How did you arrive at Spoonfuls?
I took the T! The first time I joined Spoonfuls (in 2014), it was because I was thrilled to see that I could have a real, measurable, material impact on my friends, neighbors, and community by rescuing and redistributing food. Not much has changed. When I left LS in 2016, it was to pursue my same ambition of “helping people live lives worthy of human beings” by getting involved with health care delivery. I did that until 2019, when I moved to Springfield with my wife so that she could be a public defender. I needed something part time, to help me get to know the area, the roads, the organizations, and to keep me busy while I work up the guts to get a pre-medical degree. Low and behold, Lovin’ Spoonfuls needed a part-time food rescue coordinator to support their newest route in Hampden county. It seemed like a perfect pathway had made itself known. I emailed Lauren, and learned about all the changes and growth in the organization in just three years, and knew I wanted to be part of it again.
What passions do you bring to the job?
I have a passion for helping people become the healthiest, most liberated, most fierce version of themselves they can dream. I have this passion because I’m trying to get there my own self. I enjoy roller sports, healthy living, and seeing people stand in their own power to make the lives they want to live, free of the tyranny of scarcity. My wife would say that I also have a passion for backing vehicles into tight spaces.
Have there been any surprises for you in the food you rescue?
I was certainly surprised by just how much volume of food a store would otherwise throw away on a daily basis, and how much of it I could move with my body, and how much could be redistributed into the community through an organization when I drop it off. I was very surprised and delighted to learn that Spoonfuls’ often rescues in teams now, which both expands the amount of product we’re able to take while also helping keep Food Rescue Coordinators in the work for a much longer time.
Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
They do, I think! While I worked at Spoonfuls’ the first time, I gave collective living a try, and I made meals for about 10 people several times a week. When I met my wife, I invited her over to eat my 7 Vegetable Spaghetti Bolognese and Yellow Cake with Chocolate Ganache.
7 Vegetable Spaghetti Bolognese involves using as many vegetables as possible to mimic the original hearty meat sauce. I make it vegan, with a little bit of Pinot Noir – vegan sausage, onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, served hot and spicy on top of oven roasted spaghetti squash.
I also love transforming cultural dishes into vegan ones – I make a Southern Buttermilk Biscuit that cannot be beat.
What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
I just moved, so not very much! Right now I’ve got Oat Milk, Eggs, Spinach, Kale, Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, and so much Earth Balance, you would not believe.
What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
My mom teaching me to make biscuits and pie crusts with a cold glass of water. You cut the butter into the flour with two knives, until very crumbly. Take a sip of water, you earned it. You add a little bit of salt and slowly add sips of the water to the butter flour, while mixing with your knives. When the mixture has just barely come together, stop. Chill. Put your biscuits in the fridge and your feet up. Come back 15 minutes later. Turn your biscuits out onto your counter top, which had better always been clean enough to use for food prep. Flour the rim of one of your grandma’s crystal whiskey glasses. Flatten your dough to the depth of your palm, exactly once. Do not go over it to make it perfect, you’ve got one shot at this. Use grandma’s whiskey crystal to cut out your round biscuits. Place them into grandma’s cast iron, and back enough so that they touch each other and the sides. Put the cast iron into an oven hotter than hell (450-475* F) for 6-10 minutes. Remove from cast iron, put into a bowl lined with a clean tea towel, and serve.
Who are your heroes?
My heroes are still Paul Farmer and Angela Davis!