Meet Chef Saralyn!

Meet Saralyn Smith, Chef & Director of Food Programming! Saralyn brings 15+ years of culinary experience to her new role and is set to re-imagine WCI’s educational food programming and culinary events.

Saralyn was the first Iowa chef to be accepted into the James Beard Foundation Boot Camp for Policy and Change in 2019. She continues to work with other alumni to improve food systems such as emphasizing regenerative and sustainable agriculture. Previously, she served as Kitchen Manager at Convivium Urban Farmstead, teaching community education programs and leading a zero-waste kitchen initiative. Her background also includes experience as a pastry chef at the University of Iowa and The Hotel at the Kirkwood Center. Additionally, Saralyn taught professional baking courses as an adjunct instructor at Kirkwood Community College. She earned an associate degree in culinary arts from Kirkwood and a BA from the University of Iowa.

To showcase Saralyn’s culinary vision and talents, WCI will be hosting a limited five-course tasting dinner series at the Wallace House on April 30, May 7 and May 14. Purchase your tickets in Events.

Summer staffing needed!

We are currently seeking a Garden Programs Intern. The Intern will help the Garden Programs Manager manage the organization’s 12 acres of tillable land and orchard for vegetable/fruit production for use by two kitchens. The site also includes space for cover crops, pollinator habitat, flowers and other land use. The Intern will participate in educational programming and special projects, one of which could be work on integrating the newly completed geothermal greenhouse into food production and educational opportunities. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required. Minimum of 10 weeks, maximum of 14 weeks – actual dates to be mutually determined.

Welcome, Amy!

Amy Zellweger shadowed long-time staff member Lisa Swanson during much of 2023 in preparation for Lisa’s retirement at the end of the year. It’s now 2024 and she’s ready to step into the role of site & program coordinator at the Wallace Farm, managing the facilities and working with other staff to coordinate programs such as Pizza on the Prairie. She also oversees group travel tours and private rentals at the Farm, plus manages the Farmhouse Gift Shop, working with local artists and vendors to create a special place to purchase gifts and Abundance items.

Fun fact: Amy’s very first job was working in the garden at the Wallace Farm when she was in high school. We’re glad she’s back!

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Our Statement

We stand with people of color against racism, violence, and hate. Enriching communities and gathering together is the core of our work at the Wallace Centers of Iowa and how we actualize the Wallace family legacy. Now more than ever, we value our work that creates seats at the table for everyone. As an organization, we are dedicated to equitable, inclusive programming and services where everyone is welcome.

COVID Response

WCI is monitoring CDC protocols and following its guidance. We ask that you not visit if you’re feeling sick or showing COVID symptoms. Together we can keep all our staff and guests safe and healthy.

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