Cooking Collective

RAISE the ROOT is a cooking collective consisting of Chefs, Food Artisans and You! the community, Our community. We want to challenge the current culinary model by making food education accessible to anyone who desires to get to know their food. 


We believe that if you give people the knowledge and tools to navigate the culinary landscape it will empower them to make informed decisions that will affect the health and well being of themselves, their families and their local communities. By understanding where our food comes from, developing relationships with the people who produce our food and supporting our local food system – together we can be the change. For us, health starts in the fields and culminates in the kitchen.

Real People Cooking Real Food



Mark Dessert

Owner / Chef  Instructor

Chef Mark Dessert (yes that is his real last name!) is the owner of Raise the Root Cooking Collective, where he teaches people of all ages and walks of life the art of cooking. He is passionate about food and enjoys sharing his knowledge of creating healthful and nutritious meals with others.
In his spare time Mark enjoys learning about all things culinary, exploring the outdoors on his bike and volunteering his time to teach kids about food, both in the kitchen and out in the garden.

Seth Peterson

Owner / Chef  Instructor

As a second generation urban gardener living in the heart of Berkeley, my love of gardening is a natural extension of my love of food, of both cooking and eating in community, a love passed on to me from my mother.

My passion for teaching is fueled by fourteen years in Latin America, where I taught English and business.

I combine my twin passions, teaching and cooking, with my experience, to bring real local food to real people, reconnecting them to their local food shed and giving them the knowledge and the skills to prepare good food using traditional cooking techniques that are both healthy and delicious.

Dane Nelson

Owner / Chef  Instructor
Chef Dane has a unique passion for food and cooking and has spent the last 15 years honing his style and technique. He seeks out what is innovative, exciting, new and makes it his own by whittling it down to it’s simplest form and presenting it beautifully. His goal with his students is not simply to teach a recipe or technique but instead to encourage a deeper understanding and relationship with how we prepare food and where our ingredients come from. It is in this understanding that students can be encouraged to be creative

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