Meet Our Chef-a-Thon Chefs

August 3, 2021 Updated: January 23, 2024

Chef-a-Thon is back! We’re partnering with chefs across Massachusetts – from Greater Boston to MetroWest to Western Massachusetts – for family-friendly, virtual cooking demos with a focus on low-waste, whole ingredient cooking. Get to know our chefs below!

Still need Chef-a-Thon tickets? Get yours here.

Charlie LumpkinsLa Pheegan Chef and creator of Sassy Jack Chick’n™️ (Greater Boston)
Tuesday, September 21
Quick Curry

Charlie Lumpkins (La Pheegan Chef) is a local vegan food enthusiast, recipe developer, and the creator of Sassy Jack Chick’n. She is a member of CommonWealth Kitchen, where she promotes her message of love through the soulful food she creates. Springing from her roots in event operations, now she whips up exciting vegan creations throughout the city. She enjoys every opportunity to feed your soul and inspire your senses. Follow the chef on Instagram for announcements about where she’s popping up next! @la_chef_la_pheegan.

Dora Tavel-Sanchez Luz, Chef & Co-Owner of Buttercup (Natick) 
Wednesday, September 22
Sunwashed Farm’s Zucchini Blossoms, Ricotta

A native of Wellesley, MA, chef Dora Tavel-Sanchez Luz developed an interest in food watching Julia Child on PBS. By the time she turned twenty, she knew she wanted to work in restaurants. She soon took a job cooking and serving in Boston. Since then, she’s traveled from one side of the country to the other, working at farm-to-table restaurants in Los Angeles like Trastavere and French-Asian fusion in New York and Boston including spots like Restaurant L, AZ, and Beppe.

She and her husband (and fellow chef), Gabriel Sanchez Luz opened the Farmhouse in Needham in March 2013, realizing a long-held dream of owning their own place. In May 2018, they doubled down and opened a second restaurant, Buttercup, in Natick. An avid gardener, Tavel-Sanchez Luz sources ingredients from her own Sunwashed Farm for the menus at both restaurants. When she’s not in the kitchen, she’s most likely to be found running (triathlons and marathons), farming, or spending time with her family, and their three Labrador retrievers.

Aimee Francaes, Owner & General Manager of Belly of the Beast (Northampton)  
Thursday, September 23
Pork-Fat Brownie Bites

Aimee Francaes loves creating warm, hospitable, playful spaces. Throughout Aimee’s career, she has found a love of pairing business management with her natural grace for hospitality. Aimee began working as Front-of-House Manager for Flour Bakery + Café in 2009. Two years later she became the Human Resources Director at Flour, overseeing more than 180 people at the start, which grew to over 350 across multiple locations, including sister restaurant, Myers + Chang. She could not be more thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the Happy Valley community alongside the love of her life, Jesse Hassinger.

Jesse Hassinger, Owner & Chef de Cuisine of Belly of the Beast (Northampton)
Thursday, September 23
Pork-Fat Brownie Bites

Jesse Hassinger began working in professional kitchens in Boston at Coppa Enoteca. From there he went to focus on butchering whole animals at the Somerville butcher shop, M.F. Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats. Working with whole animals gave him a unique opportunity to utilize ‘off-cuts’ – certain parts of the animal that would otherwise be thrown out. By creating Belly of the Beast, Jesse and Aimee are focused on continuing to honor the whole animal in this fashion. Jesse continued to work in Boston-area kitchens at Hungry Mother as well as its sister restaurant, State Park. In October 2015, he moved to Northampton to pursue the development of Belly of the Beast and took a position at Tart Baking Company as morning baker, bread-maker, and driving force behind the expansion of their donut program.

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