By Natalia Orozco | June 7, 2015
Let’s face it: eating well when there’s a dollar menu and a Starbucks around every corner can be hard. Inspiring other people to do it also? Well, that’s an even greater undertaking. Now add motherhood, a Master’s in Education, and an extensive resume of kitchen experience to the mix and you have Bhavani Jaroff.
The 58-year-old, Roslyn native is a woman on a mission, and it all started back in high school.
“I’ve always been interested in food, ever since I became a vegetarian at age 16,” Jaroff said.
What started as an effort to be a more informed and responsible citizen, quickly grew into something more.
“As time went on I started finding out more and more about things that were being done to my food that I was not aware of, and I started becoming very alarmed and concerned.”
Jaroff’s career as a natural foods chef took off while attending the NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University. When she got there, vegetarians had no options available to them on the campus meal plan.
“They asked me to design a vegetarian meal plan and I started cooking as part of a work-study program,” Jaroff said.
Before the program even reached second semester, it had already expanded from 75 students to over 125 students being fed daily. This would only serve as the beginning of Jaroff’s career as a chef and activist.
Robert Brinkmann, a professor of sustainability studies at Hofstra University, met Jaroff while on the planning committee for the Long Island Food Conference a year ago. Since then, Brinkmann has taken cooking lessons in her home and the two have become friends.
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