Our Chefs

Chef Alan Peterson of My Chef Alan, LLC

Chef AlanAfter spending 40 years in corporate life, Alan Peterson made a decision to retire and pursue his passion for cooking. However, he was sure that he did not want to be part of a restaurant, nor a large catering enterprise, so the Personal Chef business was perfect! Ten years ago, after attending the United States Personal Chef Business Academy, Chef Alan secured his business license, joined the United States Personal Chef Association and launched My Chef Alan.

He preferred to rely on references and word of mouth more than advertising venues to help grow his business. Today, he could not be happier with how things have turned out, having established a returning base of clients and continual referrals, his reward is serving those who appreciate great food, the learning experience and express great satisfaction after a cooking session.

Chef Begona Stone

Growing up in a country rich in tradition and culture, Begoña Stone was surrounded by flavorful, aromatic spices, colorful fruits and vegetables, bountiful fresh fish, and seafood exclusive to her Mediterranean homeland of Spain. Born and raised in Madrid, famous for its outdoor markets offering fresh fruits, seafood, meats, and olives, Begoña’s traditional Spanish cooking has also been heavily influenced by the many other unique cooking traditions and techniques of other Spanish cities and regions.

Begoña’s fondness of her father’s hometown in Bilbao, the wines from her grandfather’s small village Albelda de Iregua in La Rioja, and the amazing roasted lamb from her Yaya’s town in Segovia inspired her love and passion for Spain: it’s food, it’s cooking and it’s diversity created by all of the cultures and civilizations that have influenced Spain’s gastronomy.

Her life experiences and passion for cooking are so woven into the fabric of her body and soul, that her cooking embodies the essence of her Spanish heritage: her family memories combined with her traditions to create authentic modern dishes.

Sharing her experiences with others over the years and her twenty-two years of teaching has made Begoña the passionate language, culture teacher and cooking instructor that she is today.

Facebook:  Begoña Spanish Kitchen
Instagram:  begonaspanishkitchen

Chef Daniel Porubiansky

Chef Daniel-Leaning Ladder-WoodstockDaniel Porubiansky began working in Woodstock the spring of 2013, leaving the Executive Chef post at what is arguably the most highly regarded restaurant in Atlanta, Bacchanalia. Porubiansky brings with him a wealth of experience from some of the nation’s greatest kitchens such as Le Bernardin in New York City and Seeger’s in Atlanta. After a career that has spanned four decades, two continents, a fistful of AAA Diamonds and nearly enough Michelin Stars to require three hands to count them, Porubiansky has brought his cuisine home.

A deeply instilled love of fresh ingredients, personal relationships with farmers and decades of experience in German and French kitchens inspires Porubiansky’s development of his menus.

He has lived in Woodstock since 2000 with his family and loves sharing his passion for food with the Woodstock community.

Chef Joanna Scott

Joanna has a passion for food, teaching, and being active in the community space. Leaning Ladder is very lucky to have such a warm-hearted, fun, and customer service driven professional join the team! You can see Joanna helping customers in the retail shop, but her duties most often have her either behind a computer, on the phone or in the community…planning, creating and organizing the cooking classes, special events and business marketing for the store, and on some occasions she is also the chef / instructor. Sunday Supper and Summer Camps is where you likely will see Joanna at the helm, and beaming with energy.

Believe it or not Joanna is just the passionate idea person and community catalyst we needed in our growth stage at Leaning Ladder…who just walked in the store one day to learn who we were! Lucky for us she had recently relocated from Vermont to the area where she is now close to several family members. To Joanna’s daughter she is a “good Cooker”, to Leaning Ladder she is the catalyst for building our community “with cooking”.

Joanna’s talents have helped many for profit and non for profit businesses bringing the organization’s visions and goals to reality, which included operations, program deliverables, and profitability. Joanna, a Johnson & Wales graduate has flexed her muscles in the back and front of the house hospitality industry since she was a teenager. She made a career switch over a decade ago and studied to become an licensed educator, where she taught Real Life Skills in the public school sector. One of her most memorable achievements was bringing a group of students to the White House during the Obama administration to tend to the garden on the grounds with Michelle, and cook with the White House Head Chef. Besides cooking and working, her other favorite “ing’s” are golfing, sipping on coffee, hiking, traveling, and crafting.

Chef Katiuscia (Kathy) Rinaldi

Katiuscia Rinaldi, an Italian chef who was born and raised in northern Italy. In her hometown of Rimini, the tradition of handmade pasta is taught and instilled from childhood. Her memories of rolling the dough with a long rolling pin to create a blanket of dough that could easily wrap around her is where everything starts, the love of pasta, the love of country, the love of cooking.

Her professional experience started in the hotel kitchens many years ago back home and in September 2016 she took the leap and moved to the states. She knew exactly what to do: share her heritage to this Amazing Country!

She opened a small business with cooking lessons, catering services and private chef services! And recently in a shared kitchen making prep food for the Atlanta area.. and currently works on movie sets, feeding the crews!

Italian culinary tradition isn’t made only by handmade pasta, but also by delicious varieties of fish, meat, vegetables, soups, bread and desserts. What she loves the most: sharing the authentic Italian tradìtions in her heart with people of this beautiful country.

Email: katiusciarinaldi1974@gmail.com
Facebook: My Chef Kathy

Chef Kyle Shankman

Kyle Shankman is the Chef and Owner of Speak Easy Supper Club, a wildly successful pop-up restaurant in the Atlanta Metro.

As a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Chef Kyle has an appreciation for the foundational techniques that every cook should know to gain confidence in the kitchen. As a lover of science (and fun), he and his team at Speak Easy pair those techniques with modern trends and the very “Instagram-able” flair that had them named one of Eater Magazine’s Top 5 Pop-Ups in Atlanta in 2018.

In addition to his supper club, Chef Kyle has worked as an Executive Chef, Restaurant Consultant, and Culinary Instructor for the past 15 years in Atlanta. He has media experience as well, not only as live television talent for the local NBC and CBS affiliates, but also as the host of “Cracking the Egg: 25 Ways to Transform Your Cooking” for online creative class producer, Bluprint.

Chef Megan McCarthy

Chef Megan is a healthy lifestyle consultant and chef teaching you how to prepare and incorporate fresh and delicious foods into your everyday eating lifestyle. Her creative culinary experience and enthusiasm brings healthy foods to life while putting you at ease in the kitchen.

She is the Edible Garden Chef at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and creates recipes focusing on simple, fast and fresh ways to enjoy the local and seasonal edible abundance. Chef Megan recently had fresh recipes featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Edible Atlanta as well as on Lifetime’s, The Balancing Act. For her current recipes and classes go to healthyeating101.com.

Facebook: ChefMegan101
Instagram: chefmegan101

Chef Melissa Sauser

Chef Melissa is a warm, welcoming and highly talented chef with a passion for all things cuisine. Melissa was French trained at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Orlando and worked her way from fine dining at the Peabody Hotel to working under James Beard nominated chefs at Cask and Larder in the affluent area of Winter Park. During her 4 year stint in Asheville, NC she worked at a startup Farm to Table restaurant while also serving as a part-time Private Chef. Her most recent culinary experience brought her to Leaning Ladder assisting in the Summer Kids Cooking Camps and private events.

Melissa is the proud mother of 2 beautiful girls who keep her on the go from sun up to sun down. She enjoys finding creative ways to engage her daughters through food selection, preparation and of course ENJOYMENT. She enjoys searching out different cuisines and finding those “hidden gem” restaurants. Her refined palette, warm hospitality and kind smile make her a great choice for any event.

Chef Michelle Pellegri

Michelle Pellegri has been baking and teaching professionally for the past 14 years. Leaving the corporate world behind, she shifted gears and decided to turn her passion into a career. She graduated from the culinary program at Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta, GA and rounded out her education with a culinary internship in France. Michelle is an Atlanta native and a first-generation Italian-America. Her mother baked bread, made homemade pasta, and grew vegetables; all of which instilled an appreciation for cooking and eating great food. 

Michelle’s professional pastry experience includes stints at Bacchanalia, Star Provisions, Rainwater, and Varasano’s Pizzeria. She has taught cooking classes for adults, teens, kids, and home school groups in a variety of settings including Sur La Table, The Viking Store, and Salud Cooking School at Whole Foods. If she could bake one thing, everyday for the rest of her life, it would be croissants.  Michelle lives in Roswell with her husband and has three sons.

Chef Oakley

Chef Oakley’s love of food, family and fun led her into the food industry at a young age. As a sous chef at Endive Fine Catering in Atlanta, Chef Oakley honed her culinary expertise through 18 years of learning alongside owner and operator, Chef Drew Ihrig. At Endive Chef Oakley was a top-requested chef for executing catering services at Endive’s events. From her experience, creativity and desire to build a legacy to pass on to her children, Chef Oakley began Oakley’s Provisions, a full-service catering company.

With her friendly personality and “make it incredible” work ethic you are surely in for a wonderful event with Chef Oakley and her team. Founded in 2018, Oakley’s Provisions is a full-service catering company offering clients customized menus with exquisite presentations. The catering team provides gourmet food for corporate and private events including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, celebrations, and corporate lunches. Chef Oakley prepares food, both classic and innovative, focused on impressive taste and presentation.

Oakley’s Provisions is about making your event exceptional, from food to service, ensuring a joyful experience. Our innovative, globally inspired cuisine pairs with extraordinary service for an experience meeting your expectations of excellence . We pride ourselves on our ability to flexibly accommodate groups from an intimate gathering to a large celebration. Our fresh, contemporary menus offer diverse options – from modern buffets to elevated food stations and elegant plated dinners. We emphasize a personal approach to both cuisine and service.

Dietary Options ~ Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Organic, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Food & Catering~ Buffet, Chef Stations, Family Style, Menu Tastings, Passed Appetizers, Seated Meal, Servers, Catering Set up/Clean Up
Woman-owned Business

Chef Sunisa

Sunisa was born and raised in Thailand. She uses Thai foods, simple yet fully flavored with fresh produce and products as actually used in Thailand and she is an instructor with Thai Cuisine in her soul. She is a Personal Chef, food blogger and cooking instructor that was born and raised in Bangkok. Growing up Sunisa was surrounded by family who loved to cook and was active in her mom’s catering business where she learned to craft exceptional Thai food favorites. She grew and early on managed success in education and business, all the while, passionately traveling, seeing the world and always exploring different cuisines. Settling in Woodstock life became happy as a wife and mother. With her family’s recipes and her True Thai Culinary soul, her passion has blossomed into cooking classes and a delightful blog, “Modern Thai Food” (modernthaifood.blogspot.com).

She teaches cooking at Cook’s Warehouse, Buford Hwy Farmer market and has served as a personal chef. For the love of the food she still loves to discover new flavors to make the food more exciting.   Now she is ready for the new chapter of cooking. It’s the Asian fusion. She’s bringing ingredients from the west and blends it with Asian cuisine to make exceptional foods. Please come to join the new journey of her food at Leaning ladder cooking class. You can also find her blogging about her life as a mom, chef & wife at www.mamaafter10.com.

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