Jennifer Altman began her culinary journey at age eight baking and cooking for her family and friends. After a career in science, she followed her passion and became a pastry chef. She is now a culinary instructor teaching both professional and amateur cooks nationally and internationally. She loves anything to do with food—cooking, gardening, recipe developing, teaching, and is particularly interested in food sustainability.
Born in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, Mike Weller grew up in suburbs of San Jose, where he discovered cooking as his first profession and lifetime passion. After wandering through typical teenage jobs at pizza joints and ice cream parlors, Mike’s first “restaurant” job was with Sambo’s Coffee Shops, slinging hash and cooking eggs for the bar rush and Sunday breakfast crowds. He moved on to help open several restaurants, attend the California Culinary Academy, and study under European chefs with Michelin backgrounds. Later, Mike served as an executive chef for catering companies, wineries and country clubs. When his son was born, Mike transitioned his career into teaching, returning to the CCA where he eventually became the Executive Chef and Director of Academics. Having taught for Le Cordon Bleu North America in both online and brick and mortar schools, Mike is thrilled to return to teaching in a neighborhood-based community. When he is not teaching he tends to his backyard garden, helps his wife to can and preserve food, and loves to cook for his friends and family.