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Mikaela's Credentials 

  • B.S. Health Education, with a minor in Holistic Health, San Francisco State University 2020

  • Private Chef since 2016 

  • A.S. Culinary Arts, Linn Benton Community College 2014

  • Working in Food Service since 2011

Experience

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Available For

  • Meal Prep

  • Private Dinners

  • Recipe Development

  • 1:1 Food Service Consulting

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In Home Personal Chef

Low FODMAP consulting

Recipe development

I curate personalized weekly meal plans to fit clients individual dietary needs. Each week I write a menu, shop, cook and clean so all you have to do is relax and enjoy your meal. 

I currently service the Portland Metro Area, and will travel anywhere based on the job.

As someone with IBS I know how challenging your relationship with food can be at times. I am here to guide you and support you through the low FODMAP diet.

 

Let's get you back on track to having a healthy relationship with food and your body. 

Do you need someone to create a recipe for your new spice blend or product you want to sell? I'm your one stop shop, I can create a unique product recipe for you and provide you with professional quality styled photos.

Mikaela's Story

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I was raised in the small town of Sweet Home, Oregon, where I learned to appreciate nature, and developed a passion for culinary. I didn't take the traditional education route. Fresh outta high school, I started at Oregon State University (OSU), studying food science. I worked part time at the university dining hall, and always felt the kitchen was my happy place. 

After one year at Oregon State, I opted to go down to part time, so I could pursue culinary school. I attended culinary school in the mornings, OSU classes in the evenings, and continued to work in the restaurant part time. I had a lot of ambition, I was knowledge and experience hungry. 

After graduating from culinary school, I began working full time at OSU in the dining hall. It was my fourth year attending classes at OSU, and I had changed my major normous times, flipping between food science and nutrition & food service systems. After a year working for OSU, I still wasn't sure what my path would be, so I left the university and moved to the Bay Area, in California. 

During my time in the Bay Area, I worked for numerous top food establishments, growing and making connections. I learned the ins and outs of the food industry. I opened food establishments, line cooked, catered, fermented cider, and took on a lot of freelance work. I found myself opening doors I didn't even know existed.

In 2016, I began dabbling in private chef work. I hosted private dinner parties, cooked for politicians, and catered philanthropic events. I learned from incredibly experienced chefs, and said yes to every opportunity that came my way. I forged relationships, and became apart of an incredible team of chefs. 

After two years in the Bay Area, I felt like it was time to continue my education. I had a newfound interest in holistic health, and was fascinated by the human body. I began exploring my interests through taking courses part time at a community college. In 2018 I started school full time at San Francisco State University (SFSU), studying health education and holistic health.

 

I continued my private chef work full time, and found myself assisting in the launch of Vita Kitchena meal delivery service in the East Bay. What started out as two girls cooking for a few families, turned into a full blown business in the span of two years. We hired a small team of chefs and I worked as Chef de Cuisine until late 2020, feeding upwards 20+ families a week.

In mid 2020, I graduated from SFSU, and had some decision making to do. The pandemic changed my outlook on life, and I was ready to start a new chapter. I made the decision to leave Vita Kitchen, and plan a move back home to Oregon. But not before taking on one last client, who was in need of a chef to cook and guide them through the low FODMAP elimination diet.

This job hit home for me, I had no intentions of taking on a new client, but I pushed back my moving plans, because I truly felt I had something to offer this client. 

I have lived most of my life battling an autoimmune disorder and IBS. I am familiar with the frustrations of doctors not knowing how to help, and every test result coming back as if nothing is wrong, but the pain and symptoms were undeniable. 

In 2018, I experienced the worst flare up to date. For months, I was unable to keep food in my system, and I lost so much weight I hardly recognized myself in the mirror. Everything I ate seemed like it was a trigger for my IBS, and I found myself afraid to eat anything. That is when I began working with a dietitian, following the low FODMAP diet, it was extremely restrictive, and the polar opposite of what I was eating at the time. 

 

I spent around a year, eliminating all high FODMAP foods. Including garlic, onions, and gluten!!! It was challenging, and made my job as a chef extremely difficult, but I was determined to heal my body, and gain back the love I had for food.

 

I dove deep into researching the mind-gut connection, and was living everything I was learning in my holistic health courses. I was managing my stress levels, meditating, and taking breaks when I needed them. I was eating when I was hungry, and stopped eating when I was full -- even if there was still food on my plate. I food logged everything I put into my body, and took note of any symptoms I experienced, including my stress levels.

 

It was a slow process reintroducing FODMAPs back into my diet. The first couple of introductions triggered flare ups that lasted days, it was discouraging, but I kept trying. I celebrated every small victory, I tested and retested foods numerous times, until I successfully introduced all FODMAPS in moderation back into my diet.

 

I learned to listen to my bodies ques, and how to respond to them. I changed my internal dialogue, and became familiar with my safe foods. Today I am able to eat freely, but it was a long journey to get here. My diet may not look anything like it use to, but I found something that works for me. 

In 2021 I moved back to Oregon, with the intention of starting a personal chef service geared towards helping individuals who struggle with digestive health. When working with me, we will take a whole body approach to healing. I will guide you through your food journey, and provide you with the resources you need to get your body back into balance.

Healing ​the body is a slow process, all bodies are unique, and each person's journey will look different. I am here to listen, and guide you through the process. Everyone deserves to reclaim control of their life, and not let fear stand in the way of happiness.

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