Our Staff

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. 

Stacey Shapiro - Director of Technology

Stacey is a a nutritionist, athlete, and foodie. She's been in the health and nutrition industry for over 10 years and loves helping people live healthier, happier, lives. 

Willa Heeger, Program Administrator

Andrea Cabral - Bookkeeper

Cooking Teachers

Alex

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.

Carly

Hi! I'm Carly and I'm an educator who has jumped over to the cooking world! I have been cooking since I was a child and love sharing my knowledge, tips and tricks I've learned along the way! I specialize in healthy plant based diets rich with minerals and love to work with students to help grow their cooking skills as well as their healthy eating habits for the future!

Fatima 

Fatima Hafiz is a California raised classically trained Executive Chef with 18 yrs experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Small catering business owner who also teaches culinary arts to adults and youth ages 6-16 yrs old. Having worked with multiple renowned chefs throughout Napa valley, San Francisco and the Hawaiian Islands.She is well versed in teaching and preparing pan world cuisines from scratch. A culinary arts instructor with a true passion for the science of food, and the importance of understanding what we are eating and where it comes from

Laurie 

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

Carolina

Carolina spent a 25 year career as infant and preschool teacher, she enjoyed providing learning opportunities through cooking, and the language arts with children 2-12.  She has been an oakland resident for over 20 years. She is a creative thinker, who enjoys working in collaborative projects with children of all ages.

Serena

Serena Gibb is a mother of two school age children and loves creating meals with them. She grew up cooking and baking in the kitchen with her pastry chef mother and fireman chef father.  Serena also enjoys volunteering as the garden coordinator at her son's school where she has the opportunity to share fun ways on how to bring food from the garden to the dinner table.

Valeska

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!  

Mota

Mota is an Academic coach with a degree in Education and Early Childhood Development. For more than a decade she has been working with children and parents to construct creative learning adventures.

Maureen Driggs

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

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!

Cooking Round the World is a nut-free program. We use no peanuts or tree nuts in any recipe. 

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