Celebrity Chef Jamika Pessoa is one of the fresh, new, and popular personalities on the Food Network.
Viewers fell in love with the Atlanta, Georgia native when she appeared in season 5 of the Next Food Network Star. She made it to final three, but didn’t take home the coveted, first place title. However, she left an indelible impression on so many, including Iron Chef Michael Simon who said “she naturally lights up a screen.”
The executives at the Food Network agreed and tapped her to be a regular contributor on the show Best Thing I Ever Ate, and to serve as a judge on several popular Food Network show like Clash of the Grandmas, Chopped Jr. and Ultimate Summer Cook-off.
Chef Jamika is currently lighting up the screen in a brand new Food Network endeavor. The most exciting part of the new project is that it’s on a screen that is as close as your smart phone or tablet.
The new show is called Let’s Eat. Chef Jamika shares co-hosting duties with food and lifestyle expert Brandi Milloy, and celebrity and professional chef Stuart O’Keeffe.
Let’s Eat is a 13-episode Food Network app digital series which takes a contemporary and sometimes whimsical look at food from the hosts’ point of view and through the lens of social media. The recipes are original creations developed by the hosts and the show also features the latest food fads, restaurant tends, and time-saving food hacks. Each episode has lively interaction between the hosts which make viewers feel as if they are cooking right along with them in the kitchen.
The look and feel of show inarguable attracts millenniums, as it showcases trendy dishes and encourages social media engagement. But it truly targets an audience that have come to rely on their hand held digital devices, along with a array of apps, for on-demand content in their 24/7 lifestyles. That audience includes, well – most of us. Let’s Eat meets that need and provides engaging content and recipes that are simple to make and on the table without a lot of fuss.
“I would describe it as the most delicious and fun 20 minutes you will experience on your digital device,” said Chef Jamika. “We have dishes for single people, families, holidays and special events. The recipes are easy and include store bought items as well as recipes made from scratch. They are fun, affordable, and created to make you look like a professional chef.”
She’s absolutely right.
In episode 1, Chef Jamika wowed visitors and viewers with her impressive, droll-worthy, blue cheese, aged rib-eye steak. She infused aged steakhouse flavor into the rib eye with a surprising food hack people are still talking about.
“So many people tagged me and said they had never thought about making a steak that way, but they made it because they saw the show. And now they see it’s not so difficult,” said Chef Jamika. “Cooking doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. You don’t have to go to culinary school to feel like a chef in the kitchen.”
In episode 9, she dazzles us with her “kiddy plate to dinner date” recipe. In this show she makes Parmesan crusted chicken do double duty as chicken tenders for the kids, and Chicken Picatta for the grown-ups.
It’s undeniable that Chef Jamika brings a lot of style and grace to the show. Her effervescent personality and clever one-liners make her the life of the party. Her makeup and wardrobe are on point and add to the brilliance of her personality.
Living in her truth and embracing her personal style and culinary perspective is something Chef Jamika is very comfortable with. She admits it hasn’t always been that way. She says time and experience have been the best teachers.
“I’ve learned over the years that once you get to that point when you know who you are and what you bring to the table, you have to be confidant and stand in your own truth,” said Chef Jamika.
It’s this very attitude that has made her one of the Food Network’s most popular celebrity chefs. Let’s Eat gives visitors and viewers a chance to see her passion for cooking and her cheerleadering spirit.
“I want people to leave the show thinking wow, I can do that! I not only want to inspire you to make the recipes, I want to inspire you to purse your dreams and passion,” said Chef Jamika as she reminisced about her Food Network journey. “Yes, I am chef and my goal is to get people cooking one meal at a time. But my ultimate calling is to feed people’s souls.”
Let’s Eat has a little something for everyone from appetizers, desserts and entrees to the most Instagramable foods. And Chef Jamika says that if visitors and viewers make one of her recipes and tags it #letseat, she just might will give them a shout out.
“Grateful is the word written on my heart,” said Chef Jamika. “To get to this place and have people support you and wish you well, you just can’t ask for anything more than that.”
Chef Jamika shares her Quick Sausage and Seafood Stew recipe from episode 11. This tasty, hearty stew looks like it takes all day to make, but its on the table in just under an hour.
Make sure to check out all the episodes on Let’s Eat, which can be viewed by downloading the Food Network app from iTunes and Goggle Play. From the Food Network app just type Let’s Eat in the search bar and get cooking.
Follow Chef Jamika on Instagram @chefjamika, Facebbook at chefjamika, and Twitter at @ChefJamika
Quick Sausage and Seafood Stew
Recipe credit: Chef Jamika, Food Network app.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sausage (turkey, beef, pork or andouille), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 cup diced onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces skinless cod or tilapia fillets, cut into large pieces
8 ounces peeled and deveined medium or large shrimp, tail off
8 ounces mussels, frozen or fresh
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
Cooked rice, for serving, optional
- Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the sausage and saute until beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the onions, celery and bell pepper and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, corn, Worcestershire sauce and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth and 2 cups water and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 8 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper. Add the fish and seafood to the pot and stir well. Cover and cook just until the shrimp are opaque and the mussels are open, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cilantro to finish.
- Serve the stew in bowls garnished with additional cilantro. If serving with rice, spoon about 1/2 cup cooked rice in the center of each bowl first, then top with the stew.
- Make this dish more or less extravagant by adding higher end seafood or lower end frozen seafood. This stew is great served with toasted garlic bread.
Quick Sausage and Seafood Stew. Photo credit: Food Network app.
Thank you. It was a great interview with Chef Jamika.