Volunteer of the Month: Taira Kater

July 27, 2023

Taira Kater (left) and Jared Murray (right) serve on Foodwise’s Events Committee.

Foodwise’s Volunteer of the Month program recognizes the dedication and work of some of our most active volunteers. Foodwise relies on volunteers to help with education programs and other activities that help fulfill our mission to grow thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn more about volunteer opportunities here and internships here. You can also sign up for our next volunteer orientation on September 6, 2023 here.

Event committee member Taira Kater has dedicated 13 years to supporting Foodwise’s two big special events, Summer Bash and Sunday Supper, which raise significant funds for our free education programs Foodwise Kids and Foodwise Teens. Her first introduction to Foodwise (then CUESA) was through Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events, which still partners with Foodwise to produce these events. She says that volunteering, “was a natural progression from working at the events with Paula LeDuc many moons ago.”

“Foodwise has been incredibly lucky to have Taira on our event committee for many years.” says Partnerships & Events Manager Rebecca Crawbuck. “Her depth of event knowledge and experience has been a crucial support, especially as we pivoted to virtual events during the pandemic. It is an absolute privilege to have such a delightful and generous event professional as part of our community for so long.” Meet Taira.

Foodwise: Where does your interest in food come from?

Taira: My family’s love language is food as well as my love of entertaining and bringing people together.

Foodwise: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering for Foodwise? And how has the pandemic impacted you?

Taira: I am the culinary director at Foxtail Catering, which takes up most of my time, and I have 2 lovely children, who take up the rest of the hours in the day. The pandemic has put a strain on the food industry as a whole, impacted staffing, supply chains, customers relationships with vendors, etc. In my current role with my company, I have felt this personally, and it has made a difficult job even more complicated. However, I do feel like it was a tipping point in regards to the importance of work-life balance as well as allowing the consumers to break the 4th wall, so to speak, and have a more intimate knowledge of where their food comes from and how it gets to the plate.

Foodwise: Why are you choosing to volunteer with us at this time?

Taira: It’s a great organization as well as two of my favorite events. I wouldn’t miss it!

Foodwise: What does Foodwise mean to you? 

Taira: Foodwise is a great opportunity for the younger generation to develop a positive relationship with food, where it comes from and how to create sustainable pathways to the future. I love everything about this.

Foodwise: Any favorite farmers market foods or home meal prep tips you want to share?

Taira: Summer, summer, summer…it’s all about easy salads that use unique flavor pairings and a dash of amazing olive oil and a sprinkle of Maldon salt. Pairing it with a chilled glass of wine doesn’t hurt either.