Alena Surgeon

Originally from Czechoslovakia, Alena Surgeon graduated from cooking school in 1984. She worked in a large restaurant that fed more than 5000 people each day and later owned a deli/grocery store. She now lives in the United States and recently published her first cookbook, Four Seasons in My Kitchen: Cakes and Desserts. Here she shares with us an easy and appealing appetizer with dipping sauce.


Andres Cantu

My name is Andrés Cantú, and I’m a professional cook in San Antonio, TX. I’m a former working musician and recording engineer, and father, husband, and student. Cooking is like making music for me. I have food truck dreams. I eat ghost pepper sauce on a regular basis. I eat animal guts and cook them well. I write, too!


Ann Smith

Ann Smith has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science with an emphasis in Health, Wellness and Nutrition. She is also has Holistic Nutrition Certification. Over the last six years she has lost over 100 pounds and kept it off. Her goals include traveling all over Europe and entering a Crossfit competition. She believes what Hippocrates said: “Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.” Follow her blog at Nutrition in a Pinch.


Catherine Parker

Having spent the biggest part of my life dedicated to the roles of wife, mother, stepmother, grandmother etc I decided at the age of 46 it was time to do something for me. I have designed and decorated cakes for family and friends for several years and the network has expanded to the point of needing to now set up a full-on business. As much as I love ‘caking,’ as my family call it, I plan to get out of the kitchen this year to take part in the mud run known as Tough Mudder!

Other cakes from My Fair Cakery can be seen here.

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Dina Deleasa-Gonsar

Dina Deleasa-Gonsar is happy to have you join her in her little kitchen of big dreams. You may have seen her appear alongside her family on the E! Networks “Married to Jonas.” As seen during the show, food is synonymous with family and life events. She grew up with Sunday dinner treated like a weekly holiday. Her hope is to continue to inspire home cooks to venture out and create meals that are the centerpieces for family time and traditions.


Eileen O’Toole

Eileen O’Toole is a food service professional who manages, teaches, and cooks in Minneapolis, MN. Her true passion is figuring out and teaching others how to keep good farmer’s market food in the fridge and a home cooked meal on the table, no matter how busy life is. Eileen and her two young boys are on the move and always thinking about the next crazy adventure.


Eric Souder

Originally from suburban Philadelphia, Eric Souder is currently a cook and culinary student in Providence, Rhode Island. Prior to his work as a cook, he was a graduate student in Russian Imperial History, studying everything from Leo Tolstoy’s writings on Chechnya to nineteenth century Russian peasant education. His current writing projects serve as a crossroads of these interests, examining Eastern European foods as a product of their environment in both immigrant communities in the United States and abroad.


Issy Budd

Issy Budd is a 15-year-old in year 11 at school from London, UK. In her own words: “I love writing because I find it rewarding and satisfying and there is always something new and fresh to talk about. I hope to go to university in England to study media and/or journalism. As a profession I would love to write about food because cooking/eating food and writing are two of my greatest passions in life.”


Jacob Dean

Jacob Dean has graduate degrees in forensic and clinical psychology and is employed as a therapist in the Washington DC area. A man of widely varied interests, he has studied film-making and criticism, has reviewed video games, and has been employed as a food writer and recipe tester. He has a serious – but not entirely academic — interest in beer.


Jill Santopietro

Jill Santopietro is a food writer, cooking instructor, food stylist and recipe developer. Prior to launching her freelance career, she was the food editor of CHOW. She spent five years as a writer, food stylist, and recipe tester at The New York Times Magazine and T Magazine. Before the Times, she cooked in restaurant kitchens and worked as a chef for the Emmy-nominated PBS cooking show, “Simply Ming.” She spent six years as a columnist for The Boston Globe food section. She is somewhat obsessed with anchovies and ice cream (just not together).


Jim Gray

Jim Gray is a chef turned stay-at-home dad, living in Summerville, South Carolina. He is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Boston and has worked for several restaurants in the Seacoast Maine/New Hampshire area. He now spends his days getting his 7 and 5 year olds ready for school and chasing his three-year-old around the house. He bakes for friends, writes recipes and reads cookbooks after everyone else is asleep.


Joe Borio

Joe Borio is the father of two extraordinary boys, Joey Rocco and Vito Anthony. He is a doctor and healthcare consultant by week and food lover and home chef of Italian dishes, desserts, stories, and traditions on the weekend. Join Cooking Italian with Joe on Facebook, Youtube, Google, or on his website for his recipes, stories of family, and love of life.


Kate Titterton

Katie Titterton is a nonprofit communications and development professional and an enthusiastic amateur cook. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in writing and is passionate about local food, travel, and sharing both with friends. She began growing and canning her own food after a brief gig hawking pickles. Katie lives in Vermont, which by no coincidence has the most cheesemakers and breweries per capita.


Lisa Stalvey

Lisa Stalvey began cooking professionally over thirty years ago when she fell into an apprenticeship with Wolfgang Puck at the original Ma Maison restaurant in West Hollywood; eventually becoming head chef. In 1993 she became a partner and executive chef at Bambu in Malibu, and for two years in a row received awards for being one of the Top 100 Chefs in America. She has been a consultant for Newman’s Own, creating two sauces for the company; Newman’s Own Steak Sauce and Newman’s Own Parisian Salad Dressing.


Lynne Viera

Lynne Viera is the Founder and CEO of Rival Marketing, a digital food marketing agency. She also founded how2heroes, an award winning how-to video cooking website with over 3,000 original videos featuring top chefs and home cooks. Rival builds food brands from naming and logo development to website design, online advertising campaigns, social media strategy and original content development. Rival and how2heroes built a kitchen studio on-site for producing original video and recipe content, conducting photo shoots and holding cooking classes and food events.


Mara Lubans-Othic

Mara Lubans-Othic is a writer, veteran, and self-taught cook. Mara served in the Army as a military police officer and an intelligence analyst for 15 years, and began cooking while stationed in Germany. She recently graduated from Meredith College with a BA in English and is pursuing an MFA in nonfiction writing. She and her husband live in Cameron, North Carolina.


Marie Rama

Marie Rama is a recipe developer and food writer. She is the co-author of the best selling cookbooks Bacon Nation and Grilling for Dummies, and currently writing a 5th edition of Cooking for Dummies with food writer Bryan Miller. Marie lives with her husband, Mark Reiter, a writer and literary agent, in an old stone house overlooking the Hudson River, in Yonkers, New York. They have two wonderful sons, Nicholas and William.


Michael Minshull

Michael Minshull is a professional chef and certified sommelier. Chef Michael is originally from British Columbia, Canada and now resides on the Big Island of Hawaii. A sustainable food advocate, Michael operates Island Food and Wine, writes a food blog about Hawaii, and offers menu and wine consulting, cooking classes, and wine education and cookbook reviews.


Nicholas Calias

With over 20 years of culinary experience, Chef Nicholas Calias has lead the culinary operation at The Colonnade Hotel and Brasserie Jo in Boston, Massachusetts for the past 6 years. He received his Certification through the American Culinary Federation as a Certified Executive Chef in 2008, and has spent the better part of the last 15 years with Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Merritt Hospitality.

Previously, he was an Executive Chef of the Westin Stamford Hotel with Merritt Hospitality, and an Executive Chef with Starwood, where in addition to his daily responsibilities; he was a member of the Starwood Regional Chef’s Task Force.


Paula Hughes

Paula Hughes is the founder of Chew The World, a handy blog concentrated on food delights, tips, and tricks on preparing the best meals, getting the best kitchen gadgets, and being a better chef. You can also find many interesting recipes, top lists of kitchen stuff, and in-depth guides on everything related to the kitchen.


Sarah Hopwood

Sarah Hopwood is a photographer, bread baker, freelance writer, avid wine drinker and an all around cynical optimist, currently living her dream in Portland, Oregon. She writes about food, travel and her cat on her blog, The Pulp and Rind.


Seacoast School of Technology

Seacoast School of Technology Media Arts Department: Instructor Kristine Groleau and filmmakers/students Sebastian Wan, Tommy Woodhouse, Allison Belisle, Emma Quimby, and AJ Pratt – The Cooks Cook (video).

The Seacoast School of Technology is the regional Career and Technical high school serving Seacoast New Hampshire.  The Digital Media Arts program offers courses in Graphic Design, Web Design, Video Production and Animation and can be taken for college credit. The students are active in a variety of media projects and are often involved in community outreach initiatives.  To learn more about Seacoast School of Technology visit


Selma Brown Morrow

Selma Brown Morrow, who lives in Los Angeles, was a food editor at Bon Appétit magazine for 20 years. She wrote Potato, a single-subject volume for Williams-Sonoma in 2002. Since 2011, she has been a freelance recipe developer, consultant, food writer, cooking teacher, and caterer.