The brave souls who before sitting at any table to consume, seek out the company of others. Elbow to elbow, they join at table's edge in a curated celebration of history, geography, gastronomy, and nourishment. Feasters desire conviviality and knowledge of true sustenance — of their food and equally of its roots. Feasters feast with purpose and intimacy, drunken on stories of the edible divine. When finally they eat, they do so with history firmly on their side.
As an outgrowth of her interests in collaborating with chefs, florists, and historians, and her love of entertaining curious friends with surprising facts and anecdotes about food, Liz Birnbaum founded the Curated Feast in Summer 2015.
Liz has been dubbed a "Culinary Mastermind" by the Good Times Santa Cruz, one of Silicon Valley Business Journal's 40 under 40, and was honored as "Foodie of the Year" at the 2017 Nexties Awards. In her nearly decade-long career in food, she has also organized the oldest and largest sustainable agriculture conference in the West (the EcoFarm Conference), traveled to Italy as a U.S. delegate for Slow Food (to Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto), interviewed farmers coast-to-coast, and now, in addition to working at the Organic Farming Research Foundation by day, she has turned a party trick into a business (Curated Feast). Liz has co-taught college courses on biodiversity and agriculture, botanical imperialism, and food geography. She has also curated more than a dozen exhibits, briefly co-owned a gallery, and founded a museum. Liz has been encouraged to explore the world since before she can remember, so that is what she continues to do.
Vilashini Cooppan taught comparative literature at Yale University before moving to the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she is now Associate Professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. Her work focused on postcolonial and world literatures, globalization theory, comparative and world literature, literatures of slavery and diaspora, globalization studies, and cultural theory of race and ethnicity.
Vilashini brings an academic creative spark and boundless enthusiasm for the work of the Curated Feast.
Jim Denevan is an American chef and artist who creates temporary land art. As an artist, Jim works with natural materials to create massive scale drawings in sand, ice, and soil. In 1999, he founded Outstanding in the Field (OITF), a traveling farm-to-table series which stages outdoor dining experiences across the country, reconnecting guests to nature and the origins of their food.
Jim brings entrepreneurial wisdom and boundary-pushing creativity to his advisory role with the Curated Feast.
Mia Farber brings a business perspective to us that spans from Peace Corps villages to Silicon Valley boardrooms. Mia honed her marketing skills working with small-scale farmers in the Peruvian Andes and sustainable growers in the mid-Atlantic for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture. She works full-time directing marketing activities for a global software firm by day and cooks farm-fresh fare in her home by night, with just enough time to lend marketing and business development advice to the Curated Feast.
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