Volunteer of the Month: Christian Herman

March 17, 2017

CUESA’s Volunteer of the Month program recognizes the dedication and work of some of our most active volunteers. CUESA relies on volunteers to help with education programs, special events, public outreach, and other activities that help fulfill our mission to cultivate a sustainable food system. Learn more about volunteering and sign up here. We’ll be hosting new volunteer orientations on March 26 (Oakland) and May 6 (SF). 

It’s one of the most popular and delicious ways we engage with our market guests: at the Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, local chefs and cookbook authors demonstrate seasonal recipes and offer samples under the CUESA Classroom tent. Behind the scenes, a seasoned crew of culinary volunteers ensure that the chefs are guest-ready with prepped market ingredients and plenty of the finished dish to share.

With professional culinary training and experience, Christian Herman has been volunteering with deftness and ease in the CUESA Kitchen since August 2015. In addition to kitchen time, he has also been an integral support for special events like CUESA’s cocktail events, Summer Celebration, and Sunday Supper.

“I’ve always enjoyed volunteering but never had the time,” says Christian. “I found CUESA has a solid mission, and it keeps me connected with the heartbeat of the restaurant industry. When I found out about CUESA, I knew I had to become involved.”

“Christian is a jack of all trades and master of all,” says Carrie Sullivan, CUESA’s Culinary Programs Manager (pictured above with Christian). “Whether it’s setting up the kitchen, prepping for the demo, setting up the A/V system, or breaking down the kitchen, his industry experience definitely influences his focus on getting things done fast and efficiently. I’m afraid I have a hard time keeping up with him sometimes!” Meet Christian.

CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?

Christian: I was blessed to have a mother that was very inventive in the kitchen. She made all types of different dishes from various ethnicities and styles. My interest in food never really blossomed until high school, when I began to think about the direction of my life. While other people were studying engineering, pre-med, or computer science, I only liked to work with food. I had catering and restaurant kitchen jobs throughout high school and then decided to go to the Culinary Institute of America. 

CUESA: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering for CUESA?

Christian: I am a big sports fan, especially of the Giants and Warriors. I remember when you could go to a Warriors game for $10! I like to spend time with my close friends, seeing their kids grow up and spoiling them with creative cooking.

CUESA: What is your favorite part about volunteering with CUESA?

Christian: I love seeing all of the great local produce that is in season and meeting all the different vendors that pour their hearts into their craft. We are so spoiled in California by having so much great, fresh, local produce produced by people that truly care about perfecting their product by keeping it pure.

CUESA: Do you have an insider market tip or a favorite produce item at the market right now?

Christian: I like to experiment, so my tip is to try something new. Watching someone try a fruit they have never had before is always fun. There are so many different varieties of meat and produce that you can find at the market that it would be almost impossible taste it all.

Photo by Valter Fabiano.