In the Kitchen
Kids In the Kitchen
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Meet Our Staff
Director of the Bayview School of Cooking
Leanne has worked at BSC as an instructor and assistant since it opened in 2003 and has been director since May 2011. She’s a native Seattleite and has lived in Olympia for the past 20 years. She received a BA in English/Writing from the University of Washington and then studied Interior Design at the Art Institute of Seattle. She began cooking in college and has a passion for entertaining and throwing parties! When Leanne isn’t busy with BSC activities, she spends time with her husband, 3 kids and many pets, tries new recipes, reads, and travels whenever she can!
Barb moved to Olympia from Walla Walla about 27 years ago. Her first interest in cooking was piqued by her mother, who was an excellent baker and her aunt, who lived next door and was always trying new recipes. Her parents always found space and food for one or more extras at the table, so eating and the sharing that goes with dining were a big part of her younger life. Barb’s sense of adventure of life includes trying and experimenting with new foods, herbs and spices. Bayview Cooking School is a great place to share what she’s learned about foods over the years and continue her food adventure with all of the outstanding instructors!
Christine has been cooking since grade school, learning from her upstate New York Italian family and neighbors. There, she studied with a local French pastry chef and considers her own education in Italian cuisine to be a lifelong exploration. She has two college degrees and has spent most of her adult life in various administrative roles at the college level. Since she started teaching classes in 2004, Christine’s mission at the Bayview School of Cooking has been to share with others her passion for simple, delicious food cooked at home. In the best Italian cooking, simple means that you can taste each ingredient, and that each ingredient is vital to the success of the dish. To that end, she keeps a garden that produces many ingredients, especially herbs, year round. Ultimately, Christine's teaching is a reflection of an Italian ideal -- that cooking needs to be better integrated into our lives, and that cooking and enjoying food should be a social event filled with family, friends, and the time to enjoy it all.
Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
Pranee lives in Seattle but was born and raised in Phuket, Thailand where her life revolved around the business and pleasures of cooking and eating good food. Through her mother and grandmother and others in her village, she acquired a wealth of knowledge that ignited her own passion for cooking. Today Pranee shares this vast knowledge with others in order to demystify traditional Thai recipes and to help students learn how to balance the essential Thai flavors—sweet, sour, salty and spicy. She travels back to Thailand every year to record and preserve old recipes, and she also hosts culinary tours to Thailand and Southeast Asia. Pranee has been a BSC favorite since 2004!
Pat developed a passion for cooking during her college years studying ethnomusicology at the University of Washington. Her colleagues were from all around the world and most were excellent cooks. They’d get together and prepare exquisite dishes from Europe, Asia, Indonesia, and Africa. She’s recently become interested in the movement to incorporate more raw foods into a healthy diet and believes everyone should be able to master the basics of preparing a simple, tasty and healthy meal. Pat loves to make everything from scratch, making her own coconut milk, almond milk, pasta, salsas, and soup stocks, and has gained many cooking skills by attending classes at BSC over the past several years.
Chef J. Treacy Kreger
Chef Treacy has a Culinary Arts degree from the New England Culinary Institute and has been cooking for over 40 years. He got his start at Charlie’s Bar & Grill in the Capital Mall in 1981. He’s had the opportunity to work with some of the top chefs in Seattle and Vermont. A native of Olympia, he grew up eating and cooking with great local seafood, farm fresh produce and the immense resources of the Pacific Northwest. Treacy’s currently working on building a strong, sustainable “Farm to Fork” food network in the South Puget Sound, sits on the board of Friends of the Farmers Market, Greater Olympia Slow Food, and is a member of Sustainable South Sound and South of the Sound Community Farmland Trust. He is also the owner of Vern’s Foods & Farm.
Paula’s love of cooking was greatly influenced by her mom, who was a great gourmet cook. She grew up near San Francisco and had an abundance of fresh produce including artichokes, avocados and Meyer lemons. Her family had walnut, almond, apricot and fig trees growing in the back yard as well as raspberries and boysenberries to use in their meals. Paula loves cooking for family and friends. She has also traveled extensively and has experienced the cuisines of France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, Italy, Mexico, El Salvador, Spain and Morocco. She received a college degree and teaching credentials in Home Economics and has taught a variety of subjects including foods and nutrition first for Oregon State University Extension and then Washington State University Extension. As an event coordinator on the board of Slow Food Olympia, she teaches classes on using local, in-season foods and preserving traditional cooking methods. Paula also had the unique experience of demonstrating how to make a French Apple Almond Tart on KCTS Channel 9 TV!
Brigitte is a native of Switzerland and growing up in Europe she was exposed to many different types of food. She has always enjoyed experimenting with different recipes. Now calling Olympia home, Brigitte still cooks traditional European meals and she loves to share her food with friends and family. Many of her meals are traditional fare from the Swiss alpine farmland and consist mostly of all natural and organic ingredients. She is looking forward to participating in many more classes with the Bayview School of Cooking!
Mitra’s love for cooking started when she was a young girl growing up in Iran, in a household where entertaining guests was a frequent affair, food was abundant and delicious. She learned traditional foods of Iran by first observing her mother and aunts and then cooking alongside them. Her formal education is in architecture, but cooking has always remained a passion and a hobby. As she’s traveled to other parts of the world, she’s learned to cherish the authentic cuisines of different countries and loves to share that with others. Mitra teaches at many of the cooking schools in the Puget Sound area and is new to BSC.
Kathi was born in Astoria, Oregon but her family moved to Olympia when she was two months old. Her grandmother fueled her passion for food and cooking and gave her her first cookbook when she was seven years old. She made brownies but mixed up baking soda with baking powder and ended up with brownie pancakes! Like her grandma, she loves collecting cookbooks and reads them like others would read a novel. Most of Kathi’s travels have been in the United States. She enjoys regional cooking and makes a point of trying foods that are popular in various parts of the country. She’s worked at BSC for six years and learns something every time she assists with a class.
As long as Irene can remember, cooking and hosting parties has been a way of life. Her best training came from my mother who taught her how to cook, serve, clean and entertain, with presentation and quality of food of the utmost importance. She was born in Seattle but has lived most of her life in Olympia. Growing up on Puget Sound where her family raised clams, went fishing and crabbing has given her a particular love for local seafood dishes. She’s taught many cooking and nutrition classes and has also been a private chef and event planner. Irene loves to create an atmosphere of fun and is known for throwing a great party with delicious food! She thinks that BSC is a wonderful place to learn new cooking tips and skills from all the amazing chefs!
Beth has lived in Washington most of her life and in Olympia for 7 years. For her, it was always a privilege to be in the kitchen with her mom and grandma and if you were helping the in kitchen you always got to "sample"! Although not a world traveler, she’s always eaten a wide variety of ethnic foods. She’s worked at BSC for 6 years and loves working with the chefs and learning new techniques and tips to make cooking even more enjoyable. Beth loves to invite friends over for dinner for a special meal. Her favorite thing to do is bake and she absolutely loves cookies, pies, cakes and breads!
Cristina was born and raised in Olympia and has been inspired to cook by her mother, who always blesses her family with home-cooked meals. She has a career in education and has taught primary grades, middle school, and elementary music and is now a half-time school librarian. Because of her background in education, Cristina enjoys assisting with the BSC Kids Classes and Kids Camps during the summer—encouraging kids to prepare healthful dishes for themselves and their families. She loves to entertain friends and family at home, tries to prepare one new recipe a week with a focus on vegetarian entrees and has been inspired to follow a “Mediterranean Diet” by trips to Italy and Greece!
Lee Ann Ufford
Lee Ann returned to the Pacific Northwest 10 years ago after 25 years of moving around as an Air Force spouse. She has a BA in Political Science and a never- ending interest in people and cultures, which includes food. Most of her travel plans are based on where to eat! She loves the Olympia Farmers' Market and the great bounty of fresh food in this region. Her favorite culinary pleasures are baking, especially sumptuous desserts, and planning dinner parties, although what she’s probably best at is taking a number of stray containers of leftovers and turning them into dinner!
Karan Wade James
Graphic Designer/Recipe Coordinator
Karan is originally from Southern California but has lived in Olympia since 1985. She says that she’s not a good cook but she learns every day from the folks at BSC. She’s worked at BSC since 2006 and loves it because she gets to be creative and work with creative people.
Program Coordinator of BSC Kids Culinary Arts Program/Instructor/Assistant
Caroline has lived in Olympia most of her life and now attends The Evergreen State College. She loves to cook and is an avid baker of pastries, cookies, pies and decorated theme cakes. Because she likes to work with kids, Caroline primarily assists with BSC Kids Classes and Kids Camps during the summer. In her spare time she enjoys painting and drawing, hiking, camping and playing the fiddle!