When you stop by DaJen Eats Cafe & Creamery in Eatonville, you just might be greeted with an infectious smile and a cheerful, “hello, dahling.”
That’s Chef Jenn, the owner of this vegan restaurant with a Jamaican flair.
Jenneil Ross, who goes by Chef Jenn, is a Jamaican immigrant who came to the U.S. to study law at Warner University and eventually found her way into the kitchen via her passion for veganism.
Learn more about Chef Jenn’s story and her passion for plant-based cuisine. BTW, you may have heard of DaJen Eats before — it was the restaurant in the Citgo gas station on North Orange Blossom Trail.
This story is part four of our Immigrant Powered series. We previously met: QLatinx, a non-profit uniting Orlando’s LGBTQ Latinx community; Kostya Kimlat, a local magician who fooled Penn & Teller; and Dr. Anup Patel, a leading plastic and hand surgeon.
Immigrant Powered is a nonpartisan, grassroots initiative highlighting immigrant-powered businesses and organizations in our community. Request a sticker and show your support.
Before Black History Month ends next week we want to highlight two great events happening this weekend as part of the national African American Read-In initiative this Sunday. Both events start at 2 p.m.
At the Orlando Public Library, you can hear reading, poetry and music from some notable local names. Some of the folks doing readings for the crowd include Nerd Nite Orlando host Ricardo Williams, WESH anchor Jazmin Bailey and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. Find more info here.
And over in Winter Park, the library is teaming up with the Hannibal Square Heritage Center for a family-friendly day of reading that will feature books on heavier topics and some lighthearted reads. Head here for more information.
The saga of Dale Whittaker’s decision to resign from his post as UCF president was made official yesterday when the school’s board of trustees accepted his move.
Whittaker’s decision came after a contentious six-month fight over the school’s misuse of $38 million. The money was originally set aside as unspent operating funds for “general and educational expenses,” but the $38 million was instead used to construct an academic hall – the newly opened Trevor Colbourn Hall.
Board members voted to accept the decision but several of them expressed regrets over the move and praised Whittaker. Chairman Robert Garvy said, “Our loss will be some other great university’s gain.”
Whittaker also received plenty of support from students and even notable alumni, like state Rep. Anna Eskamani who tweeted that the controversy felt politically motivated: “It makes sense that a school like @UCF would be targeted by conservative leaders; a school in a blue county who opened the first early voting site on campus.”
The acting president, Thad Seymour Jr., is expected to lead the school for the next few months until a full-time replacement is hired.
In other news…
⚽️ Saturday, Feb. 23: Grab your tickets to The All-Star Soccer Ball and celebrate all-stars in our community, hosted by The Orlando City Soccer Foundation (SeaWorld)
🎉 Monday, March 4: Support Orlando Fringe at its party of the year. The night includes live music, libations and local eats plus an exclusive performance of last years’ hit, El Wiz, a retelling of The Wizard of Oz set in modern-day Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. (Thornton Park)
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🍻 Make March Madness more entertaining with a pub crawl (Ivanhoe)
🎉 Kick off Porchfest with a little pre-party (Sanford)
💰 The bigger the hair, the bigger the fundraiser? (West Colonial)
🚲 Air up those tires and put on your helmets (Loch Haven Park)
🌮 Grab the fam or friends and head to the food truck bazaar (Windermere)
🐶 Take the pups to this new yappy hour (Curry Ford West)
🥃 Check out this bourbon and buskers event (Audubon Park)
🎶 Whatever you do, don’t miss this year’s Porchfest (Sanford)
🍻 Celebrate Roque Pub’s anniversary with beers and live music (Curry Ford West)
🦞 Mardi Gras is here! Eat all the crawfish, drink all the Abita (Wekiva)
🧘🏻♀️ Yoga and coffee more your speed? (Longwood)
🧘🏻♀️ Or yoga and beer? (Curry Ford West)
🗣 Through Sunday Ever dreamed of becoming an engineer? (Loch Haven)
📚 Celebrate African-American literature at this read-in (Downtown)
📚 Or celebrate it here (Winter Park)
🧪 Calling all Harry Potter fans, learn to make magic potions (Oviedo)
🛍 Shop this local vintage market (Downtown)
👟 Love reggae and running? Don’t miss this 5K (Baldwin Park)
🎬 Watch the Oscars on the big screen (Maitland)
🍿 Great Scott! Don’t miss this movie night at A La Cart (East Colonial)
❓ Who knows Dr. Who better than you? (Downtown)
🧘🏻♀️ Get your buti yoga on beside this pool deck (Thornton Park)
🛍 Shop this Monday community market (Audubon Park)
🌳 Volunteer to clear the Oakland Nature Preserve (Oakland)
⚾️ The Atlanta Braves are back in town for spring training (Lake Buena Vista)
❓ Are you more of a Ted Mosby or Barnie Stinson? (Downtown) 🆕
🧘🏻♀️ Get your downward dog on under the stars (Downtown) 🆕
😎 It’s the perfect night for dirty bingo (Thornton Park) 🆕
🎟 An unforgettable show, 10 years in the making (College Park) 🆕
🤗 Hey mamas, grab your sons for date night (Waterford Lakes) 🆕
🍻 Grab your drinking buddies for a brewery hop (Curry Ford West) 🆕
Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag #pulptown on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with a Pulptown membership.
Pinching pennies waiting for that tax refund? Check out Orlando Date Night Guide’s list of 75 free things to do in Orlando and enjoy our City Beautiful this weekend.
See ya Monday,