The Culinary Arts Chef Instructors
John began his storied career with eight years in the restaurant industry in Denver, San Francisco, and Germany. To expand upon his inherent talent, John attended Cook Street’s Professional Culinary Program in 2005. After establishing himself as a respected Personal Chef he returned just six months after graduation to join Cook Street as a Recreational Class Chef Instructor. He worked his way up to Lead Chef Instructor and in 2012 was promoted into the Professional Culinary Arts Program. In January 2014 he was assigned the prestigious role of Executive Chef Instructor for the school. He brings to us an invaluable sense of creativity, passion, and fathomless knowledge. Combined with his patient demeanor he is the ideal instructor to usher our students into their new culinary endeavors. Read the Denver Westword’s Chef & Tell blog about Chef Parks, here
As a dedicated home cook for her family it was a natural fit that Chef Cindy would attend Cook Street’s Professional Culinary Program after getting her children off to college. She graduated from the program in 2004 and spent two years honing her skills as a personal chef and private caterer. She joined the Recreational Class team at Cook Street in 2006 alongside Chef John Parks. In 2008 she accepted a position as the Pastry Chef at Vi in Highlands Ranch. After four years at Vi she returned to Cook Street’s Recreational Program as a Chef Instructor. In January of 2013 she was promoted to Lead Pastry Instructor in the Professional Culinary Arts Program. Chef Cindy additionally carries certification for dietary management and as a food protection professional. Her passion for the pastry arts and eight years of teaching experience make her the ideal instructor for the Pastry portion of our culinary arts programs.
Recreational & Event Chef Instructors
Chef Adam Knowles, a Texas native, brings over ten years of experience to the Cook Street kitchen. A graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts Le Cordon Bleu program, Chef Adam has worked for some big names in the food business —from catering Vanity Fair parties and the Grammys for Wolfgang Puck, to working as a Personal Chef to Barbara Streisand. He has worked as Sous Chef in the many restaurants of Stefan Richter, and has worked all stations in Tom Colicchio’s Craft L.A. Locally, he was the Executive Chef for Ivy at the Glenn, after which he spent time at Lola Coastal Mexican, and was a part of Denver-favorite Steuben’s. Cook Street added him as Chef Instructor for the Recreational Program in 2013 where he has come to be known for his polite, professional attitude, patient teaching style, and superb flavor profiles.
Chef James, originally from Queens, splits his time between Cook Street and The Paul C. Reilly concept Beast + Bottle. Chef James is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University with a degree in Culinary Arts & Restaurant Management. After graduating he accepted a position with Matt Selby at Vesta Dipping Grill, two years later he would become Executive Chef of Venue Bistro and receive the award for Rising Star Chef by 5280 Magazine and Denver Magazine in 2010. That year he was also a nominee for Rising Star Chef with the James Beard Foundation. Chef James also spent time with Frank Bonanno at Mizuna and Bones before settling into his current Sous Chef position with Beast + Bottle. Cook Street was pleased to introduce him to our Recreational Program in 2014 as a Chef Instructor.
Cindy Eger brings 25 years of extensive experience in the bar and restaurant industry along with her to Cook Street. In early 2014, Cindy felt compelled to formally pursue her true passions: wine and cooking. She found Cook Street’s Professional Culinary Program to be the perfect fit. After graduation, Cindy was invited to stay on as an Assistant Chef to the professional program Chef Instructors and has recently taken on an additional role as Cook Street’s Resident Wine Instructor. She is a current Level 1 Sommelier, Professional Member of the Society of Wine Educators, and is in active pursuit of advanced certifications in her field. Cindy offers a sincere passion and an ever-expanding knowledge of wine, spirits and food to our students with the enthusiasm that you’ve come to expect from the chefs at Cook Street.
Mike has seven years of professional admissions experience from a flagship state university, for which he set up and managed satellite offices in Dallas and Chicago. As a world traveler, he’s set foot on five continents and brings his appreciation for culture and global food to Cook Street. Mike ensures every prospective student feels at home the moment they walk through the door – and leaves feeling confident they’ve taken the right step.
After spending over 25 years in accounting and finance, Susan decided to fulfill her dream of a culinary education and attended Cook Street’s Professional Culinary Program in December of 2011. Working for a short time in the industry Susan was offered a part-time position as an Accountant here at Cook Street. With many years experience as a CFO and Controller in multiple industries and other schools she seamlessly moved into a role as Cook Street’s CFO and Human Resources Director in June 2013. Susan has proven to be a valuable addition to the administration of Cook Street where she is thrilled to combine her love of food with a focus on helping us to grow and flourish as an organization.
Tara attended Cook Street’s Professional Program in December of 2011 and used her culinary education as a new tool in her professional arsenal. Her love of food and service was taken to the next level making her a more dynamic culinarian. With a successful career in restaurant management from corporate to farm to table – and front to back of the house, Tara has a well-rounded perspective on leadership standards, employee development, and industry expectations. Tara is thrilled to be back in the school as an energetic member of the administrative team and uses her industry and networking connections to help guide students and alumni on their personal culinary quests.
Katrina joins Cook Street as a graduate of the University of Colorado Denver with degrees in Communications and Fine Arts. She has an extensive background in customer service and worked as a Front of House team member for three years before taking on the role of Event and Recreational Class Coordinator in the summer of 2013. A lifelong passion for fine cuisine makes her a natural fit for Cook Street. She blends her creativity with her keen eye for details and organization to provide our guests with a superior event experience. Also a professional photographer, Katrina lends her eye for imagery to Cook Street occasionally through our social media and promotional outlets.