Employee Spotlights: The Faces Behind the Food at the Garden at AT&T Park
- by Guest
At the Garden at AT&T Park, we aim to bring our community closer to the story of our food, which includes the farms and gardens where our food was grown and the people who grew, prepared, and cooked it before it arrived on the plate.
And that’s why we’re introducing and celebrating the many hands that help prepare the food at the Garden — from planting and picking to chopping and cooking!
Nicole Doonan, Lead Gardener
“I’ve always been interested in agricultural sustainability and production,” says Nicole. After graduating with a degree in sustainability from Stony Brook University in New York, she spent three years apprenticing on farms along the East Coast.
Nicole, who’s been living in the Bay Area for a year and a half, began gardening at AT&T Park in February. “This project is both challenging and rewarding because of all the eyes that see it, especially during baseball season,” she explained. The widespread visibility means hard work for Nicole but proves to be very rewarding.
Lonzo Harris, Lead Chef
Lonzo fell in love with the craft of cooking at a young age and enrolled in culinary school at just 16. As lead chef of the Garden’s bistros, Lonzo always has a smile on his face and remains cool and collected throughout service, even when it’s at its busiest.
“My favorite part of the Garden is the food we’re producing,” he says. “It feels great to serve healthy food to fans.” Lonzo admits that working in a place dedicated to garden-fresh food has begun to change some of his eating habits. “I have a 5-year-old daughter and one more on the way. Working in the Garden gives me a better idea of the kind of food I want to feed my family.”
Deliah Martinez, Bistro Prep
“I love everything about this garden,” says Deliah as she harvests basil to go in a strawberry-basil smoothie for a fan. This is her second season working in the Garden at AT&T Park, and you can find her at the Garden Table bistro.
Deliah is originally from Jalisco, Mexico. During her free time, she loves going to the beach and spending time with her family. At home, she’s happiest when she’s cooking a feast for her loved ones. Her favorite dish? Chili pork with rice and beans. “That’s real Mexican food!” she says with a smile.
Arthur Thomas, Bistro Prep
Born and raised in Richmond, CA, Arthur is the newest member of the Garden team. “It’s a great working environment! I love feeding hungry Giants fans,” he exclaims.
You’ll see Arthur at Hearth Table tossing flatbreads in the oven and serving them to fans. While he’s cooking, you can often hear him humming melodies and rhymes. That’s because he’s a musician. “I’ve been recording hip hop and R&B since I was 8 years old,” he explained. “My last album was about love and relationships. I write music to think about feelings and to understand myself.”
When Arthur isn’t in the recording studio or at work, he likes to stay active playing football and running. In high school, he played wide receiver and running back for the Kennedy Eagles. These days, he plays pickup games with his family and friends.
Nancy Vaughn Pirro, Bistro Prep
Nancy fell in love with the great outdoors while living in her home state of Louisiana. “I like camping, hiking, going to parks, walking beaches, you name it,” said Nancy. “I take in the geography of the land when I’m out and about. When I’m around trees and can hear the birds singing, it gives me peace of mind.”
Being outside is what Nancy enjoys most about working in the Garden: “I love the atmosphere because being outside is where I’m happiest.” Look for Nancy preparing antipasti, salads, and sandwiches at the Garden Table.
Bob English, Bistro Prep
“I love working with people,” said Bob. “It’s fulfilling. And I absolutely love the fans! Everyone is all smiles when they walk into the Garden.”
Originally from Seattle, Bob has lived in San Francisco for more than 40 years. “When I first moved to San Francisco, I was paying $295 for a two-bedroom apartment. And the bridge toll was 75 cents!” he exclaims. Bob’s a people person, a great storyteller, and he loves chatting with fans while making Garden salads and sandwiches.
Hannah Schmunk, Community Development Manager
With a passion for food justice, Hannah has spent most of her career working toward one goal: to make fresh, healthy food accessible to everyone.
She spent four years as director of communications and special events at Project Open Hand, a non-profit providing nutritious meals for the sick and elderly in the Bay Area, and then left to volunteer for an extended time at an orphanage in Tanzania. “That’s where I fell in love with teaching kids,” Hannah explains. Hannah oversees community outreach at the Garden and developed the curriculum for our garden-to-table kid’s education program.
During her free time, Hannah stays active by running, cycling, and hiking. She enjoys nature and loves backpacking due to the sense of personal accomplishment she feels after pushing herself to reach a goal. “I think I’m happiest when I’m looking at the top of a mountain, and I’m headed there.”
Sam Wilder, Community Development & Gardening Associate
Born and raised in San Francisco’s North Beach, Sam studied urban agriculture at the University of San Francisco and loves to garden both at work and home. Sam can be found tending the garden, instructing kids in our education program, and serving food in the bistros.
When asked about his position at the Garden at AT&T Park, Sam exclaims, “This is my dream job!” That’s because he gets to share his passion for urban agriculture with kids…and because he’s a diehard Giants fan!
Submitted by Sam Wilder, Community Development & Gardening Associate