Meet Cooking Teacher and Humanitarian of the Year
Today at Tante Marie’s Cooking School I met an extraordinary woman and culinary entrepreneur. Mary Risley, the fun-loving and focused founder of Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco follows her passion for food, cooking and philanthropy. Twenty years ago she created the nonprofit “Food Runners” who give away 2 tons of food each week to the needy of San Francisco!
Mary hated to see good food go to waste, which often happened at her gourmet cooking school. She saw hungry people on the street going through garbage cans and she came up with a good idea: give the food from those who have leftovers to those who have too little.
She persuaded some colleagues in the restaurant industry to save their excess food, which she and a few friends picked up in their cars and delivered to local shelters and food programs. Today, Food Runners has
over 200 volunteers, and more than 250 restaurants, schools, caterers, bakeries, groceries, farmers’ markets and other businesses regularly donate perishable food that would otherwise go to waste. This helps valuable programs stretch their limited budgets and give out more food. Mary and her volunteers organize it all. www.foodrunners.org
And if you haven’t taken a class at Tante Marie’s you’re in for a treat. Try “Entertaining with Ease, Simple Italian Suppers, Classic French Bistro Menus, Cooking from the Pantry or Asian Small Plates”. Tante Marie’s was voted on of the “10 Best Cooking Schools” in the country by Cooking Schools Compared. www.tantemarie.com
I met a young man from NYC who left his job in advertising to move to SF and follow his culinary interest by attending Tante Marie’s Intensive and Professional Six-month course. He was seriously ready for change. He and the other students are thinking about becoming caterers, personal chefs, food writers or pasty chefs.