Jena Annise (J.A.) Harris is a Black, Queer, Femme Chef who strives to bring her love of a shared meal together with social justice work. Over the last five years, J.A. has been working as foodeveryonedeserves (f.e.d.), which focused on providing artists, organizers and individuals with catered meals that fit their dietary needs at sliding scale prices. The various collaborative work f.e.d. has been a part of since arriving in Philadelphia in 2015 has been the motivating force that has led to her becoming a co-founder of 1149 Cooperative, a shared kitchen & community space located in South Philadelphia. When she’s not playing connect the dots with community organizing and food work, J.A. enjoys belting out a karaoke ballad whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Ailbhe Pascal (they/them/theirs) is a radical witch living in occupied Lenapehoking (so-called "Philadelphia"), where they founded a food justice project called Fikira Bakery. Find them writing about queer crip healing, cackling about their latest mistake-success, or sharing moon meals with friends. Blessings from their table to yours. Blessings for collective liberation. www.FikiraPhilly.com
Fresh Roberson (they/them/theirs & she/her) is a farmer, chef, healer, & activist. BORN AND RAISED in eastern North Carolina, Fresh started remixing southern culinary traditions as soon as she could walk and hold a whisk. Transplant to the Midwest, they now call Chicago home. An engineering and physics nerd turned chef, she has professionally studied cooking in Thailand and the U.S. and has worked in elite kitchens, including Google and Facebook.
Their community-based edible activism among communities of color, elders, queer folx, and youth is where her heart most deeply resides. They strive to make nutritious food accessible to all.
Chef Fresh is the founder of Fresher Together. Fresher Together is a collaborative food project for healing, economic development, training and retreat. This year she is excited for her first full season launching Fresher Together Farms, focused on growing culinary and medicinal herbs, mushrooms, and flavorful alliums and aromatics.
Kenisha Sutherland (she/her/hers) better known as Chef ThugLife is a young, entrepreneurial chef who earned her named & bachelors degree in culinary arts from The Restaurant School located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduating in 2013 she landed a “dream job” of executive chef in a North Wilmington restaurant & after two years was terminated due to creative differences. Since 2015 Chef ThugLife has been in business for herself & recently partnered with a cooperative restaurant in South Philadelphia, 1149 Cooperative, where she hosts brunch on the weekends and contributes to the weekly lunch menu.
Guided by a love of food, family, and community and her passion for social change, Laquanda Dobson (she/her/hers) has been active in local, national, and international youth empowerment and social justice organizations. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she is known for creating and building lasting relationships, filling stomachs, and warming hearts with her cooking. Her love of food and culinary arts has taken her from being a banquet cook, catering events, and teaching kids, adults and seniors how to prepare recipes that are affordable, healthy, easy, accessible, and delicious. Recently she has followed her heart’s pull towards cooking for Black farmers and exploring the flavors of the African Diaspora. She is currently a member of the Black Dirt Farm Collective and assistant farmer at Sankofa Community Farm.
Chef/ baker Ashley Huston (she/her) has always had an eagerness to be in the kitchen. Since she was a child, she was always looking for new ways to reinvent or create whole new “foods”. Having skipped culinary school and taking her undergrad in Finance, Ashley did not picture a career in food for herself until much later. It wasn’t until she travelled out of the United States, she was able to find some perspective on life and see where her passions lied. Now back in Philadelphia, Ashley uses her time to create food of comfort and consciousness. She is focused in becoming a great baker of her hometown. Ashley intends to use her voice and food to spread the message of better practices in our food industries as well as her own kitchens.