Chefs in Action 2023

Professionals in the culinary world have a lot to teach us about how we can improve everyday life with the use of herbs. From simple ingredients that make an impact you wouldn’t expect, to the many ways you can incorporate sustainability and wellness into your lifestyle, the culinary artists and herbal-experts featured in this edition of Chefs in Action share their experiences, passions, and advice regarding herbs, not just as an ingredient in a dish but as a tool for living better!

Danielle Spinola – Abeille Voyante Tea Co

Danielle Spinola is a long time Pittsburgher and tea enthusiast. She currently owns Abeille Voyante Tea Co located in Millville where she and her team are dedicated to not only selling some of the best tea but also giving back to their community.

Danielle talks about how her business started, the inspiration behind her work, some of her favorite things about herbs and tea making, as well as what teas are most popular every season in her shop.

To learn more about Abeille Voyante Tea Co visit: https://www.abeillevoyanteteaco.com/

Jen Saffron– Sprezzatura/Millvale Market

Starting from only cooking for family and friends on the side, Jen Saffron has cemented herself in the culinary world as the owner, culinary director, and restaurateur of both Millvale Market and Sprezzatura Catering Kitchen and Cafe. Jen uses her past experience in teaching and making social justice documentaries to help create a community around sustainable food in Millvale, combining her love to cook with activism. 

Jen discusses the importance herbs play in different cultures, further addressing the relationship between what the land grows and what foods are made. As well as stressing the importance of sourcing ingredients locally to keep food tasting fresh and to reduce the carbon footprint that is created in the food industry. Jen honors the heritage of Italian cuisine and the land of Pennsylvania by keeping food local and fresh in Sprezzatura and Millvale Market.

Learn more at https://sprezzaturapgh.com/ and https://millvalemarket.com/

Michelle Soto – Cutting Root Apothecary and Farm

Michelle Soto is a multi-talented woman who runs Cutting Root Apothecary and Farm in Butler, PA. She’s an herbalist at Stonefruit Community Herbalists and an educator for Wild Cherries herbal studies. She’s dedicated to the health of her community and loves creating a safe and relaxing environment for the people around her. 

Michelle speaks about her 8+ years of experience with teaching and the progress of the students that she has taught throughout her career. She discusses the magic of tea and how it can lead to healing and self-care, and how it’s one of the best parts of being a herbalist. She also says there are many ways that herbs can help your community! 

Visit https://www.wildcherries.org/ to learn more!

Grace Betancourt-Jones – Tu Y Yo Cafe

Grace Betancourt-Jones is the owner of Tu Y Yo Cafe in Glenshaw, PA along with being a mother, an artist and jewelry designer. Tu Y Yo Cafe features coffee and food from a range of South American countries. The meaning behind their name and the atmosphere of the cafe is conveyed in their slogan “A place for You and I to meet!” 

Grace talks about the values of family, gathering together, and sharing food from different cultures, as well as her background and experiences living in Pittsburgh after growing up in Venezuela. She also talks about the menu and the herbs that appear most often in her dishes. 

Visit Cafe Tu Y Yo in Glenshaw, PA and find them online at @tu.y.yo.cafe