I started washing dishes at 13. $2 an hour for odd jobs, but was quickly on the line, cooking. When I was 18, I moved to SF. Started an apprenticeship with Kerry Heffernan, cooked with Traci DesJardins, Michael Mina, and Jan Birnbaum, learning technique in farm-centric kitchens, and developing a love for soul food. Early 90's found me in Seattle, chef of the iconic Crocodile Cafe, feeding the masses, traveling, and working with Food not Bombs, Everybody's Kitchen, and Homestead, which led to co-founding The Meal of Fortune, and Boomtown Cafe. We provided meals to women and children in need, raising awareness on domestic hunger issues, and opened the nation's second nonprofit restaurant. Moved to Lansing in 1998, I fell in love with the resources of the Midwest, and worked with chefs and farmers at Villegas, Evergreen, and City Club. In 2004, following the birth of my daughter, I bought Golden Harvest, where we received awards for best breakfast, were featured on the Food Network, ESPN, and Discovery Channel. We supported and developed festivals and art projects, working with groups like Great Lakes Experimental Arts Inc. and Old Town Scrapfest. These eclectic experiences led to the creation of StreetKitchen, a ‘from scratch’ kitchen using fresh & local products, with a focus on sustainability and paying a living wage. We built our food truck using reclaimed materials, from our salvaged steel walls, to our pallet furniture, and used equipment from MSU Surplus. We are thankful for the countless artists, farmers, friends and neighbors for the support that allowed us to build the next phase: The People's Kitchen.
Lissa Blon-Jacot is a founding member of the StreetKitchen staff. Lissa was an art enthusiast growing up, dabbling in sculpture, paint, jewelry, and pastels. Food was always an interest fueled by “Great Chefs of America” and her father, who believed anything in the refrigerator could be rolled into a pork loin and grilled. As a young adult, Lissa began working towards a career in the art industry when she realized she wanted to produce art that was more malleable than permanent. She attended culinary school, furthering her knowledge of food science receiving a post-secondary degree in culinary with a specialization in pastry. She ranked 6th in the nation in commercial baking at SkillsUSA 2010. She began working alongside Zane in 2011, proving herself as a creative force in menu development, which she has continued throughout her time at StreetKitchen. As we launch the brick and mortar, People’s Kitchen, Lissa will transition into the position of chef de cuisine and launch her micro-bakery, Sacrilicious, as part of the unique People's Kitchen experience.