Meet John Jakeman, Nutrition Director, who joined us at SRDA in June 2022 with a mission to increase taste and variety while preserving the nutritional content of the daily meals. He has two degrees- an Associates in Applied Sciences and a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management. He is a Certified Executive Chef by the American Culinary Federation and is finishing up his Certified Culinary Educator program by working with East High School on behalf of the ACF Pikes Peak Chapter to assist with the Pro Start program, which is part of the National Restaurant Association. Mentoring and positive leadership are two of his most important goals, which he says leads to better working conditions and communication for the staff. He said that the “screaming TV Chefs” are not reality - as no cook would work for someone that could not build a team with positivity.
John wants to improve the perception of Meals on Wheels and the Congregate Lunch Programs in our community by creating a more palatable menu with help from the dietician. He listened to the comments and concerns that some of the meal participants had and is hoping to appeal to more people by incorporating new recipes and techniques that he and his staff have acquired over the years.
Mr. Jakeman joins us after leading the Culinary Arts Program at Pueblo Community College, where he was a faculty member for 13 years. John has worked in the food service industry since 1993 in the catering and quick service food areas. While at PCC, he was in charge of the student-run dining room where he worked in the front and back of the house, overseeing the menu, advertising and controlling costs. He states that he really enjoyed working at PCC and was disappointed that the college chose to end the program last May, as he was well-respected by his colleagues and staff.
John is married with one child in college and loves to listen to live music. He has a vast record collection and collects vintage stereo equipment to have refurbished. He loves to go camping around Colorado with his family and friends.
While he says that he misses teaching, he is glad to be at SRDA and wants to bring a greater level of understanding about our mission by promoting this organization through his contacts in the culinary field and bring the nutrition program to State level attention. Go ahead – spread the word!
Thank you, John, for your outstanding work in serving SRDA clients!