About Joelen

About Joelen Kenny:  I'm a culinary instructor, food blogger and former professional restaurant chef who is an avid food enthusiast. As a mom to a growing second grader, I’m teaching my son about the world with a food and kitchen perspective, just as I have learned being a daughter of retired caterers myself. I have a deep passion for sharing the culinary arts with others through hands-on interactive classes, hosting ethnic culinary tours within the Chicagoland area, and partnering with industry businesses for recipe development and programs to highlight their products and services to consumers.

About my work: I’ve been featured in several local and national publications and media outlets including The Nest Magazine, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Cooking Light Blogger Connection, Saveur Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Red Eye, WGN News Chicago, ABC 7 Chicago News, Windy City Live Talk Show, Chicago Public Radio, Chicago.org, Huffington Post, Kenmore Live Studios, The Jr. Cuisine Cooking show, and food sites such as FoodGawker, Tastespotting, Serious Eats, BuzzFeed and more.

About my blog/website: On my site, one will find a collection of recipes made for friends and family. Recipes include those made for monthly themed dinners hosted, culinary classes taught, and ones developed for various brands, companies and sponsors. Within these posts are also product reviews on culinary tools and quality ingredients used in my recipe development. I also specialize in adapting popular and favorite recipes for gluten free diets. I also feature restaurant reviews of local and national establishments, share the culinary events I host in the Chicagoland area and occasional culinary travel experiences both domestically and internationally.

Social media statistics: Current as of 01/01/2017:
Facebook page likes – 7,750+
Twitter followers –  5,650+
Pinterest followers – 15,900+ combined
Instagram followers – 1,175+
Google+ circles – 3,200+ with 41M+ views

About my readers: Just like those that attend the classes I teach, my readers are a diverse group of individuals. However, a majority of my readers are females within the age of 25-34, who have children and are from the United States. I appeal to everyday home cooks, moms who appreciate quick and easy meals, those who live a gluten free lifestyle, and folks who enjoy entertaining and preparing themed and/or ethnic meals.

About my services: I work with various food industry brands, companies, and advertisers in unique and effective ways to highlight their products and services to consumers. I find it important for my clients to be able to connect with their consumers in a way that encourages consumers to learn, experience and appreciate my clients’ products. These ways include:
  • Ad Space Varying sizes can be accommodated and will be priced according to size and position on my site. 
  • Product Reviews Full sized products can be reviewed honestly and constructively with an in-post link, when complimentary samples are provided by the sponsor. Please allow 2-4 weeks for the product review to be posted. If you have a specific date or timeframe in mind for the review, I will work with you to accommodate your request. Reviews will appropriately disclose and follow FTC policies for compliance.
  • Giveaway OpportunitiesGiveaways are actively promoted on social networking sites and blogging communities to further increased exposure. Full sized products can be offered and promoted when a complimentary sample is provided to me by the sponsor. Giveaways will run for 2 weeks and once a winner is determined, the sponsor will be responsible for prize shipments in a timely manner. If you have a specific date or timeframe in mind for the review, I will work with you to accommodate your request. Giveaways will appropriately disclose and follow FTC policies for compliance.
  • Interactive Culinary ClassesMy classes allow products to be highlighted and featured in an interactive way, in the hands of consumers. A culinary themed class will be created and tailored to utilize your product. Sponsors will provide enough complimentary product for the class with the option to include a giveaway and/or additional product for attendees to leave with. A summary of the class will be promoted on my site and on social networking sites to further increase exposure. Classes will require at least a 2 week notice in order to determine class logistics, create a class agenda, recipe development highlighting product, and to advertise the class for attendee registration. Classes will be priced based on theme, level of instruction, and recipe development. Classes will appropriately disclose and follow FTC policies for compliance.
  • Other ideas?I would love to discuss other creative ways to help promote and advertise your products and services to consumers. I strive to bridge the gap between businesses and consumers so that everyone benefits. Let’s collaborate together on strengthening your brand while helping consumers learn about who you are and why your product is something they can benefit from!
  • Contract me via email at itsjoelen [@] gmail.com or whatscookinchicago [@] gmail.com
  • Privacy Policy

Clients I have previously worked with include:

John Ivory - Director of Strategy at RazorfishI've been to 15 or 20 of Joelen's "What's Cookin Chicago" events, including wine tastings, cooking classes, ethnic neighborhood tours and my favorite, “foodie” potluck dinners. Every single one of them has been fun, educational and, above all, tasty. Joelen has a unique combination of cooking skills, food and wine knowledge, and charm to make all guests feel welcome, while at the same time having incredible planning, execution and improvisation skills to pull everything off successfully. I can’t wait for the next event!

Nancy Graham - Manager, Program Management at SapientNitro
I met Joelen through the Chicago based Meet Up group for cooking and baking. Although I've only been able to attend a handful of her events (due to my heavy work travel/schedule) I was amazed at her creativity, passion for the subject, her willingness to bring strangers together and her organizational skills. I have never attended an event that I didn't find to be a worthwhile event, with good value and time well spent. (Considering my time and schedule are two important commodities to me, this is saying a lot.) I would venture that these same skills would carry over from Joelen's volunteer work into her work style. I would recommend any company strongly consider Joelen for their team, she would be a very valuable asset and loyal employee.

Megan Cox – Regional Marketing Manager at USA TodayJoelen is more than a cooking instructor – she is a cooking coach! I wanted to expand my cooking horizons and learn more about other cultures and their foods. Joelen guided me every step of the way. In our Filipino classes she had the kitchen and prep area perfectly prepared so the lesson was seamless from prep work to cooking and eating afterwards. My friends couldn’t believe that I had prepare the chicken adobo! Incredible! I was a little clumsy at first but Joelen gave me some great hints and tips. I feel so much more at home in the kitchen, I’ve experienced her instruction in groups and in the one on one format – she excels at both. Even in a larger group, she still gives folks just the right amount of attention to let them flourish in their own way. I highly recommend working with Joelen!

Patrick Kenny – Systems Analyst at Allstate InsuranceI’ve tried various cooking classes in the Chicagoland area and I was happy to come across Joelen’s culinary classes and website through a coworker. I attended 3 classes of hers and I was extremely impressed with how she was so organized, knowledgeable and made the cooking class so interactive. The cooking class themes were very well thought out and the classes themselves were professional and executed so that everyone was engaged in the instruction and applications. I learned so many techniques that I apply in my own kitchen. Joelen doesn’t cut corners and I have always appreciated the high quality of ingredients and cooking tools she provides for her classes. I can’t recommend her events and classes enough to family and friends!