Learn more about our period of rebuilding. Your donation will go towards fighting hunger, food waste, and unemployment in Los Angeles. 

 

DONATE NOW

We’re happy to announce that four powerful women have joined our Board of Directors!

Click here to learn more.

The L.A. Kitchen Team Click on select team members to learn more.
Luis Aguilar
Luis Aguilar Utility Worker
Kajsa Alger
Kajsa Alger Board Member

Kajsa Alger - Board Member

Kajsa Alger is the Food and Beverage Director of Culinary Innovation for the Veggie Grill Restaurant Group, which focuses on Veggie Positive plant based foods for the mainstream audience. She is also co-owner of Blue Window Take Away, a licensed restaurant group with concepts focused on authentic global flavors, sustainably sourced ingredients and environmentally friendly practices, with an emphasis on changing the face of what we call “fast food”. Kajsa’s pinches-and- handfuls approach to cooking, along with her creative passion for simple, nutritious, colloquial foods have paved the way for her new projects focused on developing plant based cuisine that reaches a lower price point demographic. Her involvement in youth outreach and teaching encourages exploring and sharing those foods while staying connected to our communities.
Rogelio Andrade
Rogelio Andrade Utility Worker

Rogelio Andrade - Utility Worker

José Andrés
José Andrés Chair Emeritus

José Andrés, Chair Emeritus

Named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2012 and “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation in 2011, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, passionate advocate for food and hunger issues, author, educator, television personality and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. TFG is the team responsible for renowned dining concepts in Washington, DC, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and Puerto Rico. Recently he was named Dean of the Spanish Studies program at the International Culinary Center. He is chairman emeritus of DC Central Kitchen, board member of L.A. Kitchen and the founder of World Central Kitchen. He is also culinary ambassador to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, an effort championed by Secretary Hillary Clinton. José teaches “Science and Cooking” at Harvard.
Juan Arguello
Juan Arguello Utility Worker

Ken Weekes - General Manager

kweekes [at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 268 - 7409 Ken brings over twenty-five years of foodservice operations experience to L.A. Kitchen. Ken’s culinary and operations experience is diverse, and runs the gamut from private restaurants to large scale institutional programs, as well as high profile off premise catering. Additionally he has served as a consultant with the Drucker School of Management and Butte County Community College. He also has extensive experience in social service agencies, including directing rehabilitation services and job training programs for OPARC and the Orange County Rescue Mission. Moreover he was part of the program launch and the Vice President of Community Outreach for Stay Designated Inc. Ken holds an MBA from the University of La Verne and is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor.
Dennis Ayon
Dennis Ayon Utility Worker
Carly Berke
Carly Berke Social Media and Marketing Intern

Sherene Chou, M.S., R.D. - Director of Nutrition

schou [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8707 Sherene changed her career in 2010 to focus on wellness and nutrition to help others through food. Prior to her career change, she worked at Hewlett-Packard as a Global Procurement Manager. She moved on to attend New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts Chef’s Training Program. She worked as a Plant-Based Chef, cooking for private clients recovering from surgery and chronic diseases, working at vegetable focused restaurants, and seasonally, as a Culinary Nutritionist for New York City’s Produce and Nutrition Education program. Her current role, as the Nutrition Director for L.A. Kitchen, was featured in British Vogue's “What on Earth is Wellness” video series. At L.A. Kitchen, she developed the nutrition curriculum for the Empower program and a pilot program on Culinary Nutrition for Keck School of Medicine of USC. In addition to serving as the Sponsorship Chair for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' VN DPG, she is the lead for L.A. Kitchen on the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, which was launched by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Department of Nutrition. She is a proud graduate of USC and CSULA.
Shane Block
Shane Block Food Waste Intern

Sherene Chou, M.S., R.D. - Director of Nutrition

schou [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8707 Sherene changed her career in 2010 to focus on wellness and nutrition to help others through food. Prior to her career change, she worked at Hewlett-Packard as a Global Procurement Manager. She moved on to attend New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts Chef’s Training Program. She worked as a Plant-Based Chef, cooking for private clients recovering from surgery and chronic diseases, working at vegetable focused restaurants, and seasonally, as a Culinary Nutritionist for New York City’s Produce and Nutrition Education program. Her current role, as the Nutrition Director for L.A. Kitchen, was featured in British Vogue's “What on Earth is Wellness” video series. At L.A. Kitchen, she developed the nutrition curriculum for the Empower program and a pilot program on Culinary Nutrition for Keck School of Medicine of USC. In addition to serving as the Sponsorship Chair for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' VN DPG, she is the lead for L.A. Kitchen on the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, which was launched by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Department of Nutrition. She is a proud graduate of USC and CSULA.
Kendra Burks
Kendra Burks Workforce Development Specialist

Kendra Burks - Workforce Development Specialist

kburks [at] lakitchen [dot] org Prior to L.A. Kitchen, Kendra spent 5 years as a Senior Disability Representative for one of the leading global providers in claims management services. She also served as a counselor at David & Margaret Youth and Family Services before transitioning to John Macy School as the Academic and Work Experience Coordinator. Kendra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cal State Fullerton.
Antonio Castro
Antonio Castro Utility Worker
Velvet Cerrantes
Velvet Cerrantes Social Work Intern

Sherene Chou, M.S., R.D. - Director of Nutrition

schou [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8707 Sherene changed her career in 2010 to focus on wellness and nutrition to help others through food. Prior to her career change, she worked at Hewlett-Packard as a Global Procurement Manager. She moved on to attend New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts Chef’s Training Program. She worked as a Plant-Based Chef, cooking for private clients recovering from surgery and chronic diseases, working at vegetable focused restaurants, and seasonally, as a Culinary Nutritionist for New York City’s Produce and Nutrition Education program. Her current role, as the Nutrition Director for L.A. Kitchen, was featured in British Vogue's “What on Earth is Wellness” video series. At L.A. Kitchen, she developed the nutrition curriculum for the Empower program and a pilot program on Culinary Nutrition for Keck School of Medicine of USC. In addition to serving as the Sponsorship Chair for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' VN DPG, she is the lead for L.A. Kitchen on the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, which was launched by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Department of Nutrition. She is a proud graduate of USC and CSULA.
Sherene Chou, M.S., R.D.
Sherene Chou, M.S., R.D. Nutrition Consultant

Sherene Chou, M.S., R.D. - Director of Nutrition

schou [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8707 Sherene changed her career in 2010 to focus on wellness and nutrition to help others through food. Prior to her career change, she worked at Hewlett-Packard as a Global Procurement Manager. She moved on to attend New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts Chef’s Training Program. She worked as a Plant-Based Chef, cooking for private clients recovering from surgery and chronic diseases, working at vegetable focused restaurants, and seasonally, as a Culinary Nutritionist for New York City’s Produce and Nutrition Education program. Her current role, as the Nutrition Director for L.A. Kitchen, was featured in British Vogue's “What on Earth is Wellness” video series. At L.A. Kitchen, she developed the nutrition curriculum for the Empower program and a pilot program on Culinary Nutrition for Keck School of Medicine of USC. In addition to serving as the Sponsorship Chair for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' VN DPG, she is the lead for L.A. Kitchen on the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, which was launched by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Department of Nutrition. She is a proud graduate of USC and CSULA.
Janet Crandall
Janet Crandall Chef Instructor
Cristina Cruz
Cristina Cruz Community Outreach/Events Intern

Sherene Chou, M.S., R.D. - Director of Nutrition

schou [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8707 Sherene changed her career in 2010 to focus on wellness and nutrition to help others through food. Prior to her career change, she worked at Hewlett-Packard as a Global Procurement Manager. She moved on to attend New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts Chef’s Training Program. She worked as a Plant-Based Chef, cooking for private clients recovering from surgery and chronic diseases, working at vegetable focused restaurants, and seasonally, as a Culinary Nutritionist for New York City’s Produce and Nutrition Education program. Her current role, as the Nutrition Director for L.A. Kitchen, was featured in British Vogue's “What on Earth is Wellness” video series. At L.A. Kitchen, she developed the nutrition curriculum for the Empower program and a pilot program on Culinary Nutrition for Keck School of Medicine of USC. In addition to serving as the Sponsorship Chair for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' VN DPG, she is the lead for L.A. Kitchen on the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, which was launched by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Department of Nutrition. She is a proud graduate of USC and CSULA.
Armand Dawkins
Armand Dawkins Social Enterprise Consultant

Armand Dawkins - Social Enterprise Consultant

adawkins [at] lakitchen [dot] org
Samantha Del Tour
Samantha Del Tour Utility Worker

Ken Weekes - General Manager

kweekes [at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 268 - 7409 Ken brings over twenty-five years of foodservice operations experience to L.A. Kitchen. Ken’s culinary and operations experience is diverse, and runs the gamut from private restaurants to large scale institutional programs, as well as high profile off premise catering. Additionally he has served as a consultant with the Drucker School of Management and Butte County Community College. He also has extensive experience in social service agencies, including directing rehabilitation services and job training programs for OPARC and the Orange County Rescue Mission. Moreover he was part of the program launch and the Vice President of Community Outreach for Stay Designated Inc. Ken holds an MBA from the University of La Verne and is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor.
Robert Egger
Robert Egger Founder & CEO

Robert Egger, President & Founder

Robert is the founder and CEO of L.A. Kitchen. He has been a leader in the food recovery/job training/social enterprise movement since 1989, when he founded the D.C. Central Kitchen, which he led for 24 years. Collectively, these businesses have used donated food to produce over 40 million meals, and helped over 1,600 men and women gain fulltime employment. Robert is an award winning author (Begging for Change, HarperCollins), and a sought after speaker on subjects ranging from innovation, leadership, the role of nonprofits and social enterprise. www.robertegger.org/about
Theresa Farthing
Theresa Farthing Community Outreach Specialist

Theresa Farthing - Community Outreach Specialist

Theresa came to The L.A. Kitchen in 2014 when she was resident at The Downtown Women Center. After graduating from the first class of L.A. Kitchen's culinary job training program, Theresa was hired as a full-time cook, helping to prep meals for Los Angeles's senior and homeless population. Theresa now works with L.A. Kitchen volunteers, staff, students, and super seniors as the Community Outreach Specialist. Follow the hashtag #FollowChefT on social media to stay updated on her journey to bring Healthy Cooking Demos to L.A. Kitchen meal sites.
Rodolfo Flores
Rodolfo Flores Utility Worker

Ken Weekes - General Manager

kweekes [at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 268 - 7409 Ken brings over twenty-five years of foodservice operations experience to L.A. Kitchen. Ken’s culinary and operations experience is diverse, and runs the gamut from private restaurants to large scale institutional programs, as well as high profile off premise catering. Additionally he has served as a consultant with the Drucker School of Management and Butte County Community College. He also has extensive experience in social service agencies, including directing rehabilitation services and job training programs for OPARC and the Orange County Rescue Mission. Moreover he was part of the program launch and the Vice President of Community Outreach for Stay Designated Inc. Ken holds an MBA from the University of La Verne and is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor.
Catherine Flournoy
Catherine Flournoy Special Events & Community Outreach Manager

Ken Weekes - General Manager

kweekes [at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 268 - 7409 Ken brings over twenty-five years of foodservice operations experience to L.A. Kitchen. Ken’s culinary and operations experience is diverse, and runs the gamut from private restaurants to large scale institutional programs, as well as high profile off premise catering. Additionally he has served as a consultant with the Drucker School of Management and Butte County Community College. He also has extensive experience in social service agencies, including directing rehabilitation services and job training programs for OPARC and the Orange County Rescue Mission. Moreover he was part of the program launch and the Vice President of Community Outreach for Stay Designated Inc. Ken holds an MBA from the University of La Verne and is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor.
Carlos Fuentes
Carlos Fuentes Board Member

Carlos Fuentes, Board Member

Carlos is a graduate of Empower L.A.’s Class 7. Prior to graduation from the program, Carlos was hired as a prep cook at Cleo LA Live where he started as one of the original staff of the new restaurant. After a year at Cleo, Carlos accepted a position as a Cook at HealthRight 360 where he's coming up on his one year anniversary. He encourages other HR360 students to work towards a career and gain the skills needed in order to achieve their goals. Carlos is regularly onsite at L.A. Kitchen to encourage trainees, attend graduation, and to secure fresh cut produce for use at the HR360 kitchen.
Alex Funez
Alex Funez Logistics Assistant

Rudy Espinoza - Board Chair

Rudy Espinoza is the Executive Director of Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN), a community development laboratory committed to building sustainable communities in urban areas. Rudy specializes in identifying profitable investment opportunities in low-income communities, researching the informal economy and its innovative entrepreneurs, building private/nonprofit partnerships, and training the working poor to participate in the socio-economic revitalization of their neighborhoods. Rudy has worked at Emerging Markets Inc. and the AARP Foundation where he used his skills to design and manage place-based initiatives with financial institutions, foundations and regional non-profits. Most recently he was a Senior Program Officer at Community Financial Resource Center (CFRC), a Community Development Financial Institution in South Los Angeles where he provided micro-loans and business assistance to street vendors and other informal entrepreneurs. He serves on the Human Relations Commission for the City of Los Angeles, the Advisory Board for the Los Angeles Development Fund, the Board of Directors for Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, and on the Leadership Board of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council. Rudy holds degrees in Business Administration and Urban Planning.
Zaid Gayle
Zaid Gayle Board Member

Zaid Gayle, Board Member

As Executive Director of Peace4Kids, Zaid oversees an ambitious organizational growth plan, with the intended impact of helping foster and at-risk youth transition successfully into adulthood. Having been involved in community leadership and program development for over 20 years, Zaid co-founded Peace4Kids to promote peaceful conflict resolution among youth in South Los Angeles. During his fifteen years with Peace4Kids, he has served as a volunteer, mentor, board member, and teacher. Zaid has had the opportunity to use his experience in the film industry to ensure that media is an integral part of improving the lives of foster youth. Most specifically, Zaid was the lead in designing and launching the Peapod Music & Arts Academy in 2008 at the Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club. The Peapod Music & Arts Academy was the vision of Black Eyed Peas band leader will.i.am and created a state of the art music studio and production facility for foster and at risk teens. In 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law AB12 that is landmark legislation that increased the legal age of foster care from 18 to 21 in the state of California. The passage of this landmark legislation was in part influenced by a campaign that Zaid developed with his youth advocates called “All I did was turn 18”. This campaign received national attention in the press and is also being featured in a local documentary that was co-produced by Peace4Kids youth.
Miriam Gomez
Miriam Gomez Empower Program Assistant

Sherene Chou, M.S., R.D. - Director of Nutrition

schou [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8707 Sherene changed her career in 2010 to focus on wellness and nutrition to help others through food. Prior to her career change, she worked at Hewlett-Packard as a Global Procurement Manager. She moved on to attend New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts Chef’s Training Program. She worked as a Plant-Based Chef, cooking for private clients recovering from surgery and chronic diseases, working at vegetable focused restaurants, and seasonally, as a Culinary Nutritionist for New York City’s Produce and Nutrition Education program. Her current role, as the Nutrition Director for L.A. Kitchen, was featured in British Vogue's “What on Earth is Wellness” video series. At L.A. Kitchen, she developed the nutrition curriculum for the Empower program and a pilot program on Culinary Nutrition for Keck School of Medicine of USC. In addition to serving as the Sponsorship Chair for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' VN DPG, she is the lead for L.A. Kitchen on the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, which was launched by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Department of Nutrition. She is a proud graduate of USC and CSULA.
Diane Griggs-Ross, LCSW
Diane Griggs-Ross, LCSW Social Work Consultant

Sherene Chou, M.S., R.D. - Director of Nutrition

schou [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8707 Sherene changed her career in 2010 to focus on wellness and nutrition to help others through food. Prior to her career change, she worked at Hewlett-Packard as a Global Procurement Manager. She moved on to attend New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts Chef’s Training Program. She worked as a Plant-Based Chef, cooking for private clients recovering from surgery and chronic diseases, working at vegetable focused restaurants, and seasonally, as a Culinary Nutritionist for New York City’s Produce and Nutrition Education program. Her current role, as the Nutrition Director for L.A. Kitchen, was featured in British Vogue's “What on Earth is Wellness” video series. At L.A. Kitchen, she developed the nutrition curriculum for the Empower program and a pilot program on Culinary Nutrition for Keck School of Medicine of USC. In addition to serving as the Sponsorship Chair for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' VN DPG, she is the lead for L.A. Kitchen on the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, which was launched by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Department of Nutrition. She is a proud graduate of USC and CSULA.
Jenn Gross
Jenn Gross Board Member

Jenn Gross, Board Member

Ms. Gross is a member of The William and Sue Gross Family Foundation which has donated to Mercy Ships, Doctors Without Borders, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Duke University, UCI Stem Cell Research Center, Sue and Bill Gross Women’s Pavillion at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Sue and Bill Gross Surgery and Procedure Center at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, and The Teachers of Orange County. She also serves on the board for the Association of Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Sustainable Economy Solutions, Duke Global Health Institute and LA Kitchen. She is partnering with Sustainable Economy Solutions to bring solar to rural areas in developing countries. Prior to joining S.E.S., Ms. Gross owned a physical therapy clinic in Beverly Hills. She has 10 years of philanthropic and business experience and earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University.
Algabriel Holanda
Algabriel Holanda Utility Worker

Janet Won - Office Manager

jwon[at] lakitchen [dot] org 818-213-8818
David Hsu
David Hsu Board Secretary & Chair, Shared Plates

David Hsu, Board Secretary

David Hsu is a social scientist and impact strategist. He is author of “Untethered: A Primer on Social Isolation,” and currently consults for leaders pursuing greater impact through philanthropy, policy, and culture change. David previously worked at NationBuilder, the technology company that powers grassroots campaigns and movements around the world, and before that at the U.S. Department of Justice and the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Duke and earned his Ph.D. in international relations at Princeton University. David created L.A. Kitchen’s annual anti-gala Shared Plates and serves as an advisor for Encore.org’s Generation to Generation campaign.
Angie Jean-Marie
Angie Jean-Marie Board Member

Angie Jean-Marie - Board Member

A generalist and an idealist, Angie is passionate about using social innovation, civic engagement, and policymaking to build pathways to opportunity. Angie currently serves as the Managing Director of #VoteTogether, a national initiative to boost voter turnout. Prior to this role, Angie was the Interim Director of LA2050, an initiative engaging Angelenos to create and activate around a shared vision for the future of LA. Angie's focus on local engagement and social change builds on her experiences working for a Member of Congress where she managed a diverse domestic and social policy portfolio and a researcher for the Los Angeles Promise Zone within the Office of Mayor Garcetti. Angie holds a master's degree in public policy from the University of Southern California and a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Todd Johnson
Todd Johnson Board Chair

Todd Johnson - Board Member

Todd Johnson, a Pennsylvania native, attended Slippery Rock University and graduated with a double degree in Business Administration including a Bachelor of Science degree in both Management and Finance. Coming to California in 1986 to pursue a football dream is where his career in restaurants began, when that dream of playing football professionally did not materialize. Todd Johnson worked at Houlihans as a manager for two years before moving on to Chili’s Grill and Bar as a general manager for five and a half. In his effort to continuously improve and grow, he became a general manager for Bobby McGee’s in Burbank, CA for two years. With almost ten years of casual dining management experience under his belt, Johnson was ready to gain experience in an upscale dining environment thus he joined Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. in early 1998, starting at Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Beverly Hills. Working in multiple locations and participating in the openings of new restaurants, he found himself in cities such as Beverly Hills, Chicago, Tokyo and Osaka before being promoted to general manager at the Tam O’Shanter Inn in 2001. One year later Johnson returned to Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Beverly Hills as general manager and served in that role until 2011. After 25 years of managing day-to-day restaurant operations, Todd Johnson used his culinary service experiences and knowledge to lead The Lawry’s Carvery division as the Director of Operations. As the newest concept in the more than 70 year old company, Johnson excelled in creating systems, maximizing efficiency and developing a team of professionals who could provide a prime dining experience in a quick service setting. Having lead the organization in three of their four dining concepts, Johnson was ready to explore new opportunities. In 2014 he joined Grill Concepts where he saw growth opportunity for himself and the restaurant group’s multiple concepts. He spent time with The Grill on the Alley in both Beverly Hills and Westlake Village. Throughout his restaurant career, Todd Johnson played an active role with many business associations however the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce was always a top priority. He joined the Board of Directors in 2003 and was instrumental in leading the organization through a staff restructuring in 2010 while he served the chamber as the Board Chair. Todd continued to serve on the Board in various capacities including CFO and Restaurant Committee Chair until 2015 at which time he accepted the offer to lead the Chamber as the President and CEO. In this role he is responsible for leading the day-to-day operations of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, the third largest standalone Chamber in Los Angeles, comprised of more than 820 members with an operating budget of nearly $1.5M. Todd Johnson is a certified ski instructor and has taught snow skiing at Snow Valley for many years. He has a passion for melted snow as well with more than 30 years of scuba diving experience. He loves the gym and, as a certified trainer, teaches others part time. He holds a black belt in Judo and loves working with kids in all sporting areas. He has long been actively involved in Ability First and many veteran organizations. He first joined the Atwater Village chapter of Rotary International before finding a home at the Rotary Club of Los Angeles. He is the president of this historic LA5 club 2016-2017.
Alisha Larsuel
Alisha Larsuel Utility Worker

Ken Weekes - General Manager

kweekes [at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 268 - 7409 Ken brings over twenty-five years of foodservice operations experience to L.A. Kitchen. Ken’s culinary and operations experience is diverse, and runs the gamut from private restaurants to large scale institutional programs, as well as high profile off premise catering. Additionally he has served as a consultant with the Drucker School of Management and Butte County Community College. He also has extensive experience in social service agencies, including directing rehabilitation services and job training programs for OPARC and the Orange County Rescue Mission. Moreover he was part of the program launch and the Vice President of Community Outreach for Stay Designated Inc. Ken holds an MBA from the University of La Verne and is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor.
Stephanie Lee
Stephanie Lee Social Work Intern

Sherene Chou, M.S., R.D. - Director of Nutrition

schou [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8707 Sherene changed her career in 2010 to focus on wellness and nutrition to help others through food. Prior to her career change, she worked at Hewlett-Packard as a Global Procurement Manager. She moved on to attend New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts Chef’s Training Program. She worked as a Plant-Based Chef, cooking for private clients recovering from surgery and chronic diseases, working at vegetable focused restaurants, and seasonally, as a Culinary Nutritionist for New York City’s Produce and Nutrition Education program. Her current role, as the Nutrition Director for L.A. Kitchen, was featured in British Vogue's “What on Earth is Wellness” video series. At L.A. Kitchen, she developed the nutrition curriculum for the Empower program and a pilot program on Culinary Nutrition for Keck School of Medicine of USC. In addition to serving as the Sponsorship Chair for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' VN DPG, she is the lead for L.A. Kitchen on the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, which was launched by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Department of Nutrition. She is a proud graduate of USC and CSULA.
Anthony Lemus
Anthony Lemus Utility Worker

Ken Weekes - General Manager

kweekes [at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 268 - 7409 Ken brings over twenty-five years of foodservice operations experience to L.A. Kitchen. Ken’s culinary and operations experience is diverse, and runs the gamut from private restaurants to large scale institutional programs, as well as high profile off premise catering. Additionally he has served as a consultant with the Drucker School of Management and Butte County Community College. He also has extensive experience in social service agencies, including directing rehabilitation services and job training programs for OPARC and the Orange County Rescue Mission. Moreover he was part of the program launch and the Vice President of Community Outreach for Stay Designated Inc. Ken holds an MBA from the University of La Verne and is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor.
Elena Lopez
Elena Lopez Community Programs Manager

Elena Lopez - Community Programming Coordinator

elopez[at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 401-5685
Angie Lopez-Videla
Angie Lopez-Videla Marketing Manager

Angie Lopez-Videla - Development and Marketing Consultant

alopezvidela [at] lakitchen [dot] org
Julie Maher
Julie Maher Social Enterprise Intern

Sherene Chou, M.S., R.D. - Director of Nutrition

schou [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8707 Sherene changed her career in 2010 to focus on wellness and nutrition to help others through food. Prior to her career change, she worked at Hewlett-Packard as a Global Procurement Manager. She moved on to attend New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts Chef’s Training Program. She worked as a Plant-Based Chef, cooking for private clients recovering from surgery and chronic diseases, working at vegetable focused restaurants, and seasonally, as a Culinary Nutritionist for New York City’s Produce and Nutrition Education program. Her current role, as the Nutrition Director for L.A. Kitchen, was featured in British Vogue's “What on Earth is Wellness” video series. At L.A. Kitchen, she developed the nutrition curriculum for the Empower program and a pilot program on Culinary Nutrition for Keck School of Medicine of USC. In addition to serving as the Sponsorship Chair for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' VN DPG, she is the lead for L.A. Kitchen on the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, which was launched by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Department of Nutrition. She is a proud graduate of USC and CSULA.
Marc McDonald
Marc McDonald Board Member

Marc McDonald, Board Member

Marc McDonald currently serves as the Vice President of Grants and External Initiatives for the AARP Foundation. He is responsible for managing and administering grant policies and has previously served as the director of grants management for AARP Foundation. Prior to joining AARP Foundation, Marc has worked with the Corporation of Public Broadcasting as the director of grant policy and system analysis. Marc graduated from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business with an MBA in Finance and Marketing and has been a long-term volunteer of the Telluride Film Festival for over 19 years. A highly effective champion of academic excellence and community engagement, she led initiatives that resulted in substantial improvements to the campus; the revitalization of commercial properties in the village of Aurora; a successful transition to coeducation after more than a century as a women’s college; the launch of an endowed Center for Business and Entrepreneurship; and expanded programs and opportunities for students. Under her leadership, the college increased enrollment and enjoyed consistently high national rankings.
Jeremy Mercado
Jeremy Mercado Strong Food Sous Chef

Ken Weekes - General Manager

kweekes [at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 268 - 7409 Ken brings over twenty-five years of foodservice operations experience to L.A. Kitchen. Ken’s culinary and operations experience is diverse, and runs the gamut from private restaurants to large scale institutional programs, as well as high profile off premise catering. Additionally he has served as a consultant with the Drucker School of Management and Butte County Community College. He also has extensive experience in social service agencies, including directing rehabilitation services and job training programs for OPARC and the Orange County Rescue Mission. Moreover he was part of the program launch and the Vice President of Community Outreach for Stay Designated Inc. Ken holds an MBA from the University of La Verne and is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor.
Kaitlin Mogentale
Kaitlin Mogentale Social Enterprise Consultant

Kaitlin Mogentale - Social Enterprise Consultant

kmogentale [at] lakitchen [dot] org
Christina Mojahedi
Christina Mojahedi Outreach, Recruitment and Admissions Coordinator
Marilynn Moscrip Garcia
Marilynn Moscrip Garcia Board Treasurer

Marilynn Moscrip Garcia, Board Member

Marilynn Moscrip Garcia is director of partner services for Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors. She is responsible for all partnership accounts, prime broker accounts, and partnership relations. Prior to joining Kayne Anderson in 1986, Marilynn worked on the fixed income desk at A.G. Becker as a commercial paper salesperson. She was previously a registered representative with A. G. Becker and a registered sales assistant with Blyth Eastman Dillon.
Christopher Neeley
Christopher Neeley Utility Worker
Charlie Negrete
Charlie Negrete Executive Chef Instructor

Charlie Negrete - Executive Chef Instructor

cnegrete[at] lakitchen [dot] org Charlie Negrete, Chef Instructor, is responsible for training and empowering transition age foster youth, formerly incarcerated adults and the homeless with the necessary skills to sustain a job with a living wage in the culinary field. He has worked his way up the ranks of a variety of restaurants across Los Angeles, most recently serving as Executive Chef at French Bistro. As a former addict, Chef Charlie can relate to the specific trauma and adversities that many of Empower L.A.͛s students face. Today, he is proud to be giving back to the culinary community.
Nick Panepinto
Nick Panepinto Culinary Operations Consultant

Erik Oberholtzer, Board Member

Erik Oberholtzer co-founded Tender Greens in 2006 in Culver City, California, a chef driven, organic, quick-casual restaurant concept with eight locations and counting. Himself a chef, Erik manages a growing team of talent along with some exciting new brands. He is the founder of the Tender Greens Sustainable Life Project, a program aimed to assist at-risk youth develop new skills and career intentions through structured culinary training and farm exposure. Co-founder of P. Balistreri Salumi Company, the first of more chef legacy companies he has helped incubate and bring to market through Tender Greens. Erik did his undergraduate degree in Psychology at Temple University in Pennsylvania and Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island.
Steven Park
Steven Park QA & Product Development Support Specialist

Ken Weekes - General Manager

kweekes [at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 268 - 7409 Ken brings over twenty-five years of foodservice operations experience to L.A. Kitchen. Ken’s culinary and operations experience is diverse, and runs the gamut from private restaurants to large scale institutional programs, as well as high profile off premise catering. Additionally he has served as a consultant with the Drucker School of Management and Butte County Community College. He also has extensive experience in social service agencies, including directing rehabilitation services and job training programs for OPARC and the Orange County Rescue Mission. Moreover he was part of the program launch and the Vice President of Community Outreach for Stay Designated Inc. Ken holds an MBA from the University of La Verne and is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor.
Lesly Perez
Lesly Perez Social Work Intern

Sherene Chou, M.S., R.D. - Director of Nutrition

schou [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8707 Sherene changed her career in 2010 to focus on wellness and nutrition to help others through food. Prior to her career change, she worked at Hewlett-Packard as a Global Procurement Manager. She moved on to attend New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts Chef’s Training Program. She worked as a Plant-Based Chef, cooking for private clients recovering from surgery and chronic diseases, working at vegetable focused restaurants, and seasonally, as a Culinary Nutritionist for New York City’s Produce and Nutrition Education program. Her current role, as the Nutrition Director for L.A. Kitchen, was featured in British Vogue's “What on Earth is Wellness” video series. At L.A. Kitchen, she developed the nutrition curriculum for the Empower program and a pilot program on Culinary Nutrition for Keck School of Medicine of USC. In addition to serving as the Sponsorship Chair for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' VN DPG, she is the lead for L.A. Kitchen on the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, which was launched by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Department of Nutrition. She is a proud graduate of USC and CSULA.
Ricardo Perez
Ricardo Perez Utility Worker
Mika Perron
Mika Perron Volunteer Coordinator/AmeriCorps VISTA

Mika Perron - Volunteer Coordinator

mperron[at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 269-8260
Zee Peters
Zee Peters Director of Nonprofit Programs & Development

Zee Peters - Director of Nonprofit Programs & Development

zpeters [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 263 - 0154 Zee has over 15 years of fundraising and marketing experience. Her focus has been working with organizations in critical growth periods to develop proven, replicable fundraising, relationship management and marketing plans creating stability while helping to develop a culture of philanthropy for long-term success. Zee transitioned into fundraising from working in child protective services. She has raised support for emergency assistance services, pet therapy services, youth mentoring and a state association with a focus on reclaiming fresh produce.  Zee holds a Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management plus a Fundraising Certificate from the University of Missouri’s Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, and a dual Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology from Rockhurst University in Kansas City.
Paul Phan
Paul Phan Accounting

Paul Phan - Accounting

accounting[at] lakitchen [dot] org Paul brings nearly a decade of accounting and corporate finance experience to L.A. Kitchen. Prior to joining L.A. Kitchen, he served in a similar role in the hospitality and restaurant industry. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Business Economics from University of California, Los Angeles.
Renato Ramirez
Renato Ramirez Executive Chef

Renato Ramirez - Executive Chef

rramirez [at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 268 - 6379 A formerly Regional Executive Chef for Morrison Management Specialists, overseeing the group’s Southern California senior meal contracts providing food, nutrition, and dining services. Chef Ramirez spent most of his career in Morrison’s health care division in progressively responsible positions in healthcare food service. He is a graduate of the Pasadena California School of Culinary Arts.
Robert Reams
Robert Reams Kitchen Assistant

Kimberly May - Logistics Manager

kmay [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8722 Kim has spent 15 years with the City of Irvine’s Senior Nutrition Program, where she worked her way up from a Lead Cook to the Program Manager, overseeing a busy production kitchen, as well as distribution and service. Prior to that Kim spent 8 years in assisted living, once again moving up from Kitchen Assistant to Food Service Manager. Kim has an Advanced Culinary Certificate from Orange Coast College and volunteers with Meals on Wheels.
Jeremy Reyes
Jeremy Reyes Utility Worker

Kimberly May - Logistics Manager

kmay [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8722 Kim has spent 15 years with the City of Irvine’s Senior Nutrition Program, where she worked her way up from a Lead Cook to the Program Manager, overseeing a busy production kitchen, as well as distribution and service. Prior to that Kim spent 8 years in assisted living, once again moving up from Kitchen Assistant to Food Service Manager. Kim has an Advanced Culinary Certificate from Orange Coast College and volunteers with Meals on Wheels.
Edgar Romero
Edgar Romero Utility Worker

Kimberly May - Logistics Manager

kmay [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8722 Kim has spent 15 years with the City of Irvine’s Senior Nutrition Program, where she worked her way up from a Lead Cook to the Program Manager, overseeing a busy production kitchen, as well as distribution and service. Prior to that Kim spent 8 years in assisted living, once again moving up from Kitchen Assistant to Food Service Manager. Kim has an Advanced Culinary Certificate from Orange Coast College and volunteers with Meals on Wheels.
Nathaniel Ru
Nathaniel Ru Board Member

Nathaniel Ru, Board Member

Nathaniel is Co-Founder & Co-CEO of sweetgreen, the destination for simple, seasonal, healthy food. Nathaniel and his co-founders launched sweetgreen in 2007, opening their first location in Georgetown, DC, just three months out of college. The brand’s strong food ethos, embrace of passion and purpose, and investment in local communities has enabled sweetgreen to grow into a national brand with more than 50 locations across the East Coast California, and the Mid-West. Nathaniel has been recognized as a key innovator in food and business, named to Inc’s “30 Under 30”, Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and Food & Wine’s “40 Big Food Thinkers 40 and Under,” among other accolades. While the three founders share CEO responsibilities, Nathaniel’s passion is in design, and he acts as the Creative Director for the brand, overseeing the look and feel of sweetgreen’s restaurants and visual storytelling. Born and raised in Pasadena, CA, Nathaniel graduated from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where he met fellow co-founders, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman.
Michela Ruiz
Michela Ruiz Impact L.A. Manager

Renato Ramirez - Executive Chef

rramirez [at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 268 - 6379 A formerly Regional Executive Chef for Morrison Management Specialists, overseeing the group’s Southern California senior meal contracts providing food, nutrition, and dining services. Chef Ramirez spent most of his career in Morrison’s health care division in progressively responsible positions in healthcare food service. He is a graduate of the Pasadena California School of Culinary Arts.
Sophia Salazar
Sophia Salazar Social Work Intern

Sherene Chou, M.S., R.D. - Director of Nutrition

schou [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8707 Sherene changed her career in 2010 to focus on wellness and nutrition to help others through food. Prior to her career change, she worked at Hewlett-Packard as a Global Procurement Manager. She moved on to attend New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts Chef’s Training Program. She worked as a Plant-Based Chef, cooking for private clients recovering from surgery and chronic diseases, working at vegetable focused restaurants, and seasonally, as a Culinary Nutritionist for New York City’s Produce and Nutrition Education program. Her current role, as the Nutrition Director for L.A. Kitchen, was featured in British Vogue's “What on Earth is Wellness” video series. At L.A. Kitchen, she developed the nutrition curriculum for the Empower program and a pilot program on Culinary Nutrition for Keck School of Medicine of USC. In addition to serving as the Sponsorship Chair for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' VN DPG, she is the lead for L.A. Kitchen on the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, which was launched by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Department of Nutrition. She is a proud graduate of USC and CSULA.
Toni Shaw
Toni Shaw Social Work Intern

Janet Won - Office Manager

jwon[at] lakitchen [dot] org 818-213-8818
Mahira Sobral
Mahira Sobral Media Development & Special Programs Manager

Mahira Sobral, Development and Marketing Consultant

msobral [at] lakitchen [dot] org
Rachel Sumekh
Rachel Sumekh Board Member

Rachel Sumekh - Board Member

Rachel Sumekh is the Founder & CEO of Swipe Out Hunger. The organization is a leading force in addressing hunger amongst college students. Her work has been recognized by The Obama White House, The New York Times and landed her on the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Swipe Out Hunger began in 2010 with a few friends as a college project at UCLA. Since, it has grown onto 35 universities, serving 1.4 million meals. Their innovative approach allows university students to donate the unused funds from their meal plans to food insecure peers. Earlier this year the organization was called upon to author a piece of legislation to address college student hunger. The state of California adopted the legislation including a $7.5 Million support fund. Before launching Swipe Out Hunger full time, Rachel followed her millennial urge to change the world and served those facing poverty as a case manager in Chicago. In her spare time, she enjoys advising early stage social entrepreneurs, engaging in civic life and jogging around Echo Park Lake.
Daryl Twerdahl
Daryl Twerdahl Board Member

Daryl Twerdahl - Board Member

Daryl Twerdahl has one of the most unusual backgrounds you can imagine for the Executive Director of the St. Vincent Meals on Wheels. After graduating from the Hutchinson School in Memphis, and Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia, Daryl received a Masters' Degree in Irish Studies from University College in Dublin, Ireland. Daryl is also a graduate of the Washington School of Protocol and has a degree in Book Arts from UCLA. When she founded her own business, Village Catering, a full-service catering company serving the greater Los Angeles area, Daryl met a group of supporters of St. Vincent Meals on Wheels. In turn, they introduced her to the remarkable Founder and Executive Director, Sister Alice Marie Quinn. After 13 years as an active volunteer with Meals on Wheels, including chairing major fundraisers and acting as President of the support group, Daryl joined the Meals on Wheels staff as Director of Annual Giving. After two years in that position, she was asked to become Executive Director of the Foundation. In this capacity, Daryl worked on the entire range of fundraising activities, including a capital campaign for housing of St. Vincent Meals on Wheels neediest seniors. When Sister Alice Marie died unexpectedly in June, 2017, Daryl became Executive Director of the program.
Juan Vasquez
Juan Vasquez Utility Worker

Ken Weekes - General Manager

kweekes [at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 268 - 7409 Ken brings over twenty-five years of foodservice operations experience to L.A. Kitchen. Ken’s culinary and operations experience is diverse, and runs the gamut from private restaurants to large scale institutional programs, as well as high profile off premise catering. Additionally he has served as a consultant with the Drucker School of Management and Butte County Community College. He also has extensive experience in social service agencies, including directing rehabilitation services and job training programs for OPARC and the Orange County Rescue Mission. Moreover he was part of the program launch and the Vice President of Community Outreach for Stay Designated Inc. Ken holds an MBA from the University of La Verne and is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor.
Karim Webb
Karim Webb Board Member

Karim Webb - Board Member

Karim Webb is a 25-year veteran of the restaurant industry. In his current position as Co-Owner and Operations Partner of PCF Restaurant Management, a Los Angeles based franchisee of Buffalo Wild Wings; he uses his expertise to oversee the development and operations for each restaurant. Karim was exposed to the restaurant business at an early age. As a teen, working at one of his parents’ McDonald’s restaurants, he was trained on all aspects of restaurant operations. Later, while attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, Karim worked for McDonald's Corporation matriculating from Assistant Manager to Multi-Unit Supervisor. He successfully completed the McDonald’s training program and became an approved McDonald’s Franchisee. In 2007, looking to apply his restaurant expertise to another brand, he became the Operating Partner for PCF Restaurant Management. With his leadership, the Buffalo Wild Wings franchisee group has successfully opened three restaurants in the Los Angeles area, with three more in development. Beyond McDonald’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, Karim is an advisor to the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), an educational non-profit that helps companies maximize their ROI by engaging diverse cultural groups through Cultural Intelligence. Karim, also currently serves as Foundation Vice-Chairman of Greater Los Angeles African-American Chamber of Commerce. He is an Economic Development Commissioner for the City of Carson and Chairman of the Los Angeles Southwest College Foundation. Karim is also on the Board of Corporate Advisor’s for the Brotherhood Crusade, and is a spokesperson for BLOOM, an initiative of the California Community Foundation which seeks to create a more positive and productive future for a specific population of the LA community: 14-18 year old Black males living in South L.A. who are or have been under the supervision of the L.A. County Probation Department.
Ken Weekes
Ken Weekes General Manager

Ken Weekes - General Manager

kweekes [at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 268 - 7409 Ken brings over twenty-five years of foodservice operations experience to L.A. Kitchen. Ken’s culinary and operations experience is diverse, and runs the gamut from private restaurants to large scale institutional programs, as well as high profile off premise catering. Additionally he has served as a consultant with the Drucker School of Management and Butte County Community College. He also has extensive experience in social service agencies, including directing rehabilitation services and job training programs for OPARC and the Orange County Rescue Mission. Moreover he was part of the program launch and the Vice President of Community Outreach for Stay Designated Inc. Ken holds an MBA from the University of La Verne and is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor.
Kevin Williams
Kevin Williams Strong Food Kitchen Assistant

Ken Weekes - General Manager

kweekes [at] lakitchen [dot] org (213) 268 - 7409 Ken brings over twenty-five years of foodservice operations experience to L.A. Kitchen. Ken’s culinary and operations experience is diverse, and runs the gamut from private restaurants to large scale institutional programs, as well as high profile off premise catering. Additionally he has served as a consultant with the Drucker School of Management and Butte County Community College. He also has extensive experience in social service agencies, including directing rehabilitation services and job training programs for OPARC and the Orange County Rescue Mission. Moreover he was part of the program launch and the Vice President of Community Outreach for Stay Designated Inc. Ken holds an MBA from the University of La Verne and is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor.
Charles Wilson
Charles Wilson Utility Worker

Kimberly May - Logistics Manager

kmay [at] lakitchen [dot] org (818) 213 - 8722 Kim has spent 15 years with the City of Irvine’s Senior Nutrition Program, where she worked her way up from a Lead Cook to the Program Manager, overseeing a busy production kitchen, as well as distribution and service. Prior to that Kim spent 8 years in assisted living, once again moving up from Kitchen Assistant to Food Service Manager. Kim has an Advanced Culinary Certificate from Orange Coast College and volunteers with Meals on Wheels.
Janet Won
Janet Won Office Manager

Janet Won - Office Manager

jwon[at] lakitchen [dot] org 818-213-8818

X