Laura has been cooking and working in the culinary world for 25 years. She has owned and operated multiple restaurants, including Pirosmani in Seattle, taught cooking privately and through culinary schools and culinary programs around Seattle. She has been a private chef and placed chefs into private homes; consulted on many different levels; worked for a stone hearth oven company as educator and coordinator; created a cooking school within a cooking store; worked as cook, sous chef and executive chef for many restaurants; and has done a great deal of catering throughout her entire career.
Laura has worked with elementary and middle school children and has taught child-focused cooking classes for the last 10 years.
With a Bachelors degree in Child Psychology from the University of Oregon, Laura went on instead to become a chef. Today she is looking forward to working with youth and their families, digging in the dirt and stirring a pot of soup.
Jeff Konkle has been cooking in restaurants for over 20 years. He has been a sous chef, a chef, and a line cook in kitchens large and small. His palate is exquisite, his knowledge of various traditional cuisines unsurpassed. He appeared on Iron Chef America, where he battled Bobby Flay.
His interest in cooking can be traced back to his parent’s first garden, where at the tender age of 7, he was introduced to sun-ripened sugars in the form of a freshly shelled English pea. This is one of the early memories that inspired in this boy the wonder of growing things; that fueled the desire in this young budding chef to coax the innate goodness out of farm fresh produce (as it cooks in a pan or boils in a pot) later in life as a career.
Jeff has cooked this childlike sense of wonder into thousands of dishes for unwitting guests over the years, and on the meager salary of a cook, he learned a thing or two about gardening along the way. Several gardens, compost piles, and worm bins later, he hopes to inspire in others the art of the table as well as the art of growing a tasty tomato or chili in the great Northwest.
Laura has lived in Seattle for most of her life, and enjoys traveling, experiencing different cultures, and trying as many new foods as possible. She has a Bachelors degree from Gonzaga University and previously worked as Development and Communications Coordinator for Braided River, and environmental publishing and outreach nonprofit.
Laura Dewell President
Marja Brandon Secretary
Martin Pagel Treasurer
VOLUNTEERS- Programming and Garden Support 2013
Ann Vandor Summer Programming
John Leavell –mows the outer reaches!