Tembi Locke

Tembi was phenomenal. Everyone truly loved her. She is an amazing woman!.

– Nathan Adelson Hospice Foundation Event


At 31, Tembi Locke had two major roles. On-screen, she worked as a TV actor and, off-screen, she was wife to a brilliant, Sicilian-born chef, Saro. It was an ideal life for the girl who had always dreamed of a life in the arts and who begged the last bite at the end of a delicious meal. In the restaurant business, a chef’s wife is known as a “kitchen widow” because their partners are lost to the demands of the restaurant business. When Saro wasn’t engaged in high-volume, time sensitive cooking, they filled their Los Angeles home with the flavors and aromas of his native Sicily. An impromptu dinner party often followed. They had carved out a life suited to feed both our creative souls.

Speech Topics


As a young widow, Tembi walked through a wilderness of deep grief before she could find herself again. Losing her husband, after a decade of critical care, left her smack in the middle of a life she didn’t recognize and would never have chosen. And yet, as mother and creative artist she knew the only way forward was through it. She would have to grieve hard and without a road map before she would feel the spark of her spirit that would ultimately light the fire of her renewal. Widowhood changes everything.

  • Acknowledge that grief is a life long journey
  • Accept that it is okay to dream and live an expanded life after loss
  • Ignite your deepest dreams for a life well lived
  • Cultivate curiosity about first steps
  • Elevate hope in times of loss
  • Honor what gift have come to you through difficulty
  • Explore how ritual can aid in renewal
  • Brainstorm what brings you joy and
  • Learn to recognize when you are getting better
  • Celebrate Your Vision for the life You have yet to live

Tembi closes this empowering keynote with an inspiring jumpstart to connecting to your own resilience.


Food and gardening are among of the tenants of the grief experience. We bring food when someone dies, plant a tree to commemorate their life. However, in communities disproportionately affected by loss (due to gun violence, lack of healthcare, poor diet) we see children and families struggling to process trauma without the social emotional resources needed to heal and thrive. These same communities are also were we see food injustice

Let’s plant the seeds of healing and renewal where it matters most. Let’s integrate the social justice movement of food stability with the human rights movement for the care of our most vulnerable communities. Let’s feed our communities hunger to heal and connection from seed to soul.

  • Offer creative pathways for social awareness and cultural change in our approach to personal and community loss
  • Affirm how the intersection of the arts, medicine and horticulture can strengthen our universal commitment to Human Rights and Social Justice
  • Promote the grief garden as a powerful tool in the global dialogue of peace and mutual respect
  • Bring together caregivers, doctors, wholistic practitioners, grief specialists, thought leaders and educators to discuss their work and share the message of whole family care during illness and grief
  • Promote healing through food and connection
  • Celebrate and share diverse ways people grieve


Tembi shares those private moments of loss and love, of how to help each other through moments of crisis, and ultimately how to transform grief and illness into emerging resilience. An actor, mother, writer, artist, chef’s wife and now a young widow, she is passionate about bringing people together in moments of crisis and helping others through hard transitions with innovative, supportive strategies. She raises awareness about how to support each other through times of illness and grief. Tembi guides her audience through reclaiming the lost art of comforting the soul. Using the tools she learned at the side of her chef husband, she chops, tastes and transforms the raw ingredients of loss and gratitude into something generous and sustaining.


Tembi reminds us why children need adults to share memories after a loss. She shares advice, reflections and reminds us of the importance of family friendship after loss.

Speakers Videos

Origins of The Kitchen Widow

Helping A Child After A Loss

Sharing Love & Grief – Sicilian Style

Books & Media

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KEYWORDS: Caregivers & Caregiving, Dementia, End of Life, Grief, Health | Wellness, Hospice, Resilience, Stress