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!


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!

Patricia Tirado

Program Operations Manager

Miss Patricia 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 literal Ice Cream Sundae by our playful campers.... and ended up picking sprinkles out of her hair for a week! As the Program Operations Manager, Miss Patricia gets 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 pet is her happily spoiled chocolate lab, Polo....she even has a picture of him as her mousepad at her desk! She adores the Culinary Kids family, and we adore her right back.


Erin Loudermilk

Birthday Party and Weekend Manager

Miss Erin is a teacher AND a cowgirl, AND a stage director in theater! When she’s working with Culinary Kids, she wrangles up loads of organized fun! 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!

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.

Isabel Kay & Amelia Knott

 Social Media Magic Makers and Cooking Instructors

Miss Isabel is a bit ridiculous: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 Isabel began as a STUDENT at Spring Camp in 2012 and now she's running cooking programs, parties and more! Here at Culinary Kids, Miss Amelia is the cinematographer....always filming wacky moments while teaching and bringing joy to others. She's got great style and a gentle soul and she loves sharing her skills on all programs, especially advanced cooking classes!

Kalista Brown

Field Trip Manager 

Miss Kalista is a Field Trip GENIUS! She manages our field trip programs when they are in season! From setting up exact ingredients to serve 60 plus students to supporting our outreach programs to preschools and more, Miss Kalista has her hands full. We’re beyond happy to have her here because she has a heart of gold, a gentle nature, and a joyous spirit she shares with all of our visitors. She's ALWAYS smiling and is such a reliable gal to have on the team!


Josh LeBlanc

Lead Chef

Chef Josh is the absolute perfect person to have in the kitchen teaching kids and adults how to cook....not ONLY is his experience from Culinary School days set the tone for a professional and educational program, but he's ALSO a firefighter! You have to feel safe and protected in the kitchen with a CHEF who can fires and first aid, right?!? Heh heh.....NOT that we have to put those skills to use since his teaching techniques are spot on! The kids absorb so much from Chef and they love taking over in the kitchen and the adults enjoy his social side as well during our Corporate Teambuilding events and more! Chef Josh has yet ANOTHER bonus....a daughter who gets to tag along and join the fun too! We love to turn up the HEAT in the kitchen with our Firefighter Chef, Josh LeBlanc!


Kendall Jourdan

Birthday Party and Camp Lead Instructor

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!

Amelia Knott

Program Instructor

Miss Amelia's favorite princesses are Rapunzel and Anna, as they all share the same personality type and quirky sense about them! Amelia is also similar to them as she will create with anything she can get her hands on. Her favorite form of art is makeup artistry. Her makeup is the perfect display of what her heart looks like, full of color and sparkles! Another form of art that she loves is making videos. When it comes to makeup videos, vacation vlogs, or silly things for work, she loves to do it! She also adores kids, as they match her spunky personality! This job has made her truly happy, and the real Amelia comes out every day! So, come get to know her, she'll love to see you!

Maya Weltmer

Program Instructor 

Miss Maya's favorite color is pink because it is just as bubbly, bright, and sweet as her! In fact, she loves pink sooo much that her hair is pink! She takes that bubbly personality into every day she works, and she also takes it to theater! She stars in many shows through theater at Mandeville High School (she is crazy talented!) so of course she has a super personality and niche for creating a magical experience for the kids here at culinary! Her favorite class is advanced cooking class, because she loves to see the kids every week and really get to know their unique personalities! You could compare her to super cool characters such as sailor moon because they both are cute and kind, but also still powerful and strong! So, what are you waiting for? Come meet miss Maya!

Airlie Dodds


Program Instructor 

Miss Airlie's favorite princess is Ariel because they both are super kind and lovable (and they both have red hair!) Miss Airlie participates in talented theatre, competitive cheerleading, and school cheerleading through Lakeshore High School. She loves working with kids, and has hopes to become a teacher when she gets older! If she could pick one word to describe herself, it would be outgoing because she is super friendly, talkative, and awesome at what she does! To go along with her outgoing personality, her favorite color is pink! Another favorite of hers is a dog! She actually has two dogs and two goats of her own! So, what are you waiting for? Come meet Miss Airlie!

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 / Camp Lead Instructor / COOKIE DECORATING DIVA!

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 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. 


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!

Zoey Randolph

Program Assistant

Miss Zoey's favorite animal is a bunny, because they have lots of energy just like her! (And they are so cute!) Besides rocking it here at Culinary, she also is involved in so many other fun things! She participates in volleyball, track and field, FCA, Christian fellowship, adventure club, and Beta club through Lakeshore High School. Her favorite class is camp, as she gets a chance to meet new kids, and their personalities, everyday! A great adjective to describe Zoey is empathetic, because she can feel and relate to other people. Zoey plans to take her skills and become a firefighter or personal trainer one day! Come on over and meet miss Zoey!

Dylan Clark

Program Assistant 

A word to describe Miss Dylan is helpful. She loves helping the students, adults, and her other staff! You have a ton of mess to clean up? Don't worry, Dylan has already done it in record time! Miss Dylan participates in volleyball and student council at Mandeville High, and she has so much school pride that her favorite color, blue, is also the schools color (and you can't forget about Culinary Kids color;)) She is so sweet and gentle, just like her favorite animal, the bunny! Her favorite class is corks and cooking because she sees it as the perfect time to make conversation with the adults and watch them enjoy their time! Miss Dylan is an all around great friend! Come see her!

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.