Cook with Jacques and Friends


Denna Harvey

Denna Thomas Community Kitchen Partner

Denna Thomas recognizes the central role that food plays in the lives of those she cooks for, whether that is in the nursing home, where she is the dietary services manager, or in the café. She recognizes that dignity and control are important to all she serves.

A graduate of the Fresh Starts Culinary Academy at Homeward Bound of Marin in Marin County, CA, Denna has experienced homelessness and rebuilding her life through food. At Fresh Starts she worked, under the guidance of staff and professional chefs, with a diverse group of students learning core skills in the classroom and hands-on cooking skills in the commercial kitchen. This prepared her for work in the culinary industry. A commitment to hard work, mutual respect and pride are at the forefront of Denna’s cooking philosophy along with delicious food that acknowledges the heritage of those she cooks for.

Denna Harvey - Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey Legs

Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey Legs

This dish takes me back to my childhood and wonderful memories cooking these collard greens with my grandmother. Since then, life hasn’t always been easy, but thanks to Homeward Bound and the Fresh Starts Culinary Academy, I’ve learned how to cook in a commercial setting so that – along with lots of hard work – I have been able to move forward, out of homelessness and into home ownership… and I’m so proud! I know that granny would approve. Granny is smiling…

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