Hi! I’m Jodi Abel, a self-taught chef, author and team building expert, who’s honed my craft through dedicated practice and private cooking classes around the world.
Lajollacooks4u is the culmination of my passion for gourmet food and teaching and was conceived after I experienced my first cooking class in the home of another self-taught chef in Umbria, Italy – a surprise birthday celebration from my husband, Glenn.
In the two short days I spent there, I was completely transfixed by the warmth and comfort of this intimate Umbrian home. Learning the chef’s family recipes in such a natural hands-on environment heightened my passion for food and cooking more than I would have ever thought possible by simply attending a cooking class.
A few days later, I was sipping wine in a Roman café when I had an epiphany: I, too, could give people the same home-cooking experience out of my home in La Jolla, California! The stunning Italian-inspired villa I shared with my husband was the perfect location for an intimate, yet elegant, gourmet escape.
With the help of my supportive family, Lajollacooks4u opened its doors in 2008. Without a marketing budget, the first couple of years were slow, with reservations slowly trickling in. But as guests left happy, Lajollacooks4u’s five-star ratings and reviews on TripAdvisor grew exponentially, and, suddenly, so were reservations!
Now, eight years later, business is thriving and Lajollacooks4u is one of the top attractions in La Jolla. We’ve received Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence two years in a row and have received over 220 five-star reviews on the site. We’ve hosted guests from all over the world, and to accommodate the large demand in our services, have recently expanded our offering to include team building events of all sizes. And I recently published my first cookbook, Lajollacooks4u: California Cuisine, an accumulation of the favorite recipes our clients have been requesting time and time again.
It’s been an exciting journey, and I couldn’t have done it without all of you! A big thank you for visiting the site. I hope to see you in the Lajollacooks4u kitchen soon!