Our seasoned instructors and chefs are chosen to be part of our program because of their culinary expertise, sincere enthusiasm and talent for teaching. Along with great cooking ideas, our instructors share helpful nutrition advice and give you beyond-the-basic ways to incorporate your classroom experiences into your everyday cooking.
DO YOU TEACH?
We’re always accepting applications for cooking instructors excited to share their skills and experience.
Kausar is a chef, food stylist and cooking instructor with over 20 years of experience in South Asian culinary arts. She was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan where her mother taught her how to cook. She is the author of “The Karachi Kitchen”, a cookbook featuring classic and contemporary South Asian recipes from her childhood and motherhood. Kausar is best known for her work through Kitchen Craft, an organization she founded in 2009 that offers free nutrition and cooking workshops to women and youth in high-risk communities around Karachi, with the goal of promoting healthy eating and hygiene habits amongst impoverished families. The internationally-acclaimed entrepreneur has served as a chef, food stylist, cooking show producer and host, and culinary instructor in Pakistan and the United States.
Paola grew up in Milan in a family devoted to making good food. When she moved to Seattle in 2005, she started matching local ingredients with regional Italian cooking. Paola began teaching cooking classes at PCC in 2011, and her background includes recipe development for the Italian branch of All Recipes. When she is not in the kitchen, Paola loves to spend time with her family, traveling and exploring new places and discovering new flavors. She believes a beautiful meal starts with fresh, seasonal ingredients, enjoyed with family and friends.
Christina left her corporate job in 2021 to focus on a career as a full-time food and cooking coach specializing in meal planning designed for busy people. She does this by helping others regain their quality of life with a sustainable approach to cooking. She combines an extensive catering, food service and grocery background with her passion for international cuisine to help others feel confident in the kitchen making delicious, feel-great meals. Currently, Christina teaches group cooking classes and offers menu plan coaching through her business Foodie With A Life.
About the instructor: Tiffany is a farmer and chef who preserves the harvest as much as possible in the summer and fall. As a farmer, she knows the ins and outs of shopping for produce in abundance and how to use everything coming from the garden to save for winter and spring when you crave homegrown produce. As a chef, she will teach safe preservation techniques and guide you through tested recipes to add to your pantry. You will find her canning until all hours of the night when the season is right.
Lisa has loved the kitchen for as long as she can remember. While she has experience teaching school subjects to elementary students, as well as cooking and baking professionally, Lisa finds real delight helping people of all ages connect to food, empowering them to transform great ingredients into deliciousness for the whole family. When she’s not teaching, Lisa is busy bringing sourdough bread and other pastries, all made from locally-grown, locally-milled flours, to area Farmer’s Markets. Lisa is a member of the Bread Bakers Guild of America.
Rachel is the owner of Thyme to Nourish, a personal chef and food education service focused on whole foods and healthy eating. Trained at the Culinary Arts Program at The Art Institute of Seattle, Rachel spent her early years with a mom who loved to experiment with food. She also immersed herself in Southeast Asian and Indian cuisines while living in Malaysia. Today, Rachel focuses on providing good food to good people and can be found at Thyme2nourish.com.
Zola was born and raised in Seattle by a family that loves to cook. She spent her early years cooking alongside her great-grandmother whom she credits as her greatest inspiration both in the kitchen and out. In 2016 she was offered a job as a pastry chef after making a wedding cake for her Aunt and Uncle and went on to gain experience in all manner of pastries and desserts from Italian gelatos to Parisian croissants. Though Zola has worked professionally as a pastry chef and baker, she maintains that her true passion is her role as a home cook and finds real reward in helping others find success in their own kitchens. When she's not teaching she spends her time writing, listening to history podcasts, and cooking extravagant meals for her family.
Pranee learned to cook from her mother and grandmother in Phuket, Thailand. When she came to Seattle, she brought her mortar and pestle and began cooking for friends. She is now a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the owner of I Love Thai Cooking, where she teaches, and shares recipes and cooking wisdom. She goes to Thailand yearly to collect and preserve authentic recipes and is working on a cookbook. Pranee says, “You don’t need to visit Thailand to learn Thai cooking.”
Shama joined PCC after a 14-year tech career at Microsoft and a brief but wildly successful stint as food truck entrepreneur. Her truck, Roll OK Please, delighted locals with fresh paneer and kathi rolls and even received national recognition from Anthony Bourdain. Now she shares her passion for food and knowledge of regional Indian cuisine through cooking classes. Shama loves demystifying Indian culinary techniques, and showcasing the incredible diversity of dishes and flavors found in Indian cooking.
Ami is a nutritionist, founder of the Yummy Mummy Cookies company, and the author and illustrator of the children’s book, “Let’s Eat: A Book About Food.” Ami loves nourishing others through delicious meals and encouraging people to take control of their own health though food and education.
Brittany-born Emma is proud of her Celtic heritage. She learned to make crêpes from her mother, who learned from hers, probably before learning to read. Half of the restaurants in Brittany are crêperies, and Emma is passionate about sharing the authenticity of Breton culture and its cuisine with others. When not cooking, Emma runs a nonprofit, TINFA.org, dedicated to empowering teachers in underserved areas of the world.
Chef Ben Leonard brings together cooks from around the world to bond over cooking fresh, delicious, healthy food (with a good helping of food puns sprinkled on). He believes that our lives are made better through our relationship with food and cooking - making for greater connections with ourselves, loved ones and communities.
Born and raised in central Maine, Ben has taken the flavors of his youth and built on them with a global perspective. For many years he worked his way up the ranks in one of Maine’s most celebrated restaurants before moving to Los Angeles and taking on the local food scene there. After working with renowned chefs in Los Angeles, he became the Resident Chef at Sur La Table in the Los Angeles area where he ran one of the most successful cooking programs in the company. Now living in Seattle with his husky, Graham, Ben has spent the last two years teaching thousands of people across the country and the world to cook via live, interactive, online cooking classes.
Nancy is an award-winning food writer and radio personality who learned much of what she knows about food during her first career: waiting tables. Seattle readers know her as the mouth that scored — for the better part of two decades — as restaurant critic and food columnist for the Seattle Times. These days, when she’s not chatting about recipes or interviewing food folks for NPR member-station KNKX, you’ll find her prowling the aisles of PCC gathering inspiration for dinner. See what Nancy is up to at nancyleson.com.
Yushan Lin was born and raised in Taiwan surrounded by tropical fruit and bold spicy flavors with a hint of Japanese influence, she discovered her passion for food at a young age.
Following global travel, she settled in Seattle and acquired an MBA at Seattle University while raising two lovely daughters. She spent years taking classes in Asia and the US, and continued practicing and refining her techniques and recipes. Eventually Yushan’s passion for food and baking lead her to start her own baking studio offering to-go pastries, along with classes for children and adults ranging from traditional noodles and pasta to the latest trends in bake goods.
She is self-taught, and her approach is strongly influenced by Taiwanese, Japanese and French baking.
J. Kenji López-Alt is a chef, parent, and New York Times best-selling author of The Food Lab (winner of the James Beard Award for General Cooking, and International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Book of the Year) and Every Night Is Pizza Night, illustrated by Gianna Ruggiero. He is a wildly popular New York Times food columnist, and the host of Kenji’s Cooking Show, with over a million subscribers on YouTube. He lives in Seattle, WA.
Celesteena is a self-professed "Superfood Fangirl" as well as a healthy eating coach and owner of Power Yummies - a gluten and nut free superfood treat bakery here in Seattle. Originally from Atlanta, Celesteena's inspiration reaches all the way back to her childhood where family cookouts, holidays and special occasions were always filled with laughter, love and the most delicious foods that you ever tasted. Her passion is sharing her version of powerfully yummy cooking with others (always sprinkled with love, laughter and nutrients of course).
Elaine was born and raised in Hong Kong, and grew up with authentic Chinese and pan-Asian food. She has lived in Canada and the US for 30 years and traveled to 50 countries. Elaine left the corporate world after 20 years to focus on her passion for home-style cooking. She is the founder of Dash of Soy, a local Seattle culinary school that focuses on sharing the love for simple, delicious and healthy home cooking inspired by her family and all her travels.
Marianna is a pastry chef and Washington native who grew up in the central part of the state. After several years in the veterinary industry, Marianna switched careers and now teaches cooking all around the Puget Sound and as far east as Snoqualmie. Marianna focuses on technique-driven classes and loves to demystify the cooking and baking process and its associated sciences.
Cam never planned to leave her career as an award-winning journalist, but a life spent cooking — and teaching others the joy of it — finally proved too irresistible. She received her professional culinary training from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to her work at PCC, she teaches several innovative multidisciplinary cooking classes at Edmonds Heights K-12, covering everything from world folklore and history to science and environmental policy. Her food writing has appeared in publications including The Boston Globe. Follow her on Instagram: @hummingbirdculinary.