior Cookbook. I made Muffin Surprises for my parents. That was just the beginning of a hobby that has evolved into a career.


Professionally, I was a teacher for 17 years, with a focus on science education. With my business sidelined by the pandemic in 2020, I switched gears and became a student again. In order to broaden my skills, I enrolled in the Culinary Studies Program at South Seattle College. I earned my certification in June 2021. My goal is to combine my teaching experience with my cooking skills so that I can help others find joy in cooking and learning about food.

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