Our instructors are talented chefs who love working with kids and young teens. Most are graduates of the prestigious, Le Cordon Bleu culinary program in Pasadena and the Culinary Insititute of America in Hyde Park, New York. They all carry out our mission to provide a unique learning experience that gives our campers the opportunity to develop a life-long love for the culinary arts.

Imagine having a culinary arts expert sharing their passion and depth of experience with your child! Our Cooking Camp chefs not only teach general cooking techniques but sprinkle lots of lessons into the mix, discussing culinary terms, nutritional values, kitchen safety and food science.

Successful cooking begins in a kid-friendly environment and our staff has designed a series of summer sessions where children can succeed in learning skills safely and enjoyably.




CHRIS ALLEN
Executive Chef
North Hollywood


Graduating with high honors from the Le Cordon Bleu program, Chef Chris began his work with the Summer Art Academy in 2002 acting as the Executive Chef for the culinary portion of the summertime camp. Currently, Chris owns and operates the Children's Culinary Institute. He has traveled the world sampling the foods from many countries and looks forward to teaching all his international culinary secrets to the kids. Additionally, he has owned a catering company and has been a special demonstration Chef for the Friends of Robinsons Garden as well as a personal Chef.
KATHRINE PORTER
Lead Chef
Glendale


Chef Katherine has recently begun her culinary career with a variety of experiences that she is excited to share with our campers.  Having graduated from Le Cordon Bleu program, she is highly trained and skilled in the areas of fine cuisine and desserts. She is currently working at The Front Runner Restaurant at the Santa Anita Race Park, and will be returning to the Summer Cooking Camp for her seventh year. Chef Katherine is thrilled and looking forward to providing only the best learning, culinary experience for our new and returning campers.
OMAR GARCIA
Lead Chef
Tarzana


Since 2003, Chef Omar has been teaching children his culinary knowledge as an Culinary Instructor at the Summer Art Academy. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary school in 2002, Chef Omar learned that he had a passion for teaching children when he started as an assistant at the Summer Art Academy then moving up to Chef Instructor after just one year. Now in his 4th year at Cooking Camp, Chef Omar has a background is fine dining, working under great Culinary legends such as Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Roy Yamaguchi. Chef Omar’s experiences also include working as Private Chef, Lead line Chef Roy’s Hollywood and Highland and owning catering company, Smokin’ O’s BBQ, and now Chef Omar proudly brings his Culinary wisdom to the Cooking Camp in Tarzana.

THERESA PARRA KAY
Lead Chef
San Gabriel


This well-seasoned chef brings to the table nearly 20 years of professional experience in the food service industry, as well as over a decade in the culinary classroom. Her background includes managing the highly successful: Bristol Farms Markets (Catering Department and Cooking School), Tommy Tang’s Modern Thai Cuisine (Restaurants and Catering), and California Pizza Kitchen (Restaurants and Training Department). She has taught middle and high school culinary arts in Pasadena, Duarte and San Gabriel, has acted as Lead Chef Instructor with the Cooking Camp since 2007 and is, now partnering up with Executive Chef Chris Allen to bring even more exciting and immersive cooking experiences to students in Southern California through The Children’s Culinary Corporation new After School program.

DAVID McGRATH
Lead Chef
Playa Del Rey


David has been in the hospitality business for over 25 years. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York and Florida International University in Miami Florida. David currently owns Onyx Lounge & Gamez Sports Bar in Downtown Los Angeles. Prior to owning his own establishments, David has worked for Jake's Restaurant in Philadelphia, The Four Seasons Hotel in Palm Beach Florida and Beverly Hills and Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood California.  As a parent, David understands the importance and impact culinary arts can have on children. Not only will children learn how to make food, children will also learn other valuable things, such as geography, cleanliness, sanitation, creativeness, discipline, respect, cultural diversity, patience and working in a team environment. 
David looks forward to meeting and working with you and your children in the 2017 cooking camp season!