Glenda Collins is returning for year two of Durham Bowls! This stellar school nutrition expert has worked at Club Blvd Elementary School for 19 years and is passionate about keeping her young students well fed and happy.
Miguel Torres works alongside Chef Andrea Reusing as the chef de cuisine at The Durham, NC and is a native of Celaya, Guanajato.
Gwendolyn Coley’s 2018-19 Durham Bowls recipe was a hit throughout DPS. She’s back for year two, and we can’t wait to see what she’ll come up with this time! Gwendolyn is a Durham native (Army Brat) and graduate of Northern High School, U.S.Army Telecommunication School, and Durham Technical Community College Associates in Science. She received her food service training while working in Military Dining Halls located in Germany as a civilian spouse. She has been employed with Durham Public Schools Food Service Program Since 1993. She is currently doing dual duty: she is the Manager at George Watts Elementary and coordinates services provided to three Charter Schools in Durham.
Billy Cotter grew up in Durham, North Carolina, and took his first job in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher in his stepmother's restaurant. Years later, Billy began working at Pop's Trattoria under Ben and Karen Barker (Magnolia Grill) and Scott Howell's (Nana's) leadership, where it became clear he wanted to pursue a career in the restaurant industry. Billy left North Carolina to attend culinary school in Vermont at New England Culinary Institute, and then cooked his way through Atlanta for a few years before returning to Durham to work as Sous Chef at Magnolia Grill. Upon leaving, he took a position at Lantern in Chapel Hill with Andrea Reusing as Sous Chef to further develop his passion for Asian cuisine. Four years later, Billy and his wife, Kelli Cotter, opened Toast, a paninoteca in downtown Durham. In 2014, the pair teamed up with Nick and Rochelle Johnson, owners of The Cookery, to open Dashi, a ramen shop and izakaya. Billy’s menus at both Toast and Dashi take traditional regional techniques and apply them to the fresh local ingredients that grow in North Carolina.
Team Light Green
Cilantro was inspired by friendship and love for Mexican food. Long-time friends Maria Pacheco and Martha Arango met in Durham, NC and started a journey through food flavors imported from Mexico and Colombia with a background of Rancheras and good tequila. After constantly feeling homesick, Maria, a Guanajuato - Mexico transplant, created Cilantro’s unique menu by bringing her childhood flavors to North Carolina. Martha has always had a passion for Mexican food and culture, and her graphic design background made her the perfect partner to join Maria in creating Cilantro Artisan Foods.
Paul Johnson comes to us from Hillside High School where he keeps his students well fed and ready to learn.
Team Dark Green
Angelique Parkstone holds Associates degrees in Secondary Education, Floral Design, and Food & Nutrition. She recently completed her Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice. She loves learning. Angelique has been employed by Durham Public Schools since 1996. She has two children, James (29) and Catherine (26), and don’t forget her dog Pepper, who is 15. She loves seeing the smiling faces of the children as her team feeds them and tells them good morning. Angelique enjoys reading and cooking in what spare time she can find. She was recognized with the Mayor’s award for her volunteering with homeless, special needs students and the Arthritis Foundation. Angelique has no trouble finding ways to stay busy!
“The two fell in love, then lost each other for over a dozen years, then found each other again in an international story of war, work, loss, and food. Their love for the food of Zweli’s home country of Zimbabwe and each other imbues every part of their Durham restaurant, named Zweli’s.” — The Durham Voice. Leonardo and Zweli Williams, or Leo and Chef Zwe for short, are treading paths unknown as they have built the nation’s first and only authentic Zimbabwean restaurant. Leo, a former Durham Public Schools Teacher of the Year and native of eastern North Carolina, and Chef Zwe, a native of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and Master Chef, fused their passions for food and community, impacting Durham and the Triangle by bringing together strangers over “Food & Conversation.” Leo and Chef Zwe were both forced to make changes in their careers when a few local businesses sampled Chef Zwe’s flavorful creations. Excitement arose and requests came in droves. Leo paused his educational jobs to establish the catering operation as Chef Zwe expanded throughout the Triangle. Today, their little catering operation has evolved into Zweli’s Kitchen & Catering, Durham’s Number One Best New Restaurant of 2019 and one of the Triangle’s hottest new restaurants. Zweli’s Kitchen has been recognized by the Triangle Business Journal, the News & Observer, the Durham Voice, Indy Week, and a host of others.
Team Light Blue
Shawn Stokes has over 20 years’ experience in the food and beverage industry. A 1998 graduate of Johnson & Wales University’s culinary arts program, he worked in numerous successful establishments up and down the east coast, including the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida, Chillingsworth in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Hank’s Seafood in Charleston, SC, and Komi in Washington, DC. During his initial tenure in the industry, from 1990-2005, he dedicated equal time to front-of-house and back-of-house roles, managing kitchens and dining rooms to acquire a holistic understanding of restaurant operations and management. In 2005, Shawn left the restaurant world to pursue a career in international development. He spent the next 10 years working in various countries, gaining experience with organizations such as the US Peace Corps, USAID, UNICEF, CARE International, and Catholic Relief Services. Unable to stray too far from his culinary background, much of his work centered on improving global food systems. He has worked with coffee growers in Ecuador, subsistence farmers in El Salvador, shrimp fishermen in Mexico, cattle ranchers in Brazil, and oyster fishermen in Louisiana. Today, Shawn is the chef and owner of Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas, a bustling, successful downtown Durham restaurant. Since opening Luna in 2015, Shawn has aspired to make Luna something far more than just a restaurant. Through sustainable sourcing of ingredients, policies that ensure a living wage, and regular philanthropic activity, he uses Luna as a positive force of environmental, social, and economic change in the Durham community. Of course, Shawn would have never accomplished any of these achievements without the love and support of his wife, Maria Ellis. They moved to Durham in 2009, where they now live and raise three highly energetic young boys.
Bridgette Harper-Reid is back to compete again in the second year of Durham Bowls! We’re lucky to have her culinary skills and school food expertise. She was born in Fairfax, Virginia in 1982 and current lives in Holly Springs, NC were she was raised. Bridgette graduated from Apex High School and North Carolina Central University receiving her Bachelor’s in Business Administration concentration in Management. Bridgette has been working for Child Nutrition Services for 12 plus years at Creekside Elementary. On a search for something, in 2014 Bridgette went back to school and graduated from the Art Institute of Raleigh/Durham receiving an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts all while continuing to feed the children at Creekside Elementary. Chef Bridgette would always tell people my passion is food. I love to cooking and creating new and exciting recipes.
Team Dark Blue
Sydney Webb and Jenna Carder are two seniors in Northern High School's culinary program. Sydney aspires to work as a teacher, and Jenna plans to pursue a career in the culinary industry. As students, they have lots of thoughts on making cafeteria food enjoyable for their peers.
Mr. McDuffy is the School Nutrition Services Manager at Northern High School. He will work with his students, Sydney and Jenna, to develop a delicious and exciting new Durham Bowls recipe for DPS.
Jean Blackwell is the fearless leader of School Nutrition Services at Holt Elementary School. She understands the needs and wants of her students and is passionate about feeding them well everyday.
Chef Juan DiGiulio was born and raised in South Louisiana where the love of food and celebration is legendary. His first restaurant experience was in his family’s Italian restaurant in Baton Rouge, LA. After college he continued to develop his skills working in restaurants in Baton Rouge, London, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He had lived in Durham for 2 years during High School and returned in 2007, where he has worked in some of Durham’s best-known establishments, including Nana’s, Vin Rouge, Piedmont, and Namu. His Food Truck, Succotash, has been in operation since June, 2018 and frequently serves at breweries and lunch spots around Durham and the Triangle. You are sure to appreciate his passionate approach to creating his unique Southern Fusion as well as the traditional foods of the South. DiGiulio lives in Durham with his wife and biz partner, Sam, and their adorable pup, Dudley.
Durham native (Army Brat) and graduate of Northern High School, U.S.Army Telecommunication School, and Durham Technical Community College Associates in Science. Gwendolyn received her food service training while working in Military Dining Halls located in Germany as a civilian spouse. She has been employed with Durham Public Schools Food Service Program Since 1993. She is currently doing dual duty: she is the Manager at George Watts Elementary and coordinates services provided to three Charter Schools in Durham.
Roberto Copa Matos never wanted to be a chef. Trained as a biochemist at the University of Havana, he was later pushed out of the sciences in Cuba because of his political beliefs. With the sciences closed to him, Roberto turned to the arts, working as a watercolor artist in Havana, where he eventually met Elizabeth, who would become his wife. When they settled in Durham, Roberto was happy to once again to put his degree to work in a neuro-pharmacology laboratory at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Roberto’s life would take a different turn, however, when he and Elizabeth agreed to start Old Havana, a Cuban sandwich shop in downtown Durham, with Roberto's relatives. Roberto and Elizabeth's new restaurant is COPA, a Cuban tapas and cocktail bar located in downtown Durham. COPA allows Roberto to bring together the inquisitiveness of a researcher, the finesse of an artist, the productivity of a farmer, and the creativity of a chef. Roberto sees today that the serpentine paths of his life have crisscrossed too many times to count, with each intersection bringing him closer to his true calling. Part scientist, part artist, part farmer, Roberto never intended to be a chef—but today he can’t imagine being anything else.
Team Dark blue
Glenda Collins has worked at Club Blvd Elementary School for 19 years and is passionate about keeping her young students well fed and happy.
Ricky Moore, originally from New Bern, North Carolina, is the Chef and Proprietor of Saltbox Seafood Joint with two locations and a food truck in Durham, North Carolina. Moore has traveled extensively cooking in many of the major cities and abroad. In 2007, Chef Moore appeared on the Food Network show Iron Chef America, where he challenged Iron Chef Michael Symon in the “Thanksgiving Battle.” Moore has been featured in Saveur, Travel & Leisure, Southern Living, The New Yorker (The Week), Garden & Gun, Our State, Vogue, USA TODAY, Eaters, Bravo TV, and Tasting Table. He is a graduate of Culinary Institute of America and a US Army veteran. Chef Ricky is a devoted family man to wife Norma of 26 years, daughter Hunter Johanna, and son Greyson Beckham.
Bridgette Harper-Reid was born in Fairfax, Virginia in 1982 and current lives in Holly Springs, NC were she was raised. Bridgette graduated from Apex High School and North Carolina Central University receiving her Bachelor’s in Business Administration concentration in Management. Bridgette has been working for Child Nutrition Services for 12 plus years at Creekside Elementary. On a search for something, in 2014 Bridgette went back to school and graduated from the Art Institute of Raleigh/Durham receiving an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts all while continuing to feed the children at Creekside Elementary. Chef Bridgette would always tell people my passion is food. I love to cooking and creating new and exciting recipes.
Cecilia is the founder of a social justice food truck based in Durham, NC, called So Good Pupusas. So Good Pupusas sells Pupusas, a traditional Salvadoran dish. The food truck works in partnership with the non-profit Pupusas 4 Education by donating a percentage of its profits to support immigrants in funding 4-year degrees and certification programs. Cecilia serves on the board of the Helius Foundation and N.C. SLI and has been a Summer Fellow with Frontline Solutions and the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation. She is passionate about working with Latinx and immigrant communities and making higher education more accessible and affordable. She believes that business can be a force for good, and that pupusas can change the world. Nora is Cecilia's mother and is also mother to three older daughters, Ana, Sandra, and Yesenia. She was born in and lived in El Salvador until the mid-80s, when she immigrated to Los Angeles, California. As of 1993, Durham is her home, where she now lives surrounded by family and friends who she loves to feed. Nora believes in the importance of education and supports her daughter as the Executive Chef of So Good Pupusas, where her recipes give the traditional pupusas their delicious authenticity. She has a welcoming kindness and loves to feed folks! She is an active member of the Immaculate Catholic Church community, where she helps with food sale fundraisers and home visits.
Erica moves too fast for us to capture her on camera, but students at Jordan High know her as a warm and caring leader who keeps them fueled up at school.
Team light blue
Venice Prince is the fearless leader of Lucas Middle School’s delicious lunch room. She has fabulous ideas for taking school lunch to the next level!
Upon graduation from the United States, Merchant Marine Academy, Toriano started a career at sea as a professional mariner. While navigating vessels around the world, Toriano had a chance to taste cuisines of Central and South America, Africa, Europe, The Middle East and Asia. Traveling prompted Toriano to launch a food blog called La Buena Vida, documenting his travels and interaction with food and the people who prepare it. In 2015, Toriano brought his passion for food to the streets and launched Boricua Soul Food Truck with his wife Serena. The truck's concept blends memories from their Grandmothers' tables mixing the best of Soulfood and Puerto Rican cuisine. Toriano lives in Durham with wife Serena, their five-year-old son and Chihuahua Pepe.
Frances Pettiford was born in 1961 in Baltimore, Maryland, and is now residing in Durham, NC. Frances graduated from Durham High School and DeVry University, receiving her Bachelor's in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting. Frances has been in her current position as manager at Y. E. Smith Elementary in Durham, NC for two and a half years. She previously worked for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and UNC Hospital. Frances has been serving the Child Nutrition Department well for 26 glorious years.
Chef Paul Inserra has been in the restaurant industry for over 20 years working as a waiter, bartender and cook. He relocated with his wife, Alycia, to Durham, NC 7 years ago to open up the American Meltdown food truck. The food truck was launched in 2012, and the husband and wife team have since opened their first brick and mortar location in 2015 at the Streets of Southpoint Mall. The brand specializes in gourmet melt and grilled cheese sandwiches. American Meltdown's food has been written about in the New York Times, Bon Appetit, Southern Living, Cosmopolitan, and Our State. Chef Paul has also been on the Food Network's 'Cutthroat Kitchen' and will be featured on the Cooking Channel’s new show, 'Food Truck Nation'.
Vilma Forrester has been the passionate force behind W.G. Pearson Elementary school’s breakfast and lunch for many years. If you are a student at Pearson, you know her warm smile fills you up as much as her warm food!
Chef John Eisensmith’s career began before he even realized it, watching his grandfather cook meals at his family farm. The experience created a profound connection for him between the farm and the dinner plate. After working his way through the limited kitchens in his hometown, he attended the Culinary Institute of America. He completed his externship with The Blue Point in Duck, NC. Upon receiving his degree, John took his effort and creativity to Four-Starred Wish Restaurant in Miami working with Chef Michael Bloise, who later invited John to cook with him at the James Beard House in New York. He moved on to Nantucket to learn the nuts and bolts of the restaurant business. Ready to strike out on his own, John made the move to Durham, NC, where he chanced upon Six Plates Wine Bar and Matthew Beason. In 2010, John joined Matthew as the chef of Six Plates, then moved up to partner in 2013 as the two opened Mattie B’s Public House. In 2016, following a growing passion for cider, they transformed Six Plates into Black Twig Cider House to become the premier cider-focused restaurant in the Southeast. John is committed to delivering elevated dining and outstanding customer experiences in all aspects of his endeavors while spreading his passion for food to all who will listen. The vibrant Durham restaurant scene has fostered John’s creativity in the kitchen while his ambitions have expanded and his roots have grown throughout our community.
Tara Lee has been a Durham Public Schools School Nutrition employee for 20+ years. She enjoys cooking for students and developing creative new recipes for school lunch.
Born just outside of NYC to an Italian Mother and Chinese Father - food was always present growing up. Saturday morning Dim Sum in Chinatown would be followed by a big Italian meal at his mother’s table on Sunday afternoon. While trying to save money in college, Curtis started line cooking and has never looked back. He moved to Durham, NC 12 years ago with a car full of clothes and one person he knew. In those 12 years, Curtis has worked in some of the best restaurants with the best chefs in town. He ran a dining hall on Duke’s West campus for 4 years, oversaw multiple senior living communities, and became the first full-time “Chef” for the Durham Bulls in 2016. Nutritional awareness is very important to him, especially for youth. Curtis is a proud husband and father of two – they spend a lot of time cooking, volunteering on local farms, and shopping at farmers’ markets. Since being at the Durham Bulls, he has implemented a composting platform and has regular pick-ups from Urban Ministries and Durham Rescue Mission.
Keshia Jones has been working with School Nutrition Services for 5 years. She started her Manager position at Bethesda Elementary School, where she worked for 3 years. For the 2017-18 school year, she moved into a dual Manager position, overseeing both Eno Valley Elementary and Mangum Elementary Schools.
Stephanie Terry is a Racial Equity Community Organizer, activist and advocate for healthy families. She was the Founding Organizer for Justice United in Community Effort, and Industrial Areas Foundation organization. She is also a Co-Founder of Organizing Against Racism Orange County and Chatham County NC, both Racial Equity Institute Affiliates. She worked for over a decade as a Sales and Marketing professional for Hilton and Marriott hotels. Stephanie is a professional vegan baker and chef and is the owner of Sweeties Southern & Vegan Catering. She caters in Durham and around the Triangle. Stephanie is married with 5 children and 7 grandchildren and lives in Pittsboro, NC.
Where do we even begin? Jim is the amazing director of all DPS nutrition programs. He cares passionately about feeding all children and fueling their bodies so their minds are ready to learn, teach, explore, create, and succeed. Durham knows we’re lucky to have him at DPS.
Andrea Reusing is the executive chef of The Durham Hotel in Durham, North Carolina and the chef and owner of Lantern in Chapel Hill. The recipient of the James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Southeast” in 2011, Reusing collaborates with small farms and producers across North Carolina and is an advocate for food policy change. Reusing was the founding chef and general manager of Enoteca Vin, the critically-acclaimed, wine-focused restaurant in Raleigh. In 2002, Reusing opened Lantern, where she combines North Carolina ingredients with Asian flavors and has earned accolades including “America’s Top 50 Restaurants” from Gourmet and one of “America’s 50 Most Amazing Wine Experiences” from Food & Wine. At The Durham, Reusing revives American melting pot and hotel classics, and casts them in a modern light at the restaurant and rooftop bar. In 2011, Reusing published her first cookbook, Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes. An absorbing journey through a year in her home kitchen as she cooks for family and friends, the book was named one of the most notable cookbooks of the year by The New York Times. Reusing is the founder of Kitchen Patrol, a non-profit project to improve children's access to quality food through weekly cooking classes, serves on the board of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, and chairs the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Advisory Committee.