Mindy has been in the field of education for more than 20 years, teaching, writing curriculum design, and serving as a principal. She loves working with kids and they love working with her. She came up with the idea of an educational cooking camp when she observed how much children in the Temple Israel Religious School enjoyed cooking. When she offered up explanations about a food's origins and the customs behind preparing the food, she watched the children's engagement grow.
"Cooking and eating takes on a different meaning when you understand the back story," said Mindy. "Learning a little bit about a country, then preparing that country's food truly enriches the cooking lesson, and makes the eating experience that much more delicious!"
Sonja’s skills and talents are many and diverse. The majority of her finance and human resource experiences has been in the medical field where she worked for Center for Breast Health, Health Care Compliance Association and Evangelical Community Hospital as a manager, customer service representative and analytical problem solver. With a BS in Business Administration, she also worked in Human Resources as a Compensation Specialist. In a past life (wink) Sonja attended culinary school and worked as a chef for many years. Off hours Sonja spends her time hiking, baking and spending time with a large family. She considers herself a people person and is excited to work with the staff and chef educators at Cooking Round the World!
Ashley is a Bay Area native and a recent graduate of Los Medanos College with a degree in Business Administration and Liberal Arts. She transferred to Saint Mary’s College where she is pursuing her degree in Business Administration. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling internationally with her family and friends, “staycationing” with her husband, playing volleyball and spending time with her dog Tama. She also enjoys cooking Samoan food with her mother and sister and hopes to share her love for her Polynesian culture and food with the students of Cooking Round the World.
Ariel is a mom with a variety of talents and interests. She has always been fascinated by different cultures and their different cuisines. As a young girl, she was introduced to many different types of food, tasting and cooking Ethiopian, Hungarian, Japanese, Israeli, and Italian dishes.
Chelsea grew up down in the central valley, north of Bakersfield. Growing up in the central valley she had the great privilege of experiencing being able to walk out to orchards and pick vine ripe grapes, the best tasting oranges, and lemons. She moved to the bay area 5 yrs ago to further her education. She enjoys a faster paced life style and all the different cultures not to mention all the new food ! She has always had a passion for food , growing up in the kitchen watching and learning from her grandmothers, great grand mother, grandfather, mother and cousins. She enjoys the outdoors and nature. If everyone smiled a little more the world would be a brighter place.
Jonna is a Martinez ca native born into a family of butchers and caterers. She is a former equestrienne and athlete but even after all the glitz and glam of horse showing, tournaments and exhibitions, her heart remained true to the family's roots! She has a great passion for food, children and instruction!
A Philadelphia native, Kat grew up surrounded by different cultures and cuisines, including her family's Sicilian seven fish dinner at Christmas time. Coming from a family of cooks, and a twin brother who is a professional chef, it's no wonder she has always found passion and solace in cooking and baking. Eventually, she moved out to the Bay Area to bake at Acme Bread, ending up in Oakland. For the past 8 years, she has been a professional nanny, reconnecting with her love of children and childcare. Kat has a biology background and is currently pursuing her BA/BS in Education and Nursing in the evenings. Kat's love and excitement for exploration and experimentation with food and cuisine is optimistic and endless. She is shameless about getting goofy and involved with every student, while her energetic and jolly personality is sure to engage every meal and challenge.
Meredith's journey with expanding her palette began in her mid-twenties. I was 22 years old the first time I tried an avocado! I truly believe it's never too late to try new things and I have seen how food has a way of opening doors and expanding other aspects of enjoying life. I love trying new foods and flavor combinations that I never thought would work together. I first started traveling abroad to Europe and then to South East Asia where I visited some amazing countries and made wonderful friendships. Most recently, I have been exploring the United States and learning about the unique lands and cultures that surround me.
Born in Richmond Virginia in a large, multi-cultural southern family, Stefen was taught at a very young age by her elders how to eat from seeds cultivated by nature and nourished by love. To carry on this tradition she spreads her passion and education about food, health and wellness through parents and their children. She is an avid yoga enthusiast who spends her self-care time exploring farmers markets, journaling new recipes, and talking her way into Chef Kitchens on her global travels. In 2010, she became an official Navy wife and moved to San Diego, CA with her husband and their four children. While obtaining her Certification as an Integrative Nutrition Coach, she has worked in many community organizations, including the San Diego Unified School district, to educate children about food and health awareness. She has led multiple groups on home cooking techniques and recipe refinement. As well as, been a keynote speaker at various workshops and events that support her mission of “educating families through the power of home cooking.” Home is where the heart is and Stefen is thrilled to call Cooking Round the World her new home.
Stephanie is a retired Child-Care Provider. She has two daughters a husband and a kitten. She loves cooking and children. She is excited to hop back in the work place and begin her new adventure with Cooking Round the World.
Rose is a student at UCLA Undergrad, studying ceramics and specializing in sculpture and glaze. She says handling clay is a lot like cooking and she loves to cook. She is excited to be here in the Bay area and to further her cooking experience with Cooking Round the World.
Justin was born and raised in New Jersey, he started cooking at the age of 5. Cooking became his happy place he began cooking every night and found this is where his passion was. He attended the Culinary Institute of America. Justin says it was his middle school Culinary Arts teacher that mentored him and why he in the field today. He is excited to be working with Cooking Round the World and hopes to inspire the next generation of young chefs.
Nicole was a Home Daycare Provider for 16 years. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Arts and Humanities. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. Nicole is the Co-owner of Nix Kitchen Creations. She enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Tamika is a private and upcoming Chef with her own small business. Tamika has worked with children all over the city such as Berkley, Richmond and San Francisco. Tamika loves Cooking and is very passionate about food. She is happy to join the Cooking Round the World Family and can’t wait to get in the kitchen.