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Who is behind the educational success of Culinary Kids?

Meet the skilled staff who put their hearts and time into our community! At Culinary Kids, our goal is to develop and connect with kids and families. To make that happen, we need a team of dedicated, qualified staff. Certifications, advanced training, and continued education ensures that our staff is always up-to-date with fresh ideas, sound teaching principles, and great new recipes!

MANAGERS

Elisa Eckel

Administrative Manager

Miss Elisa wears many hats, both at Culinary Kids and in general. She’s a certified teacher, an EMT, our Administrative Manager, a mom, and she has a degree in petroleum engineering. She has seemingly done it all, and she has no plans of stopping. She loves to travel, and her favorite food is lamb vindaloo. She loves working with children because they’re unpredictable, which gives her energy, and they act like little sponges. If she could have any superpower, she’d have the ability to turn back time, but we’re happy she’s here (in the present) with us!

Mindy Sparrow

Office Manager

Miss Mindy loves working with children because she likes making a difference in the lives of those around her. She’s the sweetest, so she didn’t even mind when, early in her time at Culinary Kids, she ended up picking sprinkles out of her hair for a week! As the Office Manager, Miss Mindy gets to the office before anyone else and makes sure everything is ready to go. Her favorite animal is the chicken, so it makes sense that she spends a lot of time with ours, especially Sesame. She adores the Culinary Kids family, and we adore her right back.

Kayla Martinez

Social Media and Web Manager

Miss Kayla is a bit ridiculous: her favorite superhero is Spiderman (Tom Holland specifically), but she’s terrified of spiders. She loves working with children because they’re silly and goofy, but they’ll catch you off-guard with adultlike comments. Miss Kayla usually isn’t hanging out in Louisiana; instead, she’s off at college at The University of Chicago, where she participates in the filmmaking club and the spoken word poetry organization. Here at Culinary Kids, she’s the Social Media and Web Manager (so yes, she’s the one running the Instagram).

Stacy Ladousier

Field Trip Manager 

Miss Stacy’s yellow brick road led her right here to Culinary Kids, and we’re so glad it did. The Wizard of Oz fan has taught speech language pathology, and she took those teaching skills here, where she manages our field trip programs. From creating comprehensive curriculum to spearheading our virtual field trip program, Miss Stacy has her hands full. We’re beyond happy to have her here because, despite what her favorite movie may suggest, Miss Stacy has a heart of gold, a brilliant brain, and the courage to always try something new!

Emma Phillipus

Cooking Class Manager

Miss Emma is a little bit of a superstar. After taking our Culinary Kids Advanced Cooking Classes, Miss Emma was featured on an episode of Top Chef Junior and won the Southern Girls Cook-off sponsored by NOLA.com. Now, she’s our Advanced Cooking Class manager, helping other students to follow in her footsteps! When she’s not cooking up something amazing, she’s a student at Hannan High School and participates on the volleyball team. She considers herself a bit of a nerd because her favorite two movies are Marvel’s Ironman and Spider-Man. Her favorite Culinary Kids memory is making a calzone that was nearly two feet long!

Ashley Marx

Parents' Night Out Manager

Miss Ashley M loves a good “aha!” moment, which is part of why she has so much fun working at Culinary Kids. She works everything from camp to birthdays to Parents’ Night Out, which she manages, and she’s one of the most supportive, silly people we’ve ever met. When she’s not cheering on her students, she trades in her apron for pom-poms at LA Tech. She plans on working with children for the rest of her life, and she’s studying to be an early childhood or elementary teacher. She makes an impact on all of the kids here at Culinary Kids, and we’re so excited to see all the lives she’s sure to change in the classroom. 

Isabella St. Pierre

Birthday Manager

If Miss Isabella could have any superpower, it would definitely be to fly! Still, when she’s working with Culinary Kids, it seems like she already can: she’s involved in everything from baking class to birthday parties, so she always has her hands full. She loves working with children because she enjoys getting to know so many crazy, fun personalities. Really, she’s a child at heart— her favorite movie is Monsters Inc! When she’s not at Culinary Kids, Miss Isabella can be found on Southeastern’s campus, exploring all that college has to offer.

CHEFS

Misty Marks

Lead Chef

Chef Misty’s favorite Disney princess is Belle, which isn’t surprising. They’re both bright bookworms with so much to offer to those around them. Chef Misty brings so much to our stainless-steel teaching table. She’s worked in the restaurant industry for 18 years, 17 of which were in the kitchen, and she has a degree in Culinary Arts and a certification in Pastry Arts from Delgado. Like Belle, she loves to learn, and even now, she’s in the process of completing a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Culinary Kids is perfect for her because it allows her to combine her passion for the kitchen with her love of children. Chef Misty uses her skills to instruct our advanced cooking class and our adult programs, and we’re sure her food will make you want to Be Our Guest!

INSTRUCTORS

Maddy Antrainer

Birthday Party and Camp Lead Instructor

Miss Maddy is a freshman at LSU studying theater, but in between being a superstar on stage and playing Animal Crossing, she’s a Program Instructor with us! She’s a dog mom to her puppy, Olive, and she really loves butterflies (although Olive disagrees). Her favorite part of working at Culinary Kids is her staff: she’s good friends with the people she works alongside. Of course, she also loves hiding in the hidey-hole and scaring Miss Sherrí, but that’s a story for another day. You might see her leading a science experiment at camp or making pizza in the shape of a heart at a birthday party, but no matter what, you’re sure to see her with a smile.

Carole Pinson

Special Needs Instructor, Resource Para

For Miss Carole, Culinary Kids really is a family. She’s loved working with all the young people at Culinary Kids, but she’s especially grateful to be able to work alongside her daughter, Miss Emily. Her experience as a resource para at Woodlake Elementary School makes her more than qualified to lead our All Abilities program, where she works with individuals with disabilities to teach cooking alongside transferable skills such as teamwork and etiquette. She loves working with children and young adults because they make her laugh, and she says they don’t overthink things as much as adults do. Miss Carole is clever and kind, and we’re so happy to have her as a part of the Culinary Kids family.

Raymie Robin

Summer Camp Teacher

Miss Raymie, who by degree is a speech therapist, is a creative who has always loved working with children. In fact, she used to own the local Bricks 4 Kidz, another educational facility geared towards providing hands-on experiences for children. She enjoys how versatile and different kids can be, always up for a mini-adventure. Her willingness to go above and beyond and match the kids' energy makes her the ideal summer camp and field trip teacher. Miss Raymie is just like her favorite Louisiana treat, a chocolate snowball, because they're both sweet as can be.

Melissa Wallace


Field Trip Instructor

Miss Melissa is a big proponent of curiosity and creativity, which makes her an incredible field trip instructor. She’s created and published coloring books based on cities across the country, but she loves living in Louisiana. She’s been a teacher and a restaurant owner, so she considers Culinary Kids a great opportunity to combine her interests in education, crafting, and cooking. She enjoys working for our small business because she is an entrepreneur herself, running a print and crafting company from her home. She loves Disney, but that makes sense because she brings a little bit of magic to everything she does!

Jill Rodriguez

Cooking Class Instructor

Miss Jill is quite the creative type: when she’s not at Culinary Kids, she volunteers at 30x90, where she helps build the sets. She certainly brings that creative, hands-on energy to work as a Cooking Class Instructor and and Outreach Assistant. Her favorite thing about working here is the relationships that she creates with coworkers and students alike. Miss Jill is more than happy to create memories that will stay with her students for life. At school, she also participates in the Fontainebleau High School choir, and when she’s here with us, we’re so happy we could sing!

Telly Cull

Program Instructor 

Miss Telly is a bit of a mad scientist! Her favorite thing about working at Culinary Kids is how we combine cooking and science (which makes a lot of sense, because a lot of cooking is science). When she’s not busy with Culinary Kids, she’s a substitute teacher. She loves working with children because they’re just as inquisitive as she is, and they’re always eager to learn. They're also silly, so they didn't mind when she once dropped a whole pizza on the floor! For Miss Telly, being able to cook and teach all at the same time is a win-win, and together, you're sure to whip up something delicious.

Ashley Kott

Program Instructor

Miss Ashley K is a ray of sunshine, and she says that’s because her work at Culinary Kids is so rewarding: she learns as she teaches new skills, and she always leaves feeling fulfilled. As a mother, she wishes she could stop time, just so she could take that extra nap whenever she needs it. Still, it’s clear she makes the most of her time here, working programs like our special needs classes, adult programs, and outreach events. She has a history of working in the food industry and helped run The Supperdome food truck in New Orleans, and she’s brought all of those skills right here to Culinary Kids. We couldn’t be happier to have her.

Rachel D'Alessandro

Program Instructor

Miss Rachel’s craziest Culinary Kids memory is watching Miss Maddy fall into the washing machine, but that’s only happened once (or maybe twice). What really keeps Miss Rachel coming back to Culinary Kids is the energy from the children, which she says makes work feel more like play. Of course, Miss Rachel puts in the work, and she does a great job leading our camps, Parents’ Night Outs, and parties! Outside of Culinary Kids, she’s a student at Mississippi State, where she participates in the band. That’s not surprising, since anytime we find out Miss Rachel’s on the schedule, it’s music to our ears!

Patricia Tirado-Nazario

Program Instructor 

Miss Patricia’s favorite thing about working at Culinary Kids is that it’s a family, and she does so much to contribute to that dynamic. She’s always putting other people first, and she says her dream superpower would be the ability to heal others. Miss Patricia’s fluency in both English and Spanish helps her to connect with almost anyone, and our Culinary Kids adore her in our camp programs and Parents’ Night Outs. When she’s off at the University of Alabama, Miss Patricia fills her free time by participating in organizations she cares about, like the Caribbean Club and the Sociology Club.

ASSISTANTS

Hope Von Eberstein

Program Assistant

For Miss Hope, Disney World really is the happiest place on earth (except for Culinary Kids, of course)! She brings the magic from her favorite vacation spot with her to our door, where she assists during birthday parties and camp programs. As a senior at Fontainebleau High, Miss Hope is on the cheer team and powerlifts, so she keeps herself busy. Just like the kids she teaches, she’s curious, so if she could have one super power, she’d want to time travel, especially to the future. Personally, we’re grateful she’s here in the present with us!

Daniel Hartley

Outreach Assistant 

Mister Daniel’s first day at Culinary Kids was a bit of a whirlwind: he was keeping busy washing dishes when Miss Sherrí pulled him into the middle of a flour fight! According to him, everybody lost, but he looks back on the memory with fondness. He loves watching the children’s imaginations at work, and he hopes to be in education for the long haul. Of course, he also wants to open up a restaurant, and he’s ProStart certified, so he’s already begun his journey. Whether he goes into cooking or teaching or both, we know Mister Daniel will shine like he always does!

Isabel Kay

Program Assistant

Miss Isabel says that if she were something that grows in a garden, she would be a cucumber because they have little vines that can reach out to one another, and that makes sense, because she always fosters a sense of community. She’s a sophomore at Hannan High, and she has always enjoyed working with children: before working here, she was a babysitter and a volunteer camp counselor. She plans on continuing to work with children for the foreseeable future as she hopes to be a teacher. You’ll find her at our birthday parties, evening events, and scouts programs!

Kendall Jourdan

Program Assistant

Miss Kendall’s favorite book is Robin Hood, and given her adventurous side, it’s easy to see why. She’s quite the creative type, and at MHS, she participates in theatre and talented music. She’s a sophomore, and her dream superpower would be to read minds. She loves working with children because she likes how proud they look when they create something new, and if she were something that grew in a garden, she’d be a carrot: there’s a lot more to her than at first glance. At Culinary Kids, she works camps, outreach events, and Parents’ Night Outs!

Amber Seal

Program Assistant

Miss Amber’s dream superpower is flight, which checks out— she always soars above and beyond expectations. As a sophomore at Lakeshore High School, she spends her time in after-school clubs focused on theatre, animals, and agriculture. She also loves to bake, and makes personalized cupcakes for her fellow cast members after a show. She’s taken these skills straight to Culinary Kids, where she works birthday parties and other programs. She’s excited to spend time with the kids, and they love spending time with her too.

Maddie Colombo

Program Assistant

If Miss Maddie could be anything that grows in a garden, she would be basil because it grows well in nearly any environment. Plus, it’s Italian, like her! She’s a marketing major at The University of Mississippi, but she’s quite the drama queen— in her free time, you can find her on stage. Miss Maddie loves to crack jokes, and she’s always teasing her coworkers. She loves children because they’re unpredictable, and you never know what they’re going to say. Miss Maddie never fails to bring a smile to the faces of everyone around her, and we’re so excited to have her here.