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AWARD-WINNING

FACULTY

L'Academie de Cuisine employs world-class chef-instructors and staff dedicated to ensuring each student is prepared with the expertise to enter a career in the culinary world.

FOUNDER & DIRECTOR OF L’ACADEMIE DE CUISINE

CHEF FRANCOIS DIONOT

A native of Reims, France, Chef Dionot was educated at L’Ecole Hoteliere de la Societe Suisse de Hoteliers in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he earned a diploma in hotel and restaurant service, management and all phases of food preparation. Chef Dionot then worked in several highly acclaimed kitchens in Switzerland, France, Washington, DC and New York. He remains an integral part of L'Academie de Cuisine, handling day-to-day operations as school director and instructor for the theoretical portions of the school’s professional programs. He also teaches avocational French cuisine classes, conducts master classes on specialized food subjects around the country, and serves as a food consultant for various professional groups.

A founding member and past president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), he is also a Chef Rotisseur member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs.

DIRECTOR OF CULINARY ARTS PROGRAM & CHEF-INSTRUCTOR

Chef Brian
Patterson

Chef Brian graduated from L’Academie de Cuisine’s Culinary Arts Program in 1987. In addition to working in some of the finest restaurants in Washington, DC, Chef Brian began teaching recreational classes at L’Academie de Cuisine in 1991. Chef Brian joined L’Academie’s professional program teaching staff in 2008 and was appointed Director of the Professional Culinary Arts Program in 2015. Chef Brian appears often on the stage of the Smithsonian American History Museum in support of their Food History initiatives; he also writes for Bethesda Magazine and The Washington Post.
Before beginning his culinary career, Chef Brian graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Music.

Culinary Chef-Instructor

MARGARET
HATFIELD

Margaret grew up in Northern Virginia before pursuing her undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia. During her time in Charlottesville, she discovered a passion for food and started working in catering and in the kitchen at HotCakes, Ltd. After graduating in 2008 with a B.A. in English, Margaret entered the Culinary Program at L’Academie. She graduated first in her class in 2009 and spent the following three and a half years working for Chef Cathal Armstrong’s Eat Good Food Group; first as a Chef de Partie at The Majestic Café, and later as Sous Chef at Virtue, Feed, and Grain. Before joining L’Academie’s teaching staff, Margaret spent two years as Chef de Cuisine at GRAPE + BEAN in Old Town Alexandria.

Culinary Chef-Instructor

CHEF TOM
PRZYASTAWIK

Chef Tom graduated from L’Academie de Cuisine’s Culinary Arts Program in 1995 and has worked in prestigious Washington, DC restaurants including Jose Andres Cafe Atlantico and the Northern Virginia farm to table movement pioneer Food Matters. In 2011, he accepted a position to develop healthy, locally-sourced meals for schools that focused on student involvement in gardening and production.

Before beginning his culinary career, Chef Tom graduated from The George Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and International Business. He returned to L’Academie de Cuisine in 2015 and enjoys sharing his love of local food and gardening with our students.

Culinary Chef-Instructor

MAUREEN
LAWLOR

Maureen Lawlor recently graduated with Honors in June of 2013 from the Culinary Arts Program at L’Academie de Cuisine. She worked for a year as a line cook at RIS and spent six months in the banquet kitchen at the Sofitel Hotel in Washington, D.C. She is honored to be back to the LADC family as an Instructor in Phase II of the Culinary Arts Program. Before following her passion and embarking on a new career path, Maureen graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia with a B.A. in International Business, Legal Studies and Spanish. She also has ten years of front-of-house experience. Her mantra: “Do what you love, love what you do.”

Culinary Chef-Instructor

CHEF JAKE
LYDON

Chef Jake Lydon is a 2001 Honors Graduate of L’Academie’s Culinary Arts Program. Over his 10 year career in restaurants, Chef Jake served as Sous Chef at 1789 Restaurant in Washington, DC, Chef de Cuisine at Addies in Rockville, MD, and Executive Sous Chef at Black Salt in DC.

TEACHING ASSISTANT, EVENING CULINARY PROGRAM

ULA
OKRASA

Ula was born and raised in Poland and spent most of her childhood watching her mother cook for a big family. As she began cooking at a very young age, she realized that food was her passion. Ula is a 2009 graduate with honors of L’Academie de Cuisine’s Culinary Arts Program. Upon completing her studies she did her apprenticeship and continued to work at Bryan Voltaggio’s Volt Restaurant in Frederick, MD. She joins the L’Academie team with Chef Jake Lydon for the Evening Culinary Arts Program.

TEACHING ASSISTANT, CULINARY ARTS

Monique Saldeba

Monique Saldeba graduated with distinction from L’Academie de Cuisine’s Culinary Arts Program in 2014. After graduation, Monique went on to study under Ris Lacoste at Ris Restaurant in Washington DC for a year as a line cook while managing the Ris Union Market location. Before changing careers, Monique studied Human Resource Management at Ryerson University in Toronto Canada, and worked as a Project/Operations Manager for two Fortune 500 companies. Monique is happy to be back at L’Academie instructing other students in what she is most passionate about: COOKING!

DIRECTOR, PASTRY ARTS PROGRAM & LEAD PASTRY CHEF-INSTRUCTOR

CHEF THERESA
SOUTHER

An Honors Graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine’s professional Pastry Arts Program, Theresa has been an Instructor for the Pastry Arts Program since 2001. In her career, she worked as a pastry cook at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, and she assisted Chef Mark Ramsdell at his Pastry Design Studio. Chef Theresa also received her B.A. in English from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

PASTRY CHEF-INSTRUCTOR

CHEF KATIE
DELANEY

Chef Katie is an Honors Graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine’s 2006 Pastry Arts Program. After completing her externship at Clyde’s Restaurant of Columbia and Clyde’s Tower Oaks Lodge, she stayed on to supervise its pastry department and that of its sister restaurant, The Tomato Palace. Chef Katie then worked at Clear Flour Bakery, in Brookline, Massachusetts to pursue her interest in Vienoisserie. She returned to L’Academie in 2009 as the teaching assistant for the professional Pastry Arts Program. She enjoys competing in local pastry competitions and also does pastry private catering. Katie has staged at WD~50 and Le Bernadin in New York City, Southern Living Magazine Test Kitchens in Birmingham, AL, Eberl Bakery in Bavaria, Germany, and at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, California. Prior to her career in pastry, Katie was an auditor for Deloitte and holds a BS and MS in Accountancy and Taxation from Bentley University in Waltham, MA.

TEACHING ASSISTANT, PASTRY ARTS

KAREN
KUESPERT

Karen Kuespert is a 2011 Honors graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine’s Professional Pastry Arts Program. She completed her apprenticeship at Hawthorne Fine Breakfast Pastry, a wholesale pastry kitchen in Severna Park, MD. She began working at L’Academie de Cuisine in 2013 as a Teaching Assistant for the Pastry Arts Program. She also holds a B.S. in Psychology and Biology from Western Carolina University.
Karen’s favorite part of L’Academie is working with inspirational students and staff who share a unique passion for food and enthusiasm for learning.

EXPERIENCED & SUPPORTIVE

TEAM

The members of the L'Academie de Cusine's team are dedicated to ensuring each student is equipped to achieve career success in the culinary and pastry worlds.

Director of Admissions and Campus Director

ANN
CONNORS

Ann was born in Bronxville, NY and raised in the coastal town of Wilton, CT. She graduated from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio with a degree in Psychology.
Ann started her career as a store manager for The Home Depot. Throughout her career with the company, she successfully opened many stores from the ground up while simultaneously rolling out new company initiatives for her district.
Ann quickly realized that her passion lies in teaching, training and developing people into managerial roles, and although she had a successful career in retail, she felt that the education field is where her strengths lay. For the past ten years Ann has worked for a number of proprietary institutions as their Director of Admissions, they include: ECPI University, ACT College, and Stratford University.
Ann has a competitive spirit and is committed to bringing character and integrity into everything that she does at home and work. Ann is very enthusiastic and is always willing to take on new challenges with her team in order to benefit and meet the overall needs of the company. Ann currently resides in Kensington, MD.

Academic Dean, Assistant Director

CAROL
MCCLURE

Carol McClure is a 1993 Honors Graduate of the Culinary Arts Program. Since 1994, she has served as L’Academie de Cuisine’s Assistant Director and Academic Dean of the professional programs. As L’Academie’s accreditation specialist, Carol has guided the school to garner the highest 5-year grant of accreditation for three consecutive cycles, attesting to its superior educational, professional and operational standards.
Carol fell in love with bread baking after attending a two-week intensive course taught by Didier Rosada, Master Baker and a Top Ten Best Baker in the US. Eager to continue her education and share her knowledge of artisanal bread baking, she staged at Best Buns Bread Company in Arlington, Virginia for about a year and has taught both professional and recreational bread classes.
Carol majored in Communication Arts at Maryknoll College in the Philippines and is an avid golfer and member of the Executive Women’s Golf Association.

DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS

BRIE
JURAN

Midway through her studies in psychology at the University of Maryland, Gabrielle “Brie” Juran decided to pursue a career in the culinary industry. Her family encouraged her to finish her degree and she graduated with a Bachelor’s in 2010. Shortly after graduating, she determined L’Academie de Cuisine was her next step. L’Academie was a natural choice after going to such a large university. L’Academie’s small class sizes, dedicated one-on-one instruction, and personalized attention confirmed the school was right for her. Likewise, learning through daily hands-on kitchen work and apprenticing in a top-tier kitchen made L’Academie’s culinary program the perfect fit. Not only did L’Academie give Brie the skills necessary to go to work in a fantastic kitchen, her experience at the school challenged, rewarded, and shaped her in ways that she never knew imaginable.
Brie apprenticed at Central Michel Richard and then remained there for several more months before returning to L’Academie to combine her two passions: cooking and education. Working in L’Academie Admissions is a great job for her because she can still come to her favorite place every day and be a valuable resource for prospective students. She is proud to walk prospects through the kitchens where she once stood and talk about all that L’Academie has to offer.
Brie apprenticed at Central Michel Richard and then remained there for several more months before returning to L’Academie to combine her two passions – cooking and education. Working in L’Academie Admissions is a great job for her because she can still come to her favorite place every day, and be a valuable resource for prospective students. She is proud to walk prospects through the kitchens where she once stood and talk about all that L’Academie has to offer. Email Brie today at: bjuran@lacademie.com or call (301) 670-8670 x227.

AWARD-WINNING

FACULTY

L'Academie de Cuisine employs world-class chef-instructors and staff, many L'Academie graduates themselves, with essential industry experience and teaching credentials who are dedicated to ensuring each student has a strong foundation for career success in the culinary world.

DIRECTOR OF CULINARY ARTS PROGRAM & CHEF-INSTRUCTOR

Chef Brian
Patterson

Chef Brian graduated from L’Academie de Cuisine’s Culinary Arts Program in 1987. In addition to working in some of the finest restaurants in Washington, DC, Chef Brian began teaching recreational classes at L’Academie de Cuisine in 1991. Chef Brian joined L’Academie’s professional program teaching staff in 2008 and was appointed Director of the Professional Culinary Arts Program in 2015. Chef Brian appears often on the stage of the Smithsonian American History Museum in support of their Food History initiatives; he also writes for Bethesda Magazine and The Washington Post.
Before beginning his culinary career, Chef Brian graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Music.

Culinary Chef-Instructor

MARGARET
HATFIELD

Margaret grew up in Northern Virginia before pursuing her undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia. During her time in Charlottesville, she discovered a passion for food and started working in catering and in the kitchen at HotCakes, Ltd. After graduating in 2008 with a B.A. in English, Margaret entered the Culinary Program at L’Academie. She graduated first in her class in 2009 and spent the following three and a half years working for Chef Cathal Armstrong’s Eat Good Food Group; first as a Chef de Partie at The Majestic Café, and later as Sous Chef at Virtue, Feed, and Grain. Before joining L’Academie’s teaching staff, Margaret spent two years as Chef de Cuisine at GRAPE + BEAN in Old Town Alexandria.

Culinary Chef-Instructor

CHEF TOM
PRZYASTAWIK

Chef Tom graduated from L’Academie de Cuisine’s Culinary Arts Program in 1995 and has worked in prestigious Washington, DC restaurants including Jose Andres Cafe Atlantico and the Northern Virginia farm to table movement pioneer Food Matters. In 2011, he accepted a position to develop healthy, locally-sourced meals for schools that focused on student involvement in gardening and production.

Before beginning his culinary career, Chef Tom graduated from The George Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and International Business. He returned to L’Academie de Cuisine in 2015 and enjoys sharing his love of local food and gardening with our students.

Culinary Chef-Instructor

MAUREEN
LAWLOR

Maureen Lawlor recently graduated with Honors in June of 2013 from the Culinary Arts Program at L’Academie de Cuisine. She worked for a year as a line cook at RIS and spent six months in the banquet kitchen at the Sofitel Hotel in Washington, D.C. She is honored to be back to the LADC family as an Instructor in Phase II of the Culinary Arts Program. Before following her passion and embarking on a new career path, Maureen graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia with a B.A. in International Business, Legal Studies and Spanish. She also has ten years of front-of-house experience. Her mantra: “Do what you love, love what you do.”

Culinary Chef-Instructor

CHEF JAKE
LYDON

Chef Jake Lydon is a 2001 Honors Graduate of L’Academie’s Culinary Arts Program. Over his 10 year career in restaurants, Chef Jake served as Sous Chef at 1789 Restaurant in Washington, DC, Chef de Cuisine at Addies in Rockville, MD, and Executive Sous Chef at Black Salt in DC.

TEACHING ASSISTANT, EVENING CULINARY PROGRAM

ULA
OKRASA

Ula was born and raised in Poland and spent most of her childhood watching her mother cook for a big family. As she began cooking at a very young age, she realized that food was her passion. Ula is a 2009 graduate with honors of L’Academie de Cuisine’s Culinary Arts Program. Upon completing her studies she did her apprenticeship and continued to work at Bryan Voltaggio’s Volt Restaurant in Frederick, MD. She joins the L’Academie team with Chef Jake Lydon for the Evening Culinary Arts Program.

TEACHING ASSISTANT, CULINARY ARTS

Monique Saldeba

Monique Saldeba graduated with distinction from L’Academie de Cuisine’s Culinary Arts Program in 2014. After graduation, Monique went on to study under Ris Lacoste at Ris Restaurant in Washington DC for a year as a line cook while managing the Ris Union Market location. Before changing careers, Monique studied Human Resource Management at Ryerson University in Toronto Canada, and worked as a Project/Operations Manager for two Fortune 500 companies. Monique is happy to be back at L’Academie instructing other students in what she is most passionate about: COOKING!

AWARD-WINNING

FACULTY

L'Academie de Cuisine employs world-class chef-instructors and staff dedicated to ensuring each student is prepared with the expertise to enter a career in the culinary world.

DIRECTOR, PASTRY ARTS PROGRAM & LEAD PASTRY CHEF-INSTRUCTOR

CHEF THERESA
SOUTHER

An Honors Graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine’s professional Pastry Arts Program, Theresa has been an Instructor for the Pastry Arts Program since 2001. In her career, she worked as a pastry cook at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, and she assisted Chef Mark Ramsdell at his Pastry Design Studio. Chef Theresa also received her B.A. in English from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

PASTRY CHEF-INSTRUCTOR

CHEF KATIE
DELANEY

Chef Katie is an Honors Graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine’s 2006 Pastry Arts Program. After completing her externship at Clyde’s Restaurant of Columbia and Clyde’s Tower Oaks Lodge, she stayed on to supervise its pastry department and that of its sister restaurant, The Tomato Palace. Chef Katie then worked at Clear Flour Bakery, in Brookline, Massachusetts to pursue her interest in Vienoisserie. She returned to L’Academie in 2009 as the teaching assistant for the professional Pastry Arts Program. She enjoys competing in local pastry competitions and also does pastry private catering. Katie has staged at WD~50 and Le Bernadin in New York City, Southern Living Magazine Test Kitchens in Birmingham, AL, Eberl Bakery in Bavaria, Germany, and at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, California. Prior to her career in pastry, Katie was an auditor for Deloitte and holds a BS and MS in Accountancy and Taxation from Bentley University in Waltham, MA.

TEACHING ASSISTANT, PASTRY ARTS

KAREN
KUESPERT

Karen Kuespert is a 2011 Honors graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine’s Professional Pastry Arts Program. She completed her apprenticeship at Hawthorne Fine Breakfast Pastry, a wholesale pastry kitchen in Severna Park, MD. She began working at L’Academie de Cuisine in 2013 as a Teaching Assistant for the Pastry Arts Program. She also holds a B.S. in Psychology and Biology from Western Carolina University.
Karen’s favorite part of L’Academie is working with inspirational students and staff who share a unique passion for food and enthusiasm for learning.

EXPERIENCED & SUPPORTIVE

TEAM

The members of the L'Academie de Cusine's team are dedicated to ensuring each student is equipped to achieve career success in the culinary and pastry worlds.

Director of Admissions and Campus Director

ANN
CONNORS

Ann was born in Bronxville, NY and raised in the coastal town of Wilton, CT. She graduated from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio with a degree in Psychology.
Ann started her career as a store manager for The Home Depot. Throughout her career with the company, she successfully opened many stores from the ground up while simultaneously rolling out new company initiatives for her district.
Ann quickly realized that her passion lies in teaching, training and developing people into managerial roles, and although she had a successful career in retail, she felt that the education field is where her strengths lay. For the past ten years Ann has worked for a number of proprietary institutions as their Director of Admissions, they include: ECPI University, ACT College, and Stratford University.
Ann has a competitive spirit and is committed to bringing character and integrity into everything that she does at home and work. Ann is very enthusiastic and is always willing to take on new challenges with her team in order to benefit and meet the overall needs of the company. Ann currently resides in Kensington, MD.

Academic Dean, Assistant Director

CAROL
MCCLURE

Carol McClure is a 1993 Honors Graduate of the Culinary Arts Program. Since 1994, she has served as L’Academie de Cuisine’s Assistant Director and Academic Dean of the professional programs. As L’Academie’s accreditation specialist, Carol has guided the school to garner the highest 5-year grant of accreditation for three consecutive cycles, attesting to its superior educational, professional and operational standards.
Carol fell in love with bread baking after attending a two-week intensive course taught by Didier Rosada, Master Baker and a Top Ten Best Baker in the US. Eager to continue her education and share her knowledge of artisanal bread baking, she staged at Best Buns Bread Company in Arlington, Virginia for about a year and has taught both professional and recreational bread classes.
Carol majored in Communication Arts at Maryknoll College in the Philippines and is an avid golfer and member of the Executive Women’s Golf Association.

DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS

BRIE
JURAN

Midway through her studies in psychology at the University of Maryland, Gabrielle “Brie” Juran decided to pursue a career in the culinary industry. Her family encouraged her to finish her degree and she graduated with a Bachelor’s in 2010. Shortly after graduating, she determined L’Academie de Cuisine was her next step. L’Academie was a natural choice after going to such a large university. L’Academie’s small class sizes, dedicated one-on-one instruction, and personalized attention confirmed the school was right for her. Likewise, learning through daily hands-on kitchen work and apprenticing in a top-tier kitchen made L’Academie’s culinary program the perfect fit. Not only did L’Academie give Brie the skills necessary to go to work in a fantastic kitchen, her experience at the school challenged, rewarded, and shaped her in ways that she never knew imaginable.
Brie apprenticed at Central Michel Richard and then remained there for several more months before returning to L’Academie to combine her two passions: cooking and education. Working in L’Academie Admissions is a great job for her because she can still come to her favorite place every day and be a valuable resource for prospective students. She is proud to walk prospects through the kitchens where she once stood and talk about all that L’Academie has to offer.
Brie apprenticed at Central Michel Richard and then remained there for several more months before returning to L’Academie to combine her two passions – cooking and education. Working in L’Academie Admissions is a great job for her because she can still come to her favorite place every day, and be a valuable resource for prospective students. She is proud to walk prospects through the kitchens where she once stood and talk about all that L’Academie has to offer. Email Brie today at: bjuran@lacademie.com or call (301) 670-8670 x227.

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