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Community Members

Our amazing team of Volunteers!

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Annie Cheng (She/Her)

Annie Faye Cheng is a writer, student and cook based in Queens, New York City. Her creative work explores the intersection of race, food and power. Her love for restaurants—or really, restaurant people—emerges from a history of working in fast-casual, Michelin, and everyday neighborhood restaurants. She is also a volunteer with Sunnyside-Woodside Mutual Aid, and a master's student at the CUNY School of Labor and Union Studies.

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Gaëlle Aminata (she/her)

Gaëlle Aminata Colin is French and grew up on a French Fruit Farm. She is currently completing her PhD in Sociology at SUNY Stony Brook. She works on Black Feminism, Race and Racism in Europe and Cooking as practice for resistance. She is also passionate about baking and photography and loves to develop visual art in connection to food and agriculture.

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Frankie (they/them)

Frankie is a line cook at a lunch counter. Their childhood was spent taking orders, filling the soda fridges and restocking chips at their father’s deli. Now, years later, their days are spent the same way. Frankie is most inspired by the sense of community delis provided to our neighborhoods. They believe there’s nothing better than sharing a sandwich with a friend … or a stranger. 

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Aalyiah Simone Grant (they/them)

Aalyiah is a writer/creative who is an absolute foodie at heart. Some of their favorite and most prominent early childhood memories were spent intently watching and soaking up every bit of Jamaican culinary genius that they could from their grandma. One of Aalyiah's greatest joys in life comes from being able to cook delicious meals for the people that they love. When not in the kitchen cooking, Aalyiah can usually be found listening to music, finding joy through movement, writing poetry, or engaging in some type of creative pursuit.

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Nick Souksavat (he/them)

Nick Souksavat (he/them) is a Food Content Creator and Private Chef based in the Chicago suburbs. Nick's approach to cooking is largely influenced by his identity as a First Generation Lao-American. Nick is passionate about educating others on Lao culture and cuisine with the hopes of inspiring people to learn more about his underrepresented cultural identity. In 2020, Nick had the unique opportunity to compete on Bravo TV's "Top Chef Amateurs" (a spin off from the Top Chef series). Currently, he finds himself at the helm of his Instagram account @gastronamour showcasing his original recipes and branded content. Outside of the kitchen, Nick is a fan of gaming, drag brunch, music/concerts, language, and travel!

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Cynthia Medina (she/her)

Cynthia Medina is a local homechef hailing from the South Bronx. She currently works as a Development Manager at the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF), a national, public, nonprofit providing educational opportunities through four-year scholarships coupled with mentoring, job placement, and leadership development opportunities to college students with financial need. She also serves as a DEI Council Member for the USDA’s Northeast Regional Food Business Center Program, focusing towards historically underinvested communities and providing coordination, technical assistance and capacity building for farmers, ranchers, and other food businesses. When Cynthia is not behind the desk, she’s behind the kitchen counter volunteering for MOFAD, Museum of Food and Drink, assisting in kitchen preparations and engaging with individuals in discussions around the history of racism and discrimination against communities, while celebrating the knowledge, resilience and advancement of diverse groups, food, and cooking in America. As Cynthia continues to work within New York City, she familiarizes herself with the food injustices and food routes within her community. Cynthia avidly spends her time reading and researching about food sovereignty and learning different methods of accessing food throughout the city. In navigating the food space, Cynthia’s mission is to spotlight local home chefs and collaborate with community gardens and urban farms in providing skill sets in growing and maintaining seasonal and cultural foods, cooking, food tour experiences, and lessons for activism and advocacy

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Esmé Wright (she/hers)

Esmé is a creative and writer with a deep passion for film, theatre, and art. Working in tech startups and brand creative teams for over a decade, she discovered her love for cooking as a way to care for her community and explore different cultures. Originally from Michigan, she recently returned to Detroit after spending 12 years in Brooklyn, NY. Esmé has volunteered in the kitchens of the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) volunteered in the kitchens of the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD), cooked dinner for 45 friends in her apartment, and engineered multiple-course intimate meals with wine pairings for groups of 20. She is currently perfecting her pierogi recipe for eventual pop-ups in and around the Detroit metro area.

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L.M. Zoller (they/them)

L.M. Zoller (they/them) is a writer, zinester, and artist based in the Coast Salish lands known as Seattle. Their work focuses on the intersections of food, queerness, and gender, as well as Midwestern ephemera. They are half of The Corners of Their Mouth Press, the co-editor of The Corners of Their Mouth: A Queer Food Zine and The Queer Language of Flowers, and the author of the Midwestern Transplant Presents series. They also make a mean vegetarian Cincinnati chili.

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David Manrique (He/Him)

New York-based Colombian food photographer, filmmaker, and screenwriter born and raised in Medellin. His media work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times and Thrillist, as well as on television and film festivals. In 2023 he founded Food As Content, a media production and content strategy studio with the mission of shaping a more conscious and inclusive food and media culture that values the planet and nourishes communities. David is an advisee in the James Beard Foundation Legacy Network 2023-24 cohort and one of the recipients of Shutterstock’s Create Fund grant for diverse creators.

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Jen Venegas (they/them)

Jen Venegas is a non-binary spiritual activist, horticulturalist, and death doula living in Southern California. They are a founding member of Transplanted Collective, which focuses on food justice, accessibility, and land stewardship. Jen also founded Abeja Rise, a practice that centers the place where activism and spirituality meet.

Thank You to our previous Community Supporters!

Tansy Huang, Cori Volfson, Karla Martinez, Danna Creager, Harold Fiebleman, Elise Schloff, and Caity Rock!