We welcome a new chef and culinary educator to The Food Shift Kitchen, where reducing waste and creating opportunity is at the heart of it all.
Terrell Brunet is a southern gentleman with a French-Creole heritage that can be traced back to the 1600s. He hosts pop-up dinners, family meals, and has even catered dinners at the New Orleans Jazz Festival featuring B.B. King and Santana. He has an approachable personality, a quick wit, a relaxed and calming air about him, and demonstrates genuine care for the people around him.
Terrell is a teacher, mentor, chef, and start-up guru in the food industry. He has extensive experience with the inner working of a restaurant and streamlining operations, training staff, building relationships, and making a new or failing business operational. His colleague Otto Borsich, Chef Instructor from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), can vouch for Chef’s big personality and ability to lay out a vision and make it come to fruition. “He’s very real. I learned so much from him about Cajun and creole food. He is passionate. It’s not really work when you’re working with him. It’s just a fun day.”
Chef Terrell has been in the industry for decades. He has taken on the role of General Manager, consultant, and mentor at a number of restaurants. Peter Snyderman of Elite Café in San Francisco spoke of Terrell as, “a very rare person who has a complete and comprehensive perspective on both front and back of house.” He has a realistic approach to managing constraints and limitations, and makes great recommendations to improving inefficiencies. We saw this within his first few weeks as he took charge to clean, reorganize, and establish systems and processes in the kitchen that will lead to program efficiency and ultimately impact.
Terrell’s passion for food, the culinary process, and most of all, people, make him an ideal new member of the Food Shift team. His vision, zeal, and experience leading and consulting for restaurants nationwide, alongside his longtime affiliation with the CIA, as a graduate and now teacher and mentor, have all converged, providing the perfect person to propel The Food Shift Kitchen to its next level of impact.
The Food Shift Kitchen has three primary goals:
- To rescue surplus produce and reduce wasted food
- To train unemployed adults in a culinary environment, to instill a newfound confidence paired with real job skills
- To produce a nourishing product that can be distributed and sold so that the kitchen can become a sustainable social enterprise
“The mission is absolutely incredible,” Terrell remarks. “After all my years in the industry, I was looking for something different. This is something different and it helps people. There is such a need for the infrastructure we are creating.”
In March, four new kitchen apprentices will join The Food Shift Kitchen’s culinary training and employment program. During their initial orientation students will be immersed in the process of making homemade soups from rescued produce for Alameda Food Bank clients. We look forward to our new chef’s vision, inside-out food knowledge and the key role he will play in the growth and development of this social enterprise. We are delighted to have Chef Terrell on board!