Volunteer of the Month: Pam Mazzola
September 24, 2020
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. Most of our regular volunteer opportunities are currently on hold with the exception of farmers market roles. Learn more about volunteering here.
Prospect restaurant Chef and Owner Pam Mazzola has been a fixture at CUESA’s events Summer Bash and Sunday Supper for years as, in her words, it’s “a great way to support the community, our farmers, and food education.” Propspect has participated in CUESA’s fundraisers for eight years, and she has also served on CUESA’s Event Planning Committee for the last three years.
Recently, Pam and the Prospect team made the tough decision to scale back service due to the pandemic, yet she continues to volunteer with CUESA. Each week, she writes recipes for CUESA’s “brilliant” Farmers Market Boxes, offering home cooks guidance on how to use the seasonal box bounty.
“Pam has been a resourceful and knowledgeable volunteer on CUESA’s Event Planning Committee and has generously supported our fundraising events for years,” says Events and Partnerships Manager Rebecca Crawbuck. “I think it is amazing that during this incredibly turbulent year for our beloved restaurant community, Pam stepped up to support CUESA’s new Farmers Market Box program. Each week, when our shoppers open up their boxes, they receive delicious custom recipes featuring the seasonal produce. I am so grateful to Pam for the gift of her time and talent!” Meet Pam.
CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?
Pam: My interest in food goes pretty deep and began with both of my grandmothers, who needless to say, were excellent cooks and spread their love with food.
CUESA: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering for CUESA?
Pam: It’s been a difficult time for restaurants. So much is still uncertain in terms of viability for many restaurants. We haven’t been able to open outside at Propsect, and we are doing occasional pop-ups. I am doing my best to stay in touch with staff and support them in any way I can. It’s really hard not to be feeding lots of people. There is so much camaraderie in the kitchen; I miss my restaurant family.
CUESA: Why are you choosing to volunteer with us at this time?
Pam: I really believe in CUESA and its mission. It’s very important for me to support the farmers, who provide so much for all of us. I am so grateful to have such a great market.
CUESA: What does the farmers market community mean to you?
Pam: The community is so dedicated and driven. I am so struck by the way the community came together and made all the changes necessary to keep the market going. From farmers to the CUESA staff, everyone is working harder than ever.
CUESA: Any favorite farmers market foods or home meal prep tips you want to share?
Pam: I have been sharing my tips with the produce boxes, but an easy one that always comes in handy is, always have some pickling liquid made. I always buy too much at the market, and it’s a great way to preserve your bounty.