About Community Cuisine

Community Cuisine is about bringing people together in the kitchen to cook, to learn, and to celebrate.

Food is a vehicle for gathering. It brings us around the table to connect with family and friends, new and old. Food should also nourish us physically and mentally - and it's meant to be enjoyed! Preparing meals, however, can be daunting.

Join me and learn how to master your kitchen.

  • I teach the art, technique and value of cooking and share culinary traditions from both the past and the present, drawing from the rich cultures of our community.

  • I connect the dots in our local food system by introducing the community to farmers, artisans, chefs, and others.

  • I incorporate professional cooking methodology that offers my students the tools they need to tackle any type of cuisine, menu, or diet.

  • And then together we celebrate life together by throwing delicious parties!

I host: 

  • Cooking classes & demonstrations

  • Informational lectures

  • Food events

  • Private cooking classes & parties

  • Retreats

  • Culinary Trips to Europe

For cooking teachers:

  • I offer a space, promotion and support for professionals looking for a place to teach cooking

I believe:

  • Food is a platform for health

  • In cooking our own food

  • Cooking and eating with people is a recipe for connection

  • In a balance of "eating to live" and "living to eat"

I Support:


Barbie Aknin

One grandmother with an organic farm in the San Joaquin Valley, the other, a society maven born and raised in San Francisco. These two women forged in Barbie a passion for food, creating a life-long obsession.

Barbie received diplomas in restaurant and foodservice management from West Valley College in Saratoga and a Diplome Etudes de Culinaires from La Varenne Ecole De Cuisine in Paris, France.

Her career began in a small cooking school as a teacher’s assistant to the food stars of the 80s including Paula Wolfert, John Clancey and others. Then, on to a position as executive catering chef to the corporate office and executives of Saga Corporation.  She catered for the 49ers and celebrities including Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, Danny Thomas, Quincey Jones, and Dino De Laurentiis. Next came consulting, restaurant recipe development, and catering on her own.

She was then asked by her former boss to join him at his small startup, Bon Appetit Management Company, now a million-dollar juggernaut, where she opened and managed new accounts.

Her story continues with marriage and three baby girls. Here, she chose to step away from working full time to raise her girls. While at home and ever the entrepreneur, she taught cooking classes, consulted, and developed and managed events for various non-profit organizations.

Barbie’s personal food history, long career and interest in world cultures, traditions and foods, brings her to this today. She blends these interests with a love for nutrition, current trends, and integrity food meaning food prepared using real ingredients properly grown or raised. She loves to teach those who love to cook and those who want to learn how. For Barbie, cooking together creates Community Cuisine.

Barbie in Julia Child’s former summer home in Nice, France. Join me on this trip!



Cheryl Buck - Advisor

In Cheryl Buck’s early professional career, she participated in the worldwide movement to end chronic, persistent hunger. As executive assistant to the president of The Hunger Project, she travelled throughout India and Africa where she saw firsthand the devastating effects of poverty, hunger and malnutrition.

After twelve years with The Hunger Project she began her extensive studies of health and nutrition, beginning with the groundbreaking book, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon which challenges politically correct nutrition, She then immersed herself in the work of Weston A. Price, DDS who identified healthy characteristics of traditional diets, and Max Gerson, MD who developed a nutrition-based protocol for addressing cancer and other chronic diseases.

Then, as one of the 1.6 million people in 2016 who heard “you have cancer,” Cheryl applied her knowledge of nutritional modalities and conventional medical methods to healing her cancer.

She continues to study indigenous cultures and their awareness of the intrinsic healing power of the body and the earth. To that end, she calls herself a Cancer Anthropologist engaged in understanding the true nature of cancer and how it is embedded, not only in our bodies, but in our cultures as well.

Cheryl is committed to shifting the conversation around cancer from the current belief that “we are being attacked and need a war against cancer” to “cancer is a natural part of our metabolism and our body’s are inherently self-healing.”