Kathleen Hill: New chef to help feed Sonoma’s most vulnerable
Chef and business owner Anea Kamahele has joined Sonoma Home Meals, formerly known as Meals on Wheels of Sonoma.
Kamahele will combine her business skills with her chef experience to perform the duties of an executive director to create and delineate volunteer assignments, and find a place to relocate the group’s kitchen for “the upcoming remodel and repurposing of the Trinity Episcopal kitchen and pantry,” according to board members’ statement.
She will also lead the Thursday kitchen crew as a volunteer cook.
Kamahele’s culinary experience reads like nostalgic modern history of Sonoma food. At age 14, she first worked at the old Shone’s Market on Broadway near her parents’ State Farm Insurance office. She cleaned the rotisserie chicken machine every day after school under the tutelage of manager Helen Thornsberry, who also taught Anea how to make chicken noodle soup.
She went to cooking school in Norway as a 16-year-old exchange student, eventually studying and working in Florence, Italy for three years after college. Returning to Sonoma, Kamahele worked for Charles Saunders’ Eastside Oyster Bar & Sunnyside Café where Della Santina’s is now, and later at his Southside Saloon & Dining Hall in Healdsburg, working her way from server, pastry chef and garden manger to sous chef in Healdsburg.
As a third generation State Farm insurance agent, Kamahele follows her grandparents, Charlie and Jeanne Deenihan, and her mother, Jill Deenihan Kamahele, in owning their agency here in Sonoma currently. All that time she has also worked as a private chef catering in homes.
Along the way she met Rebecca Hermosillo, then of the Teen Center and now lead field representative for Congressman Mike Thompson, which led to Kamahele volunteering at the Teen Center where she cooked dinners for teens who dropped in, taught teens to cook, and was a founder of Lovin’ Oven, recently folded into the Boys & Girls Club. She also created Valley Girl Foodstuffs with teens to benefit the Teen Center.
Until now, Kamahele, her father Jim Kamahele, and her kids, Gretchen and Hudson Botton, all help her pick up donated food for Sonoma Home Meals, as she has for many years.
She is now charged with modernizing the nonprofit’s systems upon the retirement of Sue Holman and Susan Weeks who led Meals on Wheels for decades.
The nonprofit caters to housebound people who are unable to shop or cook for themselves.
Joey Chestnut just beat own his world record on Sunday, July 4, in Coney Island by downing 76 hot dogs, buns included, in 10 minutes.
While I watched him set one of his previous records of inhaling dogs at Sonoma Raceway, I honestly hope he goes somewhere and barfs right afterward.
The 37-year-old San Jose State graduate has won this contest 14 times and is a professional competitive eater, which, just thinking about it, is kind of sickening. That’s to say nothing of all the hungry people we have in this country and around the world who could use a hot dog. Just one.
We are not judging him or Nathan’s hot dogs or Nathan’s fantastic marketing of their products, just giving a personal reaction. According to several sources, Chestnut has earned about $1,000,000 in contest prizes and endorsements by eating more and faster.
His latest triumph was in the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and he is “currently ranked first in the world by Major League Eating. Chestnut unofficially holds over 50 world eating records – everything from Twinkies to tamales,” according to Phil Sklar, founder and CEO of The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
And yes, Joey Chestnut just became bobbleheaded, which just happens to be available only through Sklar’s museum.
I just heard that there is a movement, yes, a movement to get hot dog bun bakers to package buns in packs of 10 instead of the current eight, to match Nathan’s hot dog packs that have 10 sausages in each.
Reportedly Nathan’s gave 100,000 beef hot dogs away free to New York City’s Food Bank and has developed a meatless hot dog.
Tyson chicken product recall
Tyson Foods, Inc. of Dexter, Missouri, has recalled nearly one million pounds of chicken products due to possible listeria according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Much of this product was distributed commercially to schools, “and was not part of the food provided by the USDA for the National School Lunch Program.”