For 2017, Bay Area Tasting Week would like to welcome the following chefs who have graciously agreed to give workshops on taste and flavors. We recognize how busy these chefs are and are extremely appreciative of their support in educating our children.

reylon-agustinReylon Agustin, Rosewood Sand Hill, Menlo Park

A California local, Reylon Agustin embraced the craft of cooking at a very young age. Chef Agustin’s Filipino heritage and time spent in the kitchen with his grandmothers was the kick-start of his culinary career. After honing his culinary skills at several Michelin starred restaurants in the U.K., Chef Agustin returned to California to refine and expand his cuisine at Jardiniere in San Francisco under Chef and Restauranteur Traci Des Jardins. Together they traveled to Lake Tahoe to open Manzanita at the Ritz-Carlton, Highlands. Today, Chef Agustin is the Executive Sous Chef at Rosewood Sand Hill, where he assists in the oversight of daily operations. Read more about Chef Reylon Agustin.


Chef Anna Buss croppedAnna Buss, Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood

Chef Anna Buss is the Culinary Coordinator at Frog Hollow Farm.  She develops new products utilizing produce grown on the farm and coordinates a seasonal menu for Frog Hollow’s cafe in the San Francisco Ferry Building.  Previous to Frog Hollow, she worked as a Farmers Market chef with the Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association where she led seasonally based cooking demonstrations for a variety of audiences.  In addition to creating delicious food products and menus, she captures their beauty through photography.

guillemette-bouche-erbsen-1Guillemette Bouche-Erbsen, L’École Gourmande, Campbell

Chef Guillemette was born in France near Paris. Her family’s roots are in Bretagne, the
Western part of France but she spent most of her childhood living abroad, in the Netherlands, Italy and Tunisia. Living in all these different places with different cultures led her to discover a variety of ingredients, tastes and food cultures. It also made her realize that in every culture, sweet foods always bring people together for a party or celebration. This led Chef Guillemette to Culinary School and after a first training in Cuisine, she went on to learn the techniques and secrets of French Pastry. She graduated from the famous Ferrandi Culinary School in Paris in 2007. Read more about Chef Guillemette.


Tatiana Contreras croppedTatiana Contreras, Google, Mountain View

Chef Tatiana Contreras joined Bon Appetit at Google in 2011 to work with Chef Maggie Pond at the new Cocina Latina. It was there where she really found her love for Latin Cuisine. After taking a small break to start a family, Tatiana returned to Bon Appetit and worked at Baadal where she learned about traditional Indian Cuisine. She became the sous chef for the award winning Google Child Care Food Program in 2014 where she leads the team in providing meals for more than 550 children and over 100 meals to the Centers’ Instructors. Read more about Chef Contreras.


Tom Culbertson, Former Silicon Valley Chef, Palo Alto

Tom teaches 4th grade at Juana Briones Elementary School in Palo Alto. His previous career was as a pastry chef in Silicon Valley. Tom graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena with a Baking and Pastry Certificate. Tom has had many jobs in food: Cheese monger at Dean and Deluca, Pastry Cook, and even Pastry Chef. The restaurant scene changes rapidly. Tom has worked at many Silicon Valley establishments that are no longer around such as Piatti, Wild Hare, Zibibbo, and Spago.


Chef Michelle DuwenseeMichelle Duwensee, Facebook, Menlo Park

Michelle Duwensee has been a pastry chef for 8 years. She went to the Professional Culinary Institute in Campbell at age 20. She has worked in a small bakery in Utah, at Google, and now works at Facebook. Michelle learned to cook at age 18, and decided pastry is where her heart really lies; consequently, she went on to pursue a career as a pastry chef. Michelle loves to bake anything, and loves to learn new recipes and new kitchen tricks. She enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking and running. She lives in Willow Glen with her husband, daughter, and cat.

Chef Pablo EstradaPablo Estrada, Fattoria e Mare, Burlingame

Chef Pablo Estrada moved to San Francisco from Mexico in 1993 after being raised in his family’s bakery. Since then, he has worked with some of San Francisco’s top restaurants including, Campton Place, Restaurant LuLu, Palio d’Asti, Red Herring, St. Regis Hotel, and Luce at Intercontinental Hotel. While at Luce, Estrada was awarded a Michelin Star four years in a row. Read more about Chef Pablo Estrada.

Marco Fossati, Quattro Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley, East Palo Alto

Marco Fossati, Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley in Palo Alto, has more than twenty years of experience earned in kitchens from across Europe, America and the Middle East. “There’s always something to learn,” says Fossati; for him that means constantly seeking out new and innovative ways to approach his craft. He’s mastered techniques both classical and molecular, and blends them perfectly. Although his knowledge and skill are impressive, it’s his passion that captivates. Anyone who talks to him can immediately see how much Fossati loves his work, and tasting his culinary creations fully affirms that fact. It’s this passion that inspired every dish on the menu, paired with fine wine and beautifully presented.

Amy Fothergill croppedAmy Fothergill, The Family Chef, Bay Area

Amy Fothergill, The Family Chef, is a cooking instructor, consultant and blogger in the Bay Area. She teaches both public and private cooking classes and helps individuals and families manage their meal prep and planning by providing consultations. With training from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration as well as her gluten-free experience with her own family, she has adapted her technical cooking knowledge to teach others how to prepare healthy, easy and, most importantly, delicious food.

Her focus is on fresh dishes that are big on flavor but not on time. She published her first cookbook in September 2013, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love. Autographed copies are available directly from Chef Fothergill.

Chef Gram GouldGram Gould, Facebook, Menlo Park

Originally from Indiana, chef Gram Gould, grew up outside of Chicago. He attended The French Pastry school in Chicago and has specialized in bread for more than 10 years. Gram moved to the Bay Area in 2013 to join the Facebook culinary team as their Bread Chef. When he’s not in the kitchen, he likes to spend time outdoors and with his two kids.


Eric Keppler, Quattro Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley, East Palo Alto

Born and raised in small town Pennsylvania, Eric learned his love of the dessert world early on from his Nana. With 25 years of experience under his belt working all over the country, including time building solid European foundations under an Austrian pastry chef, Eric has developed a creative, passionate, and often times whimsical approach to dessert. Eric believes dessert should always be delicious first and the rest is, as they say, icing on the cake.

ellie-lavender-1Ellie Lavender, Vegetarian Personal Chef, Santa Cruz

My journey as a self-taught vegetarian Mediterranean chef started at age 7 with my decision to become a vegetarian. Having asked my mom to prepare vegetarian foods, her reply was: “It’s time for you to learn how to cook so that you can make any kind of food you want”. I started cooking and found absolute joy in experimenting with the bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs (lavender always being my favorite). This early encounter with the joy of cooking led me to create Lavender Cuisine because cooking truly is my greatest passion! Read more about Chef Ellie Lavender.

Sophie Le Dore, Personal Chef, Palo Alto

Chef Sophie Le Dore is a French Chef expatriate and mother living in Oakland, California. She grew up in the French Alps, between the lake and the mountains in Annecy, near Geneva; and from a very young age she has been fascinated with food and the blending of flavors.

Before moving to California, Chef Le Dore lived in Paris where she worked as a food journalist for the French national radio. Her passion for food and the culinary experience led to her current career as a French Personal Chef teaching and cooking for families, dinners and events.

Jannai CroppedJannai Mapanao, Sous Chef, Menlo Park

Chef Mapanao is a Sous Chef at Facebook working in the Menlo Park and Palo Alto campus restaurants, as well as consulting for the Facebook cafes in New York City. Prior to Facebook, he worked in more traditional Michelin rated fine dining restaurants, and also worked as a private chef to multiple clients. Chef Mapanao grew up in Mountain View and currently lives in Redwood City. He attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York City and graduated with a degree in culinary hospitality and management. Chef Mapanao is excited to be a part of Tasting Week “because nutrition and kids is an important issue that just doesn’t get enough emphasis.”

Brendy MonsadaBrendy Monsada, The Left Bank, Menlo Park

Chef Monsada has significantly refocused the Left Bank Menlo Park menu to highlight south-of-France Provencal flavors with California influences and his dishes are based in local, natural, sustainable and organic ingredients. A notable new appetizer Monsada created is the Gateau De Crabe, a delicious Dungeness crab cake with mandarins, watermelon radish, and blood orange emulsion. And of course, there is nothing quite like his show-stopping Mauritius Redfish preparation, Ombrine Tropical!

Peter Rudolph, Madera, Menlo Park

Peter Rudolph is the Executive Chef of Rosewood Sand Hill and Madera, the signature Michelin-starred restaurant at Rosewood Sand Hill® in Menlo Park. During his tenure, Madera has been awarded a Michelin one-star rating for six consecutive years. At Madera, Chef Rudolph and his team craft a refined style of contemporary American cuisine. The well-crafted, market-driven cuisine with both bold and luxurious flavors centered on a wood-fire grill and hearth, “the cuisine really has a distinct flavor to it, created by the product, technique and woods we use to cook with.” says chef Rudolph. Madera’s menus will be highlighted by sustainably harvested and produced seafood and meats that are paired with the bountiful harvest of the surrounding farming communities. Read more about Chef Rudolph.

Douglas Sprous cropped

Douglas Sprous, LB Steak, Santana Row in San Jose

Chef Douglas studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando, Fl. After graduation, he moved to California’s Bay Area to grow and learn more about food and cuisine. Working under a Michelin star chef for several years, Chef Douglas began to refine his skills. He then continued to new endeavors including corporate cooking for a local tech company, fine dining in downtown Oakland specializing in northern Italian cuisine, and downtown San Jose and downtown Campbell. Leading now to LB Steak where he is becoming a strong addition to the chef team, helping to build new and exciting menu items.

Laura Stec, Innovative Cuisine, Oakland

Laura Stec is a corporate and private chef, nutritionist, corporate wellness educator for Kaiser Permanente and Bay Area businesses, owner of Laura Stec – Innovative Cuisine, and author of Cool Cuisine – Taking the Bite Out of Global Warming. The Food Party! is her featured blog for Embarcadero Media (Palo Alto Weekly, Menlo Park Almanac, Mountain View Voice). Her work has been featured at NPR, Martha Stewart, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, and numerous local and national media sites. Read more about Chef Stec.

Kimberly Tran, Google, Mountain View

Chef KImberly Tran has always loved everything about food, whether it is cooking or eating. As a child she preferred to watch cooking shows rather than cartoons. So it came as no surprise when Tran decided she wanted to be a chef and attended the culinary school at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. After working at several different bakeries and restaurants, Tran joined Bon Appetit at Google. Now she is responsible for planning the menus for Google’s four childcare centers and she manages a team that feeds 550 children a day.

Suzanne VanDyck

Suzanne Vandyck, Worldchefs Int’l LLC, Santa Clara

Suzanne Vandyck is an International Culinary Educator and Founder of Worldchefs International LLC. She is also the author of “The Food and Cooking of Belgium” and “Healthy Cooking with Vita Clay.” Born in Belgium, Suzanne inherited her love for cooking from her mother and a country where cooking rituals are a feast every day. Suzanne states, “In Belgium, food is a cause for celebration. Its cuisine is historical gastronomic. We are passionate about good food. Belgians are gourmands who enjoy eating and sharing food together at the table with friends and family.” Read more about Chef Suzanne VanDyck.

Christy CroppedChristy Wolf, Sur La Table, Palo Alto

Growing up in family restaurants in San Francisco and San Anselmo, Chef Christy Wolf’s passion for food and cooking started at a very young age. After graduating from the California Culinary Academy, Christy worked on Jacques Pepin’s Today’s Gourmet and the cookbook associated with the show, Jacques Pepin’s Table; as well as on Martin Yan’s Yan Can Cook. She then went onto work with Paul Bartolotta at Spiaggia in Chicago. Now a mother of four (all are or were PAUSD students) Christy is currently the Resident Chef at the Sur la Table Cooking School in Palo Alto.

2 thoughts on “Chefs

  1. my company is Sweet Kneads – don’t have a website yet -I’m a gluten free baker

    I’m very interested in participating in the project

    look forward to hearing from you


  2. Pingback: Tasting Week 2014 Begins Monday, October 6 | Bay Area Tasting Week

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