January 18, 2016

About Us

Joanne Neft ® and Laura Kenny (L) at the Farmer’s Market

Joanne Neft opened the first Foothill Farm­ers Mar­ket 20 years ago, and within three years the mar­ket expanded to six mar­kets through­out Placer County.  Always an advo­cate for Placer County Agri­cul­ture, in 1994 Joanne shared the idea of start­ing the Moun­tain Man­darin Fes­ti­val with the New­cas­tle Area Busi­ness Asso­ci­a­tion.  Today, almost 40,000 peo­ple attend the annual fes­ti­val to cel­e­brate the small man­darin orange that put Placer County on the map.  Joanne’s goal is to help peo­ple under­stand the ben­e­fits of eat­ing in-season locally grown healthy food and to sup­port the farm­ers who grow it.  Visit your local farmer mar­kets to share in the adventure.

Laura Kenny attended Cal­i­for­nia Culi­nary Acad­emy in San Fran­cisco.  From there, she worked at Boule­vard before mov­ing to San Diego, where she was Sous Chef of Lau­rel Restau­rant and Bar.  While in San Diego, she had a small cater­ing com­pany and also worked as a per­sonal chef.  The Auburn native returned to Placer County for 1 1/2 years, she became Chef of Per­sim­mon Cafe.  After the Cafe closed in 2008, she teamed up with Joanne Neft to write a cook­book cel­e­brat­ing the abun­dance of farm fresh foods avail­able year round.  Laura’s style of cook­ing is sim­ple, yet ele­gant, spe­cial­iz­ing in fresh, local and sea­sonal foods.