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Seth Peterson

Seth Peterson, is the grandson of Russian Jewish immigrants who came to the New World to escape persecution and, become butchers, dock workers, and lawyers, just over 100 years ago.  He grew up in community, with his ‘one hell of a cook’ mother, who taught him to fry an egg on toast and wash dishes by the age of 5.  This ignited his twin passions, cooking and teaching.  His earliest memories include bonfires of whole roast venison and catching surf fish by the full moon, as he grew up among the hippies and wolves in Northern California.   His professional cooking career started while in high school at a local burgers and bulgogi restaurant in Berkeley, where he had grown up among the mulch piles, chickens, rabbits and corn fields of his mother’s organic urban homestead, in the 80’s aftermath of the Summer of Love.  

Both teaching, and cooking took Seth to Mexico and Brazil, where he lived, cooked, taught and travelled for fifteen years, about half of his adult life.  As he discovered the colorful markets of Guatemala, the street and restaurant cooks of Oaxaca, the bars of Rio, and the grandma’s kitchens of Chiapas, Seth soaked up the food and culture, dish by dish and region by region, giving way to an understanding of traditional cooking techniques that use every part of the plants and animals in ways that feed our bodies and our souls, even as they tantalize our palates and satisfy our deepest cravings.

Upon returning to California, to take over and steward his mother’s urban homestead, Seth returned to the kitchens of the San Francisco Bay Area where he began to work in fine dining under top local chefs, entering, always, at the bottom, and working his way up, from prep cook, to salad station, to live fire grilling and the hot line, gaining the repetitions it takes to master the art and science of cookery.

His mother’s death, forced him back into the garden where he had grown up, to tend the trees she had planted, and brought him to study horticulture at the local junior college.  In a short time permaculture came across his path, and he went on to not only cook for, but also study under, and even work with people such as; Christopher Shein, Sepp Holzer, Toby Hemenway, Geoff Lawton, Tim Barker, HMI, Darren J. Doherty & Lisa Jane Heenan, Javan Bernakevitch, Grant Schultz, Lindsay Rebhan, and Peter & Mo Allen.  All while diving deeper into the farms and ranches of Northern California, his local foodshed.

Seth is working on the nuts and bolts of putting our local food systems back together again,  teaching cooking & butchery to home cooks & farmers, catering events on farm with local ingredients, and traveling to learn and build community around food.  Essentially, he is a foodshed technician, reskilling the farmers, home cooks, and fellow chefs in culinary arts and traditions that bring delicious and nutritious together onto our plates at the dinner table, sitting down to eat with the farmers and customers as we feed ourselves, while also regenerating our ecosystems at the dinner table. Cooks meet the farmer at the table to complete the cycle, from soil to soul.  Now that we are learning to grow great food locally, we need a cook on every farm.

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