1000 Fillmore Road, State College, PA 16803 • ContactCart

RE Farm Café at Windswept team

Brenda Palmer, Culinary Composer and Preserving specialist, has 30 years combined experience in fine dining, catering, and as a personal chef, mostly in Central PA.  In 2011 she attained a BS in Environmental Studies which has enriched her love and understanding of the natural processes of this world we share.  Brenda raises Angora goats, blueberries and mushrooms.

“I am excited to share my knowledge of mushrooms with our guests at RE Farm Café, in everything from miso shitake soup to morel tiramisu shortbread.”

Laura Valchar, Composer and Home Foods Conductor, is a Pennsylvania native spending many years in the farming and culinary world armed with an undergraduate degree in Resource Management and a graduate degree in Sustainable Agriculture. Laura spent years honing her culinary skills here in State College and in Oslo, Norway.  Upon her return she worked as an organic vegetable farmer before starting her own local prepared home food enterprise.

“A huge part of my life is my love of travel.  It is inspiring to see how people have built their lives and culture around farms and food!”

Luke Franchock, Produce Manager at Windswept

Christina Ferry, Production Manager at Windswept Farm 

Jeremy Gastiger, Purchasing Coordinator & Animal Whisperer

Jesse Graham, Production Manager

Jade Moore, Cafe Conductor, has worked in the hospitality industry for over a decade and enjoys providing the highest level of service to each guest. She appreciates being able to serve and support her community at RE Farm Cafe.


Monica and Duke Gastiger, LLC managing members, bring specialized talents and passion to RE Farm Café.

During Duke’s “corporate life” with Sheraton and Hyatt Hotels he embraced the priceless training with master chefs from around the world, learning the essence and nuances of each of their cuisines.  With a strong entrepreneurial drive, Duke returned to Penn State in 1985 to acquire The Rathskeller, opened Spats Café and Speakeasy in 1987, and continued as Chef/Owner with Monica until 2018. 

Monica’s first career as a landscape architect drove her appreciation for responsible development, recognizing land and environment are limited resources to be respected. Always a home gardener, Monica embraced locally grown foods and an appreciation for healthy options.  Monica is also a speech-language pathologist working in the education sector.

“Education about living responsibly is essential for all generations, and the opportunities with RE Farm Café are limitless.”

“RE’s cuisine?  Simplicity is the essence of style and grace.  We let the natural goodness of farmed foods steal the show!”