This month we are welcoming Seed’s new Kitchen Manager Reed Rahrich!! He’s been generous enough to share some of his life journey with us; about how his connection with food helped him find and express himself, and how he made his way to us. When you see him around, be sure to say hi, and welcome to the fam!

My food journey has been interesting to say the least. I started my career serving at a pizza shop in Bismarck, ND when I was in high school. I went off to college for a couple of years but it didn't suit me. I had casual kitchen jobs here and there but my cooking career didn't really take off until I started at Deek's Pizza in Fargo, ND. It was one of the first jobs I where I was out as queer, at the time identifying as a butch lesbian. I learned a lot about myself and about the difficulty of being a young queer female manager in a workforce of mostly men. I poured all of my frustrations into working harder, becoming faster and more organized and trying to get better wages and conditions for my employees. I wasn't cooking the way I wanted to be, but I was learning a lot about what did and didn't work when it came to people.

 I knew the stress was taking me further from becoming the person I wanted to be.

Eventually, after building up a crew of solid pizza people, I came out to them as trans. At that point I was their general manager, and I lost a lot of employees over being trans. Someone slashed my tires. I started feeling concerned for my safety. I knew the stress was taking me further from becoming the person I wanted to be.

In 2016 I moved to Minneapolis & started fresh at Hello Pizza in Edina. I got back to basics. I came out as trans in my interview. No one batted an eye. In my new job, I learned a lot of fundamentals that I had never learned home cooking.

I learned the importance of texture, weight, dough hydration, humidity, of taking things one step at a time. I learned to get myself and my crew out of the weeds when tickets wouldn't stop pouring in. I learned how to communicate more effectively and train people with different learning styles. I learned to trust my senses in the kitchen.

I cook because my mom taught me to. I cook because it is traditional in my family to know at least how to make the family sauce. I cook because it connects me to my body, my senses, my guests, and the ingredients I work with. Hospitality is in my genes. When I'm not at work, I'm usually cooking or baking. It is my meditation, and when I couldn't express who I was in every way on the outside, cooking let me be that person in the dishes I served.

It's very personal to me, the connection I have with food. But my journey there is something I am very open about, because my story happens to a lot of trans and queer people but I don't think we are who anyone thinks of when they think of cooks. We are not the "mythic norm" in the kitchen.

I found Seed when I was at a point of personal confusion and insecurity.

I had left Hello to join a project that didn't pan out. I had some time to make a choice about the future of my career. I was working with recruiters trying to get me involved with lots of local and national pizza companies. But I wanted to try something different. Interviewing with Phil, and then Ryann and Kate and a lot of the team, I felt immediately comfortable. It was unlike other interviews. And it has been rewarding. I have a lot of fear in my story, a lot of making hard decisions to survive or to be myself. I have had relationships fall apart because of my transition. But Phil and Ryann were extremely real with me about the job, the culture, and what they thought I could do for them. It was an emotionally vulnerable circumstance that helped me join this team but I am grateful for it. I'm looking forward to the journey ahead.

Left - Brook // Middle - Deshawn // R - Reed

Left - Brook // Middle - Deshawn // R - Reed