Our Team

  • Rachel MomperousseSpecial Events
  • Kathy DaoDonor Coordinator
  • Bobby PenningtonDonor Coordinator
  • Saul Lorenzo Jimenez

    Saul Lorenzo Jimenez

    Generously Supported By:  OpenTable
    Age, at time of Internship: 16
    CT Intern: Fall 2022 – Spring 2023
    Restaurant Host: Millennium, Chef Eric
    Referred By: MetWest DH – OUSD
    Intern Story:
    Saul grew up in a low income, single parent home in Oakland with his mom, who has always done most of the cooking – he would love to return the favor by taking on more of the cooking. He proudly says that his mom inspired him to strive toward a career in cooking. He took a class at Laney College, where he was guided by a mentor and learned the basics. Along with starting to make food at home, Saul also has experience decorating cakes at a bakery.

    His teacher introduced him to Sprouts Chef Training and encouraged him to apply. He had a wonderful experience at Millennium and found everyone kind and outgoing, especially his mentor Chef Eric.

    Saul obviously loves a challenge as he has run a half marathon, and enjoys biking and being a part of his school’s biking club. We are fully behind Saul’s career goal of being a traveling chef – tell us where you’ll be, and we will show up, napkins in laps!!

  • River Gregorio

    River Gregorio

    Generously Supported By: Patriot Holdings
    Age, at time of Internship: 16
    CT Intern: Fall 2022 – Spring 2023
    Restaurant Host: Componere Catering, Chef Rob
    Referred By: MetWest EH – OUSD
    Intern Story: River’s experience with bullies dimmed his self confidence and interest in school. It wasn’t until he found the courage to speak up that things took a turn for the better, and River realized the value of personal advocacy. He set out to do what he loved, no matter what others thought.

    Pursuing his interests meant rekindling a love for cooking. River remembered his parents teaching him a recipe for fried rice, and it became his goal to cook restaurant-caliber meals at home. As a Sprouts Chef Trainee at Componere Catering, River will gain confidence and cooking skills to use in and out of the kitchen. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for River!

  • Kim Thompson SteelPhotographer & Social Media Lead
  • Mauren FitzsimmonsWebsite Consultant
  • Henrique Greghi

    Henrique Greghi

    Generously Supported By: Whole Foods Market
    Age, at time of Internship: 16
    CT Intern: 2022
    Restaurant Host: Californios, Chef Val
    Referred By: Chalk
    Intern Story: Henrique was born in São Paulo, Brazil and moved to California when he was 13. He found it challenging to be in a new culture and learn a new language, but soon adapted to his new environment. He has always enjoyed cooking and learned some skills at home with his dad, “normal food like rice, beans, and meat”.

    Henrique’s mom heard about Sprouts through a school email and told him about the Chef Training program. He had always dreamed of a career as a chef, and was excited when he found out he was accepted and would intern at an amazing restaurant like Californios. He found it very rewarding helping to prepare food and knowing that someone else (in the dining room) would get to eat and enjoy what he had made. His time as an intern was hard work but incredibly fun, and he learned a lot about making food, plating, and organization.

    The sky’s the limit for Henrique – he is good at math and science and with his new restaurant skills, his only challenge will be choosing which direction to take after he finishes high school!

  • Sisma Menendez

    Sisma Menendez

    Generously Supported By: Current Foods
    Age, at time of Internship: 17
    CT Intern: 2022
    Restaurant Host: Greens Restaurant, Chef Katie
    Referred By: Chalk
    Intern Story: Growing up, Sisma experienced violence, negativity, and abuse, which affected her focus in school and her connections with others.

    Through it all, cooking was a form of escape. As Sisma mastered new recipes, studied the work of famous chefs, and prepared Thanksgiving dinner for her family, she found something to strive for: Sisma wanted to become a professional chef. 

    During her Sprouts internship, Sisma will work alongside Chef Katie at Greens Restaurant to turn her passion for cooking into a career. We cannot wait for Sisma to flourish with the support of a kitchen family and the mentorship of a seasoned chef.

  • Fredy Bazan

    Fredy Bazan

    Generously Supported By: Chef Uniforms
    Age, at time of Internship: 17
    CT Intern: 2022
    Restaurant Host: A16, Chef Noah
    Referred By: MetWest DH – OUSD
    Intern Story: Fredy faced discrimination because of his low-income background. Frustrating as it was, it couldn’t curb his appetite for life – or home-cooked meals with family. Food was Fredy’s window into the world. His mother’s tamales brought the taste of Mexico City to any kitchen, and foreign foods carried the flavors of unfamiliar cultures.

    Relishing the power of food to transport and connect, Fredy set his sights on a culinary career. He applied to Sprouts Chef Training, hoping to diversify his recipe repertoire and knowledge of international cuisine. With the support of his Chef Mentor at A16, Fredy will immerse himself in Italian traditions. We’re excited for Fredy to take the first step towards his goal: opening his own fusion restaurant!