With the Right Instructor, Anyone Can Cook
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.
Chef Jerrod Perry
Director of Recreational Programs and Events
After teaching culinary arts in our Recreational department since 2014, Chef Jerrod Perry has since been promoted to Director of Recreational Programs and Events. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu classic French culinary arts school, Chef Jerrod worked as an Executive Chef, Head Pastry Chef, and owned a private catering business in Hawaii for over 7 years before moving to Cambridge to explore his passion for culinary education. Chef Jerrod oversees all recreational classes and private events at CSCA, and acts as head chef for external events, working with students from our Professional Programs. He always welcomes requests for specific classes, private event inquiries, and recommendations of any type.
“When I look out at a dining table and see guests eating, smiling, drinking, sharing the food I’ve created … I realize the food is the catalyst. It brings us together. And if it’s seasoned just right, walls come down and glasses raise.”
Chef Christopher Diamond began his educational journey with a BA in Biology at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He then went on to graduate from The Culinary Institute of America in 1986. In 1992, Chef Diamond went on to receive a Certificate from School for American Chefs with Madeleine Kamman at Beringer Vineyards in Napa Valley, CA. Chef Diamond has held many positions within in the culinary world in Boston, New York, Paris and California, including Executive Chef titles at Reebok World Headquarters and MIT with Sodexo, and at Berklee College of Music with Aramark. Chef Diamond was the Bronze Medal Award Winner at the ACF Competition in 2004 and received Sodexo Regional Chef of the Year in 2003. After working as a Chef Instructor at Newbury College through 2018, Chef Diamond joined CSCA in early 2019 and teaches in both the Professional and Recreational Programs.
“I am passionate about teaching, sharing my knowledge of and love for the culinary arts. The importance of learning the basics of culinary techniques cannot be over-emphasized. It gives me great satisfaction to aid in launching new culinarians into our ever-expanding field. Growing up in North Cambridge just blocks away from the school, my enthusiasm for preparing good food began in my mother’s kitchen and continues to this day.”
Chef Colby has spent over fifteen years working in professional kitchens, learning on the job and continuing to grow and excel in the culinary world. Chef Colby, a lover of learning and obtaining knowledge, made it his mission to work alongside mentors that continued to feed his passion. Colby began traveling to increase his knowledge base, staging in countries all over Europe learning from chefs that have mastered their cultural craft. After working and staging in kitchens across the globe, Colby returned to Boston and worked alongside Master Butcher Ron Savenor at Savenor’s Butcher & Market. Never one to rest on his laurels, Chef Colby recently obtained his Massachusetts State Teachers License for Culinary Arts. Chef Colby decided it was time to share the knowledge he has absorbed and joined CSCA in 2018. He has been teaching Recreational classes and private events ever since.
“I am thrilled to be able to share the knowledge and passion I have with students who want to better themselves, improve upon their cooking prowess and most of all… have fun while doing it! Once I realized I can make a kitchen full of eager students find joy, laugh and even applaud….there was no turning back!”
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.
“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!”
After a fruitful career as an opera singer, Heidi reinvented herself through the world of cooking. She graduated valedictorian from Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in the Professional Chef’s Program in 2019 and has had the honor of working as a Chef Instructor ever since. Chef Heidi brings a unique passion, energy and fun to her classes. In fact, she can often be spotted singing into whisks, spatulas or any handy kitchen tool resembling a microphone. She is the chef owner of Apple Blossom Catering.
“What I love about teaching is the look in someone’s eye…when they ‘get it’. That look when they’ve been working so hard to master that one thing…you can see that they want to jump up and down and shout and post it all over the universe. When you catch them in that moment…something is just right with the world and I love every second of it. ”
Jenifer Murray’s passion for food and wine stems from her father and maternal grandmother. After working in the social work field for many years, she went on to pursue a career in the culinary arts. She graduated from The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in 2002. Her passion for food and wine only deepened as she traveled to many countries, strengthening her skills and knowledge. She returned to school to study wine in 2006 and completed the Elizabeth Bishop Wine Program at BU. In 2012, she completed the 2 year diploma program through Wine & Spirit Eduction Trust. Jenifer is the owner of The Urban Chef Inc. and continues to teach food and wine courses at CSCA and privately. She loves to share her knowledge and introduce students to new wines.
“I am so grateful to my family for sparking my passion for good food and wine and the opportunity it provides you to make lasting memories. In every class, I enjoy watching students create their own memories as they learn a new technique, try a new wine and interact with others while preparing a meal together.”
Chef Jody O’Sullivan studied pastry in France at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de la Patisserie in Yssingeaux, France. After graduating he moved to London and worked with Michelin starred chefs Allan Pickett and Adam Gray. He returned home to Ireland in 2013 to work in the 5-star Adare Manor Hotel before setting up his own bakery and café. In late 2016, he accepted an offer to teach at the Instituto Culinario de Mexico in Puebla, Mexico. In 2018, Chef O’Sullivan was selected to the Mexico Culinary Team for the 2018 Culinary World Cup, forming part of the team’s pastry selection. In the Summer of 2019, he moved with his family to the Boston area and has been teaching Baking and Pastry Arts at CSCA in the Professional and Recreational Programs since his arrival.
“I’ve always been curious by nature, wanting to know how and why things work the way they do. Pastry encourages this curiosity. Every time I learn something new, I discover different questions. This gives me amazing scope to experiment and challenge myself on a daily basis. It is a constantly evolving profession which I absolutely love to be a part of! Seeing this curiosity and openness to both classical and new ideas and techniques in our students inspires me in the classroom every day. There is nothing better than seeing your passion being transmitted to and replicated by someone else.”
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.
“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 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.
“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.”
After graduating from Bentley University with a degree in finance, Chef Meg Newcomb moved to Chicago and attended the French Pastry School to study classic French pastry in their L’Art de la Pâtisserie program. After working with chefs Gina and Bob Hartwig at Lovely Bakeshop, Chef Meg returned home to Boston in 2010. Upon her return, she began working as a baker at Crema Cafe in Harvard Square and quickly progressed to Pastry Chef and Executive Chef. In addition to over a decade of cafe management, her industry experience includes custom wedding cakes, event catering, and food trucks. She also competed on The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars in 2013. She joined CSCA in 2019 and teaches in the recreational program.
“For me, baking is the ultimate way to share joy with other people. Some of my fondest early memories are of baking with my mom and watching her decorate birthday cakes. I often find that people are intimidated by pastry techniques, and it is my personal goal to demystify the process so we can all share a little more joy with the people we love. Baking should be magical, not scary!”
Originally from Taiwan, where she worked as a food writer, Melissa has worked alongside renowned chefs like Ming Tsai and Joanne Chang, honing her craft and gathering life stories along the way. Part story-teller, part educator, and part food lover, Melissa brings a special blend of experience, skill, and enthusiasm to her classes. Her work blends her Asian background, her new home of New England, and love of food and culture to bring joy, optimism, and inspiration to food lovers and fun-seeking students at CSCA.
“For me, cooking is more than food—it’s a lifestyle. From baking pies with my young daughter to teaching students how to make sushi—cooking is at the core of many cherished memorable events. My mission is to empower students to create delicious memories.”
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 team at CSCA.
“A proper technical foundation in culinary and pastry arts is key, but from there, the sky is the limit. I love encouraging students to find their own voice in the kitchen, to find their own interpretation of each new dish or ingredient.”
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.
“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 of what lays behind these rules, you can enhance and perfect your craft with exquisite treats that both follow and break traditional guidelines.”
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 also teaches in our Professional 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?”