Holden Bussey

Pop-Up Chef
Holden Bussey

Oakland

About Holden Bussey

The majority of my childhood was spent in the kitchen of my parent's natural foods restaurant in Rhode Island. This environment instilled a deep appreciation for good food, but also of the connection between what we eat and how we feel. As I began my own culinary career, this connection expanded to include the farmer, and the health of the land on which ingredients are grown. My culinary pursuits eventually took me back to that small kitchen of my youth, where I ran the Small Axe Cafe - harvesting from the garden out back, and highlighting the the bounty of local farmers. My passion for sustainable food and agriculture led me to Thailand, where I studied the impacts of top-down development on agrarian communities throughout the Isaan region. These communities welcomed me, while my communications were initially limited, we connected over the food we shared together - and whatever is was, it was undoubtedly accompanied by sticky rice. I returned to the states and worked as an oyster farmer, before heading west to the bay area in an effort to better understand the domestic food system. I have worked as a youth culinary instructor, and am currently the Sous Chef for Farming Hope, a non-profit dedicated to helping homeless individuals develop culinary skills and find long term employment. Food is meant to be shared, and my hope is that through these pop ups, we can bring people together to appreciate the diligent work of farmers and explore the brilliant flavors of Isaan.