Cooking and eating good food has always been a huge part of my life. I started learning at a young age from my grandmother. I feel so fortunate to have had the chance to learn professionally from great chef instructors like Chef Barbara Alexander. For me, cooking is a satisfying and creative way of bringing friends and family together.
I’ve enjoyed cooking and good food for as long as I remember. During my tenure as a dean at Napa Valley College, I had the honor of overseeing the Napa Valley Cooking School, a professional culinary program lead by Executive Chef, Barbara Alexander. During that same time, I was working for the Napa Valley Railroad Police Department and had an opportunity to work part time in the kitchen under Executive Chef Kelly MacDonald. The work was intense, but I learned a great deal about working in a professional kitchen with high-end food. I told both chefs that when I retired, I wanted to attend the professional culinary program.
In 2016, I did retire from my administrative job in order to return to teaching full time and so that I could attend culinary school. My goal was never to work in a restaurant, but rather get involved in “edu-tourism” in order to share my love of food and of teaching with others.
Today, I teach a variety of culinary classes for the Food Enthusiast Program at the Napa Valley Cooking School. These classes are ideal for home cooks, tourists, and foodies like me!. I also offer private culinary parties that are perfect for team-building activities, birthday and anniversary celebrations, or just to do with special friends and family.
These special classes can be held in the professional kitchen at the Napa Valley Cooking School in St. Helena, California. They are perfect for groups of 12 to 18 people, but can be done for smaller groups. Imagine getting together your special group and learning how to prepare an amazing meal together. This is a hands-on experience where you cook and then enjoy the incredible meal you make.
I offer three different style of menus at different price points. I can also customize a program to meet your special needs.
Private Cooking Class Parties
Tasty Pastry, featuring scones or galettes – $85 per person
California Brunch, 6 to 8 course meal – $85 per person
Italian Dinner, 6 to 8 course meal – $125 per person
Wine Country Dinner – 6 to 8 course meal – $125 person
It works like this… You and your guests arrive and enjoy a tasting of local sparkling wine. You sign-up with a partner to prepare one of the courses on the menu. We walk through the entire menu and then, you go to work! Once everything is cooked, you all sit down to enjoy your meal.
Scheduling is based on the availability of the professional kitchen and instructor. All fees must be paid in full in advance and become non-refundable two weeks prior to the event. All participants must register with Napa Valley College as part of the process (this can be done on site at the time of the program).