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We're a network of Vermont Chefs, Farmers, Food Artisans, and Diners.

Board of Directors


Cara Chigazola Tobin

Cara Chigazola Tobin is the Chef-Owner of Honey Road, an eastern Mediterranean Mezze restaurant, in Burlington, VT. After spending six years at Oleana in Cambridge, MA first as the Sous Chef and then as Chef de Cuisine, she grew her passion for the flavors of the Middle East. Her culinary curiosity has taken her to Turkey, Morocco, and Lebanon. While there, she researched traditions and honed her skills as a chef. Cara has been nominated twice as a Semifinalist by the James Beard Foundation for the category of Best Chef: Northeast and Honey Road was nominated as a Semifinalist for Best New Restaurant. She currently lives in Charlotte, VT with her husband and two children.  

Board Members

Irene Hamburger

Irene Hamburger is a relationship-oriented consultant passionate about guiding complex, purpose-driven organizations and their teams. Grounded by professional expertise in regenerative gastronomy and agriculture, she brings a credible voice to institution-wide strategic planning, issue-oriented project development, and relationship-building with diverse stakeholders. As Director of Education for Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, a non-profit that drives innovation at the intersection of agriculture, gastronomy, human health and climate change, Irene guided the development of experiential learning environments. Previously, she worked alongside Blue Hill Farm founders to shape the restaurant group’s long-term vision and growth strategies. Irene serves on the boards of Emma’s Torch and Pleiades Women’s Network and as a jury member of the James Beard Leadership Awards.

Chef Christian Kruse

Chef Christian was born in the Philippines and grew up in Westford, Vermont. He is a graduate of NECI and started his career in the kitchens of Pauline's Restaurant in Shelburne, VT and Basin Harbor Boat Club & Resort in Vergennes, VT. His seasonal position at the Lake Champlain resort led to Executive Sous Chef and eventually Executive Chef. After 13 years at the resort, he bought Vergennes Laundry in downtown Vergennes and served brunch and dinner utilizing the beautiful wood fired oven. He joined Black Flannel Brewing as the Executive Chef in spring 2021 and garnered his first nomination for the James Beard Best Chef: Northeast in 2022.  He is now leading the team as the Executive Chef of The Big Spruce in Richmond and owner of Chef's Table By Christian Kruse. Christian was invited to cook at the James Beard House in NYC in 2016 and also holds a VT Chef of the Year award in 2016.  He enjoys collaborating with fellow chefs to provide exceptional experiences for people who have a passion for food and pairings. He lives in Vergennes with his wife and two children. 

Eric Warnstedt

Chef Eric Warnstedt, a graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Florida, opened Hen of the Wood in Waterbury in 2005. Eric has been a James Beard Nominee or Finalist eight times as Chef of Hen of the Wood. The restaurant focuses on showcasing the products of the amazing farmers, cheesemakers, and others who make Vermont so special. Alongside General Manager turned partner, William McNeil, Eric opened the second Hen of the Wood location in Burlington in 2013. The third project for the partners was Doc Ponds in Stowe, a popular spot for foodies and craft beer drinkers. And now the team has scaled their operation even further to include Prohibition Pig Restaurant & Brewery, also in Waterbury.

Breana Lai Killeen

Breana Lai Killeen is a food writer, recipe developer, culinary nutritionist, and farmer with 15+ years of experience creating editorial and digital content. She has written and edited over 3000 recipes, articles and presentations for top brands including EatingWell, AllRecipes, Food & Wine, Cabot Creamery, Hello Fresh, POM Wonderful, the National Beef Council, and the Dairy Council. Breana has a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu London, a Wine Spirit & Education Trust trained sommelier and is a registered dietitian. Breana loves teaching people how to cook, especially if it involves using up all the bits and pieces left in the veggie drawer to make something seemingly impressive for her 3-year-old twins. When she's not cooking or chasing toddlers, you can find her out on Killeen Crossroads Farm in Vermont wrangling 200 chickens, 10 cows, 2 dogs and her tractor-loving husband.

Josh Turka

Josh is the owner of 5th Quarter Butchery and Charcuterie, a whole animal butcher shop specializing in whole animal butchery, craft sausages, european style pate's, terrines, and cured meats. 5th Quarter is both a retail destination, and a wholesale purveyor, and is committed to working exclusively with Vermont raised animals. Josh began a career in food in 2011, after leaving behind a background in geochemistry he spent a year in Rome. It is the Roman tradition of the "quinto quarto" -- a tongue-in-cheek reference to offcuts left over when an animal was butchered. With the best cuts reserved for upper class and clergy, the 5th Quarter (quinto quarto) was all that was allocated to the rest of Rome's citizens. This ingenuity, and commitment to finding delicious uses for all parts of the animal has informed Josh through his career and is the inspiration behind 5th Quarter. Before moving to Vermont Josh spent worked in restaurants and butchery around the Boston area including eateries in the Barbara Lynch Group, the Salty Pig and MF Dulock.

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