Foodwise Talk: The True Cost of Food

Wednesday, September 13, 2023, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Since the pandemic, food costs have soared, putting economic pressure on Bay Area eaters, small California farms, and local food businesses. Inflation, supply chain issues, the climate crisis, and a reckoning around employee compensation and care are just some of the contributing factors to increasing prices. What does it really cost to grow and make food equitably and sustainably today and in the long term? How can we eat affordably while living our values and supporting our local community? Join Foodwise for a conversation with local farmers, food makers, and chefs to discuss what it takes to run a food business in the Bay Area, and what we can all do to keep our communities nourished and local food system thriving.



SHACK15 is located on the 2nd floor of San Francisco’s Ferry Building. Please use the elevator to come to the 2nd floor in the Ferry Building’s “Office Lobby” – located underneath the giant clock tower, on the left side of the main market entrance.

RSVP Required. Tickets are non-refundable. The price of your ticket helps unwrite the costs of producing this event, including speaker honoraria.

Run of Show

  • 5:30 pm: arrival and networking
  • 6:00 pm: panel discussion
  • 7:00 pm: reception

This event is 21+. Please review SHACK15’s House Rules and Guest Code of Conduct.

About the Speakers

Dumpling Club was started in 2020 by Cathay Bi, a former Google veteran turned food entrepreneur. She started out producing small-batch frozen dumplings using local and seasonal produce and has since grown the company to include many other products, including a retail shop and cafe located in the heart of the Mission. In the last two years, Cathay has collaborated with many local Asian- and female-led businesses and restaurants, building a strong community that celebrates Asian cooking. People come to Dumpling Club for the dumplings, and stay for the community.

Aomboon Deasy is a second-generation farmer at K&J Orchards and the proprietor of the restaurant Pomet in Oakland. K&J Orchards is a fixture at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and on restaurant menus for their wide variety of delicious, tree-ripened fruit. In 2022, she opened Pomet with Chef Alan Hsu, highlighting seasonal offerings from her farm as well as other purveyors in the region. Aomboon sits on the Board of Directors of Foodwise, the nonprofit operator of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. 

Gaby Maeda grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she had exposure to several different types of cuisine. She spent two years cooking at Hiroshi’s Eurasion Tapas in Honolulu where she realized that cooking was what she wanted to pursue in life. The parallels in diversity between Hawaii and the Bay Area made San Francisco the obvious choice for her next destination. Added to that, the plethora of amazing farms, ranches, vineyards and seafood makes San Francisco any young chef’s dream city to cook in. Following her graduation from the California Culinary Academy in 2009 Gaby accepted an externship at Restaurant Gary Danko. Over the next five years of working on the line she established  a foundation of culinary technique and skill.  In 2014 she accepted a job as a line cook at State Bird Provisions and she has worked her way up through the ranks to Executive Chef. Under the guidance of chefs Stuart Brioza and  Nicole Krasinski, she was taught how to taste food in ways that were new to her, create flavors that were a blend of what she knew from her upbringing and their evolved Californian cuisine, build strong relationships with local purveyors and, most importantly, treat your staff with respect. In 2020, she was nominated as a finalist for the James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year Award and in 2021 she was named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs. She continues to run the kitchen at State Bird Provisions every night and loves to mentor the next generation of cooks and chefs.

Katie Ettman is a lifelong advocate. In her role at SPUR, a local nonprofit think tank, she works to build a healthy, just, and sustainable food system in the Bay Area through policy change. When she isn’t working with coalition partners or digging into medicaid regulations you can catch her running around the city trying to find the best dumplings San Francisco has to offer.