Our Staff

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Mindy Myers, Founder, Director

Miss Mindy has dedicated her life to helping children embrace that which is different. Through exposure to cooking and eating international foods,  learning about cultural nuances, and understanding world-wide celebrations and practices, children leave a Cooking Round the World experience with a broadened palette, and a desire to explore the world.

Karl Vonmecklenburg - Director of Technology

I have twenty five years experience working as an IT professional.

In my free time I love cooking and trying new recipes.

I am passionate about all things related to coffee.

I enjoy the outdoors and I like camping.

I value sustainable farming and the local farmers markets and I like to support  small local businesses

Ryann Hai - Program Director

Ryann is a mom of two teenaged boys and two very active French bulldogs. She has a passion for animals and children, and in her spare time she likes to cook and garden.

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Stefen is a dedicated employee of Cooking round the world of 5 years. She enjoys traveling with her 4 kids and Military husband. Loves to roll up her sleeves and cook for the homeless in her spare time. 

Stefen Thompson -Southern California Regional Manager
/ Company Researcher

Cooking Teachers

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Emily  Ahn

Emily is a high school student who has a passion for cooking and baking, always excited to be in the kitchen. She enjoys being around children and likes trying new cuisines.

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Charles Borrowman

Charlie has a culinary degree and has been a wilderness survival instructor for nearly fifteen years. When he’s not out in the bush, he loves to cook, grow chilies, and travel to new places.

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Annalise Burrows 

Annalise is a 2022 graduate who will be attending Cal Poly Slo in the fall for agricultural and environmental plant sciences! She has been working with children as a babysitter and camp counselor for 5 years and can’t wait for this summer! Annalise loves animals, plants, arts and crafts, and of course cooking!

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Kaitlyn Cohen

My name is Kaitlyn. I have worked with kids at my temple and have experience working with special needs kids through Assistance League. I also have worked at two country clubs and interned at a bakery.

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Kathryn Cords, Chef Educator

Chef Kathryn has years of experience working with children in several different capacities. As a young adult in the classroom, a camp counselor, and most recently, volunteering with her daughter. She has been a personal chef and is most comfortable in the kitchen creating meals for friends and family. She is a mom of a grown daughter and has three pups that keep her very busy.

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Kira Cummings

Kira is a full time SPED Paraprofessional at a charter school who loves to spend her summer break in a fun setting. Her passions include cooking, taking outdoor walks, and spending time with her kitty, Jinxy!

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Kyle Dixon - Substitute

Chef Kyle Dixon has over a decade of kitchen experience and has cooked in four different countries around the world. His knowledge of the culinary arts runs deep, and his teaching style makes learning easy and fun!

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Pooja Damani

Pooja is an avid home chef. Until recently, she has been a preschool teacher for many years. She collects cookbooks, loves different kinds of cuisine, and has an intense desire to try and make new dishes. Food is her way of making friends. She loves to make coconut cakes and salted chocolate chip cookies for dessert. In her free time, as a mom of two, (what free time??), she is often seen hanging out with her cats, cooking with her kids (mostly for), reading a good book  with a cup of tea, or laughing with her husband, (who is also kept around by his desire for good food.)

Dainy Esquivel

Dainy Esquivel, is a high school senior student who’s currently working towards pursuing her career in business. She’s skillful around kids, a  responsible being and a hard working person who has a passion for helping others. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors,baking, and spending time with friends . She’s thrilled to be working with everyone this summer! :) 

Antonio Ferrer

Hello, My name is Antonio, I am an avid seed saver, dancer and love to share my experiences
with food with my community. I am studying at UC berkeley to transform our agriculture system
and to bring justice into our food system as I study plant ethnobotany and Native rights. Catch
me at the garden, at a bachata dance and at the park with my son in my free time.

Leila Fogel

Leila is a 2022 graduate planning on attending a 2 month internship in Fiji studying marine biology and conservation. She loves to read, travel, play guitar, and of course, cook!

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Leonard Gant II

Greetings, I am Leonard Gant II a second-year Business Administration scholar from Louisville, KY now residing in the Bay Area and I attend Florida A&M University. My mom is a military officer, so my whole life I’ve been on the move. I’ve currently lived in 9 states, I have my own clothing brand, and I’m a part of a mentoring organization at my school called The Collegiate 100. I love working with kids and I’m very excited to help them cook this summer!

Lindsay Gong

Lindsay is a rising senior at Dougherty Valley High School. She is a cat lover who enjoys watching anime in her free time and is looking forward to helping kids expand their knowledge about cooking and baking

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Brittany Humphrey

My name is Brittany, I’m a mom of two and have a 1 year old dog, named Bruce. I love to cook, paint and draw in my free time. 

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Kaitlyn Johnke

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 Violet Kao

Violet Kao is a senior in high school ecstatic to share her love for cooking in hopes to inspire others. Besides enjoying her time in the kitchen, she loves playing soccer and spending time with friends and family. 

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Siyona Kathuria

My name is Siyona Kathuria and I am currently in high school. I live in the Bay Area. Some of my favorite hobbies include cooking, playing soccer, and playing guitar. I am so excited to be working with everyone this summer. I cannot wait to meet you guys!

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Isabella Meda

Isabella Meda was born and raised in the Bay Area. She is passionate about working with children of all ages. Along with her bad jokes, she enjoys reading, hiking, and seeking new adventures. 

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Haylin Mujica

Haylin is no stranger to summer camp.  She has worked with children K-8 for over 6 years. She loves dancing, hiking, and always helping everyone. She is a very energetic and happy person. One of her favorite things to do is go on adventures and try new things. Haylin is excited and looking forward to meeting new faces this summer! 

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Ciara Murphy

Ciara is a student at UCLA studying Human Biology and Society. When she's not cooking or baking, she loves to travel, relax in her hammock, craft, and find new swimming spots around the Bay Area. She began as a camper at Cooking Around the World, and can't wait to be back as a counselor this summer!

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Diane Nguyen

Hi my name is Diane Nguyen I am 26 years old and I attend Georgia State University for my bachelors in Psychology and Sociology. I was born and raised in Oakland California. I love to travel and learn new culture foods then make twists of my own with food. Some of my other hobbies I like to do Muy  Thai and make bucket lists for my self and try to check one off at-least every month

Charlotte Northen

Charlotte is going into her sophomore year of high school. She was a camper for years at Cooking 'Round the World, and is excited to share her love of cooking and baking!

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Rhoda Butler-Nelson

Rhoda Butler-Nelson is a long-time resident of the Bay Area.  She has over 25 years of experience working with kids in numerous roles such as: academic and athletic coach, a mother, grandmother, instructional aide and has worked with kids within the homeschooling setting.  She is retired Civil service employee of 30 years with the State of California and currently is a Board Member for the Council of Aging and Act Senior Assistance in Contra Costa County as well as an alternative Board Member for the First Five Program in Contra Costa County. She is passionate about life and wants to empower others to be passionate about life and live their best life. 

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Deborah Pellegrino

Born and raised in the SF East Bay, Deborah is a mom of three boys and two golden retrievers.  She has a passion for for baking and has spent the last 30 years working in Bay Area restaurants as a Pastry Chef. 

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Tululah Pickering

Tululah Pickering is a graduating high senior at Encinal High School with some experience teaching music. She enjoys road trips through California and hiking in the Oakland Hills.

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Taylor Pinneke

Taylor was born and raised in the Bay Area and she has been working with children since her junior year of high school. In her spare time she likes to be creative with art and hang out with her dogs.

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Andrea Pelayo

She inspires children on making the world a better place. Loves being creative and artistic in every way.

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Susan Rayberg

 

Susan Rayberg eagerly learned the holy language in Cooking class–in 10th Grade in Israel. Today mixing a free vegetable attitude with her father’s peasant cooking, Susan also channels how Einstein sipped tea at precisely the right moment! 

Amanda Foley Reeder

Amanda is an assistant preschool teacher at a French-speaking nonprofit school, a Canadian living in California, a writer, and a dog mom. She loves exploring food and culture and has traveled to 20 countries, and was even briefly a flight attendant in Montreal. She loves cooking, baking, and trying out new restaurants as often as possible! She is passionate about teaching young minds about the borderless magical language of food.

Alba Ferrús Rocha

Alba is a sophomore in high school. She has loved cooking from a young age and seeing the same excitement others get from it brings her a special joy.

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Natasha Ruble

Natasha loves baking and cooking for others; she spends her free time trying new bread recipes. She has years of experience working with kids in summer camp and classroom settings where she learned the value of curiosity and creativity. She loves the rain, talking about superhero action movies, and anything having to do with outer space! 

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Valeska Schultz - Lafayette

I’m currently a Spanish Language teacher and Academic Instructional Assistant for the Orinda School District, Orinda, CA. I have worked with students  TK- High School for 20+ years, including my own children (ages 24 and 26 years old) and their friends. I have also worked for Cooking Round the World as a Chef Educator teaching and sharing the history, wonders and joy of cooking with youth!  

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Priya Sibol

Priya is a high school junior and a previous cooking round the world camper. In her free time she enjoys playing soccer, reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. She is great with kids and very excited to share her passion for cooking with others! 

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Nia Snow

My name is Nia Snow. I’m a 25 year old Oakland Native who is very passionate about cooking and eating great food! I also love working with the youth and strive to be a good role model in their lives. Growing up cooking class was always one of my favorite classes and I’m so honored to be in a position to teach cooking to the youth in a fun and educational way.

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Kim Snyder 

Kim Snyder has many years of experience working with children and food. A girl mom with a love of cooking, she’s taken many culinary classes and enjoys writing about her kitchen creations on her blog. A lover of sunshine, soccer, food, wine and exploring new places. 

When life gets uncertain, eat dessert first.

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Kelly Thomas

Hi my name is Kelly and I am originally from San Diego. I have two kids of my own, my son is 20 and my daughter is 16. I’ve been working with kids for about 8 years a love it. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, baking, hiking, bowling and dancing. I am excited to combine my love of cooking and teaching this summer. :) 

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Maggie Zurowska

Maggie Zurowska discovered her love for food while working in catering for over 15 years.  She was a server and a leader at established New York City venues including the United Nations and Tavern on the Green. Her interest grew beyond the front of the house to the back of the house where she worked cooking and preparing foods.  

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Dhruv Patel

Dhruv Patel recently graduated from high school. Dhruv has been working with kids since his sophomore year. In his free time he likes to bake, go on hikes, and work on art.

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Krupa Patel

Hello my name is Krupa Patel and i’m a rising senior in college. I love to travel and try new local foods from different cultures. I like working with youth and instilling confidence to become young leaders. I also like reading books, painting scenic pictures, and going on long hikes.  

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Kirbin Bolano

Going into his third year as a business major at cal poly slo, Kirby grew up here in the east bay interested in a broad range of activities like music and art to playing baseball throughout high school. He’s extremely excited to make this summer the best possible one for each and every one of the kids apart of the program and hopes to inspire their interests beyond.

Oliver Arnold

Oliver is a rushing sophomore at Oakland Technical High School and lover of all things in the kitchen. He started as a camper at Cooking Round The World! Now, he enjoys cooking (and eating!) as well as running, hiking, and time with his cat.

Hannah Veruschka Miller

Hannah has a BA in Music, three Association Montessori Internationale Diplomas, and an MEd in Montessori. As founder and director of the HVMusic Program, Hannah offers private piano lessons to children and adults of all ages. She also has experience with SED children ages 6-15, has taught English and music abroad, and is a professional organizer. Hannah is conversant in Spanish and German, enjoys playing tennis, traveling and photography, and is an avid animal lover.

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Caitlyn Walters

Caitlyn is a 2022 graduate who will be attending University of Colorado Boulder in the fall for aerospace engineering. In her free time, she enjoys biking, hiking, (generally anything outdoors), going to the beach, and exploring local restaurants! She enjoys working with kids and can’t wait for an awesome summer!

Graziella Gulli

My name is Grace, I'm from Oakland, and I love cooking! One of my favorite memories is making gnocchi with my Grandpa at a young age. I love meeting new people and learning about how food has influenced their lives!

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Erica Williams

Hello, my name is Erica Williams, but everyone may call me Ms. E!

I am a born and raised San Diegan. I have four wonderful children who are my world. From them they have given me seven amazing grandchildren. On my spare time I love to travel. I have a son in the military, so when given the opportunity I visit every new state he is stationed to. When taking on this big character role mother/ grandmother has enhanced many features that I did not know I was capable of. I have learned that I love to paint and decorate. Cooking was not really my first love, but I love to eat! I started getting into cooking and baking once my daughter taught me. So now I am here to learn and explore new recipes from different cultures just like the rest of you

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Mark Waters

Mark Waters is a third generation native San Diegan, who loves cooking and teaching kids in an inclusive and diverse environment. Mark is compassionate and understanding and knows that ALL lives matter equally.

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Alex Ibarra

Alex Ibarra has a strong passion for student self-efficacy. Through cooking, he will serve as a guide to building sustainable confidence among all students.