Kitchen Conservatory
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.


Guest Chefs Teaching at Kitchen Conservatory


Scroll below to learn more about the best chefs from the best local restaurants that teach classes at Kitchen Conservatory.

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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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“NickNick Bognar

Having grown up in his family’s kitchens, Nick Bognar, of Nippon Tei, has had a close relationship with food his entire life.  Early childhood memories of watching his grandmother prepare exceptional Thai food became the basis for his deep rooted culinary knowledge. After graduating culinary school, Nick spent time traveling to further his understanding of Asian cuisine.  Working at the highly acclaimed Uchiko in Austin, Texas and eventually landing in Cincinnati. Upon returning to the family business in St. Louis, Nick took the helm as executive chef for the company where he spends every day exploring his creative culinary expression. 

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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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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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Anne Cori - Owner of Kitchen ConservatoryAnne Cori

The owner of Kitchen Conservatory, Anne Cori has taught cooking classes for twenty-five years. She trained by working in restaurant kitchens in Italy, France, and New Orleans. She operated a catering business, Amuse-Bouche Catering, in St. Louis for ten years. Anne loves to cook and prepare food every day.

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Tyler Davis


Tyler Davis, started his cooking career as a chef in 2010 at the Crossing. From there, he has worked in various positions at many St. Louis restaurants including: The Demun Oyster Bar, Vino Nadoz, Bon Appetit, Benton Park Cafe, Ernesto’s Wine Bar, and Tavern of Fine Arts. Currently he is the Executive Pastry Chef  at Element, a Zagat-rated and regionally renowned restaurant in St. Louis,designs and facilitates pop-up dinners every week at Brennan's in the Central West End called Purveyor's Table, as well as hand-crafting every dessert for his business Alchemy Artisan Bakery. When he's not in the kitchen, Tyler enjoys playing cello, foraging, and modeling. 

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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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Lynn DeLean-Weber


Lynn DeLean-Weber, co-founder and CEO of Edelbrand Pure Distilling, spends her days (and more than a few evenings) introducing folks she has the pleasure of meeting to the aromas and flavors of Edelbrand’s award-winning spirits.    

Edelbrand Pure Distilling’s launch is the culmination of dedicated effort to create the only small-batch distillery in the U.S. of vinars, Edelbrand’s dry, unaged fruit brandies styled in time-honored European tradition. Together with her Swiss-born husband Martin and their daughter, Tess, they are challenging the notion that the best of these deliciously nuanced spirits is produced elsewhere in the world. 

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Vikki DiMattia


Vikki DiMattia has been at Kitchen Conservatory since 2013, starting as a kitchen assistant, quickly changing her role to part of the retail staff and teaching team. Vikki shares her love for children teaching a variety of fun classes for children and adults, along with classes in our heir and a parent series. Vikki loves to learn new techniques and cuisines she has not tried before.

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Devon Drag


Devon Drag, a retail associate at Kitchen Conservatory and avid baker, 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


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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Fernanda Espinosa

Fernanda Espinosa Braniff received her Culinary Art Degree in Mexico City in 2014, and worked for six years at various hotels and restaurants. In 2016, she started a successful catering business, and received a Pastry Degree along with continuing education courses at the Culinary Institute of America in New York.  This allowed her the opportunity to be trained by amazing chefs in New York City. Due to her husband’s work, Fernanda has moved from country to country (Mexico, Colombia, USA and Hungary) every two years. Living abroad had awakened her passion for Mexican cuisine, and has been teaching and catering small events sharing authentic and modern Mexican recipes. Fernanda enjoys yoga, photography, art and being a full time mom of two wonderful children.

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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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“PerryPerry Fischer

Perry Fischer, of Mission Taco, has been interested in food from a young age. After graduating from Forest Park Culinary School, he worked at various restaurants around St. Louis, and currently works for Mission Taco as the production and distribution manager, as well as collaborating with research and development for the Tilford Restaurant Company. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and helping them learn new and interesting things.


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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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Mitch Frost - Guest Instructor at Kitchen Conservatory

Mitch Frost

Pizzaiolo Mitch Frost, owner of Pie Guy Pizza, teaches our popular The Art of Pizza Throwing class at Kitchen Conservatory, and has been teaching these fun classes since 2013..


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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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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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Senada Grbic


"Find something you love to do, and you'll never have to work a day in your life" - Harvey McKay

One of Senada Grbic's earliest memories of cooking was at the age of three or four years old sitting on the kitchen counter helping her mother cook dinner. Senada's parents moved to America in the 1970s from the former Yugoslavia and brought a heritage of butchery and cooking. Her mother graduated cooking school in Bosnia. Grbic's Restaurant was a surprise Valentine gift to Senada's mother, and became a reality in 2002. Senada graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago in 2009, and returned to St. Louis to be the executive chef at Grbic's, truly a family-run business. Senada's father, Sulejman is still the butcher, and her mother, Ermina, continues to run the kitchen. Senada is passionate about all of the culinary riches of the world, but especially to her roots of Eastern Europe. In the Spring of 2017, Senada and her siblings, Erna and Ermin, opened Lemmons with a new twist of their Balkan heritage.

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Margi Kahn - Guest Chef at Kitchen ConservatoryMargi Kahn

Margi Kahn, who bakes fresh bread in her home every day, has been teaching bread baking and other cooking classes at Kitchen Conservatory for over twenty years. Her engaging and passionate personality inspires all of her students to start sourdough starters, hand-knead doughs, and bake irresistible breads. Many local and national publications have featured her excellent bread-baking skills. Margi writes the food column for the Jewish Light and has judged many food competitions.

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Jerremy Kirby


Jerremy Kirby was born and raised in Bethalto, Il and a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu St. Louis in St. Peters, MO, beginning his career on The Hill. Now, specializing in vegan and vegetarian cuisine, Jerremy is creating vegan culinary delicacies at Treehouse in the Tower Grove East neighborhood. Outside of his passions for vegan fair, Jerremy loves his neighborhood and spends a lot of his time in Tower Grove Park as well as with his two children, Olivander and Gedeon.

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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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Jordan Knight


As a college student working towards a Bachelors Degree in advertising, Jordan Knight, the Executive Chef of the Blue Duck in Washington, MO, decided that his real love was cooking. After working in kitchens and learning to cook throughout college, Jordan took his BA in advertising with him to culinary school at East Central College to hone and sharpen his skills. His appreciation for music and writing play a role in the creative process that goes into his food and the day to day life at the Blue Duck.

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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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Ivy Magruder Ivy Magruder - Guest Chef at Kitchen Conservatory

Ivy Magruder was born in St. Louis and graduated from Vianney High School. He attended Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, and after working at various restaurants, including Flying Fish Cafe at Disney's Boardwalk, he moved back to St. Louis in 2001. He had been the chef at Eleven Eleven Mississippi since it opened, moved to Vin-de-Set as the executive chef, became the corporate executive chef for the Gamlin Restaurant Group, and is now heading up the kitchen at Panorama at the St. Louis Art Museum. Ivy's cooking motto is KISS (keep it simple stupid), and his fun-loving and "simple" approach are evident in his teaching style. 

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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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Barry Marcus Barry Marcus - Guest Chef at Kitchen Conservatory

Barry Marcus is a pastry chef instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City. A one time instructor in the Microcomputer Program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, he "got the New York bug" and with his wife and dogs close behind, moved from the Midwest to find his place in the big city restaurant scene. He succeeded, landing positions in the prestigious pastry and confectionery kitchens of Payard Patisserie, The Tribeca Grill and Le Cirque 2000, before being offered a full-time faculty position at ICE by Chef Nick Malgieri, dean of Pastry Arts.


Now residing once again in St. Louis, he makes the trip east to teach specialty professional development courses in pastry, confectionery and sugar art. His three- and five-day seminars in the Art of Pulled Sugar are popular with recent graduates of the Institute's Professional Pastry Program as well as with seasoned culinary professionals in and around the New York area. A blue-ribbon graduate of ICE, Barry studied the art of pulled sugar under the tutelage of Ewald Notter at the International School of Confectionery Arts in the U.S. and with Othmar Fassbind at the Fabilo International School of Sugar Art in Lucerne, Switzerland.

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Vincent Marsden “Vincent

Vincent Marsden has been working in the restaurant business for 22 years. He started cutting off the tops of strawberries for pies at the now closed Tippins restaurant and has progressed through the years holding almost every job in the industry up to owner of Mirasol which was in the East Loop from early 2003 through 2007. Since then, Vincent ran multi-million dollar corporate restaurants and even managed the outlets at The Chase Park Plaza. Through the more recent years, he has honed his sights in on a life long addiction/passion; doughnuts. The co-owner/operator, main dough maker, at his new business Vincent Van Doughnut has brought Saint Louis a higher level of doughnuts with artisanal creations and spins off of classic desserts. The doughnuts at Vincent Van Doughnut include everything from your basic glazes to lemon meringue, bananas foster, creme brûlée, and their widely popular French Toast doughnut.

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Jordan McLaren “Jordan

Jordan McLaren has always had a passion for baking and made her first pumpkin pie from scratch two years ago with a friend and hasn't stopped baking, perfecting her apple pie, the perfect homemade crust, and techniques to create spectacular pies.  She considers pie making the ideal therapy for any situation and the perfect activity for every slow afternoon. When Jordan is home from college, she works at Kitchen Conservatory expanding her culinary talents.

Jordan is a senior at Eastern Illinois University studying Health Administration, and her extracurricular activities include office specialist in the Military Student Assistance Center, Homecoming Coordinator through University Board, teaching a university foundations class, membership in an honors fraternity as the historian, a crisis intervention counselor for sexual assault victims, and fundraiser for local animal shelters.

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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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John Messbarger


John Messbarger, chef de cuisine at Peacemaker Lobster and Crab Company, developed a love for cooking at a young age and continues to show this love at Peacemaker. John has been chef at The Good Pie, Little Country Gentleman, and Elaia and enjoys feeding Saint Louis diners. John was one of Feast Magazine’s Chefs on the Brink in 2015.

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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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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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Katina Mims


Ms. Katina Mims, a native of St. Louis MO, is the culinary artist behind Sweetfixx Dessert and owner of Sweetfixx Dessert Boutique.  Her business motto is “Kiss Boring Desserts Goodbye.” Katina’s passion for baking started as a curious young child watching her grandmother prepare family desserts.   

Throughout her 10 year professional culinary career, Katina has networked and assisted various nationwide professionals within the industry.  Katina believes in inspiring others, and mentors and administers entry level baking skills classes to aspiring young professionals.   As a career professional with over twenty years of experience, Katina holds a BA in Human Resource Management and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.   A mother, mentor, and business owner, during Katina’s free time she enjoys traveling, shopping and spending time with her family, which includes her son Jamadj who’s has a BA in Information Technology and is employed with the Federal Government Cyber Security.  

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Karen Mitcham-Stoeckley


Karen Mitcham-Stoeckley — restaurant owner, executive chef, and culinary writer. Most of Karen’s adult career has been devoted to creating good food to feed family and friends as well as professionally feeding guests demanding only the best on their plates. Cooking, teaching and writing are her passions.

Karen and her husband, artist John Stoeckley, have traveled to Provence for nineteen spring/summers where Karen has enjoyed the opportunity of cooking & teaching in her own kitchen with the abundance of produce from the local marketplace, as well as visit and work briefly in the kitchens of many successful chefs.

In 2012 and 2013, Karen spent seven months in Les Arcs sur Argens France creating her first major cookbook, A Culinary Legacy…from Escoffier to Today which was also photographed by Curt Dennison in France.

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Rachel Moeller


St. Louis native Rachel Moeller began cooking at home at the age of five, and began working as a dishwasher at the age of fifteen in an Austin, Texas fine dining restaurant where she got her first taste of international foods and started learning her way around a working kitchen. While earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in metalsmithing and printmaking at the University of Texas at Austin, Rachel continued moving up through the ranks as a cook. During breaks from school she learned more about world cuisine by travelling through Mexico, Central America, and Europe. Rachel continued cooking while attending the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. After graduation, she completed an internship under James Beard award winning chef Stephan Pyles at Star Canyon in Dallas, and in 1995 Rachel moved to Chicago. It was there she headed up the pastry department at Spiaggia Private Dining Rooms under the direction of two more James Beard award winners, Paul Bartolotta and Tony Mantuano. In 2001, Rachel accepted the position of Executive Pastry Chef at Coco Pazzo, where her breads and pastries complemented the classic Tuscan cuisine of Chef Tony Priolo. In this capacity, she also taught several cooking classes, appeared on local and national news programs, and was the grand prize winner of the 2001 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Pastry Competition.

Rachel moved back to St. Louis in 2005 and was hired at Remy’s Kitchen and Wine Bar and soon promoted to Executive Sous Chef. In 2013, she launched Healthy at Home Culinary Services, a personal chef service specializing in meals and menu planning for clients with food allergies. Rachel is also a co-owner of Milque Toast Bar, a community based café featuring housemade flavored dairy and non dairy milks and toasts with a wide variety of toppings, which opened in the McKinley Heights Neighborhood in September 2015.

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David Molina - Guest Chef at Kitchen ConservatoryDavid Molina

David Molina started his cooking career nearly fifteen years ago at the Blue Water Grill in St. Louis. After a few years of working his way through the kitchen, he helped open the Kirkwood location of Blue Water. As a Texas native, David was exposed to many different styles of southern and Mexican cuisine. After many years in St. Louis, David moved to Nashville, TN, where he worked at Boundry, an upscale restaurant that served global cuisine with a southern twist. David was exposed to ingredients from around the world.

After a year stint in Nashville, David moved back to St. Louis to open Figaro, a French/Italian restaurant with Frank Schmitz and Mike Johnson. David was then transferred one block over to open BARcelona Tapas. Since 2002, BARcelona tapas has grown into the Clayton hotspot. In 2007 BARcelona expanded and David moved to Indianapolis, IN to open a second location and the first tapas restaurant in Indianapolis, which was named best new restaurant.

In 2009 David returned to St. Louis to work on other restaurant projects with Frank Schmitz, including opening Bocci Bar in April 2011. David has returned to his roots, joining Mike Johnson as executive chef at Sugarfire Smoke House, which is receiving many accolades for their barbecue.

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“MarianneMarianne Moore

Marianne Moore's path into the kitchen wasn't exactly straight. While on a sabbatical from her interior-design career, Moore was recruited to attend a "just for fun" culinary class with a friend, only to walk out with a new calling. Now, with a resume that includes stints at some of the city's most upscale hotels, Moore is making her mark as a culinary consultant, personal chef and teacher. She loves nothing better than designing menus, creating recipes and inspiring others to take the leap into the kitchen like she did. 

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Barb Nack - Kitchen Conservatory Cooking School DirectorBarb Nack

Barb Nack is our fabulous director of the Kitchen Conservatory cooking school. 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.

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Cindy Ott

Cindy Ott - Guest Chef at Kitchen ConservatoryA certified elementary school teacher who taught pre-school for ten years, Cindy Ott has taught the children's gingerbread house making classes at Kitchen Conservatory for over 12 years. Her enthusiastic and easy-going style inspires everyone to enjoy cooking.

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Britt Pellegrino


Britt Pellegrino is a private chef from St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from L'Ecole Culinaire in 2008 and began working in fine dining restaurants around town including Cafe Provencal, Araka and Five Bistro. She was named as one of Sauce Magazine’s 2015 “Ones to Watch”. Britt and her husband have a catering company called BK Catering and she works as a private chef for a few families.

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Wil Pelly


Wil Pelly started cooking as a youth, watching his Cuban-born mother and grandmother in the home kitchen, using his passion for these Latin roots to create unique spins on Spanish dishes. At age 17, Wil started working at local St. Louis restaurants and worked his way from bus boy, waiter, line cook, executive chef of Sanctuaria, Diablitos, Hendrick’s BBQ, and Cafe Ventana, and is part of the incredible culinary team at Nudo House.

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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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“StephanieStephanie 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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Naam Pruitt - Guest Chef at Kitchen ConservatoryNaam Pruitt

Naam Pruitt is a Thai cuisine expert and author of Lemongrass & Limes, a colorful introduction to Thai cooking. A Thai native, Naam was raised in Prachuabkirikhan, Thailand. Her father, raised by Thai Buddhist monks, worked as a Thai government spy in Burma and later as a journalist. Naam learned the secrets of Thai cooking from her mother, who taught her how to find the best fruits, vegetables and meat at the lowest prices. She learned how to master the subtle techniques and skills of Thai food by watching her mother cook every day.


Naam first came to the U.S.  in 1987 as a high school exchange student, spending a year in Maryland. After returning to Thailand, she met her future husband, an Iowan who had moved to Asia as a teenager along with his family. They were married in 1990 and moved to Texas, where she worked as a special food assistant at the athletic dining hall at A&M University, creating attractive food presentations for hungry football players. She graduated from the Wilton School of Cake Decorating, where she learned to decorate cakes and make pulled sugar creations. Later she operated her own catering business.


After living in Independence, Kansas for the past decade and teaching Thai cooking, Naam and her family moved to Saint Louis in 2008. She has taught at New York’s Institute of Culinary Education. She also has regular Thai demonstrations at The Giant Eagle Market District in Pittsburgh, PA. She returns to Thailand at least once each year to find new flavors and ideas.  She and her husband Dennis have two children.  Naam is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and Women Chefs & Restaurateurs.

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Karmen Rayburn


Karmen Rayburn, co-owner of The Blue Duck, started her career in accounting. After several years in the corporate world, she decided to pursue her love of baking and bought a restaurant with her husband. Karmen makes all of the breads for the restaurant along with pies, cheesecakes, macarons and other tasty desserts.

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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 Mediterranean cuisine. After many years in the corporate world, and living abroad in Greece, Belgium, and Switzerland, Maria moved to Florida and joined her family in the restaurant business. In 2002 she moved to St. Louis and expanded her love of cooking when she created and opened a personal chef service, Culinary Odyssey LLC. Be sure to tap into Maria's culinary genius by joining her in a class at Kitchen Conservatory (hint: her phyllo classes are tops!).

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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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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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Jason Tilford - Guest chef at Kitchen ConservatoryJason Tilford

Jason Tilford's resume of restaurants with his brother Adam, continues to grow and includes Milagro Modern Mexican in Webster Groves, and numerous locations of the successful Mission Taco Joint - fashioned after a San Francisco district known for its taquerias. Jason started teaching at Kitchen Conservatory in 2012, and shares his passion for fresh and authentic Mexican cuisine.


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Cassy Vires


Chef Cassy Vires, of Winslow’s Home, received her culinary training in Houston, Texas at The Art Institute. There she gained an appreciation of American cuisine as a true melting pot of cultures, traditions, ingredients and techniques. Since then, she has put her talent to work as a chef, instructor and food writer. During her time at The Viking Cooking School, she was able to expand her technical knowledge while also finding a way to adapt classic techniques to the home cook. Since then, she has used the same philosophy as a monthly columnist for Feast Magazine, for which she was nominated for a James Beard Award. Cassy has owned her own restaurants, been chef at Juniper, and spent time running The Teaching Kitchen at Companion Baking. (Photo courtesy of Feast Magazine.)

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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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“RobinRobin Wheeler

Robin Wheeler thought culinary school would be a great way to find a career in food writing. She never expected to be in the professional kitchen, but that’s where she finds herself more often than at her computer. After a six-year hiatus from catering and teaching culinary classes, she started Subterranean Homemade Foods in 2014. Her little business hosts underground dinners and food markets, and sells jams, jellies, pickles, fermented foods, and whatever happens to catch her fancy. She’s written for Sauce Magazine and The Riverfront Times’ Gut Check blog. These days she reviews restaurants for St. Louis Magazine with her tween daughter. (Photo by Corey Woodruff)

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Lauren Wilmore


Lauren Wilmore, a dance teacher for our popular Dine and Dance class series, has taught a variety of social and ballroom dances in St. Louis for over a decade. She currently teaches at COCA and Flavor Dance Studio. In 2009 she co-founded her passion project, St. Louis Dancing Classrooms, which teaches ballroom dance to kids during the school day, as a way to give back to St. Louis which has nurtured and blessed her in so many ways! She loves to create new dance addicts one step or shimmy at a time!

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