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  • Alumni Changing
  • the World
Lisa Gross '00

Founder/CEO, The League of Kitchens

The League of Kitchens is a unique cooking school in NYC (and soon to be LA) where immigrants teach intimate cooking workshops in their homes, and participants encounter a new culture, cuisine, and neighborhood with every experience. Each experience offers opportunities for meaningful connection and social interaction, cultural engagement and exchange, culinary learning and discovery, and exceptional eating and drinking. It provides cross-cultural connections and understanding, increasing access to traditional cooking knowledge, and meaningful, well-paid employment and training for immigrants. 

A small, three-person company, The League of Kitchens is GDS through and through. With Lisa as CEO and Sonya Kharas '02 as program manager—that's two thirds of the company who are GDS alumni! 

Lisa is the daughter of a Korean immigrant and a Jewish New Yorker. She was raised on one grandmother's denjang-guk and the other's matzoh ball soup. The League of Kitchens is borne out of her passion for New York City, her love of cooking, and her connection to the immigrant experience. Her work deals with questions of civic engagement, social history, cross-cultural relations, domestic space, and national identity. She is the founder of The Boston Tree Party, a former food writer for the NY Press, and a frequent speaker at universities and conferences. 

While at GDS, Lisa founded Fata Morgana in 9th grade and ran the dance company for all four years of high school. She also co-founded Fusion, the multi-racial students group, was an editor of the Babel Fish, acted in a few shows, directed a one-act, and participated in Harvard Model Congress in the Supreme Court Program. She credits GDS as her most meaningful and central educational experience (much more so than college). 

"I loved my time there, and I felt supported, encouraged, and valued in really important ways. I felt free to both try and fail, and to be my fullest self."

Lisa credits Laura Rosberg with being a very important mentor, and teachers like Richard Avidon, Bobby Asher, and John Frazier made her feel challenged and inspired in the best of ways.

Lisa received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University and a B.A. from Yale University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.

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