When a person works at Project Angel Food, you quickly learn that there is a family here. With a heavy heart we share, one of our family members, Chef Randy Nakamura, passed away on Tuesday, January 5, 2021. We were informed by his sister, Irena Seta.
“Chef Randy "joined Project Angel Food in April 2020 as part of the COVID-19 relief kitchen dream team. We quickly recognized that his bold, engaging personality was one of his secret ingredients in the kitchen and in the agency. Chef Randy never met a stranger and was seen during Project Angel Food’s Night of Gratitude& Song event this November dancing with comic Brad Garrett.
Project Angel Food Executive Chef John Gordon says, “Randy didn't fit in anywhere and because of that, he fit in everywhere. There was absolutely no pretense about him. The Randy I met on day one is the Randy that would show up every day for work. His personality, drive, commitment, people skills and most of all his laugh will be a shining moment in the history of this organization. Randy will truly be missed here.”
Chef Randy had over four years of culinary experience. He worked at Hyperion Public Restaurant for three years. He worked his way from being a dishwasher and was promoted to Pantry Cook. In early 2020, he attended Los Angeles Trade Technical College to further his culinary education and obtained a Safety and Sanitation Managerial certificate. In his spare time Randy enjoyed bike riding, and playing table games such as dominoes, cards, ping pong and billiards. He also loved to exercise and read because, in his words, "it gives balance to my life.”
Richard Ayoub, Project Angel Food Executive Director remembers fondly that, "Randy always told me that he was smiling underneath his mask." Linda Thomas, Development Associate worked closely with Randy when labeling thousands of special meals, reflects, "Randy was kind, funny, caring and boisterous. He made our work go smoothly, and he was a very hard worker. I will miss his joyous spirit. "
Randy often shared that he enjoyed his job here at Project Angel Food, and he loved being able to give back to the community; he did so with a smile every day. This Project Angel Food family has lost a beloved family member and will never forget him and celebrate him every day with a smile as we serve the community.