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Who is behind the educational success of Culinary Kids?

Meet the skilled staff who put their hearts and time into our community! At Culinary Kids, our goal is to develop and connect with kids and families. To make that happen, we need a team of dedicated, qualified staff. Certifications, advanced training, and continued education ensures that our staff is always up-to-date with fresh ideas, sound teaching principles, and great new recipes!

MANAGERS

Elisa Eckel

Administrative Manager

Miss Elisa wears many hats, both at Culinary Kids and in general. She’s a certified teacher, an EMT, our Administrative Manager, a mom, and she has a degree in petroleum engineering. She has seemingly done it all, and she has no plans of stopping. She loves to travel, and her favorite food is lamb vindaloo. She loves working with children because they’re unpredictable, which gives her energy, and they act like little sponges. If she could have any superpower, she’d have the ability to turn back time, but we’re happy she’s here (in the present) with us! If you ever interview for a position with us, be ready for her to ask you if you love animals!

Mindy Sparrow

Program Operations Manager

Miss Mindy loves working with children because she likes making a difference in the lives of those around her. She’s the sweetest, so she didn’t even mind when, early in her time at Culinary Kids, she was turned into a Ice Cream Sundae by our campers and ended up picking sprinkles out of her hair for a week! As the Program Operations Manager, Miss Mindy gets to the office before anyone else and makes sure everything is ready to go for all of our events and programs. Lots of detail and planning goes into every class and she's a master at preparing and keeping staff happy! Her favorite animal is the chicken, so it makes sense that she spends a lot of time with ours, especially "Sesame", our Ameraucana laying hen. She adores the Culinary Kids family, and we adore her right back.

Isabella St. Pierre

Birthday Party and Event Manager

If Miss Isabella could have any superpower, it would definitely be to fly! Still, when she’s working with Culinary Kids, it seems like she already can: she’s involved in everything from beginner class to birthday parties, so she always has her hands full. She prepares ALL of the details for our weekend events, making things run smoothly for our families. She loves working with children because she enjoys getting to know so many crazy, fun personalities. Really, she’s a child at heart— her favorite movie is Monsters Inc and if you listen carefully, she tends to nreak out into an English accent from time to time!

Ashley Kott

All Abilities (Special Needs) Class Manager

Miss Ashley is a ray of sunshine, and she says that’s because her work at Culinary Kids is so rewarding: she learns as she teaches new skills, and she always leaves feeling fulfilled. As a mother, she wishes she could stop time, just so she could take that extra nap whenever she needs it. Still, it’s clear she makes the most of her time here, working programs like our special needs classes, adult programs, and outreach events. She has a history of working in the food industry and helped run The Supperdome food truck in New Orleans, and she’s brought all of those skills right here to Culinary Kids. We couldn’t be happier to have her.

Kayla Martinez

Social Media and Web Manager

Miss Kayla is a bit ridiculous: her favorite superhero is Spiderman (Tom Holland specifically), but she’s terrified of spiders. She loves working with children because they’re silly and goofy, but they’ll catch you off-guard with adult-like comments that crack us up. Miss Kayla usually isn’t hanging out in Louisiana, she’s off at college at The University of Chicago, where she participates in the filmmaking club and the spoken word poetry organization. Here at Culinary Kids, she’s the Social Media and Web Manager (so yes, she’s the one running the Instagram). We love to staff both near and far and when she visits, we all love to meet up for some chips and queso!

Stacy Ladousier

Field Trip Manager 

Miss Stacy’s yellow brick road led her right here to Culinary Kids, and we’re so glad it did. This Wizard of Oz fan has taught speech language pathology, and she brought those teaching skills here, where she manages our field trip programs when they are in season! From creating comprehensive curriculum to supporting our outreach programs, Miss Stacy has her hands full. We’re beyond happy to have her here because, despite what her favorite movie may suggest, Miss Stacy has a heart of gold, a brilliant brain, and the courage to always try something new!

CHEFS

Misty Marks

Lead Chef

Chef Misty’s favorite Disney princess is Belle, which isn’t surprising. They’re both bright bookworms with so much to offer to those around them. Chef Misty brings so much to our table, she's worked in the restaurant industry for 18 years and she has a degree in Culinary Arts and a certification in Pastry Arts from Delgado. Like Belle, she loves to learn, and even now, she’s in the process of completing a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Culinary Kids is perfect for her because it allows her to combine her passion for the kitchen with her love of teaching children. Chef Misty uses her skills to instruct our beginner and advanced cooking classes and our adult programs. We’re sure her food and cheerful, patient disposition will make you want to Be Our Guest!

INSTRUCTORS

Maddy Antrainer

Birthday Party and Camp Lead Instructor

Miss Maddy is a freshman at LSU studying theater... a superstar on stage and in the kitchen! She’s a Program Instructor with us, a dog mom to her puppy, Olive, and she really loves butterflies (although Olive disagrees). Her favorite part of working at Culinary Kids is her staff, she’s good friends with the people she works alongside which is just a way of life at Culinary Kids where we all become "family". Of course, she also loves playing pranks to sneak about and scare Miss Sherrí, but that’s a story for another day! You might see her leading a science experiment at camp or making pizza in the shape of a heart at a birthday party, but no matter what, you’re sure to see her with a smile.

Abby Sonnier

Program Instructor

Miss Abby’s favorite TV show is Gilmore Girls, and she’s just as kind and open as the main character, Rory. As a birthday party instructor who also works baking class and Parents’ Night Out programs, Miss Abby is a vital part of the Culinary Kids family. Her favorite thing about working here is the staff, but she also loves closing because she gets to hear how excited they are when they tell their parents about what they’ve accomplished! When she’s not at Culinary Kids, she’s an editor for the Fontainebleau newspaper, an officer in the French National Honors Society, and the Vice President of Key Club.

 

Patricia Tirado-Nazario

Program Instructor 

Miss Patricia’s favorite thing about working at Culinary Kids is that it’s a family, and she does so much to contribute to that dynamic. She’s always putting other people first, and she says her dream superpower would be the ability to heal others. Miss Patricia’s fluency in both English and Spanish helps her to connect with almost anyone, and our Culinary Kids adore her in our camp programs and Parents’ Night Out pajama party nights. She's incredibly organized and keeps her programs sailing smoothly with a smile!

Carole Pinson

Special Needs Instructor, Resource Para

For Miss Carole, Culinary Kids really is a family. She’s loved working with all the young people at Culinary Kids, but she’s especially grateful to be able to work alongside her daughter, Miss Emily. Her experience as a resource para at Woodlake Elementary School makes her more than qualified to lead our All Abilities program, where she works with individuals with special need and varied abilities to teach cooking alongside transferable skills such as teamwork and etiquette. She loves working with children and young adults because they make her laugh, and she says they don’t overthink things as much as adults do. Miss Carole is clever and kind, and we’re so happy to have her as a part of the Culinary Kids family.

Jill Rodriguez

Cooking Class Instructor

Miss Jill is quite the creative type: when she’s not at Culinary Kids, she volunteers at 30 by Ninety Theater, where she helps build sets for upcoming shows. She comes from a theatrical, creative family and certainly brings that hands-on energy to work as a Cooking Class Instructor and Outreach Program Assistant. She plans to study Culinary Arts in college and her favorite thing about working here is the relationships that she creates with coworkers and students alike. Miss Jill is more than happy to create memories that will stay with her students for life. At school, she also participates in the Fontainebleau High School choir, and when she’s here with us, we’re so happy we could sing!

Amber Seal

Program Instructor

Miss Amber’s dream superpower is flight, which checks out— she always soars above and beyond expectations. As a student at Lakeshore High School, she spends her time in after-school clubs focused on theatre, animals, and agriculture. She also loves to bake, and when she's in a play or performance, she's known to make cupcake treats for fellow cast members! She’s taken these skills straight to Culinary Kids, where she works birthday parties and Parents' Night Out pajama party nights and all other programs. She’s excited to spend time with the kids, and they love spending time with her too.

Raymie Robin

Summer Camp Teacher

Miss Raymie, who by degree is a speech therapist, is also a passionate and creative mom who has always loved working with children. In fact, she used to own an educational facility geared toward providing hands-on engineering experiences for children! She enjoys how versatile and different kids can be, always up for a mini-adventure. Her willingness to go above and beyond and match the kids' energy makes her the ideal summer camp and field trip teacher. Miss Raymie is just like her favorite Louisiana treat, a chocolate snowball, because they're both sweet as can be.

Melissa Wallace


Field Trip Instructor

Miss Melissa is a big proponent of curiosity and creativity, which makes her an incredible field trip instructor. She’s created and published coloring books based on cities across the country, but she loves living in Louisiana. She’s been a teacher and a restaurant owner, so she considers Culinary Kids a great opportunity to combine her interests in education, crafting, and cooking. She enjoys working for our small business because she is an entrepreneur herself, running a print and crafting company from her home. She loves Disney, but that makes sense because she brings a little bit of magic to everything she does!

Emma Phillipus

Cooking Class Instructor

Miss Emma is a little bit of a superstar. After taking our Culinary Kids Advanced Cooking Classes, Miss Emma was featured on an episode of Top Chef Junior and won the Southern Girls Cook-off sponsored by NOLA.com. Now, she’s one of our Advanced Cooking Class instructors, helping other students to follow in her footsteps! When she’s not cooking up something amazing, she’s a student at Hannan High School and participates on the volleyball team. She considers herself a bit of a nerd because her favorite two movies are Marvel’s Ironman and Spider-Man. Her favorite Culinary Kids memory is making a calzone that was nearly two feet long!

Telly Cull

Program Instructor, Resource Para

Miss Telly (Chantell) is a bit of a mad scientist! Her favorite thing about working at Culinary Kids is how we combine cooking and science (which makes a lot of sense, because a lot of cooking is science). When she’s not busy with Culinary Kids, she’s a substitute teacher and personal caregiver for young adults with varied abilities. She loves working with children because they’re just as inquisitive as she is, and they’re always eager to learn. For Miss Telly, being able to cook and teach all at the same time is a win-win, and together, you're sure to whip up something delicious.

Rachel D'Alessandro

Program Instructor

Miss Rachel’s craziest Culinary Kids memory is watching Miss Maddy fall into the washing machine (HA HA!), but that’s only happened once (or maybe twice). What really keeps Miss Rachel coming back to Culinary Kids is the energy from the children, which she says makes work feel more like play. Of course, Miss Rachel puts in the work, and she does a great job leading our camps, Parents’ Night Out events, and parties! Outside of Culinary Kids, she’s a student at Mississippi State, where she participates in the band. That’s not surprising, since anytime we find out Miss Rachel’s on the schedule, it’s music to our ears!

Ashley Marx

Parents' Night Out Instructor

Miss Ashley M loves a good “aha!” moment, which is part of why she has so much fun working at Culinary Kids. She works everything from camp to birthdays to Parents’ Night Out and she’s one of the most supportive, silly people we’ve ever met. When she’s not cheering on her students, she trades in her apron for pom-poms at LA Tech. She plans on working with children for the rest of her life, and she’s studying to be an early childhood or elementary teacher. She makes an impact on all of the kids here at Culinary Kids, and we’re so excited to see all the lives she’s sure to change in the classroom. 

ASSISTANTS

Isabel Kay

Program Assistant

Miss Isabel says that if she were something that grows in a garden, she would be a cucumber because they have little vines that can reach out to one another, and that makes sense, because she always fosters a sense of community. She’s a student at Hannan High and has always enjoyed working with children. Before Culinary Kids, she was a babysitter and a volunteer camp counselor! She plans on continuing to work with children because she hopes to be a teacher. You’ll find her at our birthday parties, evening events, and scouts programs!

Kendall Jourdan

Program Assistant

Miss Kendall’s favorite book is Robin Hood, and given her adventurous side, it’s easy to see why (um...yep, she's sneaking a green cupcake in her staff photo!!!) She’s quite the creative type, and at Mandeville High, she participates in theatre and talented music. Her dream superpower would be to read minds. She loves working with children because she likes how proud they look when they create something new, and if she were something that grew in a garden, she’d be a carrot because they look one way on the surface, but if you dig deeper, you find SO MUCH MORE...there’s a lot more to Kendall than you see at first glance, so come get to know her! At Culinary Kids, she works camps, outreach events, and Parents’ Night Out pajama party nights!

Hope Von Eberstein

Program Assistant

For Miss Hope, Disney World really is the happiest place on earth (except for Culinary Kids, of course)! She brings the magic from her favorite vacation spot with her to our door, where she assists during birthday parties and camp programs. As a student at Fontainebleau High, Miss Hope is on the cheer team and powerlifts, so she keeps herself fit, healthy and very busy. Just like the kids she teaches, she’s very curious...so if she could have one super power, she’d want to time travel, especially to the future. Personally, we’re grateful she’s here in the present with us!

Daniel Hartley

Outreach Assistant 

Mister Daniel is often found on our Outreach Programs to schools and local libraries. His first day at Culinary Kids was a bit of a whirlwind: he was keeping busy washing dishes when Miss Sherrí pulled him into the middle of a flour fight! ( HA HA!!!) According to him, everybody lost and looked like dough, but he looks back on the memory with fondness. He loves watching the children’s imaginations at work, and he hopes to be in education for the long haul. Of course, he also wants to open up a restaurant, and he’s ProStart certified, so he’s already begun his journey. Whether he goes into cooking or teaching or both, we know Mister Daniel will shine like he always does!

Maddie Colombo

Program Assistant

If Miss Maddie could be anything that grows in a garden, she would be basil because it grows well in nearly any environment. Plus, it’s Italian, like her! She’s a marketing major at The University of Mississippi, but she’s quite the drama queen— in her free time, you can find her on stage. Miss Maddie loves to crack jokes, and she’s always teasing her coworkers. She loves children because they’re unpredictable, and you never know what they’re going to say. Miss Maddie never fails to bring a smile to the faces of everyone around her, and we’re so excited to have her here.