Quest for Wellness
“My earliest memories in the kitchen were of times spent alongside my Grandmother preparing meals”
Jourdan Cha'Taun is a highly-trained culinary artist revolutionizing black communities by increasing awareness of the impacts of food around mental health. Through her work, she provides healing by educating her clients on the intersection of nutrition, exercise, and mental wellbeing. She helps her clients understand the importance of prioritizing self-care, beginning with their food choices. This is a devotion that has evolved because of the various challenges she has overcome throughout her life.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Jourdan was raised between Seattle, Washington, and Kaneohe, Hawaii by her mother, Carol. However, it was her grandmother, Evelyn, who influenced her desire for cooking. Jourdan's earliest memories in the kitchen were of times spent alongside Evelyn preparing meals. While this became the foundation that would later turn into a purpose and passion, Jourdan's life would take many unwanted twists along the way.
Between the ages of 2-6, Jourdan was molested by multiple family members. When she was 8 years old, her father, Mancho, was brutally murdered. These traumatic events introduced her to a life filled with toxic behavior and a depression that mirrored as anger to those around her. As she grew into her womanhood, she began coping through the trauma of her childhood with alcohol, fatty, processed foods, and self-medicated by smoking weed. At the time she did not consider herself unhealthy, however, the toxicity from her lifestyle choices would later take a toll on her personally and professionally.
While Jourdan experienced a plethora of setbacks, she was able to find herself, and her peace, in the kitchen. This is where she learned to thrive as a one-of-a-kind private chef. She built an impressive portfolio serving some of America's wealthiest black celebrities. Clients such as; Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Floyd Mayweather, Dwight Howard, and Tyler Perry are amongst the elite personas which her resume boasts. Serving these men across varied industries allowed Jourdan an opportunity to perfect her craft of healing through culinary arts. She, along with specialized nutritionists, studied each client's bodies to determine the meals she needed to prepare to ensure they were able to perform at optimal level. This required Jourdan to learn more than flavor profiles but also demanded she consider how foods interact with the body. She discovered she needed to create recipes that take advantage of the natural healing properties of various foods in order to maximize the positive impact on the overall health of her clients.
Jourdan learned quickly, in the kitchen and in her personal life, things do not always turn out the way you plan. While she healed others with her food, her own mental health suffered. Professionally, Jourdan was attentive, dedicated and loyal to each client. However, in her personal life, she lacked the same enthusiasm. As a result, she found herself unhealthy, drained, and negative. Through a series of catastrophic events including the loss of her mother, her business, investments, and the death of her youngest sister, Jourdan found herself at rock bottom. After being sober for 2-1/2 years she returned to weed and alcohol. Through therapy, she learned that she did not give herself adequate time to grieve, a form of self-sabotage. She did not know how to appropriately express the pain she felt after the tremendous losses, so she chose the destructive habits she once knew.
It would be a doctor's visit that would alter the direction of Jourdan's life. At 197 pounds, she was the heaviest she had ever been when she had to admit she no longer benefited from her negative coping behaviors. Jourdan was forced to face the demons she had carried for many years. She no longer wanted to be angry or depressed, and she did not want to continue to blame others for the dysfunction she allowed to destroy her life. This was the beginning of Jourdan's wellness evolution.
She began to face the root of her issues, her childhood trauma. To her surprise, addressing the pain connected her to her life's purpose. She took up her own teachings surrounding food and physical and mental wellness. As she began to embrace a healthier lifestyle, she began to identify positive coping behaviors. Instead of weed and alcohol, she turned to the gym and cutting board for therapy; instead of the toxic relationships, she became conscious and intentional with the words she said to herself and others. She knew that in order to get better she would have to be careful about what she goes in her mouth and what came out of it. The more her food choices improved, so did other areas of her life. As a result, she now enjoys the fruits of her labor, 50 lbs weight loss. She achieved this after following her own step-by-step regimen for healthier living through culinary education.
As Jourdan continued to evolve in her healing journey, she recognized some of her own patterns and behaviors within the black community. She began to think of those who could not afford personal chefs and nutritionists and found a need to provide access to the natural healing she found. She began to visualize a black community who enjoys the right to transform their lives, through food, just as the wealthy elite. Though she enjoyed working as a private chef and the luxuries of that lifestyle, she understood her purpose to food, mental health, and wellness weighed more than in preparing meals on an individual basis. Her passion lay in educating others on the power of organic seasonal foods and their impacts on physical and emotional wellbeing.
Through her work to support the black community's culinary and mental health education, Jourdan creates safe spaces for her followers to heal holistically. She promises her clients, "If you do what I tell you, you will lose the weight and heal old wounds. I cannot tell you how much, but you will become lighter; both mentally and physically. You will think healthier and transform your life." On her quest for continued wellness, Jourdan no longer spends 17+ hours a day in an unbalanced work life. She now makes time for travel and gives herself permission to be her own top priority. She understands that she is only able to impact the world around her as she continues healing herself, first.