About Community Cuisine

Community Cuisine brings 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 us and learn how to master your kitchen.

  • We teach the art, technique and value of cooking.

  • We share culinary traditions from both the past and the present, drawing from the rich cultures of our community.

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

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

  • We celebrate life together by throwing delicious parties!

We host: 

  • Cooking classes & demonstrations

  • Informational lectures

  • Food events

  • Private cooking classes & parties

For cooking teachers:

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

We 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"

We 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 was a stagiaire (trainee) at Maxim's, Paris. 1980.



Cheryl Buck

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.”


Caprice Hardy, R.D.

Faithfully feeding her family and friends for over 30 years, Caprice has a passion for nutritious food, properly prepared and beautifully presented.  She received her B.S. degree in Dietetics and Food Administration from California State University, Chico.  After graduating with honors, she completed a dietetic internship at the VA in La Jolla, CA and continues to maintain her Registered Dietitian credential.  Her continuing education focuses on the current trends in nutrition with an emphasis on the functional and integrative aspects of food that promote optimal health to avoid chronic disease.

Caprice specialized in Foodservice Management at the beginning of her career, working in long term care facilities in San Francisco and Burlingame, CA. She has also played an integral role in the success of the family restaurant, the Loose Caboose Café, in Mendocino County, soon to celebrate 30 years in business. Check it out if you’re ever in Willits, best lunch in town!  After marrying her college sweetheart and starting a family, she moved to Vermont and then to Germany.  Quite an adventure for this California native!  

Finding herself back in San Jose three years later, Caprice has been on a journey back to her original love of food and nutrition ever since, but now with a different focus.  She is determined to answer the question, “How can our culture find our way out of the chronic health crisis that we’re in?” With the belief that “food is medicine,” Caprice is on the right path to answer this question and share it with others as the newest member of our Community Cuisine team!