Full Circle Faces: Gabriel Avila-Mooney – Communication and Information Ninja
What brought you to Full Circle, and When?
I joined Full Circle in 2009. My background is in writing and editing, though I’d spent more than half my life at the time working in restaurants up and down the West Coast. I was searching for a place that I could use my experiences with food and combine it with my passion for writing. Full Circle offered me just that opportunity and I jumped at the chance to work for such a great company.
How does Full Circle’s mission speak to you?
From the moment I understood what Full Circle was trying to accomplish and how it was going about it, I was hooked. It’s an incredibly massive goal, to change the food system, but one that we can all take part in everyday. I love food, I love cooking, and feeding people good food gives me immense pleasure. I also love being a part of a company that wants to bring people back that joy, to connect them with local farmers, with sustainable eating and the simple pleasure that comes from eating good food.
Personal Goals for your role at Full Circle?
I want our members to turn to Full Circle for all of their culinary questions. I want to facilitate the creation of a robust recipe archive, a live chat with a chef, cooking classes, an amazing collection of cooking tips for every level of cook; everything someone with little cooking experience needs to cook with confidence. I want this to be a part of Full Circle membership. We’ll get there eventually, the changes to our member pages are a good first step and members will be able to see even more changes as the year progresses.
Favorite food memory?
The first time I roasted a whole pig for a friend’s wedding. We stayed up all night basting it, watching it cook and generally worrying. The next day it was done, we laid it out on the table and it got covered with yellow jackets. Everyone still ate it, even though half the crowd was vegetarian (as was the bride), there was nothing left but the ribs, which we basted and barbecued later that night. I’ve done it twice since then, but it never quite lived up to that first hog.
Favorite Full Circle-grown item? Preparation?
I know everyone says this, because it’s true, but the best thing we grow is kale—Lacinato kale to be exact. It’s also known as Dinosaur kale or Tuscan kale and it’s amazingly sweet, tender and has great flavor. I cook it with caramelized onions and garlic, salt and pepper, and then finish it with a squeeze of fresh lemon. There’s nothing like it, I could eat a whole bunch to myself.
I’ve been an avid cyclist and backcountry snowboarder for years, but I hurt my back a few years ago. Now I’m focused on healing and strengthening, which part of this is eating well. Like Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.”
Last book read/Favorite author/Periodicals?
We’re expecting a baby boy come the New Year, our first. So my reading these days is consumed with titles like The Happiest Baby on the Block and Parenting With Love and Logic. Besides that I love reading The Art of Eating a great food journal, Saveur and Bon Appétit.
Personal food weakness?
Is beer a food? If not, then I guess it would be pork, anything pork really. Pork chops especially. When cooked well there is nothing quite like it, tender, juicy and sweet. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
Personal history with farming?
My mom always grew a huge garden growing up. I still miss being able to go outside and pick salads. I’ll have a garden here in a few years—when I have the time and once I kill my lawn.