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.

ANV Cooking Challenge: Brunch! Celebrity Chef, Alice Waters & Griselda Cooney

Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California, which first opened its doors in 1971. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades. In 1995 she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which advocates for a free organic school lunch for all children and a sustainable food curriculum in every public school. She has been Vice President of Slow Food International since 2002. She conceived and helped create the Yale Sustainable Food Project in 2003, and the Rome Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy in Rome in 2007. Her honors include election as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007; the Harvard Medical School’s Global Environmental Citizen Award, which she shared with Kofi Annan in 2008; induction into the French Legion of Honor in 2010; and induction into the National Woman’s hall of Fame in 2017. In 2015 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama, proving that eating is a political act, and that the table is a powerful means to social justice and positive change. Alice was most recently awarded the honor of “Cavaliere dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana” in 2019.  Alice is the author of fifteen books, including New York Times bestsellers The Art of Simple Food I & II, The Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea, and, a memoir, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook.

Griselda Cooney

The Edible Schoolyard Project

Senior Chef Teacher & Family Engagement Manager 

At the age of seven, I immigrated to the United States from Mexico. I moved to a farm in Sonoma County, and realized the new environment wasn’t so different from my old home in Jalostoticlan, Jalisco. My parents still planted, grew, and harvested the familiar foods from my homeland; from cactus, chili peppers and aloe to corn and tomatoes.

As a cook, I am self-taught and learned traditional Mexican cooking from my mother. I learned how to plan and prepare meals from fresh, humble ingredients, and to make use of everything in order to maximize flavor and minimize waste. I am a mother of three and come from a large family where cooking is shared and enjoyed by all ages. Within the past 12 years, working with The Edible Schoolyard Project, I have seen many different age groups, races, and backgrounds collaborate and have learned that teaching and learning in the kitchen is intertwined with all aspects of life.

Get your tickets here: bit.ly/ANVBrunch-Cooking-Challenge

ANV Cooking Challenge: Brunch! Celebrity Chef, Bryant Terry

Bryant Terry is a James Beard Award-Winning chef, educator, and author renowned for his activism to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system. Since 2015 he has been the Chef-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco where he creates public programming at the intersection of food, farming, health, activism, art, culture, and the African Diaspora. In regard to his work, Bryant’s mentor Alice Waters says, “Bryant Terry knows that good food should be an everyday right and not a privilege.” San Francisco Magazine included Bryant among 11 Smartest People in the Bay Area Food Scene, and Fast Company named him one of 9 People Who Are Changing the Future of Food.

Vegetable Kingdom, Bryant’s fifth book, will be published by Ten Speed Press/Penguin Random House in February 2020. His last book, Afro-Vegan, was published in 2014. Just 2 months after being released, it was named one of the best cookbooks of 2014 by Amazon.com. That December it was nominated for an NAACP Award in the Outstanding Literary Work category. Bryant is also the author of the critically acclaimed Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine, which was named one of the best vegetarian/vegan cookbooks of the last 25 years by Cooking Light Magazine.

Bryant graduated from the Chef’s Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City. He is a Ph.D. dropout who holds an M.A. in History with an emphasis on the African Diaspora from NYU, where he studied under Historian Robin D.G. Kelly. He lives in Oakland, California with his wife and two brilliant and beautiful children.

Get your tickets here: bit.ly/ANVBrunch-Cooking-Challenge

ANV Cooking Challenge: Brunch! Celebrity Chef, Nikki Shaw

Bringing her passion for food and appetite for adventure, celebrity Chef Nikki Shaw is committed to spreading awareness of and preventing heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. She is a partner for the restaurants and concessions at Oakland International Airport. In addition to that, Chef Nikki is a trained media spokesperson specializing in recipe development and product endorsement for major corporations. She has been a featured chef for the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and Kaiser Permanente. She conducts healthy cooking demonstrations and educates communities about the importance of making smart food choices and staying physically active, on TV and in-person. 

Chef Nikki is a featured Media Chef for the Oakland A’s, promoting the teams Community Wellness Campaign. She is a featured Chef/Instructor for the Golden State Warriors community outreach programs, offering information and recipes to help prevent childhood obesity. She is the Chair of the Oakland Teen Empowerment Program, which teaches inner-city girls valuable life skills and helps them get into college. 

Chef Nikki has appeared on Food Network as a finalist on The Next Food Network Star and she was also featured on the hit VH1 show Basketball Wives

Chef Nikki graduated with honors from Howard University in Washington D.C. with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She graduated as a Chef from the Southeastern Culinary Academy and completed her internship at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. She and her husband, former NBA player, reside in California with their children.

Get your tickets here: bit.ly/ANVBrunch-Cooking-Challenge

ANV Cooking Challenge: Brunch! Celebrity Chef Jennifer Booker

Southern-born, Jennifer Hill Booker traveled to Paris to study French cooking at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts only to discover that rustic French and Southern dishes use many of the same ingredients. Using this as the basis for culinary exploration in her second cookbook, Dinner Déjà Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow. The author of Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent, uses one list of fresh ingredients to create two meals, one Southern and one French in her latest cookbook, resulting in less food waste and fewer trips to the market. Combined grocery lists also provide time-saving tools for recipes from cocktails to desserts and everything in between, drawing on the strengths of both regions makes recipes like Southern Berry Bramble Cocktail, Brown Butter Banana Pound Cake with Crème Anglaise, and Pimento Cheese Stuffed Deviled Eggs both approachable and delicious. A charming personality, she is also a mother of two who knows exactly what it takes to create enticing meals with limited time and ingredients.

Chef Jennifer’s culinary path has not always been a linear one. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Tulsa; eighteen months later graduated first in her class with an Associate of Occupational Science from Oklahoma State Institute of Technology. Extensive travel while married to a United States Army Officer pushed Jennifer to blaze a trail that fit her unique situation-a female African American chef, living abroad. As a result, her first culinary company Your Resident Gourmet was born. During her time living in Germany, Jennifer honed her culinary talents by providing cooking classes for both military and German families. She was also able to fulfill a lifelong dream of attending Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Paris, where she proudly graduated top of her class. Twenty years later Jennifer finds herself once again blazing culinary trails as she wears many culinary hats as chef, reality TV personality, culinary educator, business owner and cookbook author.

She is an Impact Fellow with the James Beard Foundation, a Georgia Grown Executive Chef for the GA Department of Agriculture, the Culinary Explorer for the Georgia Department of Tourism and Travel, and is the founder of Cast Iron Chronicles dinner series. Chef Jennifer is an active member of the prestigious Atlanta chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, a member of SlowFood-Atlanta and of Atlanta’s No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. Chef Jennifer currently sits on the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Committee.

Weaving her love of traditional Southern cuisine with her belief in incorporating healthy, seasonal foods and her classic French training, Chef Jennifer created a unique style of cooking that she terms Modern Southern Healthy Cuisine with a French Accent. Chef Jennifer shared this brand of cooking through her cooking segment ‘Chef Jenn to the Rescue,’ on CBS46’s Atlanta Plugged In, many television appearances, with original recipes in such publications as Waste Not Cookbook, Southern Living Magazine, Garden & Gun and Essence Magazine as well as her Food Network debut as a finalist on Cutthroat Kitchen. She has worked with such renowned chefs as Jeff Henderson, Tyler Florence, Tiffany Derry, Giadia Laurentis, Patrick Neely, Master Chef Daryl Shular and Mashama Bailey. Her website, ChefJenniferHillBooker.com provides information about healthy eating, food trends, culinary travel, and recipes that reflect her unique culinary point of view of Modern Southern Healthy Cuisine with a French Accent. Her cookbooks, Dinner Déjà Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow, and  Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent, are available at many national retailers including Pelican Publishing Company, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Chef Jennifer spends her free time in her kitchen, vegetable garden, or at her local farmers market. She currently resides in Lilburn, Georgia with her two daughters Jenelle and Regine and their KorgieJack, Pudge.

Get your tickets here: bit.ly/ANVBrunch-Cooking-Challenge

The Success of Grow Your Imagination 2018!

Here’s what happened that night:

“Loved it! It was fun and tasty and informative. I learned about a new author and got a chance to buy an autographed book! Thanks ANV!” -GYI Attendee

The evening began at the VIP gathering at Lungomare Restaurant in Jack London Square, featuring drinks and lite bites. Then a beautiful ferry ride over to San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building. Once there, host DeAngela Cooks of The Mosaic Collaborative helped to create a wonderful, fun, memorable night.

Deepest gratitude to our guest author Wayétu Moore, author of “She Would Be King”, who read a powerful excerpt from her book then signed copies for our guests! 

Congratulations to all of our Victory V. Lee Award for Excellence Awardees:

2018 Victory V. Lee Awardees

Executive Board Member Of The Year:
Bennie Patterson

Auxiliary Board Member Of The Year:
Jennifer Dix

Volunteer Of The Year:
Pauline Chiquet (Not pictured)

Staff Member Of The Year:
Ayano Jeffers-Fabro

Donor Of The Year:
Nancie Hughes

Foundation Of The Year:
Satterberg Foundation

Elected Official Of The Year:
Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley

Partner Of The Year:
Whole Foods

Appreciations to all of the staff and volunteers who made the night happen. Many thanks to Pete Rosos of 2812 Photography for the beautiful photographs of the night. Thank you to Victoria Russell for fabulous event planning.

Thanks also go out to the Oakland A’s, Whole Foods Oakland, Waste Management, Beneficial State Bank and all of our sponsors for supporting this incredible event!

…And Thank You to all of the supporters and guests that attended to help us continue our work in Oakland and beyond!

Grow Your Imagination! A Silent Reading Party Benefit for Acta Non Verba

Acta Non Verba would like to thank all of those who attended and supported this event! Here are some highlights from “Grow Your Imagination” A Silent Reading Party Benefit for Acta Non Verba!

Photos courtesy of ©Pete Rosos Photography


GIY- Flyer w sponsors

Acta Non Verba Partners with the Oakland Athletics for “The Farm”!

Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project (ANV) and the Oakland A’s announced yesterday the creation of The Farm, an originative garden designed by ANV’s Farm Manager, Aaron De La Cerda & ANV Consultant, Gino Orlando. Additionally, the A’s have partnered with Acta Non Verba to lead food justice and leadership programming on the Farm.

Located  on the south end of the Eastside Club near the right field flagpoles, The Farm is set to debut during the 2018 baseball season. The Farm consists of thirty-six redwood planters that will grow an assortment of seasonal produce and flowers alongside tables and benches for fans to enjoy during the game.

The area will be able to accommodate approximately 100 fans at a time.  The intimate and private space will be available for groups to reserve for pregame events such as ANV’s Annual Fundraiser scheduled for May 19th at the Coliseum’s Eastside Club.

Check out ANV’s Press Release HERE

You can read the A’s Press Release HERE

Meet Cooking Specialist: Chris Taylor at Camp ANV!

  Camp ANV will become Café ANV when Chef Chris Taylor returns to run our Cooking Club this summer! Register your child(ren) Now!

Chef Chris from Zella B. BooSer Catering is at Summer Camp ANV for the second year in a row!! 

Chef Christopher’s family has a long lineage of cooking soulful meals and he attributes his deep passion and inspiration of recipes to the many family holidays, cook outs and Sunday dinners;spending many summers and holidays with his Grandmother and Great Grandmother in the “Heart of Dixie”, Anniston, Alabama.

This year, Chef Chris is dedicated to ensuring your children learn not only how to cook simple but delicious recipes from our farm to their table, but also how nutrition plays a large part in how we feel throughout the day.

Your child will come home weekly and with a recipe the whole family will love and some of these tasty creations will be included in our Camp Yearbook!

Register your Children TODAY!