Latest Stories

Cooking Mama


Jenni Epperson’s kitchen is bursting with love

When the rain showed no signs of stopping, Jenni Epperson, mom of two, celebrity stylist, author and award-winning lifestyle blogger went to her kitchen and started to cook.

“I believe that charity begins at home. Initially, I cooked for the families of my household help and the staff of the building I live in.”

It was a good thing her kitchen was well-stocked. “I cooked whatever was in our pantry. I’m glad Argentina Corned Beef and Century Tuna gifted me with boxes full of canned goods so I made corned beef arroz caldo, tuna fried rice, Vienna sausage omelette, steamed rice.”

Realizing she had more to spare, Jenni decided to share her food with others in need. She posted on Twitter, “Who needs cooked relief food? I want to donate.”


Her friends Tim Yap and Patricia Hizon responded quickly. “They organized the pickup and distribution of the food.”

And Jenni kept cooking. Even her daughter Aryanna helped out, by baking pink cupcakes for kids who need to be cheered up. “My kitchen is always busy. My husband Tom and I are hands-on when it comes to nurturing our family so we cook our meals every day. Now that we started cooking relief food for the flood survivors, we’re officially a satellite “soup kitchen” for those in need.”

Jenni didn’t stop there. Wanting to encourage her blog readers and Twitter followers to do the same, she shared relief food recipes and ideas for eco-friendly food containers on Twitter, Instagram and www.JenniEpperson.com.

She said, “We don’t always have to do grand gestures, especially when you have your own family to take care of, but we must get involved in helping out.”

It worked. Soon, her readers were cooking in their own kitchens to help nearby villages. @CharmLaconico posted this tweet: “@JenniEpperson cooked and packed food with my kids too! Inspired by you ;)”


Jenni said, “I think social media is phenomenal that way. The fact that by sharing photos and updates, my family could inspire people to cook for our fellow countrymen in need during this time of calamity and devastation is just amazing.”

It has been days since she started, but Jenni doesn’t plan to stop soon. “It’s hard to sleep when you know there are people out there stranded in deep waters with no food, water or any kind of help.”

When asked how long she intends to continue this project, she said, “’Oplan Luto-lutuan’ is just my family’s way of helping out—cooking meals for those in need. Our kitchen is open 24/7 to the needy.”

She added, “They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. In that case, ours is bursting with love!”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Calamity , celebrity , Disasters , Food , Releif goods

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  8. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  9. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  10. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  1. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  4. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  7. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  8. Prince William fuels speculation of second royal baby
  9. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  10. This is not just a farm
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • ‘Dry spell’ delayed, thanks to busted valve
  • At 77, Erap has Easter treat for Manila cops but keeps City Hall folk in agony
  • Joy Belmonte defends council, waste-to-energy tech
  • House bill seeks special body to manage, protect Manila Bay
  • No Lenten break for QC thieves
  • Sports

  • Tottenham beats Fulham 3-1 in Premier League
  • Martino defends Messi, takes blame for Barca fail
  • Vettel hoping for resurgence at Chinese GP
  • MLB pitcher donates $100,000 for Sewol ferry victims
  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Awarded TV couple brings Jesus’ life to the big screen
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • A principled choice
  • Faith expressed in art
  • Editorial cartoon, April 20, 2014
  • Global Nation

  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition