Dolores Coleman of Dee’s Organics: Q&A

Q: What drew you to Conscious Kitchen?

A: Initially, I had interviewed with Judi for the position at Bayside MLK to be the chef there for Conscious Kitchen. At the time, it just didn’t work. I think a year and a half later, maybe even longer, I ran into Judi at the Good Earth randomly and I was like “Judi!” and she was like “Oh my god, Dee, who would have thought? Will you email me?” And I said “Sure!” and then I think two months later, the pandemic happened. So at the time, I was cooking for Bridge the Gap feeding the kids for the after-school program and I was continuing to feed the kids for dinner. Jenny called me and said that the Conscious Kitchen wants to come in and do more and asked if I would be interested in working with them and I said “Absolutely! Tell Judi that we’ll have a conversation”. We’ve always wanted to work together and it just morphed into me being a part of the Conscious Kitchen and me doing the meals. I also feel like for myself, in life, it’s all about being of service. When a disaster hits or a pandemic hits, it’s more about being of service and I think that’s what I knew to do. 

Q: Can you tell us about Dee’s Catering and what you were doing pre-COVID19?

So I’ve always been involved with schools. I worked with Marin Primary, Tam High School, Redwood High School, but doing catering for them. Catering for the community as a whole is my goal. The concept of Dee’s Organics is you can do really good food with organic food. A lot of people can be afraid of organic food and think that it wouldn’t taste great. I wanted to prove them wrong. It can be really yummy food and nourishing. So I was working with the organizations I mentioned before plus weddings, memorials, birthday parties and baby showers. Also doing family meals- say making a stew for certain individual families. 

Q: What is the current status of Dee’s Organics in relation to the Conscious Kitchen?

A: Dee’s Organics is slowly opening again. I’m doing individual dinners for families. I either do curbside pick-up or I deliver. I am also helping some organizations with their pods by doing breakfasts and lunches. Slowly but surely, Dee’s Organics is starting to open again, but I am just taking it slow and abiding by the guidelines of COVID19.

Q: Why organic?

A: I love farm-to-table food. That’s what it has to be, it can’t be anything else. I love working with local farmers and finding those great ingredients that are grown and brought to the table. I think it definitely had to be organic.

A spaghetti squash dish prepared by Dee

Q: What are some of your favorite things to cook?

A: I love soups and stews. I love more fall/winter foods. Cozy and comfort. I am doing a coco-vin today for one of my meals. I made a stuffed bell pepper earlier. I love doing it all honestly. I present and then I do have some of those special customers who ask me to make a certain dish. I have this one Thai chicken soup and I have one person who will always call me and ask me to make that soup even though it’s not on the menu. I have a regular customer who loves my homemade focaccia.

Q: What was your favorite part of working in the Conscious Kitchen?

A: I really loved connecting with Erin and Judi. Heather, a person who works for me- I think it was a lot of fun for us to continue to be of service. Just knowing that we were feeding so many people made us feel really good. We had a lot of fun doing it. 

Q: What was the most challenging part of working in the Conscious Kitchen?

A: Actually getting all the food out. I think there were some days where we had 560 meals and to make sure they were getting out on time took a lot or organization. By the end of the day, we were always high-fiving saying “Yes, we did it!”. 

Q: What brings you hope right now?

A: The state of the world, there is very little. For me, it’s being in the kitchen and cooking, being able to feed as many people as I can is where my hope lies right now. 

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