Recipe for a Great Team by Chef Kelly Sears

If you’ve spent any time at all in the Marcel’s kitchen, you’ve seen or met our hard working culinary assistants.  Over the three plus years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working side by side with all of them. We’ve shared some good food, hard work, and even better conversation.  I would say it’s been quite a success!

What you might not know about this group is that they are all volunteers.  Yes, that’s right, volunteers.  They set up your workstations, pour your wine, clean your cutting boards, empty your garbage bowls, answer your questions, smooth over anything that doesn’t go quite right and help ensure you are having a great time in the Marcel’s kitchen.   

I’ve worked, managed, and been managed for years.  In any environment you can sniff out the bag of coal from a mile away; the Debbie-downer, the energy-zapper, and I am so happy we are working in the exact opposite atmosphere.  I am extremely proud of the culinary team we have built together. Their teamwork is topnotch, first rate, above and beyond.  They sub for one another, encourage one another, they share stories, life experiences and life lessons. The positive energy is contagious and that’s something you just can’t teach people, they have to feel it and share it from within themselves. 

The culinary team started out as a team of twelve and has grown to a team of plus thirty.  Some have moved on to college, some moved away.  Some have moved on to the Marcel’s retail team, some have become our very important dishwashers; seven are from the original twelve.  They range in age from just-received-drivers -licenses to proud AARP card holding members.  They are mothers and grandmothers, sisters and aunts, teachers, and students, and just extraordinary people.  They are the eyes and the ears of what happens before, during, and after a cooking class.  They are all so very important. 

I share this with all of you because I want you to know how dear and important they are to me.  They are my base, my rock, my solid foundation that makes me feel so completely confident and at ease when I am not in the kitchen at Marcel’s.  I know with their names on the schedule, my worries are squelched and the guests are in confident hands.   

And in case you don’t know them by name, let me introduce the culinary team: Jo, Sam, Bonnie, Lois, Carlene, Lauren E., Maggie, Sandy, Monica, Dorothy, Alison, Denien, Kathy, Jenny, Molly, Maureen, Cathy, Joan, Amy, Jacqueline, Ginny, Debby, Kris R., Anne, Lauren S., Becky, Tana, Kris T., Tina, Jennifer, Alessandra, and Sharon.  Each and every day, I’m proud to work with all of you.

Never underestimate the power of collaboration.
Thanks to all of you.


Here’s a great recipe for your great team:

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Chocolate Chip Brownie Double Deckers 
(adapted from Mary Pat Watt, football mom and previous Marcel’s Culinary Assistant)

Brownie Layer

¾ c. unsalted butter melted
1 T. espresso powder
¾ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ c. sugar
½ t. salt
2 eggs
1½ t. vanilla
¾ c. flour 

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper so the paper extends beyond the sides
  • Spray below and on top the parchment with cooking spray
  • Whisk the espresso powder and the cocoa powder into the butter until smooth
  • Whisk in sugar, salt, eggs, and vanilla
  • Stir in flour until blended
  • Spread evenly in prepared pan

 Chip Layer

 ¾ c. unsalted butter, melted
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1½ c. flour
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
6 oz. Mexican chocolate, chopped 

  • Whisk brown sugar and butter until smooth; Cool and whisk in vanilla & egg
  • Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; add to butter mixture
  • Stir in chocolate
  • Drop over brownie batter layer and spread to cover
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick tests done


  1. Barbara Buzzarri says

    I’m most interested in becoming a volunteer. I’ve been to many of Paul L’s classes. You. Can ask him about me. Please advise how I may formally apply. Thank you


Talk To Us


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.