Janet Loera clips cilantro from the vertical gardens at Homegirl Cafe.
Janet Loera works as a line cook at Homegirl Cafe now, but a few years ago, fresh out of jail, she spent most of her time in one of the gardens that provide this downtown Los Angeles restaurant with freshly harvested organic produce. “I was one of the first girls in the garden,” says the 21-year-old, cutting cilantro from a hanging herb garden outside the cafe. “That’s where I started.”
Jim Denevan - who favors flip-flops, no shirt whenever possible, straw sun hats and surfing near his Santa Cruz, California, home - is becoming internationally known for his dual vocations as artist and chef, which are for him one and the same.