Jessica Segarra in a Blue Floral Dress Holding a Digital Camera
Welcome to The Novice Chef!

Meet Jessica

Welcome to The Novice Chef, where you can expect tried and true, delectable everyday recipes that your entire family will love! We are a small family team that has been providing high quality recipes since 2008. 

My name is Jessica Segarra and I’m a home cook from Texas who’s now thriving in her Florida kitchen. I grew up in a family that always cooked and rarely ate out. My wonderful mom had dinner on the table every day with a homemade dessert almost every weekend. Food is a passion and I’ve taken cooking classes both with local chefs at their restaurants, at Sur La Table, and even worked as a prep-line cook in my early 20’s. I also taught cooking classes in Tampa, Florida until I had my girls in 2014.

I’m a wife to Jorge, mama to twins Ellie & Lyla and my son Milo. My kids are my life and I love that all three of my kids share a love of cooking – and eating – with me. 

Jorge Segarra sitting at an outside table at a restaurant.

Meet Jorge

Hi there, I’m Jorge Segarra. I was born in Puerto Rico and moved stateside when I was in elementary school. I grew up with three siblings and a strong single mom. Growing up, food was a major part of our day to day life. From my Abuela’s Tostones, to my Mom’s Arroz Con Gandules and Pernil. As an an adult, I took cooking and wine tasting classes at Syracuse University. I learned basic chef skills, wine pairings, and how to cook everything from pastas and sauces to breads from scratch. 

I don’t get back to the island as often as I would like, so food has become the easiest way to get that taste of home. I’m a former IT professional who retired early to be a full-time stay-at-home dad and to share my Puerto Rican recipes. Thanks to my wife’s amazing platform, I’m hoping I can share family’s love and food with everyone!

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What You Can Expect From Our Recipes

Family Tested Recipes

Every recipe is tested several times to make sure the finished dish is as delicious as possible. Even the kids get involved! Before a recipe appears on this site, you can trust that it’s been tried and approved by 3 picky kiddos. 😉

Easy To Find Ingredients

We work hard to make sure that the ingredients we use will be easy for most people to find at the regular grocery store. There may be a few exceptions with our ethnic recipes, but the vast majority use basic, pantry staples.

Simple Cooking Instructions

We believe that anyone should be able to make our recipes. As a result, we work hard to write clear, simple instructions that even a novice cook or baker can follow. If you have a question, post a comment & we’re happy to help.

A Wide Variety of Flavors

Our backgrounds allow us to share American, Puerto Rican, Cuban and even a few Asian-inspired recipes on this site. You’ll always find something delectable to make! Check out our breakfast recipes, dinner ideas or find a new dessert to try.

Jessica's Cookbooks
In addition to all the recipes on The Novice Chef, you can also find some of Jessica's favorite desserts in her two cookbooks.
Cover of Mini Donuts cookbook showing several kinds of mini donuts.

Mini Donuts: 100 Bite-Sized Donut Recipes to Sweeten Your "Hole" Day

Jam-packed with gooey jellies, oozing with rich custards and creams, and covered with mouthwatering toppings, these mini donuts are bursting with big flavor.

Learn More at Barnes & Noble
Book cover with a photo of cereal in a white bowl.

Cereal Sweets & Treats

Satisfy sweet-tooth cravings by turning these sugary little bits of crunchy heaven into desserts and snacks featuring bars, cakes, cupcakes, muffins, candies, cookies, and frozen treats.

Learn More at Barnes & Noble