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Instructors

Judy Orpin Geringer

Judy Orpin Geringer

Judy Orpin-Geringer

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Judy Orpin-Geringer moved to California in 1984.  She graduated from the California Culinary Academy in 1986. Judy was Head Pastry Chef then Co-Executive Chef at Wente Brother’s Restaurant in Livermore. She and her sister Suzy owned a bakery and restaurant in Pleasant Hill for several years.

Combining her love of cooking and passion for teaching, Judy was a Chef Instructor at Homechef in Walnut Creek for 15 years. She has also taught cooking classes for Pleasant Hill Park and Recreation for 17 years.

Judy is thrilled to be part of the teaching staff at Back to the Table Cooking School in Lafayette, where she can share her knowledge and joy of cooking with students.  View Judy’s upcoming classes.

 

Suzy Quenneville Orpin

 Suzy Quenneville-Orpin

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Suzy Quenneville-Orpin moved to the Bay Area 25 years ago and has lived in Lafayette for the last 16 years.  She owned a Bakery and Restaurant with her sister Judy for several years before completing her Business Degree at St. Mary’s College.  Suzy was the Cooking School Coordinator and Instructor at HomeChef for 8 years.

She completed her Teaching Credential at Cal State Hayward and has been teaching disadvantaged adults for the Bread Project at Berkeley Adult School for 5 years as the Executive Chef and Safety/Sanitation Instructor.

Specializing in cake decorating and baking as well as seafood and game cookery, Suzy also has her own business, CakeLair that produces gourmet flavored sugars to use in baking, cooking, and specialty drinks.  Suzy is excited to join the staff at Back to the Table and share her passion for cooking and local cuisine.  View Suzy’s upcoming classes.

 

Thama Brentano

Thama Brentano

Thama Brentano

Thama Brentano has worked in the culinary field for 20 years.  After obtaining her Commercial Baking Certificate from the Hotel and Restaurant Management program at Diablo Valley College, Thama worked as a Pastry Chef in local restaurants as well as for caterers such as Paula LeDuc and Barbara Llewellyn. In addition to her work as a Pastry Chef, Thama has done recipe development for Safeway and Nabisco, among others.

Over the years, Thama has taught private cooking classes and developed “The Kitchen Confidence” series taught through the Orinda Community Center. All of her classes are designed to give her students more comfort and confidence in the kitchen, whether  beginning cooks learning new skills or advancing the techniques of more experienced cooks. Thama is very happy to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with students at Back to the Table.  View Thama’s upcoming classes.

 

Mitch Costanza

Mitch Costanza

Mitch Costanza

Mitch has spent the last ten years teaching young people to have fun learning how to cook. He is all about exploration and his motto is “I’m not sorry, I’m just learning.” He created an organic student kitchen at the Head Royce School and prepared restaurant style meals there for six years. Mitch also volunteered at the Edible Schoolyard for two years. He loves teaching cooking to elementary and middle school students. Mitch loves being in a kitchen where kids who might not normally mingle, work together to create awesome food as a team.

During each session, students of all skill levels will get hands-on experience cooking the foods they love but made with organic and seasonal ingredients. The classes are designed to give students the passion and confidence to cook at home. We will cook from a wide range of simple recipes. Students will learn how to turn a grilled cheese into a panini with mozzarella, roasted red peppers, tomato, prosciutto and home made pesto.

He will introduce many basic ingredients to put on parent’s shopping lists to get them excited to explore in their kitchens. The students will be encouraged to taste everything that is created in the kitchen. They will also be able to take some of what they made home as well as a recipe to try on their own. The class is designed to make food, have fun, and get life skills for college and beyond.  View Mitch’s upcoming classes.

 

Lizette Marx

Lizette Marx

Lizette Marx

Flavors of Health Cooking Classes

Chef Lizette has created a whole new batch of cooking classes devoted to showing you how to prepare delicious meals that will improve metabolism, increase energy, and boost your immunity. Each class emphasizes low-inflammatory foods that will help lead you on the path to wellness and rejuvenation.

Lizette Marx has been passionate about cooking healthy, delicious food and deepening her culinary skills and knowledge for more than thirty years. As a certified nutrition consultant, 500-hour trained yoga teacher, and culinary instructor at Bauman College: Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts, she shares her love of fine, natural cuisine and mindfully based cooking techniques with her students. She also teaches these same principles at numerous community kitchens in the Bay Area. Most recently she has been leading healthy cooking and baking classes at Back to the Table Cooking School in Lafayette and for Kaiser’s Physicians Wellness programs. When not in the classroom, Lizette maintains a private nutrition consulting practice and teaches yoga to private clients and groups. She is also the co-owner of Kitchen Treasures™, a culinary education and small-group catering business in the East Bay. Lizette recently authored the Flavors of Health Cookbook, with Dr. Ed Bauman, founder of Bauman College.  View Lizette’s upcoming classes.