We are chefs, educators, event designers, and project managers that work together to plan and deliver exceptional culinary experiences for children, families, and corporate teams. Our classes are built upon our love of food, passion for cooking, and our desire to make every event or learning experience a celebration. More than anything, we’re a community of people who love working together.
Vanessa’s involvement with food started in her grandmother’s kitchen in Brazil, making aioli and shaping gnocchi by hand. From this early inspiration, she began a journey of food education and travel.
Vanessa went on to receive a degree in Food Engineering from the University of Campinas, a Masters in Holistic Nutrition from Hawthorn University, and work in the food industry in the Czech Republic and Greece until settling in San Francisco where she gained experience in many steps of food production, ranging from food gardening to teaching world culinary skills. From these experiences, she developed the core beliefs that food bridges us as individuals to community and environment, that it is a gift and medicine, and that it can be a rooting element to our health. These beliefs and the pure joy she experiences cooking are her motivation to share her work with students, friends and family.
Jessie’s guiding principle is doing impactful work with good people. She blends creativity, critical thinking, and process to design unique and memorable client experiences.
After completing her B.S. in Business at UC Berkeley, she followed her passion for transforming big ideas into reality at LinkedIn where she worked in events, sales and project management. Her passion for working with youth weaves throughout her life from serving as foster care advocate to guiding sea kayaking trips. With over 7 years of experience in event design, she’s dedicated to building meaningful events that not only teach, but empower. Certifications: Foster Youth Advocate; Disability Awareness; Child Abuse Prevention; First Aid/CPR.
Alicia is a holistic nutritionist and culinary educator who finds time spent cooking and sharing nourishing meals the best kind of medicine.
Her grandmother’s humble southern biscuits inspired a decades-long culinary journey working at critically acclaimed restaurants from coast to coast, eventually landing her in Oakland where she often finds herself shepherding tweens and teens on their culinary journeys — from sustainable foraging to whole animal butchery!
Renee loves hearing people’s stories — and kitchen stories are her favorite. While she has Southern roots, Renee spent her first formative years in Mexico. As a result, her first word was “mas” and she’d take a bowl of beans & rice over grits any day.
Renee started her career in storytelling as a food journalist and hospitality reporter for the San Francisco Business Times. After getting her culinary degree from the San Francisco Cooking School, Renee jumped headfirst into the startup world, where she blended her kitchen skills and passion for writing at Sun Basket. After helping set up her first brand content marketing and PR strategy, she went freelance. Over the past decade, Renee has helped dozens of mission-driven brands connect with audiences by telling their best stories.
Darren is a passionate person inside and outside of the kitchen. His love and respect of food began in his childhood growing up on a farm in north Idaho.
His first job in a restaurant was at 14 to help open a pizza shop and he poured his heart into his career. He attended Le Cordon Bleu in Portland and later worked in Michelin starred restaurants in New York before being moved to San Francisco to help open Tosca Cafe. He continued his career with a focus on Michelin recognized restaurants and has had several recipes published in the New York Times and Bon Appetit. Now he loves giving back his knowledge by teaching cooking classes and youth outreach programs, to help people eat better and live better.
Did you grow up dreaming of being a chef? Well, so did Rachel! Her collegiate path led her to food and catering communities in San Francisco.
After graduation, Rachel continued working in the restaurant industry and as an event planner with Bi Rite Community Market. Her passion was stoked for helping businesses, families and friends plan amazing and delicious custom events around gourmet creations. Rachel also loves teaching virtual cooking classes, and studying cookbooks to learn and create new recipes!
Have you seen the Food Network’s Chopped? Well, Chef Eliza is a Chopped Champion! Eliza has over 10 years of experience working in restaurants all over the country.
Her culinary adventures began in New York City where she studied at the Institute of Culinary Education and worked at the Rachael Ray Show, Saveur Magazine, and multiple high-end catering companies and restaurants. Sponsored by the James Beard Foundation, she was brought to Chicago to serve as their first of many Women in Culinary Leadership. She worked in Indian and Creole restaurants, then launched her own catering company and aquaponics farming company. She then came to California to work as executive chef of an Italian restaurant and fell in love with teaching the joy of cooking.
Jonah is a high school student who has a deep interest in food, nutrition, wellness, and overall health.
His love for cooking stemmed from his family, and he’s been in the kitchen since he was able to hold a fork! To him, food represents health, family, stories, experiences and joy. He loves getting to share this with others at Culinary Artistas!
Master Sommelier, Catherine Fallis, is the founder of Planet Grape® LLC, a wine consulting firm providing content, reviews, corporate & private tastings, restaurant wine program development, and speaking services.
Her latest book is Ten Grapes to Know, The Ten and Done Wine Guide. Ask us about our custom wine pairings for your next virtual class!
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