The Society Volunteer Team
All staff members are volunteers, contributing their time to managing and improving the Society's services. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Chris Hennes, Director of Operations.
Dave Scantland ("Dave the Cook", firstname.lastname@example.org) After careers in music, hospitality, printing, and publishing, Dave finally arrived at the destination of so many others plagued with vague creativity: marketing. First as a technical writer and illustrator, and later as an international marketing manager, Dave traveled much of Europe and the US, padding his expense account (and his waistline) with efficiency and cunning his employers wished he would have applied to his job. Today, Dave writes, draws, and cooks in the Atlanta suburbs. His family and friends, when describing his pursuit of domestic culinary perfection, dance around the word "depraved" with the agility and suspicion of a sprinter on a Paris sidewalk. Executive Director.
Chris Hennes (email@example.com) is an aerospace engineer, working as a consultant in the fields of helicopter and wind turbine noise, and subsonic fluid dynamics. His specialty is software development and support. When not consulting he spends much of his free time in the kitchen, and is especially interested in culinary Modernism and charcuterie. Director of Operations.
Chris Amirault (firstname.lastname@example.org) started cooking in college, then had a few stints working in and reviewing restaurants, and now is chef for his partner, two daughters, and, occasionally, for the family coonhound, Zeke. He's a lifelong New Englander save for the requisite post-college year in NYC and graduate school in Milwaukee (where he earned his PhD in cultural studies), and he has written about food for Saveur, Edible Rhody, and The Daily Gullet. Chris directs a preschool and teaches in Providence, Rhode Island -- when he's not running eG Forums with a crack team of volunteers. Director of Operations, eG Forums.
Erin Garnhum ("nakji") is originally from Halifax, Canada. She used to be a business consultant but dropped out of an MBA program and office life to move to Asia in 2002 and has since lived in South Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. She has spent her time there teaching EFL and eating a lot of pork belly. She occasionally surprises the office staff at her school with her crack MS Excel skills and pickle-making ability. A minimalist by necessity, she considers an oven a luxury, and once had a kitchen without hot running water. She is comforted by the knowledge that if any of her cooking attempts fail, in Asia there is always a decent bowl of noodles waiting right around the corner. Manager, eG Forums.
Linda Kowalcky ("lindak") has worked in government, politics, and academia, and currently lives in Boston with a job involving all three. Her serious interest in cooking began as a procrastination technique while working on her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. While teaching, she took advantage of her academic schedule to spend summers cooking and eating in France, where she took classes and did internships at the Hotel Ritz, Paris and in Strasbourg. These days, Linda cooks mainly for fun, is active in urban community gardening, lectures frequently on campus planning and town-gown politics, and tries to find time for her research in early American political history. Manager, eG Forums.
Pamela Reiss (" Pam R") resides in Winnipeg, MB where she grew up in her parents' company, learning all she could about kosher catering. After attending the University of Minnesota, Pam returned home to work in the family business, Desserts Plus. She quickly combined her interest in devising recipes with her love of writing to create Soup - A Kosher Collection -- her first kosher cookbook. Pam continues to work with the family - catering, creating new recipes, and stocking her specialty kosher food store which supplies kosher ingredients to customers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Pam has been published in the Jerusalem Post, Los Angeles Jewish Journal, Canadian Living Magazine and other publications. She is slowly (very slowly) working on a new cookbook. Manager, eG Forums.
Kristin Wagner-Yamaguchi ("torakris") was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, with seven siblings and parents of Italian and German descent. Her first taste of Japanese food wasn't until the age of 18 when she made her first Japanese friend at college. Six years later she had degrees in East Asian studies as well as archaeology/Anthropology with a minor in Japanese language. In 1995, she married and moved to Yokohama with her Japanese husband and her love for the foods of Japan grew. Even though her three children keep her busy she finds time to explore new foods (and old favorites) as well as teaching a variety of cuisines (in Japanese) in her cooking classes. She is also the food links editor of the Tokyo Food Page. Manager, Membership.
Janet A. Zimmerman ("JAZ") writes about food and teaches cooking classes in Atlanta. She attended graduate school in philosophy at the University of California at Irvine, where two years of attempting to teach metaphysics to freshman made the corporate world seem very attractive. After a dozen years working in corporate communications and marketing, during which her abiding interest in food and cooking increased, she decided to combine her epistolary and culinary skills in a new food writing career. She is currently working on a guidebook to developing the palate. Her teaching specialties are appetizers and cocktails, which are much easier to teach (and taste better) than metaphysics. Manager.
Heidi Husnak ("heidih") is a Los Angeles native with a long-standing interest in all aspects of food and food culture. As a child there were chickens, ducks, vegetable gardens, fruit orchards, and honeybees, as well as access to a rich culture of Austrian cooking. She received her BS in Biology and Law Degree from the University of Southern California. After practicing law and running a commercial construction company for many years, she is currently reinventing herself. She is a firm believer that food traditions are the universal language.
Jeff Meeker ("jsmeeker") was born a Yankee, but has lived in Texas since 1979. Dad was a CIA graduate, so food was always pretty important in the family. His love for dining at nice restaurants was probably inherited from his grandmother. His busy career integrating various computer systems at hospitals makes cooking for one a challenge, but he frequently puts a lot of time and effort to make a meal. When he goes over to Mom and Dad's for a holiday meal or a special occasion, chances are good Jeff will bring some sort of home made dessert with him. One of his current passions is making cocktails and the local liquor store is one of his most favorite stores in all of Dallas. Mexican food is one of his favorite things to eat. His least favorite activity is doing the dishes and cleaning up the mess in the kitchen.
David Ross lives in Spokane, but works a one-hour plane ride away in Seattle. When he's not tending to his day job -- or commuting -- he writes about food, reviews restaurants and--corns his own beef, malts chocolate ice cream, and fancies white truffles from Alba.
Michaela Scioscia ("Mjx") was born in Manhattan, grew up in Florence, and has continued to move from one side of the Atlantic to the other ever since. She was raised a vegetarian, but lapsed, and has been interested in food since her early childhood efforts to make carob drink more palatable. Shortly thereafter she moved into actual cooking, starting with making scrambled eggs for her parents for two weeks straight, trying to get it 'just right'. She is a NYS LMT, has a BA in biology, an MSc in adult learning, and a CELTA certificate, and is currently a copyeditor. She frequently travels around the EU and US with her boyfriend, eating things.
Mitch Weinstein ("weinoo"), a native New Yorker and current Lower East Sider, is Brooklyn born and was raised in Queens and on Long Island, before moving to California for an extended stay from 1976-1994. It was there, while living in the Bay Area and working in Silicon Valley, that an exposure to great food, organic gardening and fabulous restaurants, along with all his friends telling him he should become a chef (they were crazy), eventually led to a move back to NYC to attend cooking school. After graduating from the ICE (formerly Peter Kump's), and then doing some restaurant and catering cooking as well as some personal chef work, he is currently more focused on cooking for friends and family, as well as constantly exploring the NY restaurant and cocktail scene. Along with his wife Alison, Mitch is an avid traveler, having been to Italy and France at least 10 times over the last decade. They eventually hope to have a European "pied-a-terre," though whether it will be in Paris or Rome or somewhere else is open to debate.
Dave ("vice") Viola's history with food began way back when his great grandmother emigrated from Italy, ultimately to delight in serving him lunch every Friday afternoon for his first three and a half years. While he remains to this day an aspiring critic, he branched out into actually cooking during his teenage years (apparently his mother's suggestion that action would be more productive than critique eventually took hold). Working in restaurants and on farms through college, Dave has since cooked solely for himself and whoever's around to pull up a chair. When not stuffing sausages or dinner guests, he can be found pursuing a PhD in ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Revised July 2012
Meet the Society staff
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