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.

Stefen Thompson, Director - Program Director

Stefen Thompson, once Regional Manager for Cooking Round the World San Diego, is now Director of all Cooking Round the World programs. She has a passion to live a life of service for our children and is grateful to serve the community. 

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

Jorge - Executive Assistant

Jorge is a Bay Area native and a graduate of the Cinema Department from San Francisco State University. While having had experience with most areas of filmmaking, his main passion is for writing and collaborating with others. These days he finds himself honing his cooking skills while also dabbling in a few fermentation projects. He hopes to be able to share a little bit of his creative energy with the community here at Cooking Round the World. 

Andrea Cabral - Bookkeeper

Cooking Teachers

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Alex Kaplan - Substitute

Hi! I’m Alex, a rising third-year Nutritional Sciences major at the University of California Berkeley. I have always loved food and eating right, and in my free time, I like to cook, exercise, be in nature, and read a good book or watch a good movie.

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Laurie Ildau - Zoom

Laurie Ildau (Ms.Laurie) is a seasoned credentialed teacher (preK-12+) and has worked with all ages over her 20 year career.  She hails from NYC, has a background in theatre and is a self proclaimed "foodie."  In her downtime, Ms.Laurie spends time with her two kids, three dogs, and enjoys cooking, crafts, gardening, and binge watching her favorite shows


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!  

Bryttany Felder-Brown -Zoom


Chef Bryt is an experienced Sous Chef, currently working in San Diego. She plays for a professional Women's Football League; she enjoys being extremely active. In her spare time, she loves to travel and participate with new cultural dishes from around the world. She graduated from Chico State with a Liberal Studies degree and 2 minors in child development and Special Education.

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Jennifer Fitzgerald - Zoom


Jennifer started cooking as a child with a love for baking! From there, she expanded her skills into main courses and side dishes. She won’t waste her time cooking unless the end result is delicious! She has taught both of her kids to cook and they are amazing chefs!


Maureen Driggs - Zoom

Maureen is an experienced teacher and coach having worked for over 25 years in classrooms and theaters throughout the Bay Area of Ca. As a trained scientist she is fascinated by the chemistry of cooking and how to make regular meals live up to her vision.

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!


Carson McHaney - Zoom

"Carson McHaney is a passionate educator and cook who has experience
working in restaurants, preparing and planning community meals for
100+ people, as a professional baker, and as an musician and music
teacher. Carson loves to explore new recipes, try diverse foods from
around the world, and share his love and excitement for cooking with

Anna Bracken - Brentwood

Anna Bracken is a student who loves to bake, take naps, and spend time with her family and dog. If Anna could describe herself she would be considered the following: goofy, kind, and observant. Starting from a young age Anna has always had a love for food... especially any kind of dessert. She is ready to take on any challenge given to her!


Maggie Zurowska - Campbell

Maggie Zurowska is a vegan sous chef, a yoga instructor and animal activist. Her profession is also Tourism and Hospitality. She was a college instructor lecturing tourism and culinary classes in Brooklyn, New York. She contributed a chapter on a lizard soup to J. Deutsch and N. Murakhver’s book They Eat That? A Cultural Encyclopedia of Weird and Exotic Food from around the World. 


Alyssa De Leon - Hayward

Alyssa de Leon is currently a student at Laney College in Oakland working on completing the Baking program. Her passion for baking grew from watching videos and trying them out herself during her free time. She’s learned her techniques in a real kitchen setting and she’s excited to share it with the future kids in the program! She’s excited to make new friends at a table by sharing great food!


Amelia Bullington - Concord

Amelia Bullington is a high school senior who loves kids and wants to become an educator. She enjoys music and is a drummer in a band. She is enthusiastic, caring, and ready to have a blast cooking with everyone this summer! 


Liana Morrell - Cupertino

Liana is currently a student at Diablo Valley College and will be transferring to Cal State LA in August to become an elementary school teacher and work in a bilingual Spanish classroom. She has always had a passion for cooking and has been a busy bee in the kitchen since she was young, so she’s excited to be combining her love for education and culinary arts here at Cooking Round The World! 


Catherine Mah - Foster City

Catherine is a full-time student who loves cooking, baking, and spending time with her friends and family. Recently, she has been working to perfect her banana bread and macaron recipe. When she is not in the kitchen she enjoys going out for boba and to watch a beautiful sunset!


Grace Gallego - Gilroy

Grace is a current sophomore high school student and is an Assistant Chef Educator in Gilroy. She enjoys cooking vegetarian meals for her family, hiking, and playing with her dog, Eli. 

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Josh Schoen - Oakland

Josh Schoen is a junior at Oakland Tech High School. He was a camper at Cooking Round the World and worked as a CIT in 2019. In his free time, he loves travel, cooking, creative writing, mountain biking and singing. He also loves spending time with family and friends.

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Angelica Prado - Tracy

"Angelica Prado is a third-year student at CSUMB pursuing a degree in Biology. She loves food, animals, and musical theatre!"

Maxine Mund - Brentwood

Maxine is a mother of two with over 25 years of experience in teaching, child care, and baking. She is originally from Antigua, West Indies, and has had a love for cooking for as long as she can remember.


Abby Richter - Oakland

Abby Richter is a rising 11th grater at St Joseph’s in Alameda. She  has worked summer camps 2016-now, this is her first year at Cooking Around  The World and she’s  so excited to join the community. Some of her hobbies are art,science, hiking  and of course cooking. She can’t wait for an amazing summer!

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Sydney Villanueva - Brentwood

Sydney is a student who loves to spend her time making art and cooking with friends. She is passionate about trying new experiences and making sure those around her are always laughing and having fun.

Qualisha Earth-Selvin - Walnut Creek

Qualisha Earth-Selvin is one of the assistant chefs. She graduated from Heritage High School and loves everything about cooking and baking! She can step up to the task when needed, take risks with cooking/baking, loves to always keep a positive attitude and environment, encourages the kids to try new things, a great listener, very responsible, and knows how to have a fun time while still being professional.


Katie Schmiderer - Poway

Katie is a long-time lover of food and geography, receiving her BA in Geography in 2018.
Over the last 2 years she has been learning how to produce her own meats, fruits and veggies in the Pauma Valley.


Oliver Jackson - San Leandro

Oliver is fourteen, he enjoys reading, watching cartoons, and drawing. He has been baking since he was a little kid, and loves trying new foods and recipes, sweet things especially."


Hannah Low - Oakland

Hannah Low is going into her second year at UC Davis, studying Neurobiology, physiology and behavior. In her free time, she loves playing sports, baking, snowboarding and traveling. 


Rachel Price - Tracy

Rachel Price is a Senior at CBU and is pursuing her degree in Kinesiology. She enjoys cooking, working with children, spending time with family and friends, traveling and going on adventures.

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Emily Ahn - San Ramon

Emily is a high school student who has a passion for cooking and baking, always excited to be in the kitchen. She loves being around children, along with traveling, scrapbooking, and playing board games in her free time. 


Ossema Gassama - Hercules

Ossema is a rising junior at UCLA, studying business economics. In her free time she loves to bake, listen to music, travel, and try out new plant based recipes. 


Chef Precious

Chef Precious has been cooking for many years and this will be her second year as a camp manager for cooking round the world . When she is not coming she works full time as a teacher working with kindergarten and first grade students at a french immersion school . She looks forward to working with everyone and creating some delicious food together !

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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! :)

Eleven Thewlis - Albany 

Eleven is hardworking, enthusiastic, and has experience both working with kids and cooking. She is a responsible problem solver, who is super excited to spend the summer teaching!


Ryann Hai - Poway

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.


Sorina Larsen - Half Moon Bay

Sorina is a rising high school senior who loves cooking, traveling and spending time with friends and family. She is so excited to spend her summer teaching kids how to have fun in the kitchen


Faith Jordan - South Bay

Faith is an outgoing, positive person who enjoys having fun and cooking. She is helpful, kind and so excited to rock out at camp! 


Scott  Taylor- Poway

Scott is currently an Instructional Assistant for the Poway school district.  He is a father, coach, and educator with nearly 30 years of experience. Scott’s passion is for enriching the minds of his students.  An experienced cook, he  finds comfort in the kitchen
and feels there is no better way to show someone you care by cooking a good meal for them.


Chloe  Freeling -

Chloe is thrilled to be working at Cooking Round The World for the first time this summer! When she is not trying out new pastry recipes in the kitchen, Chloe can be found performing in a play, hiking through the woods, or curled up with a good novel.

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Nyo McGirt  

Nyo is a Bay Area Native, born and raised in San Francisco. He loves food and the idea that food is medicine. Nyo is a foodie and loves preparing foods with his wife of 4 years and enjoys learning about new ways to prepare and cook healthy food. While working in multiple roles, most recently as a Whole Foods Prepared Foods Team Member, he also earned his certification in Health Coaching and Life Coaching from the Health Coach Institute. In his spare time, Nyo loves listening to 80’s music, nature walks, biking and volunteering at the Oakland Buddhist Center, assisting in youth division activities. He loves meeting new people, being of service, and is excited to join the Cooking Round the World Team.


Lydia Tang - San Ramon 

Lydia is a fifth grade teacher in San Francisco who enjoys cooking for family and friends. Teaching is a passion of hers, but she is also absolutely in love with potatoes made in all kinds of ways, the beautiful landscapes around the world, and Corgis!

Hadeel Daoud - Poway 

Hadeel Daoud is a MCHS graduate planning to attend SFSU in the fall. She enjoys meeting new people, baking traditional Arab deserts and reading.