Team: The Epicurators

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If you’ve read about us you know Epicuring is all about community and enjoying all great food experiences California has to offer. Here’s who we are and how we’d like to involve avid food folks:

The Founders

Susie “hidden down-to-earth treasures” Wyshak, Co-Epicurator (focusing on producer / destination partners, tech / product and programs). Susie is a California native, an epicurator since her childhood in Los Angeles, working in a chocolate factory, eating farm fresh produce bought at the downtown produce market, and enjoying the city’s dining, from 5 star classics to dim sum in Chinatown, Oki Dog, and Tommy Burger. Also known as an Artisan Food Concierge, food entrepreneur, Elite Yelper, food and business writer, and Internet maven, Susie roves (compulsively) around California to visit and promote farmer’s markets, small food producers, and farms. In the words of a recent visitor, you can see why Epicuring had to happen:

“She knows all the best spots from Berkeley and gave us some tips about SF too. Beside that, if you love good food (who doesn’t?) she will show you the best places (markets, classics coffeshop, food labs…) even those where you could only access if you’d work for the food industry. She knows the founders, their history. She has a very creative mind and entrepreneur spirit.”

Follow me: Twitter | FlickrArtisan Food Entrepreneur Blog

laikoLaiko Bahrs, Co-Epicurator. Laiko’s passionate about creating food experiences. Her first business was Epicurean Excursions, an early culinary tour and event company which launched in the late-90’s and ran for eight years. She’s led countless tours for food lovers and professionals, and collaborated on hundreds of events, small and large like SF Chefs. She’s a connector of people and opportunities, and a culinary consultant for chefs & butchers, restaurants and small companies. Laiko is also known for her oft quoted: “When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.”

A favorite food experience of hers was truffle hunting in Provence with a farmer and a blind dog.

Follow me: Twitter | laikobahrs/

Community Epicurators and Intern Alums

Jessica Rubenstein is a proud San Jose native and thoroughly a California girl. She loves living in the Valley of Heart’s Delight, keeping track of the seasons by feasting on the delicious fruit available in its urban orchards. She loves eating, exploring, and learning new things and is particularly grateful for experiences that combine those activities, such as a recent excursion to harvest wild seaweed off the Mendocino coast. In short, she is passionate about making the world a better place and having a lot of fun doing it.

Maya Hann-Byrd is a New York transplant who fell in love with San Francisco’s food and culture after college. After years of working in the Bay in international education, her love of food and travel led her away to pursue her Master’s in Food Culture and Communications at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy.  While the food and wines of Europe delighted her, she was excited to return to the spirited Bay and share all she had learned. She insists her chocolate addiction is genetic but the jury is still out on where her fascination with butchery is from.

Emily Shartin worked professionally as a journalist for nine years before a fascination with bread and baking drew her away to pastry school. She has since worked as a cheesemonger, baker and chocolate buyer, and continues to write as much as possible. Like her fellow Epicurators, she loves travel, and enjoys discovering the connections between (and history behind) food and place. Last fall, she was especially fortunate to be able to travel to Italy to learn how to make candied chestnuts from the Genovese confectioner Romanengo fu Stefano.

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Celeste Noche is a Bay Area native and a recent Stanford graduate. Her real passion for food experiences began when she studied abroad in Florence, where she took cooking classes, learned recipes from her host mother, and ate the world’s best gelato. Since then, she’s sought to learn and share her adventures in food and travel with her blog, Wanderlust, where she posts food discoveries as well as experiments in the kitchen.

Follow me: Blog, Twitter, Flickr

Janet Covey, Beehive Creative, V2.0 logo designer

Nic Rosenberg, V1.0 logo designer and front-end developer extraordinaire. (She’d probably want you to know she is not responsible for the coding of this site. 🙂

Victoria Rabiner, former intern and Community Epicurator, is an avid wordsmith, traveler and dancer, who is happiest when exploring, writing, eating or day dreaming about food. Lives by the mantra that anything carmelized is worth eating.

Ted Cousens, Community Epicurator has been eating food his entire life; his major influences have been appetite, digestion, flavor and consistency. He has worked as a chef, sommelier, waiter, bartender and dishwasher at various times in his life.

And you, future Epicurator…see how you can get involved.