After nearly 10 years of teaching primarily at-risk youth at inner-city high schools, I had an “Ah-ha moment” compelling me to abandon my tenured position. The realization was that the “Hot” Cheetos and Pepsi imbibed by many of my students for breakfast, or lunch, or both, was not providing the sustenance students require for their success.
Regardless of how dedicated I was to supporting students, both they and I were up against a fortress of unhealthy food choices, reinforced by a lack of culinary and nutrition education. As a result, teachers and administrators faced the daily routine of otherwise great students caught in the physical and psychological maze of unhealthful nourishment.
I am currently using the breadth of my experience–academically, professionally, and personally–to address and alter this cycle. I endeavor to create and support viable, systems-based programs at the crossroads of education, nutrition, and civic engagement for young adults.
Cook With What You Have is a Portland (OR)-based business working with farmers and eaters, teaching cooking classes, developing recipes and partnering with CSA farms, markets, non-profits and businesses to make cooking delicious, locally-sourced meals an accessible, daily joy. Cook With What You Have offers The Seasonal Recipe Collection, a deep resource for simple and flexible every-day dishes. Katherine is an Emeritus Board Member of Slow Food USA. She previously served as a Slow Food chapter leader in Portland, OR. Katherine is a Sister on the Planet Ambassador for Oxfam America. She was the recipient of a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship that allowed her to study food and culture in rural Mexico and Italy for a year in 1996. Katherine is active in the food community in Portland and speaks about creating vibrant food communities and more broadly about food systems and the links between cooking and the future of our planet.
Tera’s passion for learning and cooking began at a young age in Fort Collins, Colorado. Her childhood memories in the kitchen were influenced by her large family of mixed Japanese and European heritage. At an early age, Tera spent her free time trying to replicate her favorite comfort foods, consisting mostly of anything involving noodles.
After graduating from college at Colorado State University with a focus in Communications, Tera moved to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to the outdoors and the culinary bounty that the rain offers. After a five-year stint working in Marketing and Sales, she refocused and went to culinary school to pursue her original love of food. A graduate from Portland’s own Oregon Culinary Institute, she received high honors and was offered a position as OCI’s Director of Community Relations. During her time at OCI, she developed a passion for teaching, the sustainable food scene and local small businesses. She has worked or volunteered at Veritable Quandary, The Side Yard Farm, The Portland Kitchen, and is excited to join the Curriculum of Cuisine.
In her free time she enjoys fly-fishing, cooking at home, Portland Trail Blazers and developing her small marketing business.
A collection of professionals who offer their guidance and encouragement:
Office of Earl Blumenauer
Manager, Food Policy and Programs Bureau of Planning and Sustainability City of Portland
Teacher and Knife Wielder, Portland’s Culinary Workshop
Director, Urban Farm Collective & Owner, Tin Shed Restaurant
Stacey A. Sobell
Farm to School Manager, Ecotrust
Professor, Graduate School of Education and Counseling, Lewis & Clark College
Sustainable Agriculture Instructor & Garden Coordinator, Madison High School
Collaboration is key to providing the most effective programming possible. We are incredibly grateful for our partnerships with the following:
The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods Schools
Portland Public School District
Oregon Culinary Institute
Le Cordon Bleu
Pacific Crest Charter School
Portland Earth, Art, & Agriculture Project/Outgrowing Hunger
Portland Culinary Alliance
Whole Foods Market
Rose’s Equipment & Supply
New Seasons Market
Dove Vivi Pizza
Pairings Wine Shop
Organically Grown Company
The Bent Brick