Bob’s day job is Vice President for Menu Strategy and Innovation for Taco John’s® International. In his spare time he lends a hand teaching and consulting at The Cooking Studio Fort Collins. “Food is more than a job for me – it’s a passion… I would rather cook than do almost anything. Although I love all types of food and cuisine from around the world, the more I learn about Mexican food, the more I realize how interesting and flavorful it is.”
Scott “Manno” Manning
Scott Manning started cooking in restaurants when he was 14. When it was time to formalize his education, he chose to attend Western Culinary Institute in Portland, OR. It was a great honor to be chosen by his classmates to be the Chef de Cuisine for their graduation dinner. During his career, Scott has run fine dining, Italian-inspired, Latin steakhouse and sports-themed restaurants and kitchens. It is Scott’s desire to share his passion and knowledge of the Culinary Arts with those who choose to live and experience this crazy world of feeding people!
Chef Steven graduated from the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, California where he had the opportunity to work events at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago Catering kitchen in Hollywood. He has since worked at country clubs, large hotel/resorts, fine dining restaurants, and CSU Dining Services in Texas, Hawaii and Colorado. He is currently teaching at a culinary school in Boulder, Colorado.
Crystal Melanson is a FDN® Practitioner, Certified Natural Chef and a passionate Health & Nutrition Coach. She has experience as a Nutrition and Lifestyle Educator andFood Allergy Awareness Trainer, helping others with their own unique physical and dietary struggles. Crystal has been fortunate to work in a wide variety of focused areas: diabetes education, weight-loss, sports nutrition, as well as food allergies and therapeutic diets. With this knowledge and the passion she gained from her own dietary struggles she created Zen Functional Wellness to help and serve others.
Since her childhood, the kitchen was where Malini Bartels connected with her mother, her culture and her passion. For the past 12 years, Malini has been busy around town teaching cooking classes, hosting edible demonstrations and promoting healthy eating. Malini specializes in North and South Indian cuisine, Spanish tapas, seasonal salads and kid-friendly meals. She is a lover of all things local, and has logged over 100 hours of personal development classes – allowing her to contribute to the team building aspect of The Cooking Studio.
Marilou Smith grew up in the Philippines and has lived in many countries, including Egypt, Pakistan and Lesotho. Travels have taken her to many countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Food is a passion and she always wants to know where the good food is in her travels. Marilou is a member and organizer of Foodies of Fort Collins. She has done cooking demonstrations at The Cupboard, and for several International Women’s organizations.
Chris is a professional chef with over a decade of experience in the restaurant industry and corporate dining management. Now, he is the COO, Co-Owner and resident Food Marketing Evangelist at Road Warrior Creative, a local digital marketing agency that focuses on helping food businesses promote themselves online. Although Chris has left the “traditional” food industry, he still loves to share his broad knowledge of culinary arts with students at The Cooking Studio. Chris’s favorite classes to teach are our ever popular Date Nights and he loves presenting companies with unique challenges at our on-site Team Building events.
Dana DeMarco has been cooking in Fort Collins for 17 years and has received a culinary arts degree from the American Culinary Federation in Denver. She enjoys cooking with ingredients that are in season and locally sourced as much as possible. Vegan, Vegetarian, Italian cuisine, and cooking with love are her areas of expertise. Pottery, hiking, cycling, books, and playing outside are some of her other interests.
Sari heads up our kid and teen programming and teaches the After School series and some of our break and summer camps. A former Consumer and Family Studies teacher, she taught classes of 30 middle-schoolers the art of cooking. Sari brings a long-standing passion and experience in the food industry including restaurants in the Bay Area and Colorado, Whole Foods Market and Grant Family Farms. She credits her love for cooking and food to her six months living in Paris and traveling throughout Europe. “There is nothing as inspiring as a fresh-picked strawberry or just baked baguette to get the cooking juices flowing.”