STAFF

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ELIANNA FRIEDMAN, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Elianna has many roots in the Bay Area food community: former Market Chef & Educator at CUESA, founder of New Taste Marketplace, student and family culinary educator at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, and as senior program coordinator at the San Francisco Food Bank. She holds an AA in Culinary Management from the Culinary Institute of America, a BA in Business and an MBA in Nonprofit Management.

Elianna loves to cook and share her cooking passion with others. Currently some of her favorite ingredients to work with are kohlrabi, purple carrots and, due to her L.A. roots, she can never get enough crispy tacos. 

Contact Elianna at elianna@bayleafkitchen.org

 

RACHEL KIICHLI, PROGRAM & COMMUNITY OUTREACH DIRECTOR

Surrounded by farms, ranches, farmers markets and gardens, Rachel’s appreciation for food and how it is grown began at home and only grew as she worked with local businesses like Ingel Haven Ranch/Magruder Meats – pioneers in the slow food movement in Mendocino County. 

After getting her BA in Gender and Feminist Studies from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, she moved to Boston to work at a small business on its events, outreach and customer service. Now, back in San Francisco, Rachel has been working at Bay Leaf Kitchen since its early days. She is constantly looking to try something new, culinarily, and is always trying to bring people together, whether here or abroad, to sit around a table and share her passion for food.

Contact Rachel at rachel@bayleafkitchen.org

 

Jennifer brue, administrative assistant

Jennifer is a San Francisco native. She recently received a BFA in Graphic Design from Academy of Art University. 

Contact Jennifer at jennifer@bayleafkitchen.org

 

alicia faris, Nutrition education coordinator

Alicia is all about the FOOD! Whether she's studying nutrition, spending time at the farmers market or working at State Bird Provisions, she is committed to excellence in her execution as well as the quality of food that she is putting in her (and our) bellies!

Contact Alicia at alicia@bayleafkitchen.org


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Lenore Estrada, PResident

Lenore is the CEO and Co-Founder of Three Babes Bakeshop, a hand-made pie business in San Francisco that she owns and operates with her childhood best friend, Anna Derivi-Castellanos. Three Babes pies have been recognized nationally and internationally as some of the best in the world. Beyond making delicious pies, Three Babes Bakeshop works to promote organic and local farming, and to bring awareness to the economic, social and environmental issues at play in agricultural and low income communities across the country. Lenore graduated from Yale with a degree in History in 2005, where she wrote her thesis on federal subsidies of agriculture and the National School Lunch Program. She lives in San Francisco's Mission District.

 

BROOKE RUSENKO, SECRETARY

Brooke is an appellate attorney with an ever-growing interest in local and global non-profits, and is thrilled to have joined the Bay Leaf Kitchen Board of Directors as secretary and event planning committee member. Brooke grew up in the East Bay helping her mom in the kitchen, and this turned into a love of cooking for herself and for other people as an adult. With no formal training, she has become the go-to dinner host for her friends and family, taking over her mom’s responsibilities as host for major holidays and entertaining friends for more intimate gatherings. Her favorite dishes to make are often a fusion of Californian and Mexican, and she feels lucky to have access to fresh produce year-round by living in San Francisco.

 

JENNIFER FREEDMAN, TREASURER

Jennifer has always had a passion for cooking and gardening, working alongside her mom before taking over most of the cooking responsibilities for her family. Growing up in Marin and the East Bay taught her an appreciation for healthy food and the importance of exposing children to growing vegetables and cooking from a very young age. As a mother of two girls under three years old, she strives to share her love of the farmer’s market, the farmers who grow amazing produce, and the fun of making delicious meals to share with family and friends. Jennifer is happy to join the Bay Leaf Kitchen Board as Treasurer and continue her commitment to exposing children to cooking, eating, and gardening experiences they may not otherwise have. Jennifer loves to cook (and eat!) anything with the word “braised” in the description.

 

ALEXIS MERSEL

Alexis is a certified foodie (tacos, bacon, and donuts top the list) and hobbyist food photographer, maintaining a well-photographed catalog of the beautiful food she cooks and eats. She has a culinary degree from Ireland's Ballymaloe Cookery School and has worked as an editor and marketing executive everywhere from Saks Fifth Avenue to Martha Stewart Living to Food Network, even serving as an adjunct faculty member at NYU School of Professional Studies. Alexis is passionate about cooking with fresh ingredients and responsibly grown produce, and she is excited to create opportunities for children to experience this same passion by serving on Bay Leaf Kitchen's Board of Directors.

 

AMANDA SONENBERG

Amanda comes to the Board of Bay Leaf Kitchen with years of experience in product development and sales in the specialty food and beverage industry. From their earliest beginnings Amanda helped build Tazo Tea and Mighty Leaf Tea into the world-wide brands they are today. She relishes her role in growing the potential of specialty, small to mid-size food and beverage companies. Lucky enough to be born and bred in the Bay Area, Amanda was raised by food-focused parents with an eye to economy and health. She learned how to source fresh, healthy, tasty ingredients and have fun sometimes growing them, and always choosing or assembling or cooking them. With a self-confessed sweet tooth and ‘all things carbs’, she is ingenious in finding healthy ways to satisfy it. Sharing her experience, knowledge and enjoyment of food with the wider community is her commitment. A perfect match-up with service to growing the potential of Bay Leaf Kitchen.

 
   

 

 

LAURA ANDERSEN

Laura began cooking in high school when her mother decided she was too “picky” of an eater. Luckily for Laura this developed into a passion and love of cooking, which also expanded into an interest to learn about all things involving sustainable agriculture, urban farming, and the farm to table movement. Having grown up on the east coast she was like a kid in a candy store after moving to San Francisco in 2012 and discovering the bounty of fresh and local produce available year-round in the Bay Area. When she’s not spending her time in the kitchen or exploring the city's numerous farmers markets, she works in the development office at UCSF raising philanthropic support for the university and medical center. Laura’s favorite food is cheese of any kind, and her favorite ingredients to brighten any meal are lemons and fresh herbs!

 

MAGGIE JACOBBERGER

Maggie Jacobberger is a Bay Area native whose passion for cooking, visiting farmer’s markets, and using only the finest and freshest local ingredients were instilled in her at a young age by her grandmother Meg Cunha. Maggie is the founder and owner of the educational start-up Smart Cookie Learning, which provides academic coaching, college advising, and test prep to middle and high school students. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new recipes, especially desserts, and hiking the many incredible trails throughout the Bay Area.

 

WAVERLY AUFMUTH

Waverley began her food career pulling weeds in her father’s garden before being promoted to pickling assistant and, after attending the California Culinary Academy, worked as a Pastry Chef where she learned firsthand the challenges of forging a sustainable food system. Waverley earned her Master’s Degree in Food Culture & Writing at NYU, before returning to San Francisco to join the team at the Good Food Foundation (formerly Seedling Projects), the organization behind the Good Food Awards, where she led the foundation and growth of the Good Food Merchants Guild – an organization dedicated to fostering and supporting specialty food producers with sustainable business practices and uniting them as a powerful economic force. In 2015, Waverley joined the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses to develop and codify sustainability guidelines, manage communications strategy, and further thought leadership and mission-driven messaging to build communities through food. Waverley’s favorite foods to cook (and eat!) are tacos and Mexican cuisine.