About Nissa…..

She’s a longtime veteran of the organic produce industry, clocking over 20 years of experience running the gamut from farm to fork work. Nissa began her food journey as a child in Central America, living in Nicaragua during the Iran Contra War. She grew up with her dad and brothers in an environment that bred creativity, curiosity and self-actualization. She learned what she knows through her own investigations and practice. She developed a passion for fresh herbs early on which has become an essential component to her work.

Her focus is on supporting subsistence growers throughout the world in a variety of commodities and niche produce items, to bring their goods to market at a fair price. To date, Nissa has worked with small global organic growers, on supply chain development and marketing, from countries like Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Israel, Palestine, Tunisia and China.

Sharing the love of good food is at the core of all she does. At the height of Brooklyn’s growing interest in a sustainable food culture, Nissa opened Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center to explore food in a recreational, educational setting. Kids and adults learned simple tips and tricks for the kitchen, centered around wholesome, holistic eating. She’s focused on bringing the whole picture of the food system into the kitchen, originating with the grower and turning eaters into proficient, educated food folks and home cooks. She has a special knack for educating the little cooks.

Now, on the west coast, she’s returning to her love of recreational culinary education for its restorative powers. There is no denying the healing power of food and community, and its many expressions. The vision that drives her mission is the day when the interconnectedness of people and places that produce food is celebrated. It’s no surprise that her free time is spent cooking and developing new recipes for her loved ones. She enjoys the beach more than anywhere else, and feels most at home when she’s pushing her comfort zones while discovering new cultures and ways of being. She loves solving problems, turning lemons into lemonade (and preserved lemons and flavor enhancers).

You can find some of her most recent written work in produce industry journals, Edible Marin & Wine Country and on her blog; Under The Mango Tree.

Fun Facts:
· She has written all the cooking badge recipes in the Girl Scout Handbooks, with over 1.3 million copies in circulation.
· She got chopped on the TV show “Chopped”.
· She once taught cooking classes in a “closet” at the Columbus Circle Wholefoods store
· Every few years she moves to a foreign country for a few months just for the heck of it and brings her dog(s)

· Favorite way to use fresh herbs: fresh herb sauces
· Favorite meal memories: Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Managua, Italian countryside
· Favorite fruits: limes, blackberries, grapefruits, passion fruit
· Favorite veggies: fava beans, artichokes, cauliflower, Tuscan kale
· Favorite herbs: lemon thyme, marjoram, cilantro, celery leaf, verbena
· Favorite spices: cumin, cardamom, smoked paprika