Jess Daniell is the creator and founder of Jess' Underground Kitchen. Not a 'chef' but a self- confessed foodie, Jess' passion for food is inspired by a love of experiencing new cuisines through intrepid adventures and culinary discoveries. Let Jess inspire you with her Light, fresh and delicious, Mexican-inspired fish tacos and hearty ‘hunter’s stew’ in Italian, chicken Cacciatore .
Growing up on a sheep and beef farm in the Wairarapa hill-country, she gained an appreciation for real food and fresh, seasonal ingredients from an early age. Constantly devouring all the cookbooks she could get her hands on as a child, and still today, you’ll find an ever changing stack on her bedside table ready for late-night inspiration.
Jess’ Underground Kitchen is a ready-made meal and catering business with two buzzing cafes and it all started at her kitchen table. She’s always loved entertaining but hadn't ever thought about starting a food business until a friend, who'd come over for dinner, suggested Jess started cooking healthy meals for friends during the week. It all grew very organically, by word of mouth. After three years of popping up at different locations to feed hungry Aucklanders, she found the perfect spot, in the heart of Herne Bay, to open her very own bricks-and-mortar deli, and due to popular demand, she recently opened a second deli in Remuera. From day dot, the locals in both areas were lining up at the door with big smiles on their faces — these are the same customers she continues to see every day, at both our stores.
Her food is healthy, but not saintly; it pushes boundaries without being inaccessible; it captures flavour without pigeonholing any one cuisine. In other words, she keeps food fun! It's always been important to her that JUK continues to build on its trusted reputation, that their food is always seasonal and fresh, and she will never scrimp on flavour simply to keep the accountant happy. Along with their daily meal options, which change every week, they also offer an abundance of cabinet food. Everything is prepared in-house daily, using interesting produce and specialty ingredients to keep our patrons coming back for more.