About Our Chefs

Shana Larsen

President & Founder

chaifChef Shana Larsen, President and founder of Ready, Set, Eat!, has been passionate about food and cooking throughout her entire life. A native Portlander, some of her earliest memories are of the explosions of flavor she experienced as her mom often cooked exotic foods. Naturally, she followed in her mother’s footsteps experimenting with a wide range of new and exciting ingredients as well as dishes from many parts of the world.

Before her formal culinary training, Shana had the opportunity to study abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico while earning her Biology Degree from Pacific Lutheran University. And, you guessed it – her daily exposure to AUTHENTIC Mexican food during her travels revived the idea of a career in the Culinary Arts.

While working in Seattle as a cancer research technician, Chef Shana couldn’t ignore her passion for food any longer. She enrolled in the Culinary Arts Program at the Art Institute of Seattle. With her culinary training completed, she moved back to Portland and launched Ready, Set, Eat! Inc. Personal Chef Service.

With her background in science, understanding of how the body works, and personal experience, Shana is uniquely positioned to cater to and craft menus for specialty diets. This can include food allergies (gluten/wheat, casein/dairy, or individual ingredients) or medical conditions (such as cancer, diabetes, MS, ALS, heart disease, high cholesterol, etc). Chef Shana also has experience incorporating nutritional recommendations from registered dieticians, doctors, personal trainers and nutritionists into menus, allowing for clients to receive the correct allocation of calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat in their menu based on their lifestyle.

Chef Shana’s commitment is to provide healthy, nutritionally-balanced meals to busy individuals, couples and families, saving them time, energy and money.

Shana served two years as Past-President, and one year each as Board Member and Past-Treasurer of the Women Entrepreneurs of Oregon, (WEO). She is also a Premier Member of the United States Personal Chef Association, and is ServSafe Certified.

Brian Potts-Catrall

Chef

Brian grew up on a small horse farm outside of Newberg, OR. He developed a passion for cooking at a young age, preparing meals and desserts with his mother. He began his professional career in 1997 at the Joel Palmer House under the mentorship of James Beard award winning chef, Jack Czarnecki. He spent many years cultivating a knowledge and appreciation of cooking with mushrooms, and all of the fresh, seasonal flavors the Willamette Valley has to offer. Brian has learned a variety of techniques in baking, charcuterie, and butchery. Over the past 4 years, he has been managing the kitchen at the Blue Goat Restaurant, mastering the art of wood-fired cuisine. Brian has also catered extensively for local wineries, weddings, and other special events.

Brian has recently gotten married and is starting a homestead near Amity, OR. His family built their home, and they hope to plant a garden this year to join their chickens and goats. Brian also enjoys running, backpacking, and kayaking.

James Eckerdt

Chef

James began cooking as a child with his grandmother while he and his sister spent summers with his grandparents. James’s grandmother was passionate about making everything she could from scratch for her family from jams and jellies to bread and pasta while taking full advantage of her large garden.

With this start to his culinary career, James attended the Arizona Culinary Institute where he graduated with honors. He then spent his first few years learning the basic ins and outs of the restaurant business in the Phoenix Valley.

In 2010, James relocated to Oregon to become the Sous Chef at The Joel Palmer House. It was here that he met his  wife, Kathryn, who is also a chef. After 3 years at the Joel Palmer House, James and Kathryn got married. After the wedding, they took to the road, working seasonal jobs in Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana. They spent the first two seasons tackling challenging remote fishing lodges and guest ranches as a husband and wife chef-team. The rest of the year they spent traveling the world.

James and Kathryn recently moved back to Oregon to settle down a bit, moving into an old farm house just outside of Dayton, OR. Here they keep chickens, hope to have a large garden and raise livestock while taking advantage of the wonderful local produce being grown all around them.

Jenny Jesch

Chef

Jenny grew up in Napa, California where from a young age she was surrounded and inspired by fine cuisine. Her father was an incredible cook, every weekend she watched him lovingly prepare gourmet meals and bake breads from his 20 year old sourdough starter while soaking in as much knowledge as she could. Her passion for cooking combined with living in a tourism driven city inspired her to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. In 2012 she graduated from Humboldt State University in Northern California with a bachelor’s degree in Travel and Tourism management. From there she managed a small bed and breakfast where she lead daily kitchen operations preparing seven course breakfasts and afternoon hors d’oeurvres, and worked as a sous chef preparing seasonal dinners and catering on site special events.

After working with Ready, Set, Eat as a chef for a year in 2014, Jenny took a break to pursue another dream of her and her husband Michael’s, living in the Mt. Hood area on a sixty acre horse ranch. Jenny and Michael recently bought a home back in Portland, and they are expecting their first baby in March, 2018! She is excited to rejoin us in pursuing her number one passion in life, cooking delicious meals and sharing them with others.