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Natural Gourmet Institute for Food & Health




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If you've already taken a class at the Natural Gourmet Institute, you've had a chance to work with some of our amazing public class instructors. Now you can filter our Upcoming Classes and Class Calendar links by your favorite teacher.


Jennifer Abadi

Jennifer Abadi is the author and illustrator of A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes from Grandma Fritzie’s Kitchen and assists others in writing and preserving their own family recipes. Her area of expertise covers a range of cuisines, such as Syrian, Indian, Moroccan, Iraqi, Egyptian, Yemenite, Persian, Greek, Armenian, Georgian and Turkish.  Jennifer writes a blog about Sephardic and Middle Eastern Passover recipes and traditions called and her website is



Robin AsbellRobin Asbell is the author of The New Whole Grains Cookbook, The New Vegetarian Cookbook, and Big Vegan: 400 Meat-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes from the Author of The New Vegetarian Cookbook and The New Whole Grains Cookbook and Sweet and Easy Vegan. After baking and cooking with whole foods in restaurants, delis and co-ops for many years, she became a private chef. She writes for magazines such as Real Food and Vegetarian Times and blogs at Her website is

Andrea BeamanAndrea Beaman is a whole foods chef, food expert, inspirational teacher, television personality and the author of Health is Wealth - Make a Delicious Investment in Your Body The Whole Truth, How I Naturally Reclaimed My Health and You Can Too! and The Eating and Recipe Guide - Better Food, Better Health. She has her own health and wellness show called Fed Up! and is the host of Wise Up!  Andrea has successfully healed her "incurable" thyroid disease with a healthy diet, exercise and alternative therapies.  She studied at the Kushi Institute, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and in her own healing kitchen.  Andrea was also a contestant on Bravo's Top Chef (Seasons 1 & 5). Her website is

Celine BeitchmanCeline Beitchman, culinary instructor, private-chef, nutrition counselor, and avid globetrotter, brings over 20 years of professional experience to her teaching.  Celine earned her BA from Hunter College before taking a culinary leap across the Atlantic to apprentice in the kitchen of Le Dome in Paris.  She has run operations for retail food companies, food styled for TV and film, and managed catered events for from 2 to 10,000 people.  An ardent student of the vine, she holds an Advanced Certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.  Her relationship with the Natural Gourmet goes back to 1987 when she interned as a high school student.  In 2006 she returned as an instructor, and in 2008 she completed Annemarie Colbin’s Food Therapy program.  Celine is committed to promoting sustainable health supportive food, she's passionate about whole foods cooking and loves training and encouraging the next generation of chefs. Celine is an instructor in the CTP.


Peter Berley

Peter Berley is the owner of The North Fork Kitchen and Garden, a culinary studio where he teaches cooking and wood-fired bread baking workshops. He has contributed to magazines such as Edible Brooklyn, Bon Appetit, and Everyday with Rachel Ray. His book The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen received both James Beard and IACP awards. His 2nd book Fresh Food Fast was chosen as one of the 25 Best of 2005 by Food and Wine magazine. His website is



Marcia BerryMarcia Berry is a nutritional coach with a private health counseling practice in NYC.  She is a graduate of the Strengthening Health Institute in Philadelphia and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  A two-time award-winning speaker with Toastmasters International, Marcia teaches about the power of whole foods to improve lives.  In addition to her private practice, Marcia writes on health-related topics and teaches private and group vegetarian and macrobiotic cooking classes. Learn more about her at


Peter Bongiorno, N.D., L.Ac.Peter Bongiorno, N.D., L.Ac., is both a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist practicing in New York City and Long Island. After researching at Yale University and the National Institutes of Health in the field of clinical neuroendocrinology, Dr. Bongiorno completed his naturopathic medicine training at Bastyr University. He is a major contributing author of the 3rd edition of the Textbook of Natural Medicine and lectures on the subject of natural medicine nationally and at local medical schools. His website is


Alexandra BorgiaAlexandra Borgia is a graduate of the New York Restaurant School and the NGCTP.  She is an instructor in the CTP and has many years of restaurant experience, both as a chef and consultant.  She is also a personal chef to clients with specific nutritional needs.




Barbara CallananBarbara Callanan and Joan Schmidt started JCB Consulting Services, Inc. as a personal quest, as well as identifying a need in the market for training food service providers on how to provide gluten-free menu options for their patrons, and to teach individual clients how to successfully lead a gluten-free lifestyle. Barbara was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 7 years ago and has maintained a gluten-free lifestyle since her diagnosis. She has over 25 years of food service experience and was educated at the Culinary Institute of America. Joan is a Registered Nurse, who has over 20 years of healthcare experience. Their website is

Andrea CandeeAndrea Candee is a certified master herbalist, holistic health consultant, and the author of Gentle Healing for Baby and Child....A Parent's Guide (Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books), 2001. She teaches and lectures at education centers and the New York Botanical Gardens and specializes in Lyme Disease.  Andrea has created and hosted the TV and radio shows: The Healing Power of Herbs and Revealing Secrets for Mind and Body.  Her website is


Eric ChildsEric Childs is the founder of KBBK Kombucha Brooklyn.  A perfectly natural progression from his culinary training at Punch Restaurant and his training as a wine sommelier at Wined Up, Eric set out to create a kombucha that had both the health-giving properties of the full-strength ferment AND a balanced and delicious flavor profile. Eric has an Advanced Certificate from the International Wine Center and has taught classes throughout New York City. His website is

Wai ChuWai Hon Chu born in Hong Kong, is the co-author of The Dumpling: A Seasonal Guide, which contains over 130 traditional recipes from around the world. He is a graduate of the Art Institute of New York, where he served as a member of the 2002 Pastry Advisory Committee and received the 2002 Distinguished Alumni Award. Wai has worked in the kitchens of March, Clementine, and The Russian Tea Room, and founded El Eden Chocolates. He is currently working on his next cookbook.

Dr. Annemarie ColbinAnnemarie Colbin, Ph.D., is a health educator, award-winning writer, consultant and lecturer.  She is founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Natural Gourmet Institute.  She is the author of several books including Food and Healing, which has been translated into six languages. Her book The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones - A Holistic Approach was released in early 2009. She has written the column "Food and Your Health" for New York Spirit magazine since 1988. Dr. Colbin is recognized as an expert on the subject of food and health. Her personal website is


Fran CostiganFran Costigan, the “queen of vegan desserts,” is an internationally recognized pastry chef, culinary instructor, and the author of More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts and Great Good Dairy Free Desserts. Her third book, Vegan Chocolate, will be released in fall 2013. She is a graduate of the NY Restaurant School and CTP, and a former pastry chef at several establishments including Angelica Kitchen. Fran has been a featured chef at such diverse venues as Dr. John McDougall’s Celebrity Chef Weekend, NAVS Summerfest, Toronto VegFest, Earthsave Taste of Health, to name a few. She has also been featured on the Discovery Health Channel and Nightline, and selected as “one of the most interesting players in the food and drink arena.” Fran’s website is

Judith FriedmanJudith Friedman is the Program Director of the NGI and member of the Executive team. She is currently working to bring the NGI’s educational programs to hospitals and health care facilities around the country. For many years she taught in the CTP and also worked as a personal chef successfully cooking for people with diabetes who ultimately were taken off medication. She is a contributing chef to and taught an 11-part baking program to pregnant teens and unwed mothers living in foster care at New York City’s Inwood House. Judith is a graduate of the NGI's Chef's Training Program.

Terry Frishman, M.B.A.Terry Frishman, M.B.A. from Columbia University Graduate School of Business, is a creative food marketing and business consultant.  She has won many awards successfully managing businesses and launching products for Kraft General Foods Corporation and Newsweek International and has taken start-up culinary businesses to the next level.  Terry has served as a director on various boards and teaches food business classes, seminars, and workshops through her company Creative Marketing Workshops. Her website is


Jill GusmanJill Burns (formerly Gusman), author of Vegetables from the Sea, is a veteran chef instructor at the NGIHCA. She brings over 20 years experience, commitment and passion to teaching about natural foods and health. Jill is also a food writer, lecturer, private chef and avid gardener. A graduate of the Kushi Institute, Jill combines traditional whole food preparation with macrobiotic and ayurvedic philosophy into everyday cooking. She has appeared on Discovery Health, NPR programs across the country and taught at the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in Michigan. Most recently she created “Kids in the Kitchen” for Kidzone TV at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Jill loves the great outdoors and is a wild food enthusiast.

Michaela HayesMichaela Hayes is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and founder of Crock & Jar, a preservation based company with a mission to increase the amount of local food we buy in season and to preserve it so we can eat locally year round. Crock & Jar’s signature line of fermented foods is available in specialty stores and farmers’ markets in NYC. Michaela began her quest for preserving food as a Just Food trainer and developed the pickling station during her tenure at Gramercy Tavern. Her website is

Alex JamiesonAlexandra Jamieson is a graduate of the NGIHCA and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She currently works as a writer, blogger, cooking teacher, and certified holistic health counselor. Alex is the author of The Great American Detox Diet, Vegan Cooking for Dummies and Living Vegan for Dummies. She is a featured blogger on, and Dr. Oz’s and has been blogging about food and health since 2003.



Michael Kalanty is the author of How to Bake Bread which won the Best Bread Book in the World award at the Paris Cookbook Fair. He is certified as an Executive Pastry Chef and Culinary Educator and speaks on craft bread baking at industry conferences for the American Culinary Federation and the Bread Bakers Guild of America. His website is


Shin Kim is a Seoul Native and modern chef specializing in teaching Korean cooking. Following her training at the Institute of Culinary Education she refined her craft at some of NYC’s best restaurants including Jean Georges, Gilt and Adour. Shin chronicles her culinary journey through her blog 

Myra KornfeldMyra Kornfeld is the author of The Healthy Hedonist Holidays: A Year of Multi-Cultural Vegetarian-Friendly Holiday Feasts; The Healthy Hedonist: More Than 200 Delectable Flexitarian Recipes for Relaxed Daily Feasts; and The Voluptuous Vegan. She is a restaurant menu consultant and the recipe coordinator and editor for Myra is a veteran teacher, cooking party director, and magazine contributor. Her website is



Richard LaMaritaRichard LaMarita is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education and has been a chef/instructor since 1986.  He has worked in many popular restaurants in NYC including Tabla. He has been practicing and studying Ayurveda for 25 years.  He holds a Master's Degree from Maharishi Vedic University and has worked with accomplished Ayurvedic masters such as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Dr. B.D. TriGuna. He has led seminars on Ayurveda, Diet and Nutrition, Cooking, Yoga, and Meditation throughout the US, in Europe, and in Asia. Presently, he is a chef instructor at the NGIHCA, teaches classes in specialty and ethnic cooking, and is a private chef.


Rene LouxRenée Loux has been a trendsetter in the environmental and sustainable food movements for more than a dozen years. As an author, eco-consultant, television personality, chef, restaurateur, and monthly columnist for Women's Health Magazine, she is a leading expert in the field. She founded one of America's first raw food restaurants, the Raw Experience, in 1996 and has published 4 books including The Whole Green Catalog, Easy Green Living, The Balanced Plate, and Living Cuisine. She is the host of It's Easy Being Green and appears as a frequent green-expert on various TV shows. Her website is


Rene LouxErica Lyon is NYC’s premier pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum educator. She is the author of The Big Book of Birth and has taught at many hospitals including LI College Hospital, NY Foundling Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian and St Vincent’s. She was the Director of Education at the Elizabeth Seton Childbearing Center and the Founder and Director of Education of Realbirth. and has been featured on the Today Show. Currently, Erica consults for Beth Israel Phillips Family Practice, Tribeca Parenting, and continues to lecture at various residents’ trainings and Grand Rounds. Her current project,, is a national education website. She is the mother of two teenagers and a toddler. Her website is

Mamie NishideMamie Nishide is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education and trained at Le Bernardin and Country Living Magazine. Her company does private cooking classes and catering at private homes and corporate offices. Mamie also does recipe testing and development as well as food styling for various magazines and corporations. She is a certified sake sommelier, approved by the Sake Service Institute in Japan. Her companies are


Judi OrlickJudi Orlick is a graduate of Parsons/The New School for Design and The Institute of Culinary Education and has been a professional food stylist for the last 15 years. Her work can be seen in feature films, global advertising, packaging, magazines, the internet and television. Judi combines her passion for food, photography, and visual communication to produce inspirational and mouth-watering images. She brings valuable insight to her craft with her humor, creativity and a “never say die” attitude. She has been teaching food styling for 10 years, most notably with her mentor, Delores Custer, who is the author of Food Styling. Her website is


Andrew James Pierce, RD, CSCS is the Resident Sports Dietitian for the Columbia University and NYU athletic departments. Andrew is a Registered Dietitian (RD), and a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with experience as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer. He earned a degree in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Utah and completed his clinical training at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Laura PoleLaura Pole is a graduate of the NGCTP and an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist with over 30 years' experience caring for people with cancer and other serious illness. Laura is currently head chef for the Smith Farm Center for the Healing Arts Cancer Help Program and has a position with the Palliative Care Partnership of the Roanoke Valley as Palliative Care Coordinator and Consultant. Through her business, Eating for a Lifetime, she provides consultation and education to patients and professionals in how to translate diet prescriptions into delicious health-supportive food. Her website is

Elliot Prag

Elliott Prag is a full-time instructor in the NGICTP and a part-time instructor in the Institute’s public classes.  In addition Elliott has worked as a restaurant chef, personal chef, caterer, and recipe developer for Vegetarian Times.





Rebecca ReillyRebecca Reilly is the author of Gluten-Free Baking and has written articles and recipes for the magazine Living Without.  She is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and received professional training from Le Notre Patisserie, the Tuscan Cooking Workshops in Florence, Italy and a chef's diploma from Madeline Kamman's Modern Gourmet Cooking School in Boston. She is the former owner of the Madd Apple Café and Rebecca's Kitchen. For ten years, Rebecca was featured as the on-air chef in cooking segments on WCSH News Center 6 and hosted the popular television series New England Kitchen.

Barbara RichBarbara Rich graduated from the California Culinary Academy in 1994 after which she worked at the Zuni Café in San Francisco.  Since moving to New York in 1997, she has worked for Anne Rosenzweig, Peter Hoffman, and was the executive chef at Danal in the East Village.  Barbara is a full-time instructor in the CTP and Internship Coordinator.




Dina RoseDina Rose, Ph.D. has a Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University and more than fifteen years’ experience in teaching and research. Helping parents solve their kids eating problems is Dina’s life work. She offers parents the relief they need: practical, research-based strategies so they can stop struggling and start succeeding. In addition to her own blog,, Dina writes for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today.

Laura Rosenberg MS, RD, CDN, has a masters in clinical nutrition from NYU, is a certified dietitian-nutritionist, and a graduate of NGICTP. Laura teaches nutrition at Suffolk Community College and at NGICTP. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Sports and Cardiovascular Wellness Nutrition (SCAN), and Food and Culinary Professionals (FCP), Nutrition Entrepreneurs (NE). Her website is


Olivia RoszkowskiOlivia Roszkowski graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Neuroscience and Behavior. After completing the Chef's Training Program at the Natural Gourmet, she worked as a line cook at Jean-Georges' (The) Mercer Kitchen, David Chang's Momofuku Ssam Bar, as well as Danny Meyer's Union Square Events. Her website is

Kayleen St.John, MS, RD, has a masters degree in clinical nutrition from NYU and is a registered dietitian.  She teaches nutrition as a chef instructor at NGI and is a member of the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness (SCAN) practice group within the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.  Her research experience includes examining the relationship between diet and inflammatory conditions at the NYU Musculoskeletal Center.  She is also an avid marathon runner and believes smart nutrition contributes to optimal athletic performance. 

Sherrill Sellman, N.D.Sherrill Sellman, N.D., board certified in Integrative Medicine, is an educator, women's natural health lecturer, host of two weekly radio shows, senior editor and contributing writer to numerous publications. She is the best-selling author of Hormone Heresy: What All Women MUST Know About Their Hormones and What Women MUST Know to Protect Their Daughters from Breast Cancer and Salba: The Return of the Ancient Seed. Her website is


Jessica Sennett is a freelance cheese maker, cheese monger and educator. She has apprenticed in France,and worked as a Cave Manager for Formaggio Kitchen in Massachusetts. Jessica developed the education department for Bedford Cheese Shop's new NYC location, and built the cheese making curriculum for 3rd Ward. Currently, she runs the kitchen on House Cheese Fridays at Skytown restaurant in Brooklyn. Her blog is

Louisa ShafiaLouisa Shafia is a graduate of the Chef's Training Program at the NGIHCA. Her latest book, The New Persian Kitchen, is a fresh, healthy take on the vibrant cuisine of Iran (formally Persia). Her first cookbook, Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life, is a collection of seasonal recipes and eco-friendly kitchen advice, and was nominated for an IACP award. Louisa has cooked at restaurants in San Francisco and New York, including Millennium, Aquavit, and Pure Food and Wine. She has created recipes for Bon Appetit, Food Network Magazine and Prevention. She has appeared on the Cooking Channel's Taste in Translation series making Persian kebabs. Learn more about Louisa at

Pierre ThiamPierre Thiam, born in Dakar, Senegal, is the chef owner of Pierre Thiam Catering and the author of Yolele! Recipes from the Heart of Senegal, which was a nominated finalist for the Julia Child Award, and won the Gourmand World Cookbook's Special Jury Award at the  Paris World Cookbook Fair. Pierre has appeared on several TV and radio programs including Food Network's Iron Chef, NBC's Today, Martha Stewart's Living Radio and NPR's Splendid Table. His website is


Rea VarverisRea Varveris, a native of Cyprus, graduated from the Culinary Arts Program at The New School and went on to teach Cypriot-Greek cooking classes there, at the Culinary Center of New York, and the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts.  She was the assistant banquet manager at the Pierre Hotel in NYC and at the Golden Sands Hotel in Cyprus. Rea was also the manager of Loumides Foods and Artopolis Bakery in Astoria, Queens and cooks and bakes with passion from her homeland.


Denny WaxmanDenny Waxman is an internationally known teacher, counselor and writer in the fields of health, natural healing and macrobiotics. In 1982 he successfully guided Dr. Anthony Sattilaro, then President of Methodist Hospital in Philadelphia, to a complete recovery from terminal prostate cancer. This experience is documented in Dr. Sattilaro's book, Recalled By Life.  In 1997, Denny founded The Strengthening Health Institute and has an active health-counseling practice in Philadelphia and New York. He is also the author of 10 Steps to Strengthening Health, The Great Life Handbook, The Great Life Diet, and is currently at work on The Power of Food.  Denny was the recipient of the 2005 Aveline Kushi Award for recognition of his long-term service to macrobiotics. His website is

Jay WeinsteinJay Weinstein is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and the author of The Ethical Gourmet, The Everything Vegetarian Cookbook, and The Cup of Comfort Cookbook. He is currently working on a book about sustainable use of water resources.  Jay has worked in some of the finest restaurants on the East Coast including Le Bernardin.  A contributor to The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, and numerous other publications, Chef Weinstein is passionately serious about culinary ethics, but he is equally serious about the pleasures of eating.  Exceptional natural and sustainable ingredients play a central role in Jay's work and his repertoire includes influences from the country's finest chefs and educators, as well as from his own insatiable curiosity about undiscovered cuisines and ingredients. He is also a CTP instructor. His website is


Anne WilliamsAnne Williams, N.D., L.Ac., completed her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and Master’s in Acupuncture at Bastyr University, one of the leading centers for science-based natural medicine. Her approach involves research, tradition, and working with patients’ healthcare providers to provide the highest quality holistic team care. Dr. Williams has been trained to work with a wide variety of men’s and women’s health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, sleep disorders, diabetes, and auto-immune diseases. She employs nutrition, herbal therapy, acupuncture, acupressure and lifestyle counseling to support her patients’ long-term health and vitality.

Reid WinickReid Winick, D.D.S., is a graduate of New York University College of Dentistry and the founder and president of Dentistry for Health New York, a green and sustainable dental practice designed as a haven for overall wellness. Dr. Winick's whole body program of sustainable dentistry treats the patient as a human ecosystem. His programs have virtually eliminated the need for periodontal surgery and dental implants and have improved his patients' overall health. Dr. Winick is a national lecturer to medical doctors and other health care providers. His website is
Marti WolfsonMarti Wolfson is a graduate of the NGI's Chef's Training Program and has continued her education by attending The Institute of Functional Medicine's nutrition course, The Center for Mind-Body Medicine Cancer Guides, and the Food as Medicine course.  She developed and directed BlumKitchen at the Blum Center and is the co-author of BlumKitchen Nutrition Guide and Cookbook. She brings a decade of experience in wellness through teaching, consulting, writing, and program development for kids, adults and corporations. She has been a featured chef on ABC Eyewitness News, Channel 12 Connecticut, and

Hideyo YamadaHideyo Yamada, a graduate of the CTP and Institute of Integrative Nutrition, is a holistic health counselor specializing in vegan and gluten-free cuisine. She is a trained sushi chef from Japan and has worked in many high-end restaurants in NYC. Hideyo is a part-time instructor in the CTP. Her website is




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