INSPIRATION

Executive Chef / Director of Culinary Programs

Chef Elena Sirignano

Chef Elena Sirignano - With over 25 years in the industry as a chef, sommelier, culinary instructor, bean-to-bar chocolate maker, manager, and specialty foods entrepreneur on both the East Coast and in the Napa Valley, Chef Elena Sirignano brings passion, knowledge, and experience to the NV Cooking School. Her early training began in her hometown of New York City at the Yale Club upon completion of her Associates Degree in Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Hyde Park. This provided her with a solid foundation in both hospitality and fine dining which then lead her west to California. She has been part of the restaurant scene within the Napa Valley since 1992, where she has worked with Thomas Keller as a member of the original French Laundry Kitchen Team and has been part of both front and back of the house operations at Bistro Don Giovanni, Pat Kuleto’s Martini House, Bouchon, and Bouchon Bakery. An experienced culinary instructor, Chef Elena taught International Cuisine, Garde Manger, American Regional, Foundations, and Dining Room Management at Delaware Technical & Community College (2006-2012) as well as a variety of food enthusiast classes at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Greystone and COPIA (2012-2018). She is the founder/owner of Mayacama Chocolate, familiar to many from local farmer’s markets. She is finishing a Bachelors degree in Business Management/Finance from Wilmington (Delaware) University.

 

ASSISTANT CHEF INSTRUCTOR

Chef Lui

Chef Lui - Born in San Diego and raised in Ensenada, Mexico, Chef Lui moved to the Napa Valley in 2004 to study winemaking and culinary arts at the Napa Valley College, graduating at the top of the class from the Napa Valley Cooking School in 2006 on the honor roll in both the Napa Valley College’s VWT Enology and Winemaking Program and the Wine Marketing and Sales Program. He worked in the kitchen at Domaine Chandon and came back to the Upper Valley Campus to work as a teaching assistant.

 

Adjunct Faculty, Guest Chefs, Guest Speakers:

Dieter Dopplefeld, Certified Master Chef, Culinary Institute of America faculty
Adam Busby, Certified Master Chef, Culinary Institute of America faculty
Cindy Pawlcyn, Chef/Restaurateur
Kim Wiss, Winery Chef
Stan King, Butcher, Cal Mart Calistoga
John Paul Khoury, Preferred Meats
Kim Caffrey, Wine Educator, Silver Oak, Rutherford, CA
Charles Monahan, Napa Small Business & Development, Food and Beverage Cost Control Instructor
Mariano Orlando, Private Chef
Osprey Seafood

** Guest chefs may vary each year depending upon availability.