Our Chefs


Eric is a self-taught vegan and vegetarian chef. He grew up on a farm, and demonstrated a green thumb at a very early age. He attended a local agricultural highschool and got training in landscaping and garden management.

Then, somewhere along the line, he started working for a large corporation as a corporate trainer. He set up bakeries, trained employees and opened new stores. It was a high-pressure, unhealthy life, and he gained quite a lot of weight. Then, 8 years ago, he decided to make changes and get healthy. He became a vegetarian and lost 75 pounds.

In addition to his passionate interest in good vegetarian cuisine, Eric is dedicated to living WITH the environment, not against it. He maintains an urban garden along side of a community of neighborhood farmers. Together they're working to get a permit for keeping bees. His long-term goal--to be part of a self-sufficient community.


Being raised into a Korean family has given David Parker a strong understanding about food & culture. His family taught him about the love & passion of creating delicious & healthy meals for customers and friends.  Starting as a dishwasher at Essene, David later moved to Plano Texas for 4 years to work as a Sous Chef in Whole Foods Market and received awards for best prepared Food Departments.  When he returned to Philadelphia, he  worked as the  Assistant Chef at the Strengthening Health Institute, which gave him an understanding of Macrobiotic cooking. He was then offered the Chef position at Essene, which had been his dream for a long time. Dave says it gives him much happiness being able to create healthy delicious vegetarian food and share it with his customers.