ANV Brunch Challenge! Meet the Commentators


Meet The Brunch Commentators!

Kana Azhari (Coach Kay) is a healing artist, organizer and vegan chef.  She loves working with young people and believes in the infinite value, beauty and greatness of their spirit. Coach Kay is constantly finding gratitude in daily meditation, healthy diet, fasting, culture, dance/ movement and relaxation.  She works professionally with clients from around the world to improve their diets, lifestyle choices and self care practices.

Chef Liesha grew up in Oakland and began cooking at the age of nine. She joined the Navy when she was 17 years old and traveled the world cooking for thousands of sailors. After leaving the Navy she went on to work in restaurants and hotels before starting her personal chef service. She went on to earn a bachelors degree in nutrition from Arizona State University. She is a master food preserver, and an advocate for culturally relevant representation in health and wellness.DeAngela Cooks, M.A. is the co-founder of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) firm The Mosaic Collaborative, LLC.  DeAngela is a passionate public speaker of 20 years, professional master of ceremonies, an acclaimed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion workshop facilitator, and educator

Hailing from Southern California, she embraces her intersectional identities.  As a Black, queer, woman, who is a parent, and has been a minister and stand-up comic, she brings a wealth of experiences to her work; infusing education with elocution, wit and a splash of sarcasm. She has collaborated on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives with The County of Alameda, BayLegal, FoodCorps, Facing History and Ourselves, Chico State, Designory, Golden Crown Literary Society, San Francisco Department of Probation, the western regional housing authorities, and the Pacific Center for Human Growth, just to name a few. She has also been a guest lecturer and keynote speaker on the topic of multiculturalism for various organizations and conferences.

After knocking out her Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Religion, she decided to graduate with her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. I guess it’s safe to say she’s a sap.

During her downtime, you can find her encouraging parents to stop counting their toddler’s age in months and devising a scheme to become unidentifiable by her student loan providers. Her superpower is utilizing her humor to help people reflect their sameness while appreciating their differences.

To find out more about DeAngela’s speaking engagements,  workshops and event hosting, visit her website at www.TheMosaicCollaborative.com.

Matthew Raiford Grew up breaking the dirt and trading crookneck squash for sweet potatoes, raising hogs and chickens, and only going to the grocery store for sundries. After a military career then graduation from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Raiford returned to the farm in 2011 to continue the traditions of his Gullah-Geechee heritage and to create an authentic farm-to-fork experience for locals. He received certification as an ecological horticulturalist from the University of California’s Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.

He served until recently as the program coordinator and associate professor of culinary arts at the College of Coastal Georgia. In 2015, Raiford, the former executive chef at Little St. Simon’s Resort, and his partner, Jovan Sage, a food alchemist, opened The Farmer and the Larder on Newcastle Street, helping jumpstart the revival of Brunswick’s historic downtown. Raiford has appeared in Southern Living, Golden Isles, Paprika Southern, and Savannah magazines, and is a frequent presenter at food and wine festivals throughout the country.

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