Molding Your Culinary Future
Our accomplished instructors boast backgrounds as diverse as our student population. They bring their vast culinary training and experience as executive chefs, pastry chefs, caterers, private chefs, food writers, bakery owners, and educational leaders to every course they teach. Our instructors have worked in some of the finest restaurants and institutions in the greater Boston area and across the world, and are passionate about sharing their knowledge with future culinary leaders like you.
Director of Education
Chef Julie Burba worked for a decade in public relations before attending the CSCA Professional Chef’s Program in 2002. Following her graduation, Chef Julie worked at Formaggio Kitchen as the Sous Chef/Catering Manager, at Tomasso Trattoria as a Rounds Cook, and at Kitchenpixie Catering. She began working at CSCA full time as the Manager of Communications in 2003, maintaining part-time kitchen work on weekends and nights. Chef Julie advanced with CSCA to Director of Communications and Marketing in 2009 before taking a position as Assistant Director of Education in 2013. She has been the Director of Education since 2015, leading our academic team of lab and seminar instructors.
“CSCA is home and all of the adjectives one can ascribe to ‘home’ from the cooking smells, to community, to love, to the rush and pleasure of cooking and eating and pleasing people.”
Academic Supervisor and Chef Instructor
Chef Simone Montali worked in his hometown of Florence, Italy at a bakery and then in high-end catering for four years before jetting off to attend CSCA. Chef Simone achieved Valedictorian status of both the Professional Chef’s Program in 2012 and the Professional Pastry Program in 2013. He then went on to work with Acardi Foods, one of the largest Italian and specialty food distributors in New England, and as the Pastry Chef at Bistro 5. In 2014, Chef Simone started teaching in the CSCA Recreational Program. In 2016, he joined the administrative team as Academic Supervisor. Chef Simone teaches Baking, Italian, and Pastry Arts in the Professional Programs, and continues to teach Recreational Programs.
I have always loved the more intellectual element of food, and I find that the pastry arts are very satisfactory in this respect. At first glance, you start with a complicated set of rules, but once you develop a deeper understanding, you can enhance and perfect your craft with exquisite treats that both follow and break traditional guidelines.
Elise Bayard Franklin
Chef Elise Bayard Franklin attended Chef Delphin’s Gourmandise School of Pastry in 2005, before applying to CSCA. She graduated from the Professional Chef’s Program in 2006 and the Professional Pastry Program in 2007 and began assisting in the Professional Programs and teaching Recreational Classes at CSCA while pursuing other pastry ventures. Chef Elise worked as a Pastry Chef at Buttercream Baking Company in Newburyport and as Head Baker at Susu Bakery Boutique in Wellesley. Chef Elise has been teaching Baking, Provincial and Intensive French, American cuisine, and Pastry Arts in the Professional Programs since 2010. She also continues to teach Recreational Programs.
I always wanted to be a teacher. Originally, I thought I would be a biology teacher, but being a culinary instructor is even better – it combines science & artistry and you get to eat the end results! It is great to teach people the “rules” and then show them how much flexibility there is within the pastry kitchen and how to break those “rules.”
Chef Sharon Donovan studied at Delphin’s Gourmandise Fine French Patisserie from its opening. She went on to work as Assistant Pastry Chef at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, a hotel in Salt Lake City known for exceptional pastries and wedding cakes. Chef Sharon then worked as Pastry Chef de Cuisine at Stein Erikson Lodge, a five-star hotel in Deer Valley, Utah, before returning to New England where she launched Babycakes Bakery & Café in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. In 2007, Chef Sharon sold her successful bakery, returned to Boston, and joined the CSCA team. Today she teaches Baking and Pastry Arts in the Professional Programs and continues to teach Recreational Programs.
I love to see what people can do and watch their faces when they realize how far they’ve come by the end of their program. We could have everyone make the same cakes and the same showpieces, but I want the students to come up with ideas. Sometimes they need help bringing a creative vision to life, so we work together, and figure it out. That, to me, is what it’s all about.
Chef Mark Farone started his culinary career at age 13 as a line cook at a small family restaurant in South Florida. He continued to work in restaurants while completing a master’s in education at the University of Florida, before launching a 20-year career in technology that he left in 2009 to pursue his culinary passion. Chef Mark graduated from the CSCA Professional Chef’s Program in 2010 and worked at gastropubs and local pop-up restaurants in Boston and Cape Cod, before returning to CSCA. Today he teaches Basics, Provincial French, Intensive French, and the Savory Component of the Professional Pastry Program. He also continues to teach Recreational Programs.
This is an industry that demands collaboration. I am so proud to work at a school that fosters a collaborative community. CSCA gives you a family and nearly 45 years’ worth of professional alumni across the globe who are here to help materialize your dreams.
Chef Lia Hussain graduated from the CSCA Professional Chef’s Program in 2004. The following year, she launched a career as a personal chef and began teaching at CSCA in the Recreational Program. Today, Chef Lia teaches Food Basics, Provisional French, American, and Asian cuisines in the Professional Chef’s Program and the Savory Component of the Professional Pastry Program.
As a first generation American, food has always been important in my life, and cooking was an accessible way to maintain some part of my family’s culture. It’s a satisfying way to learn about my own culture or any other culture that captures my interest. I originally went to culinary school because I wanted to become a food writer. Somewhere along the way I fell in love with teaching.
Harvard MBA graduate Steve Nill retired from a successful 30-year financial career to pursue his culinary passion. Chef Steve began working at Rialto as an intern while attending CSCA, and upon graduating from the Professional Chef’s Program in 2007, worked his way up to Rounds Cook, a position he held until the restaurant closed in 2016. He began teaching in the Recreational Program in 2008, and helped develop several regional series curricula for our Recreational Programs. Chef Steve began teaching in the Professional Program in 2011, and now teaches Basics, Italian, and American cuisines. He also continues to teach Recreational Programs.
From experience, I know that with just a little time in the classroom, I can help kindle, or re-kindle, an excitement for food and cooking that changes people’s lives and that of their family and friends all around. We will eat three meals a day for the rest of our lives; why not eat something that tastes great?
Chef Marie Perfetti graduated from the CSCA Professional Chef’s Program in 2005 with high honors. She began assisting at the CSCA in 2006 and began teaching Recreational classes the next year. Chef Marie ran a small catering business and led instructional demonstrations for Williams & Sonoma as well. She teaches Baking in the Professional Chef’s Program and continues to teach Recreational Programs.
I chose to attend CSCA because it was a small school with an intense curriculum. I started teaching here because I enjoyed my time at school so much I didn’t want to leave. I like it here because it’s a supportive, passionate, and curious community. You really feel like you’re part of a family here.
Chef Jan Schiff graduated from the CSCA Professional Chef’s Program in 1989 with high honors. She taught at the Wellesley Center for Adult Education for four years and as Catering Chef / Head Baker for the Midnight Kitchen in Wellesley and Mezzaluna Café in Boston. Chef Jan has been teaching at the CSCA since 1996. She currently teaches Provincial French, Intensive French, and Asian cuisines in the Professional Chef’s Program, and the Savory Component of the Professional Pastry Program.
There are always questions when food is discussed, and questions bring people together, connecting us and giving us all a good feeling. To be able to share in the traditions of the past, and experiment with new techniques is a joy that inspires and stimulates us all. CSCA has given us the opportunity to experience this never-ending story we call a moveable feast!
– Chef Jan