Volunteer of the Month: Rachel Cohen

August 19, 2016

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.

CUESA’s Saturday Market to Table cooking demonstrations and special events like Cocktails of the Farmers Market, Summer Celebration, and Sunday Supper don’t happen without solid volunteers like Rachel Cohen. This Bay Area native grew up with an interest in food from a very young age, starting with cooking with her mother. A Ferry Plaza Farmers Market fan, Rachel finally found the perfect combination of her love of food and community involvement as a CUESA volunteer in 2014. In addition to providing chef demo, special event and office support, she headed CUESA’s Summer Celebration’s first silent auction, which raised nearly $6,000 for CUESA’s educational programs this past June.

“Rachel is so enthusiastic about helping with the Market to Table demos, volunteering regularly, contributing some very valuable ideas, and pitching in wherever needed,“ says Culinary Programs Manager Carrie Sullivan. “If we have dish gloves, she’ll wash as many dirty dishes as we generate! Her delight in welcoming and assisting chefs is infectious. She’s so upbeat and friendly with everyone.”

Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator Cindy Mendoza adds, “Rachel brought her expertise and strategized for the best possible outcome for our first-time silent auction effort. It‘s great to have her positive energy in the office and at our events. She’s a wonderful member of the CUESA volunteer team.” Meet Rachel.

CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?
Rachel: I’ve always been interested in food! I remember cooking my first family dinner when I was nine years old. My mother and I used to take “Mommy and Me” cooking classes at the local grocery store when I was even younger. In high school, I used to throw dinner parties for my friends. I would cook for days, have a printed menu, and make them all dress up!

CUESA: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering for CUESA?
Rachel: Now that it is summer, I like to escape the cold in San Francisco and explore new places and get my vitamin D fix!

CUESA: What was your favorite part about volunteering with CUESA?
Rachel: I really enjoy learning about new types of produce. Before I volunteered with CUESA, I didn’t know what husk cherries, rose geranium, or Candy Cap mushrooms were! And now, I know how to incorporate these into my home cooking.

CUESA: Do you have an insider market tip or a favorite produce item at the market right now?
Rachel: That’s not fair—it’s summertime! Everything is amazing. I do love Dirty Girl Produce strawberries, peas from Iacopi Farms, and any cheese from Tomales Farmstead Creamery