Abigail: Berlin resident Abigail Wick is the creator of Eating with Abs. She is a Globespotter for The New York Times Travel section, writes about food and culture for National Public Radio, and represents a wide-ranging roster of clients–from European architects and American commercial artists, to internet startups and international non-governmental organizations. Abigail teaches yoga in Germany’s capital and lived most recently in San Francisco.

Ashley: Although currently located in Washington, D.C., Ashley Elsalameen is a tried-and-true Southern girl in full possession of the region’s requisite charms: modesty, manners, and a lightning-quick mind. She and I first met as teenagers, and after ten years have found ourselves reconnecting because of our mutual passion for farm-to-fork food and artisanal drink. I just love making old/new friends! Ashley is the director of marketing at her family’s business, Puro Verde Spirits, an organic tequila company with a wide presence throughout the United States and Mexico.

Alina: Kiev-born photographer and foodie Alina Rudya now calls Berlin her home-base. We recently did a photo shoot together in Mauer Park for her forthcoming series entitled ‘Twilight’ and a few weeks ago co-hosted a fabulous cocktail party at my apartment in East Berlin. In the following photo-essay, Alina has crafted a step-by-step guide to an early-autumn pumpkin-and-potato puree that is illustrated with images. As she says:  ”I love eating healthy–probably because I’m such a visually-oriented person and always imagine myself as a composite of the foods that nourish me. Greasy hamburgers are definitely not what I’m going for–a cute carrot is just so much fresher. I’m one of those lucky people who not only enjoys, but in fact prefers, her veggies.”

Rachel: Growing up in the Colorado countryside, Rachel Znerold knew early on that she was different:  She saw dazzling beauty in decomposing logs and expressed her individuality with wild drawings on her sneakers and homemade mud pies. Now, as a painter, eco-fashion designer, performance-artist and avid food-lover, Rachel makes a life out of making art.  Living and working in San Francisco, Rachel approaches cooking with the same joyful and free-spirited hand that she does her art work. Passionate about beautiful, locally-grown foods, Rachel is an enthusiastic member of the Clean-Plate Club…especially when her plate is filled with vibrant and colorful fruits and veggies. Check out her artwork and one-of-a-kind fashion designs at rachelzart.com.

Ellen: Ellen Roggeman’s farm-worn hands are covered with cuts and calluses, and her fingernails are stained brown from the dirt. Her hands testify to her dual passions: growing and cooking seasonal food in community with others. She became interested in agriculture when working on awareness campaigns about the effects of international trade regulations on the lives of small-scale farmers in Thailand with the Educational Network for Global and Grassroots Exchange. In San Francisco, true inspiration struck when the peas she planted and tended at Alemany Farm produced pods. Ellen organizes local-food events through a project called Radical Radish, is Permaculture Certified, completed the Garden for the Environment and Compost Educator Training Program, and works with an amazing crew in the gardens of McEvoy Ranch. She grows for the harvest—to cook and feed herself and others. She relishes in culinary art because of her involvement in the cultivation process. Read more from Ellen at radical-radish.com!

Michael: Mr. Ulrich hails straight from the annals of sexy produce-section management. That’s right, he spends his work days coordinating with regional fruit-and-vegetable farmers to stock his San Francisco-based boutique-grocery store, Canyon Market, with one of the most enviable produce selections around. When I was living in California, it was always my distinct pleasure to make an evening grocery run and bump into Michael. What girl doesn’t love it when the super-cute, super-swell produce guy helps her pick out the season’s choicest persimmons, parsnips, and pomelos? He also has a formidable mind and knows a thing or two about healthy eating and at-home culinary art.

Molly: US-born Molly Hannon is a freelance writer based in Berlin. She holds a Master’s in Gastronomy and Communications from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, where she will this fall lead a Master’s level seminar about 20th-century food literature and its relationship to contemporary food writing. A contributor to the Newsweek’s Daily Beast and a food-and-arts corespondent for NPR, Molly’s writing focuses on food’s cultural influences, narratives and literary legacies and how they shape civilization and bring us together. She also maintains a blog, LesGensFaims, which translates to “Hungry People.”
Anja: Anja Brydum pays the bills as a full-time creative director/editor of three local travel magazines, but her real passion is grounded in honing her skills as a (vegan!) domestic goddess. She adores spoiling her partner-in-crime with home-cooked dinners EVERY night, daily hot yoga sessions, cuddling up with her two adopted meows, and bouncing amongst her extended family to soak up as much of them as time allows. Currently trapped in the limbo of concrete and steel that is Downtown Los Angeles, Anja steals any free moment to daydream about life on a farm – or at the very least, on her own small plot of land – surrounded by a few fruit trees, an ample vegetable patch, and a loving little family. Follow her at twitter.com/anjamarie.

Gabriel: Gabriel Schama lives and works as an artist, carpenter and furniture designer, but learned to use a kitchen knife long before he ever picked up the chisel. It was from his father that he came to believe that a well planned family dinner might well be the cornerstone of all civilized society. His semi-recent move to San Francisco put him in touch with an abiding love for whole-earth living, which his New York origins never quite managed, (although it was the ripe tomatoes, fresh pasta, and the rolling Tuscan countryside which initially provided the backdrop for his conversion to vegetarianism.) Still, he does kind of miss apple picking season. See his work at GabrielSchama.com.

Florica: Florica Vlad shares her love for food and unique Bay Area locales and experiences on SFblotter, a blog she started with Ronaldo Barbachano. She first dipped her toes into the local-food movement with the Bronfman Jewish Center at NYU. There, she studied permaculture, slept in greenhouses, prepared CSA boxes and got a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of ethical farms and restaurants. Since then, she’s been fascinated with keeping abreast with new trends and tastemakers, all while learning a bit of culinary know-how herself. Now she’s meeting professional jellymongers, dining with food designers, assisting pioneering vertical gardeners, and going to fabulous underground dinners! Among her creative projects, she has created a successful short video on behalf of the Hayes Valley Farm Kickstarter Campaign and her writing has appeared on the Arts Electronica literary blog 80+1.

Josey: Josey Baker loves bread likes it’s his job. Wait a second… it is his job. How did that happen??? He started baking bread at home in the Spring of 2010. Within a month, he was baking so much bread that he had to do something – so he started selling it! Several months later he quit his day job and is now baking full time in San Francisco and Oakland, CA. Check out his breadblog for updates on his adventures: joseybakerbread.blogspot.com

9 thoughts on “Columnists

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