The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Serita Jakes


Author, Kitchenability 101(2012)

Chef, author, speaker founder of Kitchenability

Has numerous fans nationwide on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube for Kitchenability

Graduate of the Art Institute of Virginia Beach in Culinary Arts


Exercising Your Kitchenability

Nisa is being called the “Chef of a New Generation” with her concept of “Kitchenability.” She defines
Kitchenability as “becoming best friends with the kitchen to feed yourself for life.” Geared towards college students,

Nisa says cooking is one way students can practice living independently and make choices as an adult.  Though your kitchen might be limited to what you can manage in a dorm room or small kitchen in an apartment or shared house, you can increase your confidence and abilities in preparing food regardless of what cooking space you have. Nisa says this is being kitchen-able.  “It’s not about having a big, fancy kitchen,” says Nisa. “…it’s about developing a partnership with your kitchen, knowing what you can do and how you can play in it.”

Increasing your kitchenability doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It is about making food that is easy, healthy, affordable, and delicious. You can discover how to feed yourself and also how to share the delight and tastiness of cooking with friends. As you gain confidence in the kitchen, you will be inspired to create foods that fit your lifestyle, instead of just eating whatever is fast and available. Nisa says kitchenability is about becoming compatible with your cooking space and working with what you have. You will be able to use your ingredients, time, and budget wisely. This means cooking healthy food while doing your studies – and in a cost effective way. You can choose how and what you eat. You are in control of your food and meals. Nisa also says that when you increase your kitchenability, you’ll find that your kitchen, in whatever form it is, becomes a place of solace and creativity. Nisa says don’t get discouraged if you burn something.  Never call yourself a bad cook. If you can perfect something, such as toast, you can then progress to make cheese toast and continue to expand your cooking abilities. These are the type of building blocks that allow people to grow in their culinary skill set and love of food.

Nisa will be sharing Banana Cinnamon Waffles; Avocado Lettuce Wraps;  Tomato Soup;  Mediterranean Pasta, Gnocchi with Pesto; Roma Tomatoes, Feta, and Basil; and Homemade Trail Mix.

In retrospect, Nisa says she’s had kitchenability her whole life. She started developing her kitchen skills in childhood. When Nisa was five, her younger sister and she would often go to their grandmother’s house where they loved spending time in the kitchen and creating dishes with what they were allowed to use. Then, in middle school Nisa took a culinary class and fell in love with it.  They didn’t make a lot of hard recipes, but what they did make were a lot of fun.  Through the years, Nisa would make recipes of her own. For example, her recipe for marshmallow drenched brownies came out of being at her grandfather’s house. He loved brownies and she took whatever she found in his cupboards, which were chocolate chips and marshmallows. They turned out pretty good. 

Though she enjoyed cooking, Nisa’s childhood goal was to become a nurse.  For two years in college, Nisa worked hard to complete her general course requirements for nursing and worked part time at a chain pasta restaurant. The job helped her cover some expenses and she learned a lot about the commercial food industry. One day, she had the hard realization that nursing school wasn’t for her. It was incredibly difficult coming to that conclusion especially after she had been planning it for years. As she was uneasy over her decision, she headed for the kitchen and cooked – which is what she normally did when she was stressed out.  While her boyfriend watched her release frustrations in the kitchen, he told her that she already knew what she truly wanted to do in life…be a chef.  After that realization, she registered for culinary school. Telling her parents about her career change was the hardest thing she had ever done. They weren’t thrilled but they eventually supported her. 

Three years ago, when Nisa was eighteen-years-old, the inspiration for Kitchenability came to her. While she stayed home and attended a local college, her friends went away.  One day, a friend called from college and asked Nisa if she could create a dish that was easy to make.  Soon, Nisa’s other friends were calling her from college with the same request, and also asking for advice in the kitchen. Another inspiration for Nisa has been her grandmother.  Since she was young, she traveled with her grandmother and learned to journal her passion for cooking.  With these influences she decided to launch her own Facebook page, “Nisa’s Cooking.” The first recipe she created was Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Nisa says since then her own kitchenability has grown and as well as those she has helped in expanding their kitchenable skills.

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