Although Laila is not a chef, she is an avid cook who spent several years touring around Europe taking cooking courses in England, Italy, France, Spain and Africa. Throughout her travels she was very inspired by all of the different courses and cookery schools she attended. From the distinguished Le Cordon Bleu Institute to a cozy little Italian woman’s kitchen, Laila traveled around taking bits and pieces from different classes, kitchens and cultures and is excited to share her culinary knowledge with all of you. Laila has a degree in education with a minor in nutrition and her courses tend to have a healthy twist and her objective has always been to teach people how to “cook with confidence”. Her approach in the kitchen is that it should be kept simple and wholesome while focusing on fusing flavors.
Sharon was first influenced by a close friend in California who showed her how to do cooking demos and a more healthy way of cooking. Upon moving to Utah to finish her schooling at the University of Utah, she became a self taught home cook. After joining the Junior League of Salt Lake City and being placed on the Merchandising Committee in 2001, she helped to sell three local cookbooks, and found her love of teaching others how to cook. Her quick, simple cooking style placed her on Channel 5, 2 and Fox13 to showcase the recipes the local Jr. League cookbooks could offer. Her fun, healthy style of cooking brought her cooking demonstrations to Ace Hardware, Macey’s Grocery stores in Tooele, Ogden, Orem and Sandy City; Thanksgiving Point, Tooele County Utah State Extension and other events along the Wasatch front which she often showcased the finished product. She continued to teach cooking classes even after she left the Junior League in 2006 at Macey’s Grocery Store, and ACE Hardware. During a sushi making class Sharon reintroduced herself to Jim Light, who returned from The Culinary Institute of America, NY. The friendship between Jim Light and his company HomeCooks brought her the ability to be an assistant to a chef and help him teach, and serve others in the community about cooking.
After losing her mother and approaching the exciting age of 40, she took a hard look at what she wanted to do with the rest of her life and decided to go back to school to get a degree in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute in Salt Lake City. This furthered her knowledge and love of cooking, and increased her desire to continue teaching cooking classes while helping her fellow students fulfill their dreams. During her time at the Art Institute, the Viking Cooking School opened in Salt Lake City, where Jim Light became their Kitchen Manager. This opened a door for her to continue her love to teaching others the fun of cooking, along with learning more about the retail side.
Sharon inherited a cookbook collection from her mother and grandmother and continues to expand her collection during her travels around the country. She finds that she refers to them often to look for fun new ideas, themes for classes and compare recipes. Recently she has grown her interest in developing gluten free recipes and finding fun ways to teach people it is easy to live gluten, lactose and allergy free in your cooking. Sharon would classify her cooking style as quick, fast, healthy with gourmet flair.
Pat Mac from “Mac and the Big Cheese” is part of the comedy cooking team of “Ultimate Camp Cooking”. Pat is a proffessional stand up comedian of 20 years and a former chef who tours nationally with a live comedy cooking show demonstrating gourmet meals in the mountains. Using limited camp cooking equipment with very little clean up Pat will display some of his recipes from their cookbook, “Ultimate Camp Cooking”. Pat will use humor and laughter with a side of camping knowledge to help with your next outing! “Ultimate Camp Cooking” cookbook has 82 recipes, water-proof cover and pages with proffesional food photography throughout the book. This book covers stovetop, grill, griddle, foil warp, firepit and Dutch oven recipes that have been featured on national television and food magazine reviews. It also features camping tips, cooking tips, how to pack your cooler tips, step by step Dutch oven and really funny stories throughout the book. These recipes are all signatures dishes by Pat Mac and Mike Faverman for the mountains or at home. www.ultimatecampcooking.com
LeAnn discovered the magic of Mexican cooking while growing up in the Southwest. This passion of Mexican food grew into the concept of Pantry-Friendly Cooking. She has successfully mastered many recipes and storage ideas to make cooking from the pantry easy as 1, 2, and 3. She teaches cooking classes throughout the Salt Lake City area. One of her recipes was recently featured in Taste of Home Magazine and she was a runner up in the Cache Valley Cheese Signature dish contest. Her book Pantry-Friendly Mexican Cooking is available at most fine food and cooking stores throughout the Wasatch front, Midway, Vernal and St. George. It is also available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and in an Ebook for easy downloads on www.pantryfriendlycooking.com. She is a frequent guest on Good Things Utah, has been a featured chef on Studio 5, the CW 30 and at the Salt Lake Tribune Home and Garden Show. She hopes her passion and love of cooking will inspire you to cook from your pantry and create your own cuisine traditions. She is currently working on a 2nd book titled Pantry-Friendly Anti-Aging Cooking.
With over 25 years experience, Chef Nakata has plenty of tips and techniques in his culinary arsenal. After his Culinary Arts education, he apprenticed in a four star hotel for a few years then moved on to work for Benihana of Tokyo as a Teppan and Sushi chef. Chef Nakata has worked in various fine dining restaurants across the country, including the Anchorage Downtown Marriott, Alaska. Winner of four People’s Choice Award 2007 –Best Restaurant Category, and even named as Best Bartender for his wine knowledge and flair. In between working and catering events, he has toured with musicians and celebrities as a personal chef.
A cook by heart, but not a chef by training, Moudi has self taught himself Lebanese cooking through education and the home-taught experiences through his grandmother and mother. He moved to Utah in July of 2006, earned a degree in economics from Utah State University, and has since moved to Salt Lake City, where he started his own company, Laziz, a Middle Eastern Spreads company selling hummus, muhammara, and toum. The goal of Laziz is to bring middle eastern food into the homes of people, and with that, the culinary creativity that foodies introduce as a result. His personal goal is to show that you don't have to be a chef to know how to cook, and you don't have to know how to cook to start eating and cooking healthy. Food is the centerpiece of all our lives, and if we all move towards a healthier and nourishing centerpiece, then we're all better off.
Marlene began cooking at an early age. She loved to wander around her mother’s kitchen looking at products, getting the addresses off the labels and write to each company requesting free recipes. She has continued her passion of collecting recipes and trying them out. Growing up with 5 brothers she always had a willing taste tester around. Being the mother of 5 and grandmother of 12, there are lots of family gatherings which of course involves food! She enjoys cake decorating, she made all her children’s wedding cakes as well as many friends & relatives, has done some catering and planning of many social events. She especially enjoys cooking and baking with her grand children as they are the light of her life! She is very excited to fulfill her dream of cooking with kids!
Raul Rivero was born in Venezuela where he lived 29 years and earned a degree in hotel administration. His studies were focused mostly in food and beverages, where he planned to work in hotels. He worked in several restaurants and hotels in Margarita Island and Canaima National Park (located in the Amazonian Jungle in the border with Brazil) as a Hotel Manager, where he hosted a lot of American visitors. He then moved to the USA, looking for adventure, but always had a passion to share Venezuelan food as he traveled through the US. He settled in Utah in 2005, and he decided to open up a business to pre-pacakage the famous Venezuelan TEQUENOS (cheese sticks rolled in pastry dough): TEQUENOS FACTORY. His award winning Venezuelan items were featured at the Farmers Markets. He then expanded his line of pre-pacakaged foods to include green salsa (award winner salsa at Wasatch Front Farmers Market) garlic and herbs dipping sauce and queso blanco. Rauls' Tequenos Factory is a growing Venezuelan food business which brings the authentic Venezuelan flavors to Utah. Raul's personal interpration about cooking is that it should be about variety of styles, balanced ingredients and most importantly make your palate and heart happy!! “Our food cooked with family recipes full of flavors makes of Tequeños Factory an eating adventure” Raul Rivero.
Linnaea Mendoza is from Salt Lake City, Utah and is married to Sergio Mendoza, who is from Guadalajara Mexico. Salsitas Mendoza began in 2011 as a way to make a little extra money for the couple. Linnea started to make homemade Salsa. The base of the salsa is a family recipe from Sergio’s family. With a strong emphasis on traditional Mexican salsa, they have created a healthy salsa with all natural authentic flavors. Their success was completely unexpected! What they thought would help them out with soccer fees turned out to be their family business and now their full time careers. Sergio and Linnea believe that their success comes from people who expect authentic healthy alternatives to the norm, and they are happy to provide them.
Kali Began cooking at the age of 13. Her first cooking class was a Chinese cooking class. She discovered that she wanted to become a Chef. Kali studied cooking for two years at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Not only does she have a love for cooking but for travel as well. She traveled to China to study at cullinary school in the Szechuan province. China was such a great experience that she decided to go to Italy. She spent three weeks in a cullinary school studying and then spent two months working in a small family restaurant in Tuscany. Kali’s philosophy on cooking is simple, home made and full of flavor.