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avatar for Caleb Zigas

Caleb Zigas

La Cocina
Executive Dishwasher
Caleb was not the founder of La Cocina. Instead, he begged his way in, starting as a volunteer in 2005, the week that the organization opened their doors. That's both a personal testament to the power of volunteerism as well as an appreciation for the hard work of grassroots organizations in the Bay Area to make La Cocina a possibility.

Before La Cocina, Caleb was an accidental assistant pastry chef at Ruppert's Restaurant in his hometown of Washington, DC (real dc. DCPS works folks), a dishwasher and grill scrubber at BD's Mongolian Barbecue and a butcher at Sparrow Meat Markets in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he also went to college. He moved to the Bay Area looking for social justice work after spending time in Bolivia with ProMujer, a leader in micro-finance. In the Bay, he worked at Isa Restaurant, Chez Papa — where he won 7x7 Magazine's "Best Waiter in San Francisco" — and as a butler at the Getty Residence. He is still available for all of your service needs.

At La Cocina, Caleb has grown with the organization and has been the ED since 2010. In his time here, he has been named a Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur, recognized by Inc Magazine as one of "5 Community Organizers Making a Difference" and was nominated for the Basque Culinary Center World Prize. Caleb built the original infrastructure for La Cocina's award-winning incubator program, launched the San Francisco Street Food Festival, advocated for policy change in mobile food vending opportunities in the Bay and has been a part of more than 30 brick and mortar openings. And, while he loves the food component, ultimately this job is about people, about opportunity and about equity, and that's what drives the work. Come see him in the kitchen.