President, Youth Alliance
Chanowk Yisrael is a husbandman and community activist. Born and raised in Sacramento, he has traveled across the country on the dime of corporate America before deciding to trade in his frequent flyer miles for seeds and soil. Chanowk wants to break the cycle of poor health that typically plague the Black community and transition himself and his family to a plant based diet. It is here that The Yisrael Family Urban Farm was born. The Yisrael Family Urban Farm is transforming the hood for good using urban agriculture as a tool to engage, employ and empower communities.
Chef Brenda Ruiz
Vice President, School Gardens
Named a Slow Food USA 2018 Snailblazer for her work in Policy Advocacy, culinary professional Brenda Ruiz has been working in Sacramento's top restaurants since 1996 including The Waterboy, Freeport Bakery, The Kitchen, and Biba Ristorante. Highly regarded among her peers for her skill and work ethic, she's known for combining her love of the culinary arts with her passion for supporting the work of charitable organizations. Ms. Ruiz serves on the Executive Advisory Committee of Slow Food Sacramento as Director of the School Garden Coalition and Chair of Youth and School Projects.
Secretary, Director of Membership
LaTisha is a Sacramento native and is the Alchemy Kitchen Microenterprise Academy Program Manager for Alchemist CDC. She holds certifications in Health & Wellness Education, Food Service Management, Culinary Arts and Medical Assisting. After moving to Denver for college, LaTisha returned home in 2015 and has worked extensively with various nonprofits, including the Ecology Center.
Slow Food University Leader, Central California Governor
When faced with a fork in the road Lisa took it to Italy for a Master's Degree in Food Culture and Communications from the University of Gastronomic Sciences, affectionately known as Slow Food U. A year in Italy changed her perspective and understanding of how to think about and use food. She is the Slow Food Central Valley Governor, champion of the Slow Beer movement in the US, and working with the California Grain Campaign to bring locally grown and freshly milled grains back to the Good. Clean. & Fair table.
Chef's Alliance Representative
Before opening Magpie in 2005 Ed had worked as a sous chef for small restaurants and training chef for an upscale steakhouse chain. He started his restaurant career prepping food and washing dishes. Ed spent a year in a small osteria- in Venice, Italy. Ed’s time in Italy informed him of a way of cooking and eating that valued seasonality and local ingredients and has worked to bring those values to his restaurant here in Sacramento. Ed earned a BA in Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Jaime has been an advocate for local farms and organic produce for two decades, jokingly calling herself more homesteader than foodie and find joy in growing weird heirloom beans. Jaime's background is in marketing and social/digital media, but she loves supporting Snail of Approval restaurants through thorough testing of their food and cocktail menus! She believe having good fresh food shouldn't be luxury, but the basic building block of a healthy community. Find Jaime at @scribbykitty on Instagram!
Rivkah Sass has held the best job in Sacramento (Director of Sacramento Public Library) since 2009 and is thrilled to be part of the Slow Food Sacramento Board. The Sacramento region will thrive when everyone in our community has access to clean, healthy and sustainably-grown food.
Dr. Nadine Braunstein
Dr. Nadine Braunstein in an Assistant Professor and the Dietetic Internship Director at Sac State. When she lived in Baltimore, Nadine helped secure grants for a food desert community to establish an urban farm. In 2013-14, Nadine was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow in Washington, DC. In June 2017, Nadine visited Rome, Italy on a fellowship where she researched food and nutrition policy, including meeting with volunteers at Slow Food Rome.
Haley Ausserer has a background in marketing and communications, and holds an MBA from Mills College. She is part of the Committee to Establish a Sacramento County Commission for Women and Girls, and has volunteered around LGBTQ issues and adult literacy. An avid vegetarian cook, Haley enjoys learning about food traditions from around the world.