As the one and only “Pasta King,” Art Ibleto has touched generations in Sonoma County with pasta, kindness, and an unfailingly generous heart.
An Italian soldier who immigrated to the US at age 22 after World War II and began work as a Zucchini picker in Petaluma, Art and his wife Vicki eventually opened the Spaghetti Palace at the Sonoma County Fair, a familiar site to many for over four decades. Art has supported Santa Rosa Junior College students and their programs by cooking and donating at countless events and fundraisers for SRJC. He and his “Pasta King” logo are a Sonoma County staple at countless charity events, and his enthusiastic promotion of Italian culture has enriched our County.
As a chef, restaurateur, grape grower, vintner, and supporter of countless educational, charitable and other non-profit community causes with his unmistakable Italian accent, no one in Sonoma County has given more of himself to charity and to others than Art. Having enjoyed a very public Sonoma County celebration of his 90th birthday this past October, Art Ibleto’s life is a smiling example of what it means to be our brother's keeper.
Evelyn Cheatham has tirelessly dedicated herself to providing opportunities and second chances to others.
Evelyn moved to Sonoma County in 1987 and soon became part of the local food scene in Healdsburg and Santa Rosa. In 2006 she founded the nationally acclaimed culinary apprentice program Worth Our Weight (WOW) in Santa Rosa. The project was a culmination of her years of work in the food industry and her passion for helping underserved youth. Evelyn’s leadership at WOW has shown us the power that growing, cooking and eating good food can have on youth.
WOW apprentices are young people ages 16-24 who have faced major challenges in their lives, including foster care, difficulties with the law, homelessness, and significant family disruption. Evelyn and WOW provide tuition-free culinary and food service training, and young apprentices operate WOW’s acclaimed weekend café and celebrity chef dinners in a supportive, team based learning environment.
Evelyn’s support of Santa Rosa Junior College students and its programs is evidenced on many levels, including the ongoing success stories of WOW apprentices who continue their studies and culinary training at SRJC.
Evelyn Cheatham’s life is a reminder that mentoring and dedication to those less fortunate can both change lives and lift an entire community.