Alex came up with the idea for Kitchen Collab from his own desire to start a food truck, MOGROG Rotisserie, and learning the hurdles involved in getting a small food business going and operating. Creating access to a quality, affordable commercial kitchen for culinary entrepreneurs to grow and thrive was the biggest roadblock in the area. Out of this realization and his interest in growing the over all stability of the local food economy he founded Kitchen Collab, a culinary incubator and commissary kitchen.
Before deciding to develop Kitchen Collab. Alex was with Truckee Craft Brewing at Drunken Monkey Sushi. He moved to the Tahoe region from Portland, OR in the winter of 2010 when he started at Drunken Monkey Sushi.
While in Portland, Alex watched the explosion of the food truck scene and transformation of the culinary offerings of the city. As a consumer and cook he was inspired by the reduction of financial barriers to both the customer and the business owner with the expansion of offerings. His own background in the kitchen and with front of the house created multiple opportunities to learn from this transition and bring that experience with him to Kitchen Collab.
Outside of Kitchen Collab, Alex is busy raising two little mountain girls with his wife, Kate, and expanding their exposure to local foods, foreign flavors, pump tracks, trails, and skiing.
Andrea comes from a similar background as many of Kitchen Collab’s members. Having worked for a start–up out of a shared kitchen herself, she knows how much of a game changer it can be for new businesses. She was the Product Manager and lead recipe developer for Tomato Sherpa, a start-up meal kit company based in Berkeley, CA which operated out of a shared kitchen space during its early stages.
Upon moving to Tahoe in 2014, Andrea was the Chef at Soupa in Squaw Valley. While there, she became an expert in a cuisine she thinks our region needs more of: high quality food to-go. She then shifted gears and worked for Project MANA as Volunteer and Home Delivery Coordinator – a wonderful community she is proud to be a part of.
In her role as Office Manager at Kitchen Collab, she combines her passions for the culinary arts and entrepreneurship. She believes in the transformative power of small business in the community, and loves to support creatives in their work. A Portland, OR native, Andrea’s favorite foods to cook and eat usually involve something coming from the Pacific Ocean, berries of any kind, and her mom’s carrot cake.
Katie’s food obsession started young; proudly she declared Broccoli Cheddar soup as her favorite food in kindergarten. After college she worked at an economic consulting firm which put her business degree to use, but spreadsheets and algorithms were not feeding her adventurous spirit. She moved to the Tahoe/Truckee area in 2009 where she reignited her passion for being outside, traveling and eating good food.
While working at Drunken Monkey Sushi in Truckee, Katie was first exposed to Japanese cuisine. Learning everything she could about the food and culture became a full-time hobby which culminated with an excursion to Japan in 2014. Driving through the Japanese countryside by campervan allowed her to experience the seasonal and regional specialties which varied from prefecture to prefecture. It was on this road trip that she was able to see first-hand how locally grown, seasonal food can have an economic impact on a community and its people.
On a subsequent adventure in which Katie and her partner drove to the tip of Argentina in 2017-2018, she once again followed her taste buds to countless culinary and cultural experiences. This exposure to small roadside kitchens featuring dirt floors and hard-working, happy people making simple foods to nourish their neighbors is something Katie will carry with her forever. She truly believes the heart of a community centers around the dinner table; a place where all that matters are family, friends and food.
As the Kitchen Manager at Kitchen Collab, Katie’s goal is to support small local food producers showcasing regional and specialty foods and see them become thriving business owners. By building local businesses she hopes to benefit the local food supply chain and the local year-round economy in the Tahoe/Truckee area.