Volunteer of the Month: Daniel Capra

October 16, 2015

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.

While CUESA is well known for its iconic Ferry Plaza Farmers Farmers Market, our free and low-cost education programs for all ages are at the core of our work to help grow the next generation of healthy eaters. Fundraising events like this weekend’s Sunday Supper are essential to support these programs, and CUESA has been fortunate to have talented and generous volunteer chefs in our community who donate their time and resources to make these events successful. 

Since 2007 Event Chair Daniel Capra of Paula LeDuc Fine Catering has coordinated teams of volunteer chefs for CUESA’s Sunday Supper “since the very first one when the kitchen was actually behind the Ferry Building,” he says. He has also volunteered his talents at CUESA’s Summer Celebration fundraiser and been a guest chef instructor for CUESA’s Market to Table cooking demonstrations at the Saturday market.

Director of Development Christine Farren has worked with Daniel since his start with CUESA. “Daniel is the first to show up at a meeting, the ever problem-solving optimist during an event, and the one who will offer detailed feedback when you ask for it. He’s a dream on our volunteer team of fundraising event planners.” Meet Daniel.

CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?

Daniel: My interest in food comes from my desire to eat. From an early age I discovered how magical flavor can be. You can associate a specific memory or a time in your life with a flavor or dish. I love the endorphin rush I get from wasabi or a Pasilla de Oaxaca. I love how smoked foods have a calming effect. It’s incredible how cravings can be your body’s way of telling you not only what it desires but also what it needs. Food is not just a necessity to sustain our activity throughout the day but it’s a way to connect with friends, family, community, and the past.

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

Daniel: I entertain for a living and when I’m not working I still seem to entertain a lot at home. Otherwise I’m a good ol’ family guy. I enjoy music, martial arts, and traveling.

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

Daniel: Honestly, CUESA events are a lot of fun. With Sunday Supper, I enjoy the camaraderie, community, and partnerships. Chefs are partnering with each other for their team menu as well as plate up. Chefs are partnering with farmers for the farmers. Sommeliers, cicerones, wine, and beer makers contribute. Essentially Sunday Supper is a really big Family Meal.

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

Daniel: If I had to give any tip it might be to exercise restraint. For me, I try to have an idea of what I want ahead of time. I embrace inspiration and impulse along the way though oftentimes I leave the market with much more than I came for. J Right now I’m really excited for persimmons and pomegranates. Oh and Kabocha…and apples, apples, apples!

Event photos by Drew Altizer Photography and Amanda Lynn Photography.