Steering Committee

DanTurgeonDaniel Turgeon – Acting Chair, Steering Committee

Daniel is formerly a Professor of Culinary Arts at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Chef Turgeon taught over fifteen of the CIA’s courses over his seventeen year tenure including chef-instructor of the prestigious American Bounty Restaurant. Before leaving the Institute he was responsible for redeveloping the curriculum in the CIA’s St. Andrew’s Restaurant. The new curriculum exposed CIA students for the first time to the topic of food production sustainability and the importance of supporting local food economies.

Chef Turgeon is a 1985 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. He has also studied at the Beringer Invitational School for American Chefs in California’s Napa Valley. Before returning to his alma mater as a faculty member, Chef Turgeon was executive chef at the Imperial Hotel in Chestertown, MD. At the age of 27 years old, Chef Turgeon earned critical acclaim from the Washington Post and an overall Zagot rating of eleven out of 600 restaurants in both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland. He also worked in Chicago, Denver and other prestigious restaurants in Washington, DC, including the Morrison Clark Inn, Occidental Restaurant, and Mayflower Hotel. He is currently a Labor Relation’s Specialist with New York State United Teachers.



Sarah Underhill – Treasurer

Hudson Valley resident since the early 80’s; RN for Hudson Valley Hospice, folksinger and Mom of four. I served on the Board of directors of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater for 6 years with their Environmental Advocacy committee, and am just finishing serving on the Board of the Brook Farm Project. I am currently on the Board/Steering Committee for the following groups: Rivertown Kids [children’s environmental and advocacy choir based in Beacon], People’s Music Network; member of  Mohonk Consultations working group for events; member of the Ethics Committee for Health Alliance of Kingston; ad hoc member of Wawarsing Environmental Commission; Friends of Historic Kerhonkson, D & H Canal Society and the Ellenville NAACP.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJennifer Brizzi – Steering Committee

Jennifer is our steering committee co-chair and has lived in the Hudson Valley for 20 years. She is a food writer, recipe developer and cooking teacher, fascinated with what she calls worldwide “grandma food” and traditional ways of creating it. She wrote about eating local before it was trendy and has since published numerous articles, columns and recipes for newspapers, magazines, books and online. She has done freelance editing for the Culinary Institute of America and healthy eating education for a local chain of natural foods stores. She also offers private culinary tasting tours via and blogs about food writing at and seafood-centric travel at

Jennifer’s food-related interests also include humane/sustainable food raising/growing, home gardening, making cheese and sausage, fermenting, foraging, food history and food travel.


Susan Chiappini – Steering Committee

A passionate home cook and lover of science, Susan Chiappini, has taught cooking classes in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and New York. She holds a PhD in human physiology and is beginning her third year as farm kitchen supervisor at the beautiful Montgomery Place Orchards in Red Hook, NY. Susan works in conjunction with Bard Eats, teaching cheese making, fermentation and nutritious economical home cooking to college students. She enjoys entertaining, quilting and hiking the Hudson Valley while watching her four grown children come and go. She makes her home in Rhinebeck, NY with her husband of 27 years.


Dina Falconi – Steering Committee

Dina is a clinical herbalist with a strong focus on food activism and nutritional healing. She has been teaching classes about the use of herbs for food, medicine, and pleasure, including wild food foraging and cooking, for over twenty years. She produces Falcon Formulations natural body care products and Earthly Extracts medicinal tinctures. She is a founding member of the Northeast Herbal Association, a chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation and on the board of Slow Food-Hudson Valley. An avid gardener and wildcrafter, Dina is passionate about ecological agriculture and has completed the Permaculture Design Certificate Course. She is the author of Earthly Bodies & Heavenly Hair: Natural and Healthy Personal Care for Everybody.