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Meet the Host and Chef ~

Chef Steven Ferneding

Steven Ferneding is an explorer and chef who travels the world to film Trading Dishes; A travel and cooking show he created that focuses on global warming and it’s affects on crops and food availability across the globe. His mission: to teach locals and viewers a like, new and healthy dishes using the produce available to them as they adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change.


Chef Steven Ferneding’s love for cooking began six years ago, while traveling in Salzburg, Austria. As his travels came to an end he decided the next step in his journey was to try his hand at cooking. Upon his return to the states he signed up and dove into the art. He attended Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Program in Portland, Oregon and graduated with honors at the top of his class.


After graduating from culinary school he ventured down to California where he completed his internship in San Diego’s premier seafood restaurant “The Oceanaire.” He had the privilege of working alongside “San Diego’s Top Chef” Brian Malarkey. While in San Diego he was given the opportunity to work on private yachts in the Bahamas. For the next seven years he cooked for the worlds rich and famous on the most prestigious yachts and in homes all over the world. He is known in the yachting community as being a healthy gourmet chef and is an inspiration for other chefs in the industry.


In 2012 Chef Steven was fortunate enough to spend a year and a half embarking on a culinary exploration through India, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Japan. While visiting each of these countries he had the opportunity to study Indian and S.E. Asian cuisines while working with local chefs. Together they tested new recipes and exchanged culinary techniques. Chef Steven was able to participate in cooking classes, as well as prepare and cook in kitchens which served both tourists and locals alike.


The knowledge he gained through his culinary journey is irreplaceable and more valuable then he could’ve ever imagined.



Meet the Writer ~ Creative Director

Jennifer Ferneding 


Hi! My name is Jennifer Ferneding and I am the writer and creative director for Trading Dishes.


In 2009, I studied Art History at Oregon State University. This presented me with an incredible opportunity to travel to Rome, Italy and study some of the worlds most admired artists in the world. Living and traveling throughout Western Europe provided me with a new perspective on how the world works. It taught me that the possibilities in life are endless, and if you have a dream along with the passion to chase that dream, you can do anything.


After college, I explored the culinary world and found a position in catering. This new endeavor provided me with an exciting new challenge; to learn a business that involved fulfilling a clients culinary needs. As my interest in the culinary and event planning world grew, I was offered the position as the administrative assistant to the CEO of the company. This allowed me to get to know the clients on a more personal level and bring their visions to life. I thoroughly enjoyed the event and catering industry, but couldn’t help but to feel that something in my life had yet to be fulfilled.

In 2014 my older brother Steven, who is a private chef and world explorer was on his descent from Mt. Everest Base Camp. During expedition he had a life altering discovery which led him to realize how global warming was affecting the locals food supply in SE Asia.  When my brother returned to the USA, he shared with me this heart breaking reality. We discussed how climate change is not only affecting people in SE Asia, but is a current issue we are dealing with in America. My brother envisioned a television series that invited the viewer to travel with him to some of the world’s most exotic locations: Locations where climate change had deeply affected the well-being of its inhabitants. After several months of planning, we teamed up to make this show a reality. I signed on as show’s writer and creative director while my brother took the lead roll as host and executive producer.


My involvement while on this 93 day documentary film production, gave me first hand experience of seeing the positive influence the written word can have. Trading Dishes has offered me an inside look into how people around the world are effected by climate change. This has created a new found passion within me to share stories like these. I am looking forward to the next adventure.




The Brother, Sister Team

Steven and Jennifer

Steven has a passion for cooking. Jennifer has a creative flare for design, organization and media specialization. Together they have a mutual love for traveling, meeting new people and an enthusiasm for finding places yet to be explored. Ultimately they are a brother, sister team turned best friends, who enjoy life, learning and growing  with others. All the while eating great food and learning from one another.





Research and Content Coordinator

 Janece Levien


Janece Levien graduated from the University of Puget Sound with her BA in Comparative Sociology and a minor in Spanish, she also received her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Concordia University - Portland. Originally from Beaverton, Oregon, Janece has been in the Tacoma area since 2005 and is excited to serve the Tacoma community and its youth. She is passionate about working with youth and providing resources and support to help them navigate their future. Janece currently serves as the assistant coach of the women's soccer team at the University of Puget Sound and loves to play and watch sports.  She also enjoys to cook, go camping and spent time abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and loves to explore the Northwest with her dog, Nala (from Guatemala!). Janece has also traveled to Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, panama, Nicaragua, Belize, Guatemala with desires to hit the rest of Latin America and Asia.


Sam McGehee


Sam started doing photography/videography as a way to capture the greatness of the outdoors. All of the small projects he completed with  friends left him a valuable skill-set. He has shot and edited cinematic quality advertising videos for everything from high-end guitar pedals to trailers for a theater plays. In his free time he shoots landscape photography and records music. His experience from recording music has greatly influenced the way he sees and hear things. His influence from documentary film and his passion to make this world better for future generations, has  him very excited to travel with Trading Dishes.Learn more about Sam and check out his latest projects:

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