We are so pleased to introduce our extremely creative guest chefs who are graciously donating their talents to this year’s 6th Annual Harvest Moon Celebration and Fundraiser! It will truly be a delicious and tantalizing Farm to Table experience sourcing the freshest ingredients from our local farms while raising funds to end food insecurity and hunger in our communities.
Chef Rich Mead has been cooking farm-to-table food before the term even existed. With decades of culinary expertise, Chef Mead has cultivated relationships with the highest regarded local and sustainably focused farms and purveyors allowing him to create the freshest menus using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and specially grown vegetables.
Today, Farmhouse at Roger's Gardens is the culmination of Mead's long-standing relationship with these farmers and purveyors, who have become in many ways like family and have provided him with quality ingredients that Farmhouse uses throughout the menu in thoughtfully crafted dishes and cocktails.
"Willy” is the Founder of Keto Krack'd, a Premium Keto Chocolate Confection company that offers better-for-you indulgences that are Organic & Non-GMO, Low Sugar, Keto Friendly, and Vegan. Willy's interest in chocolate was sparked when he noticed the chocolates available in stores were sugar ladened, preservative filled, and lacked quality, so he decided to make his own! He embarked on a mission to learn how to make chocolate and blend his keto knowledge to create supremely satisfying Keto Chocolate Confections with minimal sugar and ingredients, with no preservatives or additives. They’re simple but sinful!"Learn more
Chef Tarit Tanjasiri’s love for baking and his interest in dough science started right after studying at the University of Southern California when working at a pizza shop. His business and economics studies in college led him to work as a real estate investor, developer and in property management. His entrepreneurship skills and his love for baking led him to the hospitality industry where he owned different cafes and restaurants in Downtown LA and the San Fernando Valley since 1993. He attended a French Pastry School in Chicago learning the craft of baking Artisan breads.
Tarit is now owner of a vibrant and bustling café, The Crema Café in Seal Beach and Crema Artisan Bakers, Wholesale Bakery in Irvine.
His current projects, in collaboration with two friends include Artisan, 7 leaves and Crema bakery in Fountain Valley.
Chef Dean Kim first fell in love with baking while attending UC Berkeley for his undergraduate degree. He was working part-time at a local bagel store as a baker when he immediately fell in love with the smell of bagels. That is when he knew he wanted to pursue baking instead of law school. He attended the American Institute of Baking and the San Francisco Baking Institute to get a proper culinary education. He then moved down to Orange County and worked for a local bakery. Several years later, with the support of his wife, he decided to open his own shop and OC Baking Company was born. Chef Dean is an award-winning executive artisan baker bringing artistic, unique bread to leading hotels and restaurants in Southern California.Learn more
Chef and Cookbook Author, Joni Marie Newman utilizes fresh seasonal produce to create delicious vegan recipes. Her focus is using seasonal produce to highlight farm to table meals. Joni started a personal lifestyle blog in 2006, and before long her posts became increasingly focused on vegan food, she began experimenting with "food porn" and different recipes from other's cookbooks, bloggers, and, of course, veganizing old family favorites. It dawned on her that she could probably write a cookbook. In ten years, Joni has written ten cookbooks! She is taking a break from writing cookbooks, and has been volunteering for events, teaching cooking classes and developing recipes using fresh in seasoned produce grown on Tanaka Farms. In 2019 she began her tenure as the Food Editor for VegNews Magazine.
Plant Based Chef and Ayurvedic Consultant, Shina Chen teaches people how they can lead healthier lifestyles and experience Food as Medicine. Her mantra is “opposites cure”. If you are hot, you crave something cold. In the summer it is hot and cooling foods like fresh limes help cool down your body. Lemons are considered hot, and limes are cooing. When it is cold in the winter, our bodies crave hot food. The opposite of salty foods are sweet foods. Shina provides private health and wellness consultations for her clients. Her go to ingredient is ginger which is considered the mother of mother nature because ginger is good for so many things such as digestion, relieving nausea, etc. She is a talented and creative chef using fresh organic plant-based ingredients.Learn more
Chef Dee Nguyen is the son of hard-working refugees who fled Vietnam when he was a young boy, Dee was expected to become a doctor or lawyer but found his passion was in cooking. Dee excelled as a chef, graduating from the California Culinary Academy. Dee was hired as a chef at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel, CA where he rose through the ranks in record time to become their Executive Sous Chef.
A life changing accident involving his son, prompted Dee to leave his dream job at the Ritz Carlton to care for his son. Dee started his own restaurant which operates five days per week from 8 am to 1 pm for breakfast and brunch. This allows Dee to care for his son in the afternoon/evenings. He hosts monthly pop-up tasting menus with the most imaginative courses. The focus is upon a theme ingredient and Dee searches through farmer’s markets and forages in the woods for local seasonal ingredients. Guests are treated to Dee’s creative masterpieces during these special dinners highlighting his talents as a high-flying Executive Chef.
Chef Dani Leyva has been cooking for as long as she can remember. Growing up in an Italian family everything was made from scratch, the freshest ingredients and made with a lot of love.
Her memories were either standing on my “special” stool at her very own “special” pull out cutting board in the kitchen or gathered around her Nana and Papa’s dining room table surrounded by family.
Dani’s greatest influences in the kitchen were generation taught, strong, influential Italian women, her Great Grandma G, her Nana, and her amazing Mother. They taught Dani everything from making Sunday Sauce, Leg of Lamb slow cooked on a rotisserie, homemade breads, fresh herb dressings and so much more.
Dani has spent 30 years of her life combining her experience and love for all things culinary. She love’s creating memories for her clients and being transported back to her childhood, where family, friends and amazing food will be remembered always. An amazing personal chef and caterer, she has crafted incredibly unique cocktail parties for corporate events, weddings, and special occasions.
Chef Jim Gibbons is the former executive hotel chef for Hilton Hotels in Arizona. He manages the Culinary Team and the Tanaka Grill at Tanaka Farms. Jim also leads the cooking classes and cook out tours at Tanaka Farms. He enjoys taking guests out on the farm where they grow a variety of fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. Guests learn to harvest and collect fresh ingredients to create delicious Farm to Table meals.Learn more
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