|Some of you may be wondering who it is exactly that sends you this newsletter every month.
For those of you who don’t know, my name is Rebecca Nedrow and I am the Director of Operations for Friend that Cooks.
I didn’t start out in life loving food. I was just a regular girl in a regular Midwest town with regular working parents. We had dinner at the dinner table every night. And almost every night it was a meal made from scratch by my mother. Eating out was a luxury, and the extent of things that came out of a box or a can were macaroni and cheese or canned green beans. And those were usually saved for nights my older sister was babysitting. We ate what was on our plate. And if we didn’t, we saw it again later that week, because there was always a leftover night. My parents had a large garden when I was very young, but the only thing I actually remember was the strawberry patch. My mother would send me out to pick strawberries and I usually came back with more in my belly than in the bowl. I have since discovered that I am not blessed with a green thumb. I can’t grow a vegetable to save my life!
When I was older and tall enough to reach the stove top, I did begin to take an interest in baking. My mother’s chocolate chip cookie is one of my favorites to make to this day. But I will never forget the first time I was left on my own to make the recipe for a road trip we were taking, and I confused the teaspoon and tablespoon measures for actual teaspoons and cereal spoons. To say the least, they were awful! The cookies looked fine, but they were extremely salty. On the weekends, my younger brother and I would draw and color “breakfast in bed” menus for my parents. I would be in charge of the eggs. He would make the toast.
My real knack for cooking came in high school. There was one teacher at my school, Mrs. Salazar, that taught all of the cooking classes. I took one as a required credit and was hooked! I took every single class she offered, and had a blast! Science was my other favorite subject. So when it came time to pick a major for college, Dietetics was the logical choice. I went to Kansas State University and received my Bachelor’s in Dietetics.
My senior year, however, I decided I wanted to go to culinary school instead. I graduated, and then immediately enrolled in Johnson County Community College’s Culinary Art’s program. I got very lucky and was able to secure an apprenticeship at 40 Sardines with James Beard award winning Chefs Debbie Gold and Michael Smith. When I completed my degree at JCCC, I left for Charleston, South Carolina and worked at a restaurant called FIG with another James Beard award winning Chef Mike Lata. I have been very fortunate to work alongside some of the greatest chefs in the Kansas City and Charleston areas, and they have all influenced me and help to shape the kind chef I am today. When I left Charleston, I moved to Wichita, Kansas where I eventually found Friend that Cooks. After 2 years, I returned back to Kansas City to help owner Brandon O’Dell with the business, and we have been growing ever since.
My dietetics background not only influences the way I cook for myself and my clients, but it gives me the skills I need to be able to help our clients with special dietary needs and those that need help with specific diets. I take great joy in the fact that I am able to understand on a deeper level what our clients need and be able to work with them. The science of how and why food works in the body is a passion of mine, and I love explaining it to my clients and watch their eyes light up as they begin to understand too!
When I am not watching K-State football with my family at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, I am reading from my cookbook collection, hanging out in downtown Kansas City or following our professional local sports teams. I serve on two executive boards for my sorority’s alumnae group. I also have a dedicated yoga practice and enjoy helping my mom with her flower gardens every spring.