JEN NURSE, co-founder of The Civic Kitchen, has a passion for helping home cooks develop the skills and confidence to create great meals and have fun in their own kitchens. She relishes seeing the joy on students’ faces as they realize they’re mastering something they once feared. Her mission is to foster competence and civility through the medium of shared food experiences.
Before founding The Civic Kitchen, Jen led cooking classes for kids and adults at Tante Marie’s Cooking School, 18 Reasons, and elementary, middle and high schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
After years as a prolific and curious home cook, Jen studied pastry arts at the Art Institute of Seattle. She eventually scuttled her 15-year telecommunications career to open an award-winning boutique bakery in Seattle. After relocating to San Francisco, she worked as a pastry chef and recipe developer before enrolling in Tante Marie’s professional culinary program to gain a deeper knowledge of the kitchen’s savory side. Soon thereafter, she found her deepest love of cooking when she began to teach.
Jen credits her mother’s exceptional home cooking (crêpes with Mornay sauce? Go, Mom!), her beloved Aunt Josy’s flaky-crust empanadas, and a transformative teenage year in Brescia, Italy with sparking her culinary curiosity. An insatiable bookworm, she blissfully shares her cookbook library with guests of The Civic Kitchen.