Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nick Brings Anya Fernald and Caleb Zigas to the Table

The world is small these days. We often get the false sense of keeping touch via facebook and e-mail, but there is still no substitute for the actual interaction at table.

One such connection happened at the 2010 Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium between Nick Pihakis, Chef Drew Robinson both from Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, and a group of taste and trend makers from the bay area of California. It began with Jim ‘N Nick’s participation in the 2009 and 2010 Eat Real Festival in Oakland, California where Nick met the event’s founder and Director of Live Culture Co., Anya Fernald. A past director of Slow Foods International, Anya is a force of nature in the rising good food movement devoted to the goal of making wholesome food more widely accessible by supporting hundreds of innovative and like-minded small businesses. 70,000 people attended the first Eat Real Festival, generating over $400,000 in revenue for local food businesses and farmers. Jim ‘N Nick’s has been proud to participate in the event and support Anya and Live Culture with the hope of bringing a similar event to the American South.

Nick also brought another friend from the bay to the table—Caleb Zigas. Caleb is the director of the highly successful and heralded incubator kitchen, “La Cocina” in San Francisco, CA. The mission of La Cocina is to cultivate low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific business assistance and access to market opportunities. They focus primarily on women from communities of color and immigrant communities with a vision that entrepreneurs will become economically self-sufficient and contribute to a vibrant economy doing what they love to do.

La Cocina is a ground-breaking business incubator designed to reduce the obstacles that often prevent entrepreneurs from creating successful and sustainable small businesses. By providing shared resources and an array of industry-specific services, business incubators ensure small businesses can succeed.

At this year’s Southern Foodways symposium, aptly coined “The Global South”, Anya, Caleb and Nick and Drew, we able to share in the making of fresh-pressed tortillas, whole hog tacos, and most importantly, a shared passion for making better foods more accessible to all.

Find out more about our California friends by visiting Live Culture Co. at and La Cocina at You can explore the works of the Southern Foodways Alliance at

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