Kalamata’s Kitchen very much grew out of Derek’s and Jen’s kitchen, in their search to find an exciting gift for their son Henry that spoke to their love of togetherness around food. Since the idea took off, Jen has been a source of constant support for the whole team, and her eye for design and detail has been a critical source of expertise for every element of the brand. Jen has her MBA from Georgetown University - The McDonough School of Business.
What is your first food memory? “I grew up on Steak-Ums and overcooked, soggy vegetables. However, one of my friends from grade-school was Filipino, and I remember her mother’s lumpia being such a special treat. I loved the crunchy texture and the sweet and sour dipping sauce.”
“Food can really create lasting memories, even though I personally don’t have many. My most treasured memory was eating cheese blintzes with my Grandma, and yes, out of the local grocery freezer. She would put just enough butter in the pan to fry them golden brown and we topped them with Comstock cherry topping right out of the can. Nothing fancy about it, but this was a decades long tradition. As her appetite waned in her last few months here on this earth, I remember buying them once, frying them up golden brown and meeting her in the cafeteria proudly sharing what I had pulled together for her. I figured she had to give them a try, and she did, even if she was just humoring me by that point.”