Iso Rabins first discovered his love of foraged foods after sourcing and then selling mushrooms out of his car to restaurant owners across San Francisco. Fast-forward to today and Iso has built a business around food education and cultivating entrepreneurship. He runs the restaurant incubator Forage Kitchen, hosts communal pop-up dinners as Wild Kitchen, and offers foraging excursions through ForageSF. The renowned Underground Market he pioneered helped to transform the local food and restaurant community in the Bay Area. On today’s episode, Iso discusses his passion for turning creative ideas into real businesses. You’ll learn about the sharp career turns Iso took after film school that led him to the restaurant world. Iso also shares how he leans on everyday conversations for mentorship and feedback for his burgeoning ventures. Tune in to Making Ways podcast with food entrepreneur Iso Rabins.
Iso Rabins co-founded Oakland, CA’s Forage Kitchen with his cousin, Matthew Johansen, to provide a communal productive space for intrepid chefs and makers to test concepts and prepare batches of their wares. Rabins spent much of his childhood in Vermont, but returned to his native Northern California to pursue a series of innovative culinary enterprises, including Wild Kitchen, Underground Market, and ForageSF, which have evolved into Forage Kitchen. Through Kickstarter, Rabins and Johansen raised more than $150,000 to expand on the mindset behind Wild Kitchen and Underground Market and create Forage Kitchen, a culinary co-working concept energized by Uptown Oakland’s vibrant food scene. His first creative passion was cinema, and he received a B.A. in film studies from Boston’s Emerson College, then spent his early career as a film and television production assistant, including a stint at PBS affiliate WGBH working on the award-winning “Frontline” program. Rabins lives with his girlfriend in San Francisco, and when not at the Kitchen, he enjoys abalone diving, spear fishing, surfing, and woodworking, as well as inventing new culinary equipment.