Hi! My name is Jacqui Little. I was born as Jacqueline Rivera in a little town named Los Angeles.
I grew up in sunny/smoggy Hollywood, California with my single mom. Our family is of Bolivian heritage, but I tend to identify more with Mexican and Central American cultures, since they make up most of the latinos in Los Angeles County.
I was first inclined to cook at a young tender age (may 6-8?) for extremely good reason; my mom's beet and beef stew! I was a hungry little fat child and my sweet and prescious Andean mother made this dish, alternating it with her beef-lentil stew and her pumkin-potato stew, several times a month. Imagine, a cooked reddish stew, with large beef and potato chunks, served over white rice...need I say more?
And so I went to the Art Institute of California to study Culinary Arts. I worked as a chef in country clubs, catering, restaurants and private homes. Eventually, I became a private chef with my own catering business!
I was tired and overworked (and out of shape)! I met my husband 7 years ago; it was he who inspired me to return to school and pursue an advanced degree.
So here we are living in Pittsburgh. We have been in the 'burgh for 5 years; I now hold a bachelor of science degree in dietetics and nutrition, and a master of science degree in clinical dietetics and nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh.
I work for the Sensory and Nutrition Services Department at Giant Eagle Corporate. I am the lead recipe development specialist. I develop, test and edit recipes for product packaging, newsletters, the website, print ads and in store publications. The recipe development process is quite lengthy and involved. Precise measures for ingredients make our nutrition analysis more accurate and reliable. The upcoming Food Bill will mandate a law that all facilites that serve food, with 20 or more locations, will have to post nutrition facts. This will prove to be a challenging task, as thousands of products will need to be analyzed in order to be labeled. Enough about that though...
I call myself a culinary dietitian.