Archive for February, 2009

Who Gives Away TWO TONS of GOURMET FOOD Every Week in San Francisco?

feb-2009-0091The leftovers from cooking class are donated to Food Runners serving the hungry in San Francisco

The leftovers from Tante Marie’s cooking class are donated to Food Runners serving the hungry in San Francisco

Meet Cooking Teacher and Humanitarian of the Year

Today  at Tante Marie’s Cooking School I met an extraordinary woman and culinary entrepreneur.  Mary Risley, the fun-loving and focused founder of Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco follows her passion for food, cooking and philanthropy.  Twenty years ago she created the nonprofit “Food Runners” who give away 2 tons of food each week to the needy of San Francisco!

Mary hated to see good food go to waste, which often happened at her gourmet cooking school. She saw hungry people on the street going through garbage cans and she came up with a good idea: give the food from those who have leftovers to those who have too little.

She persuaded some colleagues in the restaurant industry to save their excess food, which she and a few friends picked up in their cars and delivered to local shelters and food programs. Today, Food Runners has
over 200 volunteers, and more than 250 restaurants, schools, caterers, bakeries, groceries, farmers’ markets and other businesses regularly donate
perishable food that would otherwise go to waste. This helps valuable programs stretch their limited budgets and give out more food.   Mary and her volunteers organize it all.

And if you haven’t taken a class at Tante Marie’s you’re in for a treat. Try “Entertaining with Ease, Simple Italian Suppers, Classic French Bistro Menus, Cooking from the Pantry or Asian Small Plates”. Tante Marie’s was voted on of the “10 Best Cooking Schools” in the country by Cooking Schools Compared.

I met a young man from NYC who left his job in advertising to move to SF and follow his culinary interest by attending Tante Marie’s Intensive and Professional Six-month course. He was seriously ready for change. He and the other students are thinking about becoming caterers, personal chefs, food writers or pasty chefs.

Today in Cooking Class: Low Calorie Strawberry & Merange Cake

Today in Cooking Class: Low Calorie Strawberry & Merange Cake

New York at its best

Last weekend I visited the Big Apple for the New York Times Travel Show, where I spoke on a panel about Women Travel; how to get started, save money and stay safe. The moderator of the panel was April Merenda, President of Gutsy Women Travel who talked about organized women’s vacations. I shared tips, specific travel destinations, and money-saving advice from my book 50 Best Girlfriends Getaways in North America.

These interesting statistics were noted: 40% of American women are single. They haven’t met “Mr. Right” or have left “Mr. Right” or are widows and killed “Mr. Right”. Within the past year over 50% of American women have traveled without a spouse or male companion. Today there are over 300 travel companies promoting women travel.

The enthusiasm of the women attending showed that we’re not slowing down. Yes, we’re time deprived, but we’re still hitting the roads, the air and the waterways. We are traveling in different ways; alone, with girlfriends, daughters, mothers, and increasingly on a budget.

Everyone at the show was looking for inspiration and ideas. I left the show with a long list of “must see” places and deals. Even if I can’t travel in the short term, I’m planning the next adventure. What about you?

Happy Travels,


About Marybeth Bond

Marybeth Bond is the nation’s preeminent expert on women travel. She is the award-winning
author-editor of 11 books.

Marybeth has hiked, cycled, climbed, dived and kayaked her way through more than seventy countries around the world.

She was a featured guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Marybeth has appeared on CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, National Public Radio and National Geographic Weekend.