Jan Parker mastered cooking in high-end hotels and for discerning private clients all over the world, but her love of Filipino food started at home. Growing up in Tacoma, her parents felt it was important to stay connected to their Filipino culture. “They fed me authentic food from the Philippines and even taught me how to speak Tagalog.” Her website promises “When you are a client you will taste the cuisine of my country” and she seeks to “bring you the same warmth and happiness that (she) felt as a child when eating my parents cooking, but with a modern, elevated twist.”
Before returning to the Seattle area, Jan spent time in Germany. While there, she created a culinary program at the USO Rhein-Main for the military community, offering a wide array of classes and events. She realized being her own boss was “very fulfilling” and especially loves that it allows her to connect personally with people. Her husband is in the Army and while at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Jan heard about our services through our Veterans Business Outreach Program (VBOC). She had just started her own venture — Jan Parker Cookery. Curious about what kind of help we could offer, she reached out and was scheduled with a business counselor. VBOC coach Jessica Conaway was “very encouraging” and Jan found it helpful to have someone to run ideas by and offer information and perspective she hadn’t thought about on her own. “Jessica was awesome!” she says “she helped me so much, with her help I was able to take the business from point A to point B.”
These days you can mainly find Jan Parker Cookery at Proctor Famers Market in Tacoma, where she enjoys being able to support other small business owners and farmers while serving up delicious bowls and bites using local ingredients. She also holds classes, offers private chef services and regularly hosts a pop up called Boodle Fight, based on a Philippines military tradition where guests eat with their hands.
She also loves giving back to the military community, and offers discounts and special classes for military spouses at JBLM. She wants to “make people happy” with her cooking, and loves most seeing “when people try new things and are surprised.” She plans to keep bringing creative menus to the farmers market and creating events and experiences for people through Filipino food. You can find her at the Proctor Farmers Market on Saturdays and online at https://www.janparkercookery.com/