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Cooking Class Registration
& Cancellation Policy:

Classes are filled on first-come basis.

Payment must be made at the time of registration.

Register online, in person at our store, or mail list of classes you want with your name and your telephone number.

Also register by phone: (314)-862-COOK (2665).

Send payment to KITCHEN CONSERVATORY, 8021 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63117.


Kitchen Conservatory Chef - Instructors

Scroll below to learn more about the talented chefs and culinary teachers that teach classes at Kitchen Conservatory.

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Amanda Anderson “Amanda Anderson” width=

Amanda Anderson, the Retail Manager of Kitchen Conservatory, started as part of the crew in 2015. Amanda taught her first Heir and a Parent class in 2017, and teaches many fun parent/child classes. Amanda is a busy mom and loves art, cooking, and board games.

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Serena Ball


Serena Ball, MS, RD is a registered dietitian nutritionist, food writer, and contributor at She is co-author of the best-selling  The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, and the newly released Easy Everyday Mediterranean Diet Cookbook which includes 125 Mediterranean recipes for American tastes as well as 125 Healthy Kitchen Hacks with each recipe. Serena became known for her Healthy Kitchen Hacks on her blog Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @TspCurry.

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Glenn Bardgett
Glenn Bardgett - Guest Chef at Kitchen Conservatory

Glenn Bardgett has been the Wine Director at Annie Gunn's Restaurant and the Smoke House Market since 2001. Glenn has taught classes at Kitchen Conservatory for 20 years.


From his days of wine study at the University of Hawaii, he worked in the retail side of the wine business for 30 years, beginning at 905 Stores in St. Louis in the mid-70s. He co-owned the Wine Cellar for nearly 12 years, and then spent four years supervising the wine program at the Brown Derby Wine Cellar in Town & Country, MO. In 2001, Glenn made the move to expand his experience by entering the restaurant service area of wine with his move to Annie Gunn's and Smokehouse Market.


He has been a member of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board for over 25 years, as well as Marketing Chairman for the Board. He has been an experienced wine judge in local, national and international competitions for many years. He is a member of many wine organizations and has written for several publications. He hosted a weekly wine chat on America Online for eight years.


Glenn has been awarded the designation "Certified Sommelier" by the Court of Master Sommeliers and "Certified Specialist of Wine" by the Society of Wine Educators. He was one of only 40 in the United States to receive the "Passionate Wine Service Award" from the Trefethen Winery in Napa Valley. Glenn was a contributor to the Kelly Twins TV series, "Twice Baked" on Charter Communications Network. Glenn also writes a monthly column, "Drink This" for Sauce Magazine in St. Louis. In 2009, he was given the Pioneer Award by the Missouri Grape and Wine Board. This is the highest honor given by the board. Glenn was a James Beard Award semi-finalist for the 2011 Wine Service Award. Bardgett is also well known for his pants.

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Dara Boxer

Dara Boxer hails from Washington, DC where she ran a personal chef company, helping other busy families solve the age old question, 'what's for dinner?' As a mom to two small toddlers, she fully understands the importance of having a meal plan in place. She loves to provide practical and simple solutions to help your dinner routine run smoothly and efficiently. 

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Susan Caciano

Susan Caciano is a plant-based private chef passionate about simple, innovative habits that positively impact daily life. She empowers you to discover your natural creativity with nutrient-rich fuel as a means to longer, more vibrant living. Her passion led her to create Yellowbird Nutrition, a private chef and lifestyle service. She is a registered dietitian with a Master's in Nutrition and Physical Performance from Saint Louis University.

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Jane Callahan
Jane Callahan - Guest Instructor at Kitchen Conservatory

Jane Callahan, founder of Pie Oh My!, grew up on a farm in Minnesota, and learned to bake pies from her mother, whose effortless and experienced hands made the task seem simple. Since her mom whipped out pies practically with her eyes closed, Jane assumed that everyone had access to mouth watering pies made from scratch. After moving away from the farm, she began baking pies on her own and loved incorporating her Mom's deft techniques while experimenting with new recipes. For Jane, making pies is a rewarding sensory experience - touch, smell, sight and taste. And, more than anything she loves the simplicity of bringing a contented smile to someone's face as they bite into a delicious homemade pie and say...."oh my!" Jane has been teaching pie classes at Kitchen Conservatory since 2012.

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Melissa Clendenin “Melissa Clendenin” width=

Melissa Clendenin, the Director of the Cooking School, has been a familiar face at Kitchen Conservatory as far back as 2009 as a kitchen assistant. Melissa loves cooking at home and experimenting with recipes, and is an avid baker of sourdough bread.

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Bob Colosimo - Guest Chef at Kitchen ConservatoryBob Colosimo

Robert "Bob" Colosimo was born and raised in Warren, Pennsylvania and upon graduation from high school attended the Culinary Institute of America, graduating in 1980. Bob began his traveling food career in 1981 by joining Holland America Cruise Line sailing on board several oceangoing cruise ships, including a world cruise in 1984. In 1984, Bob joined St. Louis-based Clipper Cruise Line as executive chef. During this period, Bob had the opportunity to work on passenger ships, river boats in Europe, and on the American Orient Express Luxury Train. Bob also has worked as an adjunct instructor at St. Louis Community College, Forest Park.

In 2008, Bob joined the Eleven Eleven Mississippi Restaurant team and in 2009 became the general manager/executive chef. Bob is a Certified Executive Chef and Certified Culinary Administrator.

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Courtney Curtwright

Courtney Curtwright, owner of White Box Catering, started her culinary world off in the pastry field! Graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Courtney opened her bakery, Fancy Flour, in Arkansas in 2013. She sold the bakery in 2017 and relocated to St. Louis! In 2019 White Box Catering began! 


Sweets are still one of her favorite things to make, but creating fun and yummy catering options has become such a passion from tasty small bite appetizers to gourmet dinners, and so much more! 

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Jay Dedkard - Guest Chef at Kitchen ConservatoryJay Dedkhad

Chef Jay Dedkhad, of Ocha Thai and Japanese Restaurant, creates beautiful and delectable sushi, teaching one of our most popular classes. His knowledge, expertise, and patient teaching are always appreciated by students.


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Devon Drag

Devon Drag

Devon Drag, started as a kitchen assistant, then a retail associate at Kitchen Conservatory, and is now a popular teacher. An avid baker, Devon spent ten years in retail management, first at Lord & Taylor then Eddie Bauer. Devon took about two years off before coming to Kitchen Conservatory in March of 2015. The reason she likes to cook, especially bake, is simple - it makes people happy. It's a simple thing to share that people always appreciate. Who can have a bad day when there are cupcakes involved?

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Caryn Dugan

Caryn Dugan

After losing her dad to cancer, and she herself receiving the diagnosis, Caryn Dugan decided to take her health into her own hands. Research lead her to a plant-based diet and in 2008 she adopted the diet fully. The learning curve was tough and that's what prompted her to begin her now flourishing business, STLVegGirl in 2011; to help others make the transition. Her career unknowingly began in 2008 after attending a local plant-based cooking class and the instructor called her afterward to assist the next class. That lasted two and a half years. In 2011 she went out on her own, began teaching her own classes, filling speaking engagements and visiting clients for in home consults. She was accepted into the Physician's Committee Cancer Project Program in Washington DC and earned her Food For Life Certification. Caryn is certified to help cancer patients in treatment and remission, type II diabetics, and obese individuals through the use of nutrition. She teaches children's programs in schools and conducts healthy weight management classes. She is a plant-based personal chef delivering healthy meals and running a small group catering business. She also enjoys getting up early to fulfill her first love; broadcast. You can find Caryn on Show Me St. Louis, FOX2 in the Morning and Great Day St. Louis various times days during the month.

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Pete Fagan - Guest Chef at Kitchen Conservatory

Pete Fagan

Pete Fagan has been at Tony's for 25 years, working directly under executive chef Vince P. Bommarito. As the night chef, he is his right hand man developing seasonal specials and incorporating them into the menu, passing down his knowledge to ensure the highest possible quality and attention to detail at point of service.

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Harry Fiebelman “Harry

Harry Fiebelman grew up baking at home and in local classes in the San Francisco Bay Area. When it was time for college, he moved across the country to Rhode Island to attend Johnson and Wales University where he received a Bachelors of Science in Baking and Pastry. Since finishing school he has found a passion for sharing his knowledge and love of baking with others and helping others feel more confident to bake at home in their kitchen. Harry also is working to train the next generation of chefs at Saint Louis Community College focusing on their Baking Theory, Chocolate, and Bread classes.


Outside the kitchen, Harry loves to garden and hike. He loves to learn better ways of growing in regenerative practices that benefit the soil and ecosystem, then utilizing as much as he grows in various meals, ferments, or medicinal oils and balms. You can learn more about Harry, learn from his practices, and get some incredible recipes at his website,, and follow him on instagram @Harry_Fiebelman.

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Ericka Frank
Ericka Frank - Guest Chef at Kitchen Conservatory

Ericka Frank is owner of the Cakery Bakery in Dogtown. Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, she made her first wedding cake at the age of 14 and has been passionate about pleasing the eye as well as the palate ever since. Her enthusiasm for all things culinary led her to St. Louis to complete her master's degree in dietetics.


While the transition from nutrition to buttercream may seem like quite a stretch, dessert fans everywhere are glad she took the leap. After years of baking for friends and family out of her home, Ericka opened the Cakery in March of 2005. She has now been baking and decorating cakes for over 25 years and is eager to please even the most exacting clients with her exquisite creations. She has an incredibly talented team of individuals working with her to consistently ensure the highest quality cakes, cupcakes, and cookies available.

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Jeff Friesen


Jeff Friesen, of Taco Buddha, returned to his childhood town of St. Louis in 2009, after graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York and working at A Voce. Jeff has been in the kitchens of Farmhaus, Sugarfire Smoke House, and Juniper. Jeff loves sharing his skills with pasta, fish, and tacos.

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Joshua Galliano - Guest Chef at Kitchen Conservatory Joshua Galliano

Growing up in South Louisiana gave Joshua Galliano a great appreciation for the life of the city and the ways of the country. After working at various restaurants in Baton Rouge, Josh was lucky enough to find two mentors who encouraged his passion for food. The quest for knowledge and experience in cooking led Josh past a Master's degree in Political Science to a Grand Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu in London. Josh has worked at Commander's Palace and Brennan's in New Orleans, and also with Daniel Boulud in New York.

After evacuating New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, Josh and his wife have begun a new life in the Midwest. Josh was the executive chef at Monarch where he highlighted the bounty of local farmers and modern interpretations of American regional cuisine, executive chef of Libertine in Clayton, and is now part of the Companion Baking family.

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Patty Goeke “Patty

Patty Goeke has 22 years of teaching experience in science in Kirkwood, and has also taught 6th grade math, digital citizenship, and a food science course for 6th graders, and will add 8th grade algebra to her schedule this year. In her spare time, she tutors math, science, and ACT prep.

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Aruna Gopinath - Guest teacher at Kitchen ConservatoryAruna Gopinath

Aruna Gopinath grew up in Bangalore, India, but hails originally from the southern-most state in India, called Kerala - the land of fish, rice and coconut! Aruna is a financial services professional with a passion for cooking. Her "career" in the kitchen started at age 11 under the guidance of her mother and later on by other family members. She has been cooking for family and friends ever since and enjoys it thoroughly. Aruna's biggest fan is her teenage daughter, and she also caters for parties and local events.

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Lydia Gwin “Lydia

"My Favorite Kind of People are those who love to eat" - and Lydia Gwin couldn't agree with Julia Childs more.   Lydia's love for food started at a very young age sitting in her grandma's kitchen licking the spoon and watching her work.   Summers were spent on the family's farm berry picking, riding tractor and feasting on the freshest of ingredients around.  A child of a career military Lieutenant Colonel, Lydia spent her childhood moving around and experiencing different regions of the United States culturally and especially through cuisine. Along with her nomadic upbringing, her travels around the world opened up another great chapter in food exploration.  Whether it was jumping off the train in Italy to slurp down creamy espresso, navigating the multiple carts at a Dim Sum in ChinaTown, or eating goat brain stew in Kenya to understand that food is the ultimate connector!   


After studying film in college, Lydia moved out to Los Angeles where she was about able to work on a variety of productions including films, scripted television and commercial sets where she got to work with food stylists and learn a few tricks of the trade. Lydia fell in love with a local St.Louisian and relocated.  Once in St.Louis, she landed a job at Bravo Cucina.  It was there she fully embraced all areas of restaurant life.  Lydia wore many hats over her career as corporate trainer, banquet coordinator, recipe developer and General Manager.  Her career led to accolades from Kirkwood/Des Peres Chamber as Business Person of the Year 2018 and numerous cooking segments on local and cable channels. Sadly her 11 year career with Bravo came to an end at the start of COVID closures with the news of permanent closing.


As the saying goes, when a door shuts, another opens and so this has for Lydia.  During the shelter at home, Lydia created Gwin's Tiny Kitchen, an online platform on Facebook and Instagram teaching tutorials with her two children, Miles (8) and Piper (5).  Gwin's Tiny Kitchen has blossomed to virtual classes for organizations and businesses offering classes for kids and adults.   The door also opened to Kitchen Conservatory where she continues to build her portfolio of classes to offer.  

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Tarek Husseini


Tarek Husseini, of Ladue, made it to the final round of the 2019 Kids Baking Championship on Food Network. A talented baker, Tarek loves to experiment and improve on his creations with everything from custom cakes, pastries, tarts, macarons, breads, and more. Tarek is fearless when it comes to challenging himself in the kitchen.

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Ericka Jones


Ericka Jones began baking at a very young age with her grandmother. She loves baking a wide variety of desserts and started decorating sugar cookies in 2012. She has enjoyed learning new techniques over the last few years and started Ericka’s Cookie Kitchen where she can share her creations with others on Facebook and Instagram. For her day job, she follows her other passion – architecture. Ericka is an architect and healthcare planner at a firm in Clayton. She lives in Des Peres with her husband and puppies Cinnamon and Pepper, and enjoys exploring all St. Louis has to offer with her husband and friends.

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Rachelle Killian

“Rachelle Killian” width=

Rachelle Killian is originally from northern California and joined the Coast Guard after high school. After the military, she became a stay-at-home mom with three children, and discovered her love of baking and cooking. She embarked on her culinary education after moving to St. Louis in 2018, when she studied at L’Ecole Culinaire, and started working at Kitchen Conservatory in June 2019, and teaching classes in January 2020. Rachelle teaches everything from pastry to pasta to pretzels, along with Date Night classes, Girls’ Night Out classes, and classes for children. 

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Mickey Kitterman - Guest Chef at Cooking Conservatory Mickey Kitterman

Chef Mickey Kitterman found his passion for food and cooking as a second career -- he attended culinary school at the age of thirty! Mickey grew up in Peoria, Illinois, graduating from Western Illinois University with a degree in business administration and journalism. His first career was as a European clothing importer in Chicago. In 1983, Mickey got his culinary degree at the New School in New York City, and returned to Chicago to work with chef Michael Foley and mastering the art of French cooking. Mickey moved to St. Louis, worked with Richard Perry at the Jefferson Avenue Boarding House, and then opened Pro-visions on Cherokee Street, which was his life for twenty years. Mickey continues to influence the St. Louis cooking scene as the executive chef at Gallagher's in Waterloo, IL. In 2009 and 2015, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch declared Gallagher's fried chicken as the best fried chicken in the region. Mickey has taught cooking classes at Kitchen Conservatory for twenty years.

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Nakyung Lee


Nakyung Lee is the owner of Cott Studio, an online studio offering buttercream cakes and flowers for delivery. Naky graduated with an art degree from the Seoul Institute of the Arts then began her career as a commercial copywriter in Seoul. In 2018, Naky relocated to the United States, but found it hard to transition as a copywriter based in the U.S. because the field focuses so heavily on language and culture which were both new to her. She wanted to continue to work in a creative field so she turned her hobby of baking and floral design into a job. In the summer of 2020, Naky opened Cott Studio as a way to connect and communicate with St people through flowers and cakes. She learned her buttercream flower piping technique in South Korea. 

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Jon Lowe - Guest Chef at Kitchen ConservatoryJon Lowe

Jon Lowe, chef de cuisine at Ibby's at Washington University, was born and raised in Central Kentucky. Since the age of eleven, he has been working toward his goal of becoming an executive chef. After graduating from Johnson & Wales University in 1998, Jon accepted a sous chef position at a catering company in Charleston, South Carolina. Vanna White and Bill Murray were just a few of the celebrities he entertained with his artistic culinary skills. Shortly after, Jon obtained a position at The Charleston Grill under renowned Chef Bob Waggoner. While there, he experimented with what the locals in the area call low-country cooking and combined it with French influences.


In 2000, Chef Lowe moved to Memphis to open a Mediterranean concept for a small company outside of Kansas City, Missouri. Eventually the company transferred him to St. Louis where he was able to contribute with handling daily operation and creating special dinners for the community. Jon has held the longtime position as the executive chef at Oceano Bistro before making the move to Ibby's.

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Jack West MacMurray, III
Jack West MacMurray III - Guest Chef at Kitchen Conservatory

A native of New Jersey, Chef Jack Mac found his way to St. Louis after spending 10 years as a chef in Vail, Colorado. A 1992 silver-medalist graduate of the Academy of Culinary Arts in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Chef MacMurray has cooked for many famous people, including Emeril Lagasse and President Gerald Ford. He has held the executive chef position at Wild Horse Grill and Old Hickory Country Club in St. Louis. Chef MacMurray was the executive chef at Sage, which opened in 2007 to rave reviews, executive chef at Schneithorst's Restaurant & Bar, executive chef at Joe Buck's Downtown, and chef at Candicci's. Jack's engaging teaching style and passion for cooking make his participation classes especially fun.

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Julie Malloy - Guest Instructor at Kitchen ConservatoryJulie Malloy

Julie Malloy is a familiar face at Kitchen Conservatory, teaches some decorating classes and date night classes. Julie is from Alabama, and moved to St. Louis when she got married, and is now the mother of three, including a set of twins - and she considers her children the toughest critics in the kitchen.

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Frank McGinty
Frank McGinty - Guest Chef at Kitchen Conservatory

Frank McGinty, the director of sales and marketing for Kaldi's Coffee, attended Apicius Culinary Institute of Florence, Italy, and studied business administration at Lindenwood University.

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Neville McNaughton


Neville McNaughton's career started on a 30-cow dairy farm in Riverton New Zealand where his father as a Director of the local Dairy Cheese Factory. No coincidence that Neville gravitated to another local Dairy operation when he graduated High School in 1972. In 1977, Neville graduated from Massey University in Palmerstone North with a Diploma in Dairy Technology. In 1975 Neville had commenced employment with The New Zealand Cooperative Rennet Company as a Cheesemaker, it was here that his extensive knowledge of cheese began. Having moved from a Conventional Cheddar Cheese plant it was hear that he gained knowledge in Blue, Havarti, Danbo, Gouda, Edam, Emmental, Romano, Feta, Parmesan and Process Cheese. When Neville departed this company in 1975 sales had increased 600% and he was managing 55 people. But the entrepreneurial spirit saw him team up with Ross McCallum in 1983 and begin what was to become a bellwether operation for the New Zealand Dairy Industry. Kapiti Cheese became New Zealand's premier brand for specialty cheese in the 1980s and 1990s and achieved sales of nearly $25 million prior to being sold in 2003. In the USA Neville has held various positions with The New Zealand Dairy Board, Marin French Cheese, Imperial Biotechnology, Innovative Ingredients and since 2001 has operated CheezSorce, L.L.C. a consulting company providing technical services to the emerging and existing cheesemakers in North America. Neville is a member of the board of directors for the American Cheese Society ( and has a contract with the DBIC (Dairy Business Innovation Center) since its inception.

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Dawn Meyer - Guest Chef at Kitchen ConservatoryDawn Meyer

Dawn Meyer has been teaching cooking classes for over ten years. She specializes in the cuisines of Mexico and Spain, which trace her family heritage. Plus, she enjoys teaching charming classes for children and gingerbread house making. She team-teaches couples classes with her brother-in-law and amateur cook, Larry Meyers.

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“MattMatt Middeke

Matt Middeke is from New Baden, Illinois and in 1999, moved to Saint Louis becoming a pizza chef at Onesto's Pizza and Trattoria. Matt attended the World Pizza Games in Las Vegas in 2010, and placed fourth in the world as the fastest dough tosser, and he started teaching our original pizza throwing class in 2011! Matt has been training Brazilian jiu-jitsu for seven years and has earned a 4th degree purple belt under Kyle Watson, placed 3rd in the 2018 Masters World Championships, and is an assistant instructor at Watson Martial Arts. Matt now spends his days as a mechanic, and keeps his passions with martial arts and throwing pizza alive in the evenings. He wittingly says, “I can feed you, fight you, or fix your car!”

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Jean Millner - Guest Teacher at Kitchen ConservatoryJean Millner

Jean Millner, food service director at Crown Center for Senior Living, and cooking specialist at Congregation Shaare Emeth, joined the staff of Kitchen Conservatory in 2009 and often says she feels privileged to be able to express her love of all things food by teaching cooking classes. Jean is a self-taught home cook whose culinary anchor lies in simple comfort foods but she loves to explore new cuisines. Jean reads cookbooks as if they are novels. She enjoys sharing tips and techniques in her classes and believes that we all have an inner-chef waiting to be coaxed out. When Jean is not working, she is spending time with her family and working out in the gym.

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“Barb Barb Nack

Barb Nack spent sixteen years as a key part of the Kitchen Conservatory cooking school, and retired in early 2020. Barb had a mid-life career change; she followed her heart and love of cooking when she quit her job in the medical field and went full-time to culinary school. She is a graduate of the culinary program at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park.Barb loves to cook and entertain for her family and friends, and enjoys being with fellow foodies. Her favorite cuisine is American comfort food. We are delighted to have her back to teach her popular 4-part Basics class.

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Andrea Osman - Guest dance teacher at Kitchen ConservatoryAndrea Osman

Andrea has been dancing since the age of three.  Her early dance experience comes from ballet, modern, tap and jazz.  Andrea later received her BA in Dance from UNCG--University of North Carolina at Greensboro along with a degree in deaf education. After graduating from UNCG, she taught school during the day and ballroom dance in the evening in Fayetteville, NC. During that time, she performed professionally for events across North and South Carolina, and competed in the ballroom circuit across the United States.  Andrea moved to St Louis in 2005 to pursue a master’s degree. Shortly thereafter, she accepted a position at CID—Central Institute for the Deaf and began teaching for Washington University School of Medicine’s Ballroom club as well as performing with a salsa performance team, Grupo Azucar.  In addition, to her work at Kitchen Conservatory, Andrea currently teaches partner dance classes and choreographs for BDASL--Ballroom Dance Academy of St Louis, COCA and Washington University’s Graduate Ballroom Club. She specializes in teaching and choreographing all styles of partner dancing.

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Bernard Pilon - Guest Chef at Kitchen ConservatoryBernard Pilon

Chef Bernard Pilon, executive chef of HMS Host at Lambert, has been teaching classes regularly at Kitchen Conservatory for over 15 years. Hailing from Montreal and fluent in French, Bernard Pilon refined his culinary craft in restaurants, hotels, and country clubs, including many years as the executive chef of Norwood Hills Country Club. It is also important to note that he spent a year in another "St. Lou" – St. Lucia in the Caribbean – because it was where he met his future wife while both were working at the renowned Club Med Resort.


A resident of St. Louis since 1996, Chef Pilon is very active in the local cooking community. He is on the advisory board for L'Ecole Culinaire, is an active member of the Chef de Cuisine Association of St. Louis, and is involved in Operation Food Search. He mentors young cooks starting in the profession. When he's not cooking, he can be found running marathons, playing ice hockey, quoting Shakespeare, or enjoying jazz music with a glass of wine on one of his yearly visits to Napa. Everyone (including the staff at Kitchen Conservatory) looks forward to his patient teaching at his monthly cooking classes with his amazing food preparations. Chef Bernard specializes in seafood dishes and his delicious tweaking of classic French cuisine.

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Stephanie PilonStephanie Pilon

Stephanie Pilon began teaching at the Kitchen Conservatory 2010. After many years of baking for family and friends, Stephanie made it official and got her degree in Baking & Pastry Arts from St Louis Community College at Forest Park in 2015. She works full time as a baker at The Daily Bread in Des Peres, and is constantly on a quest to find the perfect doughnut. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys listening to vinyl with her husband and discovering new favorite restaurants. 

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Lou Rook

Lou Rook - Guest Chef at Kitchen Conservatory

Lou Rook has been the executive chef for Annie Gunn's in Chesterfield for 18 years, and has transformed Annie Gunn's from a little known local spot with good pub food, to a nationally recognized, Zagat award-winning restaurant with an outstanding wine list and consistently superb food.


Lou grew up in the restaurant business, beginning at the age of thirteen he helped in his family's diner, King Louie's in Wood River, Illinois. By the time he was sixteen, he was managing the restaurant himself, and establishing a thriving catering business. From that early experience, his career path was decided. He went to the University of Missouri, Columbia and graduated with a B.S. in Food Service and Lodging Management. He then attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Throughout college he worked at various restaurants and caterers, gaining as much practical experience as he could. He worked for two years at the Trellis restaurant in Williamsburg, VA under the tutelage of chef Marcel Desaulniers. He returned to St. Louis and worked as assistant chef at Cardwell's in Clayton and was chef-owner of Grappa in the Central West End. Lou has taught cooking classes at Kitchen Conservatory for over 20 years.


At Annie Gunn's, Lou offers hearty, American cuisine. He changes the menu on a monthly basis to incorporate the freshest quality ingredients, as well as seasonal produce. Lou uses the highest-quality, farm-fresh produce. Annie Gunn's has received numerous prestigious awards including Top Tables from Gourmet Magazine, the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine, and Lou and Annie Gunn's were featured on the Food Network's Taste of the Nation, representing the best restaurants in the Midwest. Lou was a James Beard nominee for the Best Chef in the Midwest.

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Maria Sakellariou Guest Chef - Kitchen ConservatoryMaria Sakellariou

Maria Sakellariou is a true lover of the original Mediterranean cuisine - i.e. authentic Greek cuisine. Maria grew up in the restaurant business. Her family's fourth generation still owns and runs restaurants in Florida. Maria loves the expression of culture through food, and believes that food is an awesome vehicle to bridge differences and discover similarities in society.


After many years in the corporate world, and studying, living and working in Greece, Belgium & Switzerland, Maria went back to her first love, the world of food. In 2000, she joined her brother, a CIA graduate and executive chef, to run the family restaurant and expand the business, by building a new 50's Diner that is still very successful today, and a seafood sports bar. In 2004, Maria started Culinary Odyssey LLC, a personal chef service in the St. Louis greater area, offering her clients healthy meal options which contributes to quality family time in the comfort of their home. The service thrives to this day on word of mouth, and referrals! Maria is a member of the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA), and the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). Be sure to tap into Maria's genius by joining her in a class at Kitchen Conservatory.
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Rachel Sarino

Rachel Sarino

Rachel Sarino is the owner of STL Cake Pops, a custom cake pop bakery located in Historic St. Charles specializing in custom and character cake pops, cookie cakes, a variety of chocolate covered treats and more. Rachel founded the business in 2009 under the name Cat In A Basket LLC after being laid off from the corporate world, putting her creativity to work designing custom gift baskets and personalized gifts. In 2010, she introduced basic cake pops to the vast array of unique gifts available through Cat In A Basket, and it wasn't long before they caught on and Rachel found herself making cake pops almost exclusively. The decision to re-brand the business came in the Summer of 2014 and STL Cake Pops was launched. In the Fall of 2014, the next phase of expansion came with a dedicated commercial kitchen space.


Rachel is a self-taught cake pop artist and has perfected her craft through many hours of trial and error. Being a self-proclaimed graduate of 'The School of YouTube' she gives back by sharing picture and video tutorials for the amateur and professional cake pop community as well as teaches fun workshops at her bakery and classes at Kitchen Conservatory. Rachel is also actively involved in her local community through a variety of activities. She currently serves as the Missouri Area Director for Women's Power Networking, a networking organization for women entrepreneurs and received the Beyond the Best, Business Excellence Award by StreetScape in 2013. She is a wife, mom and volunteer. When not making cake pops, Rachel can be found teaching Sunday School, working with the St. Louis Crisis Nursery, donating sweet treats to Sweet Celebrations, and rescuing cats with her family through kitty transports and The Catz Meow.

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Matt Sassman

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Matt Sassman grew up in rural Iowa and studied business management at a small university there. Matt has worked in the food industry most of his life starting with Hy-Vee and farmers markets. He moved to St. Louis in 2014 when he started his career at Straubs and Kitchen Conservatory. Matt is an avid foodie and has enjoyed the opportunity to work beside and learn from the chefs that teach at Kitchen Conservatory. Matt is always trying new recipes, along with retro recipes from his growing cookbook collection. Matt is enamored with retro and Mid-Century recipes, cookbooks, furniture, jello molds, kitchen items and entertaining pieces.

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Jess Schmidt

“JessJess Schmidt’s love for cooking began in elementary school starting with her Easy-Bake oven, and from there, helping her mom cook for the family. It grew through the years to where she wanted to learn more, and started her culinary career at Le Cordon Bleu, Pasadena, California. There, she had the chance to work with great chefs including Wolfgang Puck , Curtis Stone, winner of Hell’s Kitchen Rock Harper, and the famous Mickey Mouse of Walt Disney World. Jess enjoys teaching young children and adults how to make healthy food delicious and fun!  

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Bekah Stamps


Bekah Stamps is a micro-baker, food photographer, stylist and blogger baking artisan sourdough breads and rustic, handmade pastries. She recently began selling her breads and pastries at her local farmer's market this year (St. Charles) and has seen her home-based microbakery flourish. She has since begun baking for local coffee shops and also bakes for private orders. Raised in the farmland of Wisconsin, Bekah has a passion for ingredients and knowing where and how they're produced. In her spare time, you can find her making her own butter with milk she sourced directly from a farmer, photographing her latest recipe or milling grain in the kitchen with her mom who first inspired her to bake. Bekah hopes to eventually open a farm-to-table bakery and creative studio with a focus on fresh sourdough bread and pastries and workshops for aspiring bakers and food photographers. Her photography and recipes have been featured in Thrive Magazine, and she regularly works with brands on recipe development and sponsored content. Visit her blog and portfolio at

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Tal Stein

Tal Stein

Tal Stein, a dance teacher for our popular Dine and Dance classes, specializes in tango, lindy hop, jitterbug, and swing. Tal is also a dance instructor at COCA.

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Kaitlyn Vohs “Kaitlyn

Chef Kaitlyn Vohs is jack of all trades in the culinary field with over 20 years of experience in just about every culinary avenue possible. She graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America and Johnson & Wales University. Catering, consulting, restaurant front and back of the house work; you name it, this chef has done it, but her heart sings with teaching! Kaitlyn taught culinary arts and wine and spirits vinification and vitification at The Art Institute and L’ecole Culinaire for over 5 years. She also spent over 5 years at Lukas Wine and Spirits where she was the head of the wine department and held regular wine tastings. She now is a manager at The Dinner Bell, a place of meal prepping, where she develops menus and new recipes. When it’s time to play, you can find Kaitlyn cooking or crafting with kids (Dom & Kora), barbecuing with her husband, Danny, or watching movies!

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Anagh Vora “Anagh

Anagh Vora grew up in a culinary household in India, Europe and the United States. He proudly acknowledges that his mom taught him and his brother, who is a professional chef for over 20 years, the most important point in cooking! Perfection is not the goal, but to make food that you can improve on everytime you cook by experimentation and feedback from your guests. When Anagh is not cooking for his daughters, entertaining friends with his take on Indian inspired recipes, he's busy working as a physician. He and his daughters live in Clayton.

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Kirk Warner - Guest Chef at Kitchen ConservatoryKirk Warner

A native of Paw Paw, Michigan, Kirk Warner began his restaurant career at a young age. In his mother's small bistro adjacent to the family winery, he was both waiting tables and preparing simple bistro fare before he was a teenager. Following college, and after working in a variety of restaurants, traveling extensively and reading every cookbook he could get his hands on, he landed in St. Louis where a cousin had opened a tavern called King Louie's. In just over five years as executive chef at King Louie's, he helped transform what was once a fledgling college bar into one of the most respected restaurants in St. Louis. In the process, he garnered numerous local and national accolades for both the restaurant and himself. Kirk signed on to help open Savor in April 2004.

As chef-owner of Kirk's Traveling Kitchen, Kirk's goal is to bring the craftsmanship and dedication of a professional restaurant into the home kitchen for those who love great food.

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Kelly Wright

“KellyKelly Wright traded 20 years of academic and industrial experience with a BS, MS, and PhD in science for her love of creating beautiful fondant-covered cakes. Kelly took two Food Enthusiast workshops at The French Pastry School in Chicago, Pastry Camp and Elevated Chocolate Desserts, and shares her exciting designs under Celebration Cakes by Kelly. 

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Christy Wynne


Christy Wynne is a certified Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer with Inspire Wellness STL. She believes healthy food can taste amazing and that food is our best medicine. She loves incorporating extra veggies in meals and is all about eating a balanced plate with the right amount of protein, healthy fat and smart carbohydrates. 


After finding out she and her daughter have celiac disease, she now only cooks gluten-free for her famiy. She loves making gluten-free taste good. Christy created the Live Well Lifestyle Program and coaches individuals on achieving better self-care and reaching and maintaining their ideal body weight. She has a passion for helping people establish life-long habits that will help them feel their best.