Rubbing Shoulders With the "Movers and Shakers"

One of the best things I occasionally get to do is to spend time “off the grid” with true movers and shakers; community leaders who are always on the go – spearheading this, launching that, and going at full speed ahead.


One such person is Chef Carlos Pineda, Director of the Culinary Academy at Rebekah’s Children’s Services in Gilroy CA. Chef is also the Mastermind behind Kneaded Bakery; a catering and wholesale baking company staffed by students from the Culinary Academy. All products are made from scratch. Kneaded serves the entire South Bay Area and can accommodate events of all sizes. The proceeds go right back into the Culinary Arts program which serves disadvantage youth, ultimately placing graduates with culinary positions throughout the Bay Area or helping to secure opportunities in higher education.

Chef is not quite thirty. However, he has amassed a resume and gained professional experiences that would afford him any opportunity he chose to pursue. While his passion is in the culinary arts, it is an equal passion of his to impact the lives of the students he serves. He is a visionary, an optimistic entrepreneur, and one of the hardest working people I know.

When Chef Carlos is not leading a class in the kitchen, he is overseeing Kneaded’s operations. If he is not catering an event, he is hosting one, like his recent and hugely successful, 4th Annual Pop A Cork fundraiser. While managing all this, he still has time to sit on several community boards, and contributes his “spare” time to helping other non-profit groups grow and meet their goals. Add to that the fact that while us normal people unplug for the day, his cell phone is always on, ready receive a text or call from a student in need of a shoulder to lean on, or wisdom from a seasoned mentor.

You can label Chef as “accomplished” and I would agree. However, I think a better description would be to add the suffix "ing" to the verb. I define Chef as one who is “accomplishing” because he is truly a man in action. While he has achieved much, including his Top Chef win at the 2017 Gilroy Garlic Festival Garlic Showdown competition. He is far from finished when it comes to pursuing his goals, and dreams. In fact, he is just getting warmed up.

I am grateful and honored to spend part of the morning with my amazing friend at Josephine's Cafe and Bakery in Gilroy. We covered several topics, learned more about each other, and talked about the incredible vision he has for the future. Chef Carlos is an amazing man. If you have a desire to help youth, or if you love the culinary arts, connect with Chef Carlos and catch this rising star. Not only is he one to watch, he is one to follow and support. Thanks Chef for a memorable morning, and for taking time away from your busy schedule to share a great breakfast and even greater conversation!

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