Leaders

Volunteer Community Kitchen Leaders

Community Kitchens is fortunate to have a long list of dedicated, volunteer kitchen coordinators. To learn more about an individual kitchen, please contact the kitchen coordinator directly. If you’re unsure who to contact, email info@communitykitchensnw.org and we’ll point you in the right direction.

Kate Farmer – Rainier Vista Community Kitchen


Kate Farmer is the Site Manager at Neighborhood House Rainier Vista Center. Located in the heart of Rainier Vista, the Center offers services, support and resources for low income people living in the community. Rainier Vista is one of the most culturally diverse communities in the country with over 14 languages spoken. Kate currently leads a monthly community kitchen on-site which local residents attend and learn new cooking skills, share recipes and prepare food to take home. Kate has been with the Center for 2 years, prior to that she worked at the Archdiocesan Housing Authority in Seattle for 3 years as a Resident Services Coordinator.

Leika Suzumura – Rainier Community Kitchen

Leika has been cooking and studying nutrition since the age of 13. These early experiences were impressionable and led her to pursue a career in nutrition. She received her undergraduate degree in Nutrition at Bastyr University and is currently a nutrition educator for PCC Natural Markets. She is passionate about food justice and the pursuit of making quality foods accessible to all people. Her strategy is founded on come-unity networks and empowering people with knowledge and the skills necessary to take charge of their health for the greatest quality of life. pearblossom88@hotmail.com

Diana Vergis Vinh – Downtown Community Kitchen

Diana is a Public Health Nurse with Public Health Seattle & King County where she works doing healthy eating, active living programs. She has been part of Community Kitchens Northwest since its start three years ago.

Dorothy Sager – Unity Church Community Kitchen

As a single person I am aware of the challenges of preparing food for one. I was looking for a way to combine my healthy lifestyle training with people having fun together when I discovered community kitchens. The community kitchen provides social support, creativity, fun and incredibly delicious food. I learn ways to support local, organic food growers and discover environmental resources while I teach healthy nutrition tips and kitchen skills every time we have an evening in the kitchen. Dorothy Sager, Synergy Wellness Coach and Raw Food Chef, Unity Seattle Community Kitchen SynergyWellnessCoach.com

Kala Mayer – Rainier Community Kitchen

Kala is a pediatric nurse, nurse educator and action researcher.  Since the beginning of CommunityKitchensNW, Kala has served as a participant, facilitator, evaluator, and as an active member of the CommunityKitchensNW Coalition, serving on the steering committee.

Rachel Duboff – Wallingford Community Kitchen

Rachel is the owner of {thyme to Nourish}, a personal chef & food education service focused on whole foods and healthy eating. Trained at the Culinary Arts program at the Art Institute of Seattle, Rachel spent her early years with a mom who loved to experiment with food and 1 ½ years in Malaysia where she immersed herself in SE Asian and Indian cuisines. Rachel has been a chef instructor with Solid Ground’s Operation Frontline program since 2003 and recently joined the instructor team for PCC Cooks. Rachel is furthering her education through her studies in Nutritional Therapy, a holistic approach to food based health and wellness and believes that a focus on food and community is the key to our happiness and our future. www.thyme2nourish.com

Ryan Miller – Downtown Community Kitchen

Even though Ryan graduated from the California Culinary Academy in 2004 with training in classic French cuisine, he doesn’t cook quite that way anymore. Through stints cooking in restaurants and cafes, selling single-origin olive oil, pouring wine, and making micro-roasted coffee (he’s currently a barista), he found the way he really likes to cook. His style could be called “intuitive cooking,” an almost free-form way of approaching seasonal ingredients with as little manipulation as possible. Despite this, he relies on his basic food training and research of cuisines around the world in order to have the confidence to buy and cook any fresh food from scratch, for maximum enjoyment and nutrition. He wants to show you how to cook like he does.  Check out the Pike Market Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/PikeMarketCK

Terrie Irish – Snoqualmie Valley Community Kitchen

My name is Terrie Irish.  In addition to over thirty years of practical experience with home canning I have completed formal training in home food preservation.  I have worked the 60 hour week in a corporate environment and the daily commute; enjoyed the privilege of staying home when my children were young; pursued seasons where volunteering seemingly consumed any available free time; taught history through homeschooling cooperatives; sold cheese at the local gourmet store; experienced lean times and flush times, overworked times and the occasional respite.

Pat Barger – Queen Anne Community Center Kitchen

I grew up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. I started to learn to
cook at 9 in 4-H and was active in 4-H until I went to college. My
mother was a self taught restaurant and resort cook who in later years ran a pie and donut bakery from our house.

I attended the University of Vermont, graduating with a major in psychology. I attended Northwestern University for graduate school and obtained a PhD. in child clinical psychology. While in Chicago I met my husband; we have been married more than 50 years. During my professional career I was a university professor, a clinic director and finally a mental health system executive for the State of Illinois.

Thru all this time I was a serious amateur foodie. I have always cooked,
taken random classes and have collected several hundred cookbooks.My art
form was the four or five course dinner for 40 or 50 guests held at our
house once a year. When we moved to Seattle after retirement I became
active at QA Community and Aquatic Center. After some years I became the
lead volunteer cook for senior meals and recently the lead for our
Community Kitchen. I love to cook and to share skills and nutrition
information with my seniors, many of whom are tired of cooking for
themselves but enjoy the company of the kitchen and having food ready in
their freezers.

Alyssa Rieser – Greenwood Senior Center

I love to eat, and I love to play in the kitchen. I believe that feeding ourselves and others is an act of love, and an opportunity for creative expression. I was raised on Southern cooking, and those flavors remain dear to my heart. My food philosophy is grounded in the use of sustainably produced, seasonal, local ingredients. My past experience includes organic farming, operating my herbal medicine company, serving as an event planner for Slow Food, and volunteering for a farm to school program. I moved to Washington in June of 2010 and am pursuing a Master of Science in Nutrition at Bastyr University. My other loves include: wine, bluegrass, gardening, hiking, running, mountains, the sea, and yoga. I hope you join us! Please feel free to contact me with any questions, and learn more about my culinary style at my blog: www.figsandfennel.com.

Julia Collins – Rainier Community Kitchen

I love cooking, eating, learning and teaching, so when I learned that community kitchens existed, I jumped right in. From an early age I took an active role in cooking for my family, using whole food ingredients to try as many recipes as I could talk my parents into buying ingredients for.  I’d pretty well cooked my way through The More-With-Less Cookbook and The Betty Crocker New Picture Cookbook by the time I finished high school, and had learned to cook conceptually as well as to follow specific recipes.

Interested in nutrition and food politics, I am comfortable creating healthy dishes and menus for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores. I eat very little meat and truly love cooking and eating vegetarian meals. I have used my cooking skills and passion to cook for large groups (church and theatre) and to do personal-chef work for friends with varied nutritional needs.

I look forward to cooking with you at the Rainier Community Kitchen!

Daniela Geleva - SPU Community Kitchen

Daniela grew up in Bulgaria and when not cooking, can be found enjoying the outdoors. She is a professor of food & nutrition at SPU and a registered dietitian.

Rebecca Pearson – Ellensburg Kitchen

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