Meet Our California Grown Creators
Looking for recipes and serving suggestions for your favorite California-grown goodness? These are the folks we go to for the ideas we share with you! We’re proud to introduce some of our California Grown Creators here.
Meg van der Kruik, This Mess Is Ours + CA GROWN
You can find more of Meg’s work on her blog This Mess Is Ours, where she shares pro-tips to make everything from kale salad and crepe cakes to homemade dog food. She specializes in creating meals that will work for households with multiple dietary needs or preferences. Her goal is to help ease the frustration of answering that age-old question “What’s for dinner?” and to get you back to cooking one meal at dinner that makes everyone happy!
Meg’s work has also been featured in The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, the Kitchn, Buzzfeed, and Better Homes & Gardens where she is also a “BH&G Stylemaker”.
Teri Turner, No Crumbs Left
Food is the love language at nocrumbsleft, and Teri Turner’s approach to getting people into the kitchen, rolling up their sleeves, and cooking is contagious. “Don’t be afraid to fail: it’s just food,” is one of the nocrumbsleft mantras. A passion for food is evident on every page of the No Crumbs Left: Recipes for Everyday Food Made Marvelous cookbook, where readers are led through a discovery of new flavors and spice combinations. Nocrumbsleft’s recipes, many of which are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, Whole30 compatible riffs on old school classics, are what make the cookbook, blog, and even Teri’s media presence so unique. Teri has carried her roll up your sleeves attitude into every aspect of nocrumbsleft. She turned the idea for a bowl into a unique handmade pottery line inspired by her recipes and loved ones, and she evolved a conversation with her kid into a podcast with over 80 episodes and counting. Nocrumbsleft embraces risks, new adventures, and exciting and delicious discoveries in life and in the kitchen, where her readers always have a seat at the table.
Teri’s most well known recipes are her “Magic Elixirs” – sauces, garnishes and condiments that make everything taste better! We love her Tomato Confit, Olive + Garlic Dressing, Homemade Whole30 Mayonnaise and these incredible Sweet + Savory Caramelized Onions.
Sarah Gim, The Delicious Life + Tastespotting
Meet Sarah, the fairy godmother of food porn. Sarah started her blog, The Delicious Life, as a cathartic outlet – and her fabulous food photos and snarky snippets made her a social media sensation. Her viral “fry boards” sparked one of the most important internet debates in recent history, asking: does a tater tot count as a fry?
In 2007, Sarah formed Tastespotting, a highly visual potluck of recipes, references, experiences, stories, articles, products, and anything else that inspires exquisite taste. The site curates and features only the most drool-worthy food images available on the interwebs.
When you’re ready to get your gorgeous food game together, check out Sarah’s Pinot Prune Jam + Cheeseboard Guide, this Salmon with Green Olive Salsa Verde or these Triple-Whipped Sweet Potatoes. Sarah loves ALL California crops (and the wine!) but our avocados have her heart.
Britney Brown-Chamberlain, Britney Breaks Bread
Britney Brown is a recipe developer, photographer, and social media maven. Her blog, Britney Breaks Bread, was born out of a passion for food and travel. After taking a cooking class in Bali, Britney began developing recipes inspired by her adventures.
Britney’s creations have been featured on media outlets such as Food 52, the feedfeed, The Kitchn, The Bake Feed, and she has worked with companies like Sur La Table, World Market, Bake From Scratch and, of course, CA GROWN! To get a taste of Britney’s amazing recipes for baked goods, try her Buttery Prune Starbread and Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Mascarpone Cream. If you’re ready for savory dishes, try her White Wine Herb Chicken and Fig + Burrata Salad.
Susan Phillips, the CA GROWN Mom
Susan Phillips grew up in a small farming town in California’s Central Valley. She toddled through her dad’s cotton and tomato fields as soon as she could walk and made colossal mud pies with cousins. Her farming heritage goes all the way back to her maternal great-great-grandfather being one of the first settlers to farm in Ventura County. Dominic McGrath was an innovative grower and created a farming dynasty that is still alive today.
Susan inherited those innovative genes from both sides of her family and channels that resourcefulness in her own way – previously developing tutorials her blog Living with Punks, and freelance writing for Momtastic – a website focused on equipping today’s mom with all the tools needed for raising a fun, healthy family. Our favorite of Susan’s creations is this DIY Floral Ice Bucket for wine!
K.C. Cornwell, G-Free Foodie + CA GROWN
K.C. is part of the digital team for CA GROWN, managing influencer relationships, social media + digital content. Her team also works with several other California-based food producers, which makes sense, since she’s a 5th generation California farmer too.
K.C. is also the gluten-free expert behind G-Free Foodie. Armed with insights from her agricultural upbringing, K.C. made it her mission to help people better understand their food —what’s in it, where it came from, and how to easily prepare it. Her work has been featured in a number of publications, and she has appeared nationally on Food Network and PBS. Whether you try her Edible Flower Cookies, Sweet Baked Ricotta, Raspberry Frosé Wine Slushies or Roasted Lemon + Garlic Shrimp, you’ll find tons of California goodness in K.C.’s recipes.
PS: her Tomato Water how-to is easy to follow – and it’s the tomato recipe you probably didn’t know you needed.
Irvin Lin, Eat the Love
Irvin Lin is a critically acclaimed cookbook author, IACP-Award winning photographer, award winning baker, award winning former graphic designer, storyteller, recipe developer, writer, and ceramicist. He shares his inspired recipes and gorgeous photographs on his IACP nominated blog, Eat the Love.
Irvin is passionate about helping people understand the rules of baking first, then how those rules can be bent and altered to create something truly unique, magical, and utterly delicious. His creative ways with California grown ingredients include his Carrot Muffins with California Prunes, Pecans and Sunflower Seeds; Fig, Rosemary Focaccia with Honey Lemon Glaze; and Savory Sweet Potato Waffles. He currently resides in San Francisco, where his neighbors regularly request his Tomato Hand Pies.
Kyra Bussanich, Kyra’s Bake Shop
The only 4-time winner of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network, Kyra Bussanich learned to bake gluten-free in a desire to reclaim her health. Her award-winning bakery, Kyra’s Bake Shop, in Portland, Oregon features baked goods that are even more delicious than their traditional flour-based counterparts and have gained notice from Huffington Post, USA Today, The Today Show, Food and Wine Magazine, and more. She shares baking tips, tricks and recipes in her cookbook, Sweet Cravings.
Kyra’s talents in the kitchen aren’t limited to baked goods, and she is a huge fan of California produce, both in her bake shop and at home. We think you’ll love her recipes for Greek Inspired Quinoa Salad, Tropical Chicken Tostada Salad, Raspberry Mascarpone Tart with Pistachio Crust, and Red, White and Blueberry Cake Roll.
Kate Ramos, ¡Hola! Jalapeño
Kate Ramos always dreamed of being a chef, so she moved to Napa Valley and did just that! While working in restaurant kitchens, Kate fell in love with Mexican cuisine, it’s ingredients, and the beauty, depth and vibrance of Mexican food. Her blog, ¡Hola! Jalapeño is a true expression of her love for this way of cooking. Kate’s work has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Parade, Better Homes and Gardens, Shape Magazine and others, and her new cookbook, Plant Powered Mexican is now available for preorder.
Kate’s love for all things California grown shines through in her recipes – we are especially fond of her Jugo Verde (Mexican Green Juice), Grape Roasted Beet Salad with Serrano Pepper Dressing, Fresh Kiwi Caipirinhas, and her Charred Poblano Guacamole.
Aida Mollenkamp, Salt & Wind Travel
Aida is a food and travel expert, author, chef, Food Network personality, founder of the travel services company, Salt & Wind Travel, and has made her career in food travel media and hospitality and has crisscrossed the globe to search out the best food destinations. Her cookbook, Keys To The Kitchen, is a go-to for home cooks who want to become more adventurous cooks and the Travel Guides For Food Lovers series she co-authored are beloved among food travelers.
Influenced by her many adventures, and inspired by the abundance of California grown produce, Aida’s recipes are fun, fresh and flavorful. Be sure to try her Honey and Oregano Broiled Feta Caprese, Crunchy Fried Avocado Tacos, Smashed Green Olive and Pistachio Burrata Bruschetta, and One-Pot Lemon Garlic Basil Artichoke Chicken.
Alison Needham, A Girl Defloured
The heart of Alison’s home is definitely the kitchen; It’s where her three kids hang and chat, it’s where the dance party happens each Friday night, and it’s where she gets to do her favorite thing in the world – feed people. She has been a recipe developer for nearly two decades and been featured by Disney, Family Fun, People Magazine, GFF Magazine and others. She pivoted to developing gluten-free recipes that she shares on her blog, A Girl Defloured after she was diagnosed with celiac disease ten years ago. Alison also has a small gluten-free bakery operation based in Southern California.
Alison grew up in the Central Valley of California and has been eating locally grown food since before it was cool. Her recipes are often inspired by her frequent trips to the farmers market. We think you’ll love her Fresh Watermelon Cake with Summer Berries, Easy Fresh Blueberry Ice Cream, Heirloom Tomato and Stone Fruit Salad, and Zesty Artichoke Pasta with Goat Cheese.
Cheryl Norris, Bakes by Brown Sugar
Cheryl is an engineer by day and a baker by night (and lots of weekends). A self-described baking science geek, she believes that engineering and baking go hand in hand as both are about getting the basics right. Cheryl was featured in season 4 of the Great American Baking Show and she credits her mom for her love of baking. From pies and tarts, to muffins and cookies, Cheryl focuses on a seasonal approach to her recipes that she shares on her blog Bakes by Brown Sugar.
Cheryl was born and raised in Oregon. Maybe that’s why she loves the sunny flavors of California Grown citrus and bakes with it often. Be sure to check out her Meyer Lemon Upside Down Cake, Blood Orange Curd Tart, and her Meyer Lemon Cardamom Pound Cake. We also love her Apple Cake with Pistachios!
Becky Sue Wilberding, Baking the Goods
Becky Sue is the creative mastermind behind the hugely popular blog Baking the Goods. A trained designer, she found her way to the kitchen as a creative outlet and discovered she was really great at baking. So did the grateful recipients of said baked goods. Naturally, people started asking for the recipes so Becky Sue decided to have a go at blogging, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Becky Sue, and her recipes, have been featured in Food Network Magazine, Bake From Scratch Magazine, Cherry Bombe Magazine, Where Women Cook Magazine and numerous cookbooks. You’ll love her Purple Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls, Roasted Carrot and Herby Feta Galette, Caramelized Fig and Walnut Bread, and her Candied Tangerine Mascarpone Tart.
Rebecca Firth, Displaced Housewife
Rebecca Firth is a food writer, photographer and creator of the desserts-focused blog, Displaced Housewife and author of The Cookie Book and The Cake Book. She’s been working in food for almost a decade: first in catering, then for a local bakery, to now creating recipes for her blog, cookbooks and favorite brands. Rebecca was a finalist of the 2017 Saveur Blog Awards, and her work has appeared in Tasting Table, Sunset Magazine, Buzzfeed, Teen Vogue, Saveur Magazine, Food & Wine and The Washington Post—just to name a few!
To get a taste of some of her California-inspired recipes, check out her Salted Honey Pear Crostata, Favorite Blueberry Muffins, Fresh Lemon Cake, Apple Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread, and Pumpkin Bourbon Cake.
Jerry James Stone
Jerry James Stone has been developing recipes for about six years at various publications including the Discovery Channel, Whole Foods Market, and Costco. What began as a sustainable wine blog called the Green Wine Guide, eventually morphed into vegetarian pairings for the wines Jerry was reviewing.
Soon after, YouTube approached Jerry to start a cooking channel on the site. Jerry’s sense of humor, step-by-step instructions, and simple, delicious vegetarian cuisine have made him a YouTube sensation! Be sure to check out his Bell Pepper Nachos with One Minute Cheese Sauce, Strawberry Avocado Toast, Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms, Baked Thai Cauliflower Wings and Double Caramel Apple Dutch Baby.
When Michelle Tam graduated from Berkeley with a degree in Nutrition and Food Science, she thought she had her diet and nutrition game on lock down. However, after a decade of working the graveyard shift in medical sales while raising two small children, she started to question the effectiveness of calorie counting and the low fat meal plans she’d been indoctrinated with during her studies. After her husband embraced ancestral eating, Michelle decided to give it a go as well. To her surprise, they both experienced increased energy levels and fewer cravings. And the food…well, it was delicious. Michelle started Nom Nom Paleo to chronicle her culinary adventures. Since then, she’s transitioned her personal blog into a bona fide food site, winning numerous awards and gaining recognition from big names like Saveur along the way. Michelle has also authored three Paleo cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food For Humans, Ready or Not, and her latest offering, Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go!
Rochelle Wall, delightful! by Rochelle Leigh Wall
Rochelle is a Los Angeles-based floral designer who specializes in floral designs that are romantic, modern, and wild. She works with locally grown flowers as often as possible, and in color palettes that create a unique and artful feel. Rochelle has made a personal commitment to work with only the very best purveyors of California Grown flowers, including local flower farmers and flowers sourced from her own farm. She creates unique, unusual, and provocative arrangements and installations for a range of events, small to large, including weddings, birthday parties, showers, dinner parties and more!
Rochelle calls herself a crazy plant, cat and chicken lady. She likes to say that she has 20 chickens (and counting), 5 cats, 3 goats, 2 dogs and a couple oak trees (and a partridge and a pear tree).
Rachel Dunston, Rachel Makes It
A seasoned baker and lip sync professional of sorts, Rachel Dunston likes to hang out in the candy and toy aisles at Target. Her house always smells like cake and is full of wild children who make a lot of loud noise. Best known for her mind blowing and creatively decorated cakes, Rachel currently teaches classes, hosts events, raises kids and has worked with many California commodity companies. Rachel appeared on the Food Network in 2020.
Katie Olesen, Wheat by the Wayside
Katie is a fearless gluten-free recipe creator, food photography nut, and kitchen confidant! She recreate all of the gluten-free comfort foods you crave with well tested, delicious, & easy recipes! After her diagnosis with Celiac Disease in 2018, it became her mission to create gluten-free recipes that work for people, using several popular flour blends available on the market. She tests her recipes many times before they even make it to the blog, so you know her recipes work!
Her Blog Wheat by the Wayside has been featured on Beyond Celiac as part of the gluten-free and celiac blogger community, as a top rated celiac and gluten-free blog on Spokin, and in various roundups such as Parade’s 60 Best Gluten-free Christmas Cookies. Katie has also created recipes for many popular brands. Be sure to check out her recipes for Gluten Free Prune Sticky Buns with Pecan Caramel Topping, and Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, and Pumpkin Pecan Pie.
Vy Tran, Beyond Sweet and Savory
Vy is a clinical pharmacist by day, and an avid home cook in the evenings and weekends. Her blog, Beyond Sweet and Savory, documents her family’s recipes and culinary experiments. Vy immigrated to the United States from Vietnam when she was ten. Growing up, she ate primarily Vietnamese cuisine until college where she was introduced to a vast array of global flavors. This new-found love of all kinds of foods gave her an even deeper appreciation for her mom’s home cooked meals. Vy was inspired to learn to cook the traditional Vietnamese foods she missed so much.
Vy’s blog is heavily influenced by her heritage as well as the seasons, San Diego fish market, local farmers markets, and what’s growing in her garden. We’re obsessed with her Strawberry Elderflower Sorbet, Vietnamese Prawn and Sweet Potato Fritters, and her Prune Morning Buns.
Hilary Rance is part of the digital team for California Grown and works closely with several California commodity boards and influencers. As a seventh generation Californian, she enjoys sharing stories about the people, places and products that make our state so incredibly special.