Who is Little Irv and why is she baking?
Yes, Little Irv is a woman. Chef Jody, aka Little Irv. She looked so much like her father Irving when she was a child, the family dubbed her “Little Irv.”
Irving grew up in Salem, Massachusetts, where his parents owned a delicatessen.
His love of working with food, puttering around the kitchen and using gadgets to cook, was passed on to Jody. Irving also worked in grocery stores when Jody was a child, and it was he who taught Jody how to recognize ripe produce, how to rotate stock and check expiration dates on dairy products. Jody’s mother was an artist and professional educator. From her, Jody was encouraged to be creative and color outside the lines. Becoming a pastry chef was a natural way to combine the best of both worlds that she inherited from her parents.
Is this the only profession Chef Jody has had?
No. Jody started her working life as a secretary, moved on to become a professional musician and music educator, and then became a certified Reading Specialist. Alas, it was not meant to be. Although Jody inherited her love of food and art from her parents, she also inherited an incurable eye condition known as Stargardts. Jody now reads books in Braille. It was after receiving blindness skills at The Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts, that Jody attended Stratford University and earned a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. Being legally blind can be a challenge at times, but Jody knows that limits are self imposed.