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About the Chefs
A direct descendant of the famed pasta and chocolate family, Viola Buitoni hails from Perugia, in the heart of Umbria. She came to the US in 1985 for a business degree, but soon after graduation found herself drawn back into the genetic passion for food. In New York City, she started Buitoni & Garretti, a catering kitchen and Italian fine foods shop. Here in San Francisco, Viola can be found giving lectures on Italian food traditions and trends and cooking classes in collaboration with the SF Italian Cultural Institute and Italian Consulate. She also teaches The Italian Kitchen, a monthly workshop at the Cavallo Point Cooking School; and an ongoing series of food articles and cooking videos for MissionLocal.org, a UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism blog based in San Francisco’s Mission District where Viola lives.
Linda Tay Esposito
Linda Tay Esposito is a self taught chef whose food represents a tribute and a commitment to the authenticity of the cuisines of the Pacific Rim. She grew up in Malaysia, lived in China and Hong Kong and traveled extensively in the region exploring the vast culinary offerings and traditions, and capturing the essence of the local cuisines. She brings these exciting flavors, passion and knowledge to the classroom. By demystifying the traditional dishes and techniques from the region through easy to follow and intuitive instructions, her style of teaching makes even the most complex of curries simple to make and a gastro-adventure experience.
Linda previously taught the Asian curriculums at Sur La Table Cooking School in San Francisco and at Whole Foods Market Culinary Center in San Mateo.
John Hogeland is a San Franciscan by GPS, but an Iowan by DNA. He is a trained chef and worked in San Francisco for eight years watching and participating in the growth of the sustainable food industry via restaurants. Later he worked as a sommelier and wine buyer for five years, then redirected his food focus and decided to learn the trade of butchery at Whole Foods Market. With 11 years experience in that profession, he is a journeyman butcher and an ardent proponent of “less meat, better meat.” He worked most recently as the Head Butcher for Prather Ranch Meat Company, and earlier as the Head Butcher at The Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley. Even early in life John was involved in food, growing up on a farm in Iowa, canning and cooking with his mother and farming and ranching with his father. In his spare time, he teaches butchery/cooking classes and learns as much as he can about orchardry. He also makes great pies.
Stephanie Horning is the whole grain baker and wellness instructor at the amazing Happy Girl Kitchen Co. in Pacific Grove, California. There she creates new and inventive recipes, making unique gluten-free, vegan, and whole grain pastries with organic and fresh ingredients. She also teaches workshops to the community regarding wellness, wholesome baking, and cooking. Dedicated to well-being and good food, Stephanie marries these two ideas by creating recipes that utilize whole grains and whole foods while empowering her students with nutritional information. Stephanie received her Bachelor of Arts from NYU in 2004 and has since worked in Paris (while exploring their food-culture and lifestyle), earned her yoga teacher certification from Yandara Institute in Baja, Mexico, and is currently finishing her certificate for Holistic Nutrition with Bauman College.
Camila Loew has spent about a third of her life in three different countries, and her cooking style tries to include the best of all of them. She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, raised in Southern California, and lived in Barcelona for 15 years. She attended culinary school in Barcelona and at the prestigious Natural Gourmet Institute in Manhattan. She moved to Berkeley in 2013. Her cooking style can be described as homemade, fresh, health-supportive and mostly plant-centered. In Barcelona, Camila taught cooking workshops to locals and to Americans visiting Spain. Her academic background (she holds a Ph.D. in Humanities) led her to teach Food and Culture to Americans studying abroad in Barcelona. It was the satisfied students of her classes who first suggested running a Spanish food business in the U.S. She is also responsible for introducing homemade granola to the Spaniards. Camila cooks daily for her family of four, and also teaches cooking and nutrition in the East Bay and San Francisco. When she’s not in her kitchen, you can probably find her riding her bike with her two kids around Berkeley, from farmers’ market to farmers’ market.