About Kristen of Rooted Food, Inc.
Rooted Food's founder, Kristen Rasmussen de Vasquez, is a culinary nutrition expert with a love of food that is both delicious and sustainable. Her "West Coast Nordic" food philosophy is based on New Nordic ideals rooted in place and time, incorporating ingredients and techniques from the environment around her. She has particular expertise in plant-forward cuisine, foraging, fermentation, and traditional food practices in the modern era. Kristen sincerely believes that all food should taste good, even - nay, especially - the "healthy stuff".
Kristen's enthusiasm for food began at a young age when she discovered the magical abilities of combining otherwise unremarkable ingredients such as flour, sugar, and butter, into sugar cookies (something truly decadent to her 7 year-old self). Around this same time, she began improving upon the lunches that she brought to school each day by making her own. After these two revelations dramatically upgraded her quality of life, she was hooked. Additionally, her upbringing in Humboldt County, where nature is an important part of life, has shaped her current food philosophy that values the connection between what we eat and our environment.
Her sights were set on culinary school, but Kristen's educational ambitions landed her at UC Berkeley. It was there that she discovered the field of nutrition and its benefits as a profession, specifically getting to talk about food all of the time while still challenging herself scientifically. During her education, Kristen did not lose sight of what was most important and continued to keep her hands dirty in the world of good food at restaurants and other organizations.
Now Kristen is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with interests and a professional history edging more into culinary science and sustainability than what you would typically expect from a dietitian. Her passions have led her many places – teaching food culture, food systems, and food science at UC Berkeley and the Culinary Institute of America, conducting sensory studies at the Nordic Food Lab in Copenhagen, a stint as a jam entrepreneur, revamping university and hospital menus, cheffing for her porridge pop-ups, competing in cupcake competitions, and elderflower foraging, but they all come down to one thing: rooted food.