Mission: Stone Soup empowers people experiencing barriers to employment to achieve self-reliance through training for careers in the foodservice industry.
A PASSION FOR HELPING, A PASSION FOR FOOD...
Founders Ronit and Craig Gerard both love food, cooking and entertaining people. Through Ronit’s job as an international aid worker, they lived in eight different cities over the last 15 years. In nearly all of those cities, familiar foods and ingredients were not available, so they got creative and became incredibly resourceful, learning to make the foods they loved from scratch. They also delved into the local food scene, picking up local ingredients and new techniques that continue to influence the dishes they love to cook and eat.
Scott Dolich - Chef Instructor
Scott has numerous national and local accolades attesting to his culinary mastery in the kitchen including 3 James Beard Nominations, Food&Wine Best New Chef, and Gourmet top 100. Through his 15 years of owning and running popular and successful restaurants, Park Kitchen and The Bent Brick, Scott’s proven himself as a strong business presence in Portland’s restaurant community.
A long-time volunteer with Portland’s homeless youth drop-in center p:ear, Scott gained critical work experience with at-risk populations, developing the patience and compassion necessary to train those who have barriers to employment. Scott has sought to connect these potential employees with Portland restaurants who are experiencing their own labor shortages; with Stone Soup, he is able to do just that.
Connor Braddock - Chef Trainer
Connor is a lifelong Oregonian who has been working in local nonprofits that address hunger and social services for the last twelve years in Portland. He has a passion for meeting people where they are, sharing skills, and of course feeding folks from all walks of life, but specifically those living in poverty and experiencing houselessness. He believes that no one should be denied access to fresh, nourishing food regardless of circumstance and that there is always enough to share.
Outside work, he enjoys training his rescue puppy, camping, and watching many documentaries.
Suzanne Olvey - Chef Trainer