About Chef Jodi

Jodi, smiling and laughing while cooking.

Hi! I’m Jodi Abel, a self-taught chef, author and team building expert of Lajollacooks4u. I’ve honed my craft through dedicated practice and private cooking classes around the world.

Lajollacooks4u is the culmination of my passion for gourmet food and teaching. It was conceived after I experienced my first cooking class in the home of another self-taught chef in Umbria, Italy – a surprise birthday celebration from my husband, Glenn.

In the two short days I spent there, I was completely transfixed by the warmth and comfort of this intimate Umbrian home. Learning the chef’s family recipes in such a natural hands-on environment heightened my passion for food and cooking more than I would have ever thought possible by simply attending a cooking class.

A few days later, I was sipping wine in a Roman café when I had an epiphany. I, too, could give people the same home-cooking experience out of my home in La Jolla, California! The stunning Italian-inspired villa I shared with my husband was the perfect location for an intimate, yet elegant, gourmet escape. With the help of my supportive family, Lajollacooks4u opened its doors in 2008. Without a marketing budget, the first couple of years were slow, with reservations slowly trickling in. But as guests left happy, Lajollacooks4u’s five-star ratings and reviews on TripAdvisor grew exponentially, and, suddenly, so did reservations!

Now, 10 years later, business is thriving and Lajollacooks4u has become San Diego’s premiere team building and cooking events company.  With over 270 five-star reviews on TripAdvisor, we’ve hosted guests from all over the globe and received the site’s Certificate of Excellence award four years in a row. 

It’s been an exciting journey, and I couldn’t have done it without all of you! A big thank you for visiting the site. I hope to see you in the Lajollacooks4u kitchen soon!