Where did the idea for Elara come from?
Dan Grinberg: I had previously built and sold a foodservice glove company and saw an opportunity to start a new one. This time around I wanted to blend my industry experience with my longstanding involvement with hunger relief and the Island Harvest Food Bank. This was around 2010, and I was noticing that a growing number of companies were embedding a social mission in their business models.
In 2011, Lena Kwak along with chef Thomas Keller introduced their company, Cup4Cup to the public. Cup4Cup is premium gluten – free brand that distributes its many products to retailer’s worldwide.
What brought you into show management?
It was purely by chance. I had a friend who was working for a trade show management company and during one summer they were looking for some help. A full-time position opened up, they offered it to me, and I fell into the industry.
With Edible Schoolyard NYC assembling its annual spring gala, board members Fernanda Niven and Lela Rose talked about the nonprofit’s mission to teach kids about healthy eating—from the ground up.
What was it like winning the prestigious 2015 Award of Excellence for "Culinary School of the Year" from the International Association of Culinary Professionals?
It's certainly very gratifying, timed as it is on the eve of our move to Brookfield Place. It's also very sweet because it's also my 20th anniversary and the school's 40th anniversary.
Experienced chefs know when it comes to chopping, slicing, paring and dicing, it’s all in the wrist. Unfortunately, over time this can take quite a toll as many professional and home chefs develop carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.