Meet Our Chefs

At Marcel’s Culinary Experience, our kitchen is your kitchen. Assembled from a variety of different backgrounds, yet bound by a common thread, the professional chefs and chef educators are the foundation of the culinary program at Marcel’s.

Marcel’s culinary team will ensure that each and every guest has a place to learn, watch, and meet new people and old friends – a place to pull up a chair, gather around the table and discover fabulous food adventures. A place to cook, create, and celebrate.

Chefs2

Kelly Sears, Executive Chef

Jamie Bordoshuk

Lynn Dugan

Kiley Fields

Brandy Fernow

Paul Lindemuth

Robin Nathan

Dave Sahs

Cherise Slattery

Julie Szimon

 


KellyKelly Sears
Marcel’s Executive Chef
Instructor

Dry mix, water, and a light bulb. Kelly began cooking under 40 watts of power with the Easy Bake Oven; her poor parents ate more than their share of “delicacies” baked under a light bulb.  Moving beyond the light bulb, she graduated from the College of DuPage culinary program and continued her education.  In the kitchen, Kelly’s goal is to provide an environment in which students can experiment, create, learn culinary techniques, share recipes, and express their own talents.  Her philosophy concentrates on creating an important balance between the foods that we put on the table and the people that gather around the table.

Favorite food memory:
My father was the youngest of twelve.  By the time I came along, I was the 35th grandchild.  One family meal, there were what felt like forty people surrounding my grandparents’ dining table.  Money was scarce and so was the food — grabbing to fill your plate was considered a necessity, not bad manners.  I was 3 or 4 at the time and my grandmother was a woman of few words and a giver of even fewer “warm fuzzies”.  As I sat there watching the food disappear my grandmother put a bowl of homemade warm buttered spaetzel noodles in front of me.  My own bowl!  It was at that moment I knew that sometimes food can say things that some people just can’t.

3 Items always in Kelly’s refrigerator:
Sriracha, half and half, spicy mustard

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JamieBordoshukJamie Bordoshuk
Chef Instructor

Jamie Bordoshuk has been cooking for over 25 years and has taught culinary classes that span multiple cuisines including Italian Feasts, French Bistro, Southern BBQ, Asian Fusion, Sushi 101 and Seafood Grill. Jamie has assisted multiple celebrity and local chefs including Paula Deen, Gale Gand, Rachael Ray, Tom Douglas, Jimmy Bannos (Heaven on Seven), Phil Manolis (Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse) and John Chiakulas (Antico Posto).

Three items always in your grocery cart are…
Fresh herbs (if I can’t get them from my garden), chicken, and fresh citrus (lemons, limes & oranges).

Favorite Food Memory:
I came up with a dry rub after having the most wonderful dinner with my wife, Rondi, in Istanbul. We were walking down the street at sunset, looking for a place to eat during Ramadan (not an easy feat!), when the owner of a cute little sidewalk café told us he would take care of us.  He proceeded to serve us a smorgasbord of the most amazing meats and vegetables, chock full of exotic flavors.  It was the highlight of our trip to the Mediterranean.  I’ll tell you what happened after we didn’t haven’t enough euros to pay the bill some other time.

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Lynn Dugan
Registered Dietitian
Instructor

Lynn Dugan 3Lynn’s culinary training began early in her life alongside her mother, who had learned from her mother and grandmother.  When Lynn’s dad was diagnosed with high cholesterol, her mom changed the family menu and Lynn began her quest for a nutrition degree.  With her career in nutrition and love of cooking, she works to create great tasting healthy food.  Through her cooking sessions, Lynn helps make healthy eating a reality.

 
Lynn’s best food memory:
In my Uncle Gino’s restaurant in Little Italy, Chicago, I learned to make spaghetti sauce. My Aunt Angie was the cook and she didn’t have a recipe…so we had to stop her throughout to measure what was in her hand before she threw it in the pot. I still make her sauce today (it makes at least 10 quarts) and do not measure much myself anymore.

Lynn’s guilty pleasure food:
Does Pinot Noir count? If not, dark chocolate covered almonds.

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Kiley Fields
Chef Instructor

Kiley attended culinary school at the Illinois Institute of Art with the plans of using her degree, along with her 15 years of marketing and advertising experience to go into restaurant consulting. Funny how that all worked out. After spending time in the kitchen she quickly realized it was a much more fun place to be, and where she wanted to stay. Kiley has been teaching and doing private chef work ever since. There is always an unexpected ingredient to use, an old school technique still to be mastered, or a culture with a deep connection to food to learn more about. And…once she learns it…she can’t help but want to share it with others.  

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I would have to couple this question with another…what is the strangest thing you have ever made? I have a family friend who would always share stories with me about making tamales with her mom or her dad’s carne asada over the camp fire. During one of our conversations she mentioned a dish that piqued my interest – tacos de cabeza. Let me translate…cow’s head tacos. It was an “in the kitchen moment” I don’t think I will ever be able to duplicate. Imagine the size of a cow’s head…it requires a pot for the sole purpose of preparing tacos de cabeza. The flavor was rich and gamey and a bit more complex than you would expect. Would I make it again…yes, but I would have to borrow her pot.

What’s the most underrated cooking ingredient?
Lemon and it’s zest, if a dish is “flat”…it often does the trick.

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Brandy Fernow
Chef Instructor

A gift of cooking lessons from her husband prompted Brandy to leave her career as a consultant for Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young to train at Kendall College where she earned her culinary degree. Brandy has a passion for teaching cooking classes and lessons, having taught at Parties That Cook, Sur La Table, Flavour Cooking School, and her alma mater, Kendall College, where she developed the curriculum for and led their recreational cooking school program. She enjoys the connection made around food and the energy from the excitement of guests as they create and enjoy food together. 

What music do you listen to when you cook?
My parents had 1000’s of records and I grew up on the classics – thanks to Pandora, I enjoy Zeppelin, The Eagles and other greats while I cook!

Brandy’s guilty pleasure food:
Gummy ANYTHING! From Swedish Fish to Gummy Worms, I am a connoisseur of all things chewy and sugary.

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Paul LindemuthPaul Lindemuth
Chef Instructor

Paul found his love of the kitchen at an early age, cooking alongside his mother and grandmother. While primarily self-taught, Paul spent time in the kitchen with noted chefs Giuliano Bugialli, Jacques Pepin, and Perla Meyers, and now has over 30 years of culinary experience. After managing the cooking schools and retail stores for The Cook’s Mart and The Chef’s Catalog in Chicago, Paul founded his own culinary business, The Art of Food, in 1986. He currently divides his time between sharing his passion for cooking and teaching in local cooking schools and working as a personal chef/event planner in client’s homes throughout the Chicagoland area. Paul focuses his approach to cooking and teaching around three elements: selection of top quality ingredients, techniques of preparation, and beautiful presentation. Each class features recipes that explore and build upon these elements.

Favorite food memory:
Standing alongside my grandmother as she made me a fried egg sandwich every day for lunch during elementary school. To this day, the aroma of melting butter brings that memory to life.

3 items always in Paul’s grocery cart:
Wine, garlic, and butter

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Robin NathanRobin Nathan2
Chef Instructor

California girl Robin Nathan attended culinary school after a successful 20-year career as a national advertising executive and she understands busy working families who enjoy cooking but don’t have all day to spend at it. Her cuisine is all about simple, seasonally appropriate preparations, global flavors, and a naturally light touch. And she loves nothing better than to twist up what she’s learned, combining the authentic with the new and different. Life should be a taste adventure!

Three items always in Robin’s grocery cart:
Organic milk (I’ve got an 8 year old), baby arugula and tomatoes

Best food memory?
I have so many…. The first time I tasted good olive oil, back in the early ‘80s, the first time I tasted the sour-salty-sweet of Thai food, the row of avocados my grandmother always kept ripening on her window-sill, from the tree in her yard….

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Dave Sahs
Chef Instructor

A Glen Ellyn resident, Chef Dave got his first taste for restaurant life during high school at a family-owned café. This experience sparked his interest to attend Culinary School and get his first “real” kitchen job working at Heaven on Seven for Chef Jimmy Bannos. After graduating and travelling to Europe, he landed a coveted line cook position at Spiaggia under Chefs Tony Mantuano and Missy Robbins. This experience shaped his life forever; he met his wife during his tenure at the restaurant. He eventually left the culinary world to pursue his other passion – golf and golf instruction. This offered invaluable experience with people and teaching, allowing him the luxury of putting his heart into cooking at home again. 

Three items always in Dave’s grocery cart:
Great coffee, fresh herbs and meat

Best food memory?
My wife and I had the opportunity to “be flies on the wall” at a dinner one special autumn night in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. It was a collaboration between food and beverage producers from very different countries – Italy and Japan – at our friend’s Acetaia (balsamic vinegar house) in Reggio Emilia. Local cheese and vinegar experts, along with a Chef, created a dinner menu with Japanese visitors that specialized in beer, cheese (yes, cheese) and sake, among other Japanese ingredients. The table of twenty passionate people speaking three different languages (with translators) discussed the interesting similarities and pairings of all of the different products. Did I mention it was Halloween, a crazy thunderstorm, and the power went out? We all pitched in and pulled off a fabulous experience with only candlelight. We will NEVER forget that night.

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Cherise Slattery
Chef Instructor

Cherise Slattery 2Cherise grew up in a family where the table was the heart of the home.  Days spent in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother, her passion for food and interest in the science of baking inspired her to become a certified pastry chef.  She enjoys creating all-natural pastries for private events and local farmer’s markets.  Cherise shares her love of food and community in all of her classes.

Favorite food memory:
Making apple pies every fall with my grandma, mom and sister.  We would spend a Sunday peeling apples, mixing dough and visiting.  We would freeze most of the pies and throughout the winter we would put one in the oven.  The smell of those pies baking always brought back memories of our fun fall day together.

What music do you listen to when you cook?
If I am cooking Italian, it’s Dean, Frank or Tony!

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Julie Szimon
Chef Instructor

Julie always loved food and entertaining. During her time as a stay at home mom, she explored different cuisines and hosted many gatherings just so she could cook. When her children were in school, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a chef and attended culinary school to expand her knowledge and technique. She spent her last 6 weeks of culinary school traveling, cooking, blogging and photographing the Italian and French Riviera. When Julie is not teaching, she is the host and guide of her own food and wine trips abroad..

Favorite food memory:
My best food memory is watching my grandmother peel the skin off tomatoes in the summer. She would slice an x on the bottom of the tomatoes and place them in boiling water for 30 seconds. Then she would drop them in ice water and the peels would start to come right off. She was a great cook.

What’s your favorite spice?
Cumin. It is used in so many cuisines. I love the smoky, earthy flavor.

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