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Check out Rachel Rosenbaum’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Rosenbaum.

Rachel, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I attended school at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, CA where I was fortunate enough to become more skilled and knowledgeable about my craft. Cooking is definitely my greatest passion. I find something incredibly intimate and magical about cooking meals for people.

One of my greatest inspirations is the late Bernie Glassman. Bernie was a practicing Buddhist monk who loved food and cared deeply about people. Bernie combined these passions together and founded Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, NY. Greyston Bakery practices open-hire, meaning anyone willing to work is hired. Glassman provided his employees with housing, medical care, social services, child care, and other basic necessities one needs to be a part of society.

I, like Bernie, have a deep passion for food and people. Before learning about Bernie’s work, I had lots of ideas of what I would love to do. After reading about him and his books, I was incredibly inspired to follow in [similar] footsteps.

My mission is not only to provide a great dining experience to my clients. But to work towards a larger dream: to be of service to those who cannot afford to feed themselves. 25% of our profits are reserved towards creating a restaurant and training facility that will employ those seeking a way out of homelessness, giving them the necessary skills to work in kitchens and other areas of the service and hospitality industries. Much more than a restaurant, my ambition is to grow into an organization that can provide temporary housing to our employees, as well as access to social workers and other social services. It will take time, but to me, it is my reason for being.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
During my time as a line cook, I was also volunteering on skid row. There I met many people who were funny, kind, compassionate, loving and homeless. As much as I enjoyed the fast-paced life of a line cook, it did not feed my soul… It was during my time on skid row when I clearly understood what I wanted and was meant to do. It broke my heart to meet these people who were willing and able to work but couldn’t due to lack of experience, history with drug/alcohol abuse, criminal records, being denied citizenship, the list goes on. A few days after this inspiration, I was driving in my car thinking of this new life path when I came across a panhandler holding a sign that read “Will Work For Food.” That was the only sign I needed to move forward.

The “ULTIMATE” end game/dream is to have a restaurant that practices open-hire, taking on all those who are willing to work and willing to change their lives. The restaurant employees will be provided with housing, health care, social services, child care, schooling, therapy, and other important services. Employees will gain experience working in the kitchen, with customers in the front of the house, leadership roles, and farming/landscaping. All dishes served are farm-to-table delicious, local, and affordable. The restaurant will serve gourmet, beautiful meals that will fill the customers’ bellies and hearts.

This “ULTIMATE” dream is not an overnight achievement type of situation. It will take lots of time and work and money. In the meantime, Will Work for Food allows me to exercise one of my two greatest passions (cooking for people) while planning for the dream. Will Work for Food is kind of a kick-starter in that way. I put aside 25% of all profits straight to the “Big Dream Fund.”

Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
I think the biggest challenge facing artists today is the same challenge that always has and always will be the biggest which is following an unconventional path. As a creative type, we will face resistance from every direction. Other people, financial fear/instability and the ever impending doom of “what if I fail?” As an artist, we have to truly believe that what we are doing is important, valid and possible to achieve. I truly believe everyone is an artist at heart… it just comes down to a choice. Do I think I can do this or is it too scary?

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I offer private chef services, event catering, and cooking lessons. You can check out my website willworkforfoodchef.com to see examples of my work or reach out to me if you have questions about what I do, how to support the restaurant or if you want me to cook for you!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Milana Burdette

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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