Get Cookin’ with MANNA & Friends

Get Cookin’ with MANNA & Friends


MANNA FoodBank is proud to present “MANNA LIVE!” This series of live stream events takes place across MANNA’s social media channels throughout 2022, and focuses on different topics related to the food bank’s daily work across 16 counties of WNC, including the Qualla Boundary.

You can see our episode, “Get Cookin’ with MANNA + Friends!” now on MANNA’s YouTube channel! 

This second event in the 2022 “MANNA LIVE!” series is a live cooking demonstration in partnership with chefs from our food distribution partners: Chef Neil Ravenna from Haywood Pathways, and Jenna Kranz from Uncomplicated Kitchen, as well as a special cooking demonstration with Matt Parris, founder and CEO of at Roots Hummus, our live stream sponsor! We are excited to highlight these cooking demos as part of National Nutrition Month’s theme, “A World of Flavor.”

To stay up-to-date with all “MANNA LIVE!” events, and to connect with us on social media, find and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

About the Chefs

Jenna Kranz

Like most people, Jenna’s got a busy life and bustling household. She’s an avid year-round gardener, a mama to a preschooler, and can’t resist tinkering in the kitchen and pickling everything possible. She certainly knows what the dinnertime rush is about and, even though she teaches folks to cook for a living, she’s no stranger to feeling the crunch herself. Sometimes with no plan, few ingredients, and a kiddo who only wants to eat noodles, she knows that with a bit of creativity, some basic pantry staples, and self-taught culinary skills, she can feed her family a home-cooked, nutritious meal.

Jenna’s driving force, and the reason she founded Uncomplicated Kitchen, is to help others learn to do the same – to feed their families balanced, affordable and delicious meals. She wants to help people break free from the doldrums/inconvenience/intimidation/budget constraints of home cooking and find joy, happiness, and confidence in the process. To Jenna, food security is more than just having access to food; it’s about having the skills and tools necessary to put healthy meals on our plates.

Check out Jenna’s amazing Lentil Sloppy Joes & Fresh Slaw recipe that she made on the live stream and makes regularly through Uncomplicated Kitchen

Matt Parris

Matt is the founder and CEO of Roots Hummus. Beginning in 2006, Matt opened Roots Café in the back of a West Asheville food co-op. As the cafe’s customer base began to grow, so did the demand for Roots hummus. Given the demand, Matt decided to focus exclusively on hummus-making and founded Roots Hummus. Since the founding of Roots, Matt has utilized an all-natural, preservative-free and whole-food approach to his work.

Roots has been a long-time partner of MANNA FoodBank and helps provide nutritious foods to neighbors throughout WNC.

Check out Matt’s amazing Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus Pasta Salad that he made on the live stream, and be sure to check out all of the incredible Cooking With Roots videos! 

Chef Neil Ravenna

Chef Neil Ravenna has been cooking for about 45 years. Growing up in Vermont and attending Culinary school at Paul Smith’s College in Saranac Lake, New York, Chef Neil’s career has taken him from Vermont and New York to Tampa Bay, Florida; Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Western North Carolina.

Some of the positions he has held are Executive Chef at the University of Alabama, Director of Culinary Arts at Shelton State Community College, Personal Family Chef in Tampa, Florida, Executive Chef Everett Hotel & Bistro in Bryson City, North Carolina and Food Service Director at Haywood Pathways in Waynesville, North Carolina. Chef Neil has also lectured and presented at the University of Alabama, Tulane University and the University of Mississippi, just to name a few.

Chef Neil made an absolutely delicious Tomato Pie for our live stream with these wonderfully simple ingredients: 

2 unbaked pie shells
5-6 Heirloom tomatoes
2 Purple Onion
2c Mayonaise
2c Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Bunch Green Onion
2 T butter
2 T Oil
Creole Seasoning
Salt & Pepper