Marie Simmons is an award-winning cookbook author, food writer and story-teller. She is a passionate and dedicated cook inspired by other great home cooks. Included in her body of work is a column written for Bon Appetit, or one of the many cookbooks she’s written including: The Good Egg and Lighter Quicker Better, Fresh & Fast, Fig Heaven, the Amazing World of Rice. But perhaps her most well know is the Taste of Honey book in which she explores the varietals and nuances of cooking with honey.
CEO, Co-Founder, Head Mead Maker / UC Berkeley, Naval Officer
Frank’s love for mead started with his grandfather. He was an apple rancher in Oak Glen, California. He retired from apple ranching and stayed busy making fruit wine and hard cider, grape wine and some mead.
Frank’s first memory of mead was at 8 years old, peeking over the back of the bar while his grandfather poured samples of mead to people. They were laughing and having a great time.
As he grew older Frank read Tolkien and Beowulf. Shakespeare and Harry Potter… Mead kept coming up in these epic tales. Then, when he was home from college, his grandfather gifted him the last bottle of his mead. 12 years aged.
He took his grandfather’s mead to university and shared it with his friends and his now wife. Frank started making mead and discovered more about its magic, and the way it made people dance.
Frank was in the navy after graduating from UC Berkeley and was able to collect honey from all over the world. One day, his wife asked what he would do with all of the time, money and energy in the world. He told her he wanted to make mead and share it with people. He has done just that.
Although professionally trained at Le Cordon Bleu, Toby Barajas got his culinary start early but working in his parents’ Mexican restaurant in Knights Landing. Now the executive chef at Savory Café on Main Street in Downtown Woodland, Toby says he is always inspired by food fresh from the farm and that includes honey from local beehives. Toby is an engaging and wonderful speaker who delights in teaching others how to cook.
Casey D. Willard
Chef Casey D. Willard is the executive chef for the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and grew up in Northern California surrounded by abundant farms and fields. Trained at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Casey has worked in top restaurants across the nation before coming back to Northern California to create the food program for the Tribe’s school, Tribal council and community activities. Working with the Tribe’s culinary brand, Seka Hills, Casey has access to unique honey flavors crafted from hives that populate the tribal lands. His cooking is informed by his early farm-to-table experiences in his grandfather’s garden and he loves teaching others how to use fresh ingredients to make great meals.
Stanislav “Stazi” Dulman CEC, CCE, CMT
Corporate Executive Chef at Nugget Markets
With years of experience as a chef, teacher and innovator, Executive Chef Stazi Dulman is right at home at Nugget Markets. Along with developing new dishes and programs, he leads each store’s chef de cuisine and kitchen team in the quest for constant culinary improvement. Bringing his passion for food to the table every day, he goes above and beyond to give Nugget Markets’ guests a gourmet grocery experience.