Volunteers of the Month: Liz Subauste and Trey Bertram

September 29, 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.

CUESA’s annual Sunday Supper: A Farm to City Feast, coming up on October 15, not only showcases our local chef community and the bounty of the farmers market; it raises much-needed funds for our free education programs like Foodwise Kids. We are lucky to have an engaged volunteer Events Committee, which helps us interface with the generous restaurants, beverage companies, and donors, all who make these fundraisers a success.

Liz Subauste first interned with CUESA as a SF State University senior as part of her 2010 Recreation degree. She worked closely with former CUESA staffer and fellow Events Committee member Sarah Henkin and Director of Development Christine Farren on programming and marketing respectively, and she returned to CUESA a few years ago as an Events Committee member. “I’m impressed with Liz’s work ethic and restaurant savvy, coupled with her commitment to our community and sustainability,” says Christine. “She stayed in CUESA’s orbit working with restaurants like flour+water, Mister Jiu’s, and AL’s Place, and we were thrilled to have her come back to help support our events.”

After finishing a 2015 New Zealand wine harvest, Trey Bertram joined the Events Committee. He was excited to return to the Bay Area food and wine scene and “lucked out to help pick wines for CUESA’s events.” He was drawn to CUESA’s mission and impact on the local and national levels of our food system and culture.  “Trey maintains an unassuming low profile, but he always delivers,” adds Christine. “He’ll sit quietly in our meetings and follow up with a full list of contacts and leads, all the while telling you how happy he is to help CUESA with his services. He’s a golden child with his can-do attitude.”

She continues, “Liz and Trey are dream committee members, quick to offer contacts to support our mission, fast in following up with great insider knowledge and senses of humor.” Meet Liz and Trey.

CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?

Liz: My mom had a catering company when I was young, so I was always around food. When I moved to the States from Peru, it felt natural to work in restaurants while going to school. It wasn’t until I started working at Delfina that I got to learn and work with this region’s local produce and to start building relationships with the farms and food in my life. Being on 18th Street with Bi-Rite Market and Tartine as neighbors was a magical turning point in my life.

Trey: My family wasn’t big into food when I was growing up, but it was important to eat together as much as possible. That upbringing and my work in the hospitality industry really opened my eyes to how powerful food can be to bring people together. Those family dinners and early hospitality experiences took place back in the Midwest and sparked my initial interest in food. My Midwest experiences, the unbelievable produce and food available in Northern California, and having lived and worked in Sonoma for a couple years let my interest in food run wild!

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

Liz: I currently run the floor at AL’s Place. However, I’m a restaurant consultant. I concentrate on openings. So I’m usually working with local chefs on their next project.

Trey: My full time job is with Caviar food delivery. I work with restaurants in helping them get set up and navigate the food delivery world. Outside of that I spend a lot of time hiking and camping. I live right by the Lands End trail, so I am there and in Marin a lot. I also just finished up a great backpacking trip in Glacier National Park!

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

Liz: The community! I met most of my friends and got most of my jobs through the Saturday market. Everyone in the restaurant industry, who have the same values about food as I do, is usually there. So, you not only get to know chefs, but also front-of-house people and most importantly, the farmers and their families.

Trey: Easy, the people. It is such a wonderful group of people to work with and learn from. It is really humbling to be play a small role in such an impactful organization with CUESA’s reach spanning far past the Bay Area. Plus, do you know about the Foodwise Kids program?!

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

Liz: The Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market can get crazy! Everyone is off, so it gets crowded pretty fast. I like beating the crowds by arriving early before 10 am. I usually run there, so I can get my workout out of the way, then shop, enjoy some Primavera chilaquiles for breakfast, and grab a Lyft back to the restaurant.

Trey: I think my veggie of the year has to be cauliflower. Cauliflower is so hot right now.