Catherine St. John, Owner/School Director of WRSOC and WRSOC@CCLK Catherine is a 1984 graduate of the Tante Marie’s School of Cooking located in San Francisco and has worked in the culinary field for over 30 years as an Executive Chef, teacher, caterer, consultant and personal chef. Catherine has been teaching at WRSOC for 20 years. Catherine also worked on the WRSOC cookbook Famous Chefs & Fabulous Recipes: Lessons Learned at one of the Oldest Cooking Schools in America, and appears on Fox 8 in Cleveland. She has done numerous interviews on cooking with Cleveland Magazine, The Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal and on WKSU’s Quick Bites with Vivian Goodman.
Autumn Johnston Autumn Johnston began cooking at the age of five in her grandmother’s kitchen. Her grandmother taught her how to make Polish classics such as pierogies, dumplings and pagash, along with classic American cooking. At the age of 16 she began working in several Ohio restaurants. She attended culinary school in Las Vegas and worked for years in “the front of the house,” managing corporate and family restaurants. In 2009 Autumn opened Posh Pierogies and then The Pierogi Lady. The Pierogi Lady now offers over 50 varieties of pierogies, 16 varieties of vegan pierogies and other ethnic meals such as cabbage rolls, chicken paprikash, halushki, a variety of soups, as well as a full catering menu.
Betty Shewmon Betty is a graduate of WRSOC with her initial training under Zona Spray. She is also trained as an Exercise Physiologist and a Social Worker. Through her company, Lifestyle Outfitters Inc., she works as a wellness coach for both private clients and employees of self- insured companies. Betty is part of a national movement in medicine that focuses on cooking instruction, as well as exercise and stress management to help prevent lifestyle-related diseases.
Anne Haynam Anne is a bit of a food freelancer. She is the owner of On the Spot Gourmet, a personal chef company, but also does an array of other activities where she shares her lifelong love of cooking. A former college basketball coach and wellness instructor, Anne is a graduate of WRSOC. She is a regular guest chef at Auburn Twin Oaks Winery for featured wine and food dinners, teaches both privately and at WRSOC, and does an array of other specialized food events such as interactive cooking parties, culinary team building and tasting menu dinner parties. Anne has a passion for international travel and the culinary traditions that allow food to be a vehicle for exploring the world.
Kathy Lehr Kathy is an educator, restaurant consultant, and bread expert. She was mentored by French Chef Danielle Forrestier and has been teaching at WRSOC for over 20 years. Kathy was trained by Zona Spray and is a graduate of WRSOC. Kathy has also received training from Jeff Hamelman and James MacGuire, both leading bread authorities. Her DVD, Classic French Bread and More… takes you step by step through the art of bread making.
Abbe Turner Abbe Turner is the milkmaid at Lucky Penny Farm, a family farm and dairy, and the cheese maker at Lucky Penny Creamery in Kent, Ohio. There, the fresh goat and sheep milk produced from Ohio family farms is handmade into artisan cheeses such as Chevre, Feta, Ricotta, award winning sweet Cajeta caramel sauce and other wholesome dairy specialties. Turner studied her craft at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a board member for Innovative Farmers of Ohio (IFO), a council member for the OARDC Ag-Bio Leadership Council and a founder of the Ohio Sheep Milk and Cheese Initiative. Dedicated to shortening the distance from farm to table, Turner promotes and supports local foods and entrepreneurial agriculture particularly for women farmers. Together with her husband Anderson, they raise three children at Lucky Penny Farm. Most days find them trying to balance family, farm and a small business with humor and grace. She is happiest wearing muck boots and drinking coffee. See www.luckypennyfarm.com for pictures and details.
Anna Weisend Anna is the creative force at The Grand Finale. She believes that taste should be the priority of any cake or confection, with beauty coming in a close second. Anna has used her love of food to please the palate and her background in art to create beautiful cakes and Artful Edibles professionally since 2000, when she opened The Grand Finale. Anna has won several awards for her cakes, has been featured in local and international newspapers and magazines; and she’s been featured on WEtv’s “Wedding Cake Wars”. She has worked in conjunction with David Tutera and her clientele has included former congressman Martin Hoke, JRB Publishing, the Nestle Corporation, and many satisfied brides.
Ellen Velez Ellen Velez is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and The Culinary Institute of America with high honors. She has eight years of restaurant experience under her belt and has also developed recipes and food-styled for Woman’s Day and Art Culinaire Magazines. After cooking for clients on the side, she decided to start The Secret Chef in 2005 and grew the business for 10 years before selling it to her resident chef.
Brian Kabb received his culinary degree from Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh, Pa. Brian developed his skills further when he traveled the country gaining working cuisine knowledge in Cajun, Creole, Southern, Latin, French, Italian and Classic BBQ and others from chefs such as Dale Talde, Guy Fieri and others. Brian created and manufactured Red River BBQ in 2010, winning awards in National Kansas City BBQ Society Competitions for his sauce and spice rubs.
David Holland Pulling from his background in the visual arts, Chef David Holland has infused his career in the culinary industry with an artistic approach to every plate. By creating visually stunning “flavor grenades” to delight the palates of his clients, Holland is exploding the conventional approach to fine dining. Entering the culinary world by training in a traditional apprenticeship, Holland had quickly taken an interest in the Garde Manger aspect of fine dining and applied his creativity and background into designing elaborate fruit and vegetable displays for events in the hotel and fine dining industry. “I am always pushing myself to set the bar higher, and to take risks.” Amongst the many talents Holland has in the kitchen, he finds great satisfaction in deconstructing simple, home-style recipes, and turning them into flavorful, non-traditional presentations.