I’m Jo Cessna, a natural cook with a passion to empower people how to eat and prepare whole foods & ingredients through education. The techniques that I have created are simple, easy and fun to implement making every day eating enjoyable but most importantly healthy.
As a little girl I was fascinated with the process of putting ingredients together using only what was available on our family farm. But what really stirred my passion was sharing the food with others and the great feeling it was to show how I cared about the special people in my life thru the gift of food. I baked hundreds of hours under my Easy Bake oven light bulb to have stacks of cakes and cookies waiting for my family and neighborhood friends.
In 2008 I left my career in the food industry ready to explore how I could make a difference using my gifts as an educator and cook. This curiosity led me to study in Boulder CO at "The School of Natural Cookery" opening my palate to the amazing world of natural foods. This was a first major step on my journey – it tested my years of traditional cooking experience and methods, learning to trust my intuition (we all have amazing inner knowledge we do not tap in to).
People are hungry for knowledge on how to eat cleaner but also hungrier for the community of gathering, learning, and experiencing with surprise the wonderful taste of real food.
Upon returning home to the Midwest I decided to start my own cooking school from my home kitchen the response has been tremendous as the work from my kitchen counter has led me to working with cancer patients and caregivers, lecturing to moms of preschoolers, high school students tasting for the first time home made crackers they created themselves, teaching from a table in a factory break room and having the employees fall in love with basil/lemon water emphasizing the importance of hydration, teaching a series to a local manufacturing firm on Healthy Lifestyles. Educating Opera students at the local university the importance of clean food for the health of their voice box. Hospitals and health care clinics inviting me to teach simple cooking techniques to their patients and care givers. The connections that are made around my kitchen counter are heartwarming. People are hungry for knowledge on how to eat cleaner but also hungrier for the community of gathering, learning and experiencing with surprise the wonderful taste of real food.
So I continue that love of sharing the goodness of food and when a mom calls me excited she created healthy foods for her family and how great that makes her feel or a cancer care giver so excited to prepare a food the patient can enjoy - I know this work is important and necessary.
On the road or in my kitchen there is an important message to share. It is very exciting.
This adventure continually surprises and amazes me. So as a natural cook I go wherever I can get the message out: local farm markets, the “question and answer cook” at the local coop Duck Soup in DeKalb, guest speaker at chamber events, local library presentations. On the road or in my kitchen there is an important message to share. It is very exciting.
Personally I feel people are HUNGRY for real food, love from the food and the community that food offers when cooking and eating together.