Brenda Ruiz

Chef and Educator, Sacramento School Garden Coalition

Culinary professional Brenda Ruiz has been working in Sacramento area top restaurants since 1996, including The Water Boy, Freeport Bakery, The Kitchen, and currently Biba Ristorante. Highly regarded among her peers for her skill and work ethic, she’s known for combining her love of the culinary arts with her passion for supporting the work of charitable organizations. Notably, Ms. Ruiz serves on the Executive Board of Slow Food Sacramento as Director of the School Garden Coalition and Chair of its Youth and School Projects. Ms. Ruiz is currently the Nutrition and Kitchen Classroom Coordinator & Instructor at Grant High School’s GEO Academy, a certified Food Genius and instructor with Food Literacy Center, a graduate of Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Academy & Farm to School Intensive, and is head chef instructor for summer camp programs with Jr. Chef Central.

“‘Good, Clean, and Fair Food for all people’ is not just a motto…it’s a point of view about our food system and the role we all play as eaters, artisans, farmers, academics, and policy makers”, says Ruiz, a first generation immigrant from Guatemala. “Connecting people with real and local foods improves both community health and the bottom line for our farmers and producers.”

A lifelong activist and community organizer, Ms. Ruiz is the President of the Sacramento Food Policy Council and sits on the state steering committee of both the California Food Policy Council and Slow Food California. In 2014, she traveled to Turin, Italy as one of over 150 USA delegates to Terra Madre – a gathering of food and farming communities from more than 100 countries, and she has been renamed to the delegation in 2016. Brenda and 7 year old son Alex grow food in their front yard in the city of Sacramento.