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About The Faculty

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SRJC Culinary Arts
Culinary Arts

About the Faculty

Michael Salinger
(707) 527-4591

Chef/Instructor Michael Salinger graduated from the California Culinary Academy in 1984. He worked as a chef in San Francisco and the Napa Valley for 10 years prior to coming to Santa Rosa Junior College. Michael has been teaching at SRJC since 2001 and joined the full time faculty in 2003. He has been instrumental in moving the Culinary Arts Program from its infancy into the new state-of-the-art B. Robert Burdo Culinary Arts Center.

Cathy Burgett
(707) 521-7930

Chef/Instructor Cathy Burgett holds a B.A. in French Language from Stanford University and graduated with the culinary Grand Diplóme from Éole de Cuisine, La Varenne in Paris, France. She has worked as a chef and pastry chef for the past 31 years. As a chef/instructor since 1991, Cathy taught baking and pastry for 10 years at Tante Marie's Cooking School in San Francisco and has been teaching full time in SRJC's Culinary Arts Department since 2001.

Jim Cason
(707) 527-4623

Chef/Instructor Jim Cason is a Certified Executive Chef with more than 20 years running restaurants and teaching culinary arts. Chef Jim received his culinary degree from Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC. and spent the years following his graduation running a variety of foodservice operations, from small family owned restaurants to 14,000 square foot entertainment venues. His culinary heritage reflects his Southern upbringing and his exposure to world cuisines from years spent traveling in the capacity of lead culinary instructor/executive chef for the Military Sealift Command, a civilian branch of the US Navy. He has been a full time instructor in the SRJC Culinary Arts Department since 2007.

Betsy Fischer
(707) 524-1758

Betsy Fischer has worked in the hospitality industry for thirty years. Her specialties include front house operations, wine education and restaurant management. She is also the coordinator of the SRJC Culinary Career Center and Front House Manager of the SRJC Culinary Caf├ęShe has been teaching in SRJC's Culinary Arts Department since 2000.

Shelly Kaldunski
(707) 522-2800

Chef/Instructor Shelly Kaldunski is a 1996 graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. She worked as a pastry chef in fine dining restaurants in both San Francisco and the Washington DC area. She is a food writer and was an associate food editor for Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. She has been teaching in SRJC's Culinary Arts Department as an adjunct instructor since 2007 and as full time faculty since Fall 2012.

Denise Elliott
(707) 522-2800

Chef/Instructor Denise Elliott is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. She operated a large wholesale bakery in Sonoma County for 20 years. She taught at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco for a year and has taught as an adjunct instructor at SRJC for the past 25 years in the Baking and Pastry program and the college's Community Education program.

Lorette Patzwald
(707) 527-4999 ext 9767

Chef/Instructor Lorrette Patzwald has over 25 years experience as a professional pastry chef, bread baker and consultant in New York, Napa and Sonoma Valleys. She was awarded the national bread baking title by the James Beard Foundation and is a member of the Bread Bakers Guild of America. Chef Lorrette concurrently works as a pastry chef at SHED Modern Grange in Healdsburg and teaches in the Culinary Arts program at SRJC where she began in 2004.

Christine Piccin
(707) 527-4999 ext 9121

Chef/Instructor Christine Piccin holds a B.A. in French from Sonoma State University. She cooked in fine dining establishments for ten years, paired food and wine for wineries, and wrote for various food and travel magazines. She has been teaching as an adjunct instructor at SRJC since 2006.

Kathy Chesko
(707) 527-4999 ext 5342

Chef/Instructor Kathy Chesko graduated Valedictorian from culinary school at Cuyahoga Community College and is an American Culinary Federation Certified Sous Chef. She worked as Development Chef for the Nestle Corporation and Givaudan and started her own culinary business catering events, teaching classes and developing recipes to pair with wines. She has taught as an adjunct instructor in SRJC's Culinary Arts Department since 2006.

Doug Cavaliere
(707) 480-6080

Chef/Instructor Doug Cavaliere's baking career spans thirty years. He attended the Culinary Institute of America Greystone, receiving certificates in Wedding Cakes and Contemporary Cakes and Tarts. After selling his bakery, he has worked as a pastry chef at Costeaux Bakery in Healdsburg. He has taught as an adjunct instructor in SRJC's Baking and Pastry Program since 2006.

Roger Praplan
(707) 321-8285

Chef/Instructor Roger Praplan holds a BA in Cultural Geography from UC Berkeley. He served an apprenticeship at the Hotel Beau Rivage in Geneva, and was awarded credentials in Annency, France. He has worked in and managed professional kitchens in Switzerland, New York and San Francisco. He has been the chef/co-owner of La Gare Restaurant in Santa Rosa since 1981. Chef Roger He has taught as an adjunct instructor in SRJC's Culinary Arts Department since 1987.

Jill Nussinow

Chef/Instructor Jill Nussinow is a Registered Dietitian who has been teaching cooking since 1985. Her specialty is vegetable, vegetarian, vegan and pressure cooking. She is the author of two cookbooks and owner of The Veggie Queen, a consulting business. Chef Jill has been teaching culinary classes as an adjunct instructor at SRJC since 1990.

Mary Fok
(707) 522-2800

Mary Fok received her culinary training throughout various provinces in China. In 1971, Mary was the owner and chef of Mary's Magic Wok Restaurant in Montgomery Village, which provided catering services, a full service restaurant, and a cooking school. She has been an adjunct instructor since 1981. For further professional development to expand her teaching credentials, Mary completed the SRJC Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry certificate programs in 2002.

Anne Vercelli
(707) 953-0332

Chef/Instructor Anne Vercelli has a B.A. from California State University/Sacramento and an A.O.S from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York. Her career highlights include food and beverage management in restaurants and hotels, and coordination of professional food/wine competitions for both the Sonoma County Harvest Fair and the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Chef Anne has been teaching as an adjunct instructor at SRJC for over thirty years.