Picking raspberries in the Skagit Valley_Photo: Charity Burggraaf
Photo: Charity Burggraaf
Genuine Skagit Cooking

Cookbook Team

Meet the Genuine Skagit Cooking collaborators

Michelle Gale, Raspberry Bow Press

Michelle Gale is the founder, publisher, and editor of Raspberry Bow Press.  Their debut book is The Washington Women’s Cookbook, published in 2020, which features a collection of recipes, essays, and art from Pacific Northwest women. Gale has worked in publishing for over ten years. She’s currently an editor at Modernist Cuisine where she works on books with scientific and historical focuses. She began her career at Sasquatch Books, located in Seattle, where she worked on over 100 titles ranging from cookbooks to narrative nonfiction and children’s books. Gale started Raspberry Bow Press to pursue personal interest projects and to collaborate with writers, designers, and photographers to create the kinds of books she wants to see on people’s shelves. When she’s not working on books, Gale spends her time tending to her 12-acre farm in Bow, Washington.

Charity Burggraaf, food photographer

Charity Burggraaf is a food photographer with more than 15 years of experience working in the industry. A Pacific Northwest native, she has shot over 30 cookbooks and has been published both nationally and internationally in publications like Bon Appetit, Saveur, Travel & Leisure, Food and Wine, Edible Seattle, and many others. She’s passionate about documenting artisans, farmers, and chefs. In her free time, Charity enjoys gardening, throwing pottery, and cooking at home in Bellingham, Washington.

Blake Van Roekel, Genuine Skagit Valley

Blake Van Roekel is the Director for Genuine Skagit Valley, a program to heighten consumer connection to the agriculture of the Skagit Valley. Her 15 years in the farm and food industry of the Pacific Northwest include running a cooking school and farm tour company, starting a farmers’ market, and consulting for food and farm establishments. She thrives in developing successful communication strategies to grow and gather community. Blake resides in Alger, Washington, where she can be found building forts in the forest with her daughter, gardening, and enjoying the exuberant symphony of geese, goats, and sheep that live next door.

Stephanie Lejeunesse is a queer, Jewish writer and editor with over 20 years of experience in publishing everything from flash fiction eulogies to ghostwritten novels. Her podcast, Cancer for Breakfast, has been featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting, in Portland Monthly, and Shoutout L.A. As a community organizer, she founded the Mount Vernon LGBTQ Pride event, the Breast Cancer Care-a-Van, and the Mount Vernon Period Pantry as well as being a founding member of Ladyfest Bellingham and Sunday Assembly Bellingham. She lives in Washington’s verdant Skagit Valley with her husband, three children, fancy geese, and beloved dog.