Photo: Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group
Sean Brekke-Miesner had spent a decade working in kitchens when he noticed application stacks were growing thin. As housing costs soared and workers were being pushed farther from Oakland restaurants, hiring became a problem. He decided he wanted to be part of the solution.
“I was tired of cooking only for people who could afford to eat at the restaurants,” said Brekke-Miesner, a third-generation Oakland resident. ”I wanted to use my skills to help make a difference.”
So the former sous chef — who began his restaurant career as a dishwasher — took his skills to Mandela Partners, a West Oakland nonprofit with a track record of bringing healthy food to communities where liquor stores abound, but affordable produce is hard to find. He now manages Core Kitchen — soon to have the new name of Oak Harvest Kitchen — which was taken over by Mandela Partners a year ago.