Chef/Educator Joan Gallagher
Joan began her career with the USDA, working at the Human Nutritional Research Center. She attended California Culinary Academy and did an internship in Alsace, France. Returning to her roots in the Bay Area, she worked in restaurants, hotels, Microsoft's corporate cafeteria, and was the catering director for NASA.
When an opportunity became available in the Berkeley Unified School District & Edible Schoolyard, she jumped at the chance. For the last five years, Joan ran the production kitchen for Berkeley Unified, producing 3,000 meals every day.
The highlight for her has been conducting "What's on Your Plate" presentations for the Edible Schoolyard, where she was able to share her passion for preparing and savoring food with kids, and linking it to culture and curriculum. Nothing thrills her more than seeing a child's culinary world expand.
The birth of an idea...
When my son Christopher joined Black Pine Circle, I fell in love with the school and realized the time was right to take what I'd learned at Berkeley Unified and launch a lunch program for schools, starting right here. Now we've expanded the program to The Berkeley School and East Bay School for Boys, both of which have really made the program their own, customizing it for their own unique school cultures. I love that.
- Chef Joan