CSCA Chef Instructors
Julie Burba, CCP
Chef Julie Burba is a graduate of Western Illinois University. After working for a decade in the public relations arena for non-profit organizations and universities in the Boston area, Julie pursued her culinary interests at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. She enrolled in the School's Professional Chef's Program and earned her diploma in the culinary arts. After graduating, Julie joined the staff of Formaggio Kitchen as its Sous Chef/Catering Manager. During this time she also worked part-time at the School teaching in the Recreational Program and assisting the staff of chef instructors in the Food Basics section of the Professional Program. She began teaching Food Basics and American Cuisine in January 2004. In addition to instructing in the professional and certificate programs, Julie continues to teach in the Recreational Program at the School and directs its communication and marketing efforts. She also worked as a line cook at Tomasso Trattoria and Enoteca in Southborough, MA. She earned the Certified Culinary Professional certificate from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) in March 2003.
Chef Adrian Cyr has been in the restaurant business for over twenty years. At the age of fifteen, Adrian entered the food industry by working for a small caterer. Following a move to Cape Cod, he took a position as dishwasher for the Red Inn. For the next eleven years, he worked his way up to bus boy, waiter, bartender, maitre d', and manager, all the while gaining valuable experience with front-of-the-house operations. In 1983 he began formal culinary training at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. He graduated from the program with honors.
Returning to the Red Inn as a chef, Adrian became involved in developing a new menu concept for the restaurant and reforming kitchen procedures. He helped develop an awareness program on an under-utilized species of fish that resulted in an annual "trash fish" banquet. The banquet encourages chefs to develop trash fish recipes and provide restaurant owners and the general public an opportunity to learn about trash fish consumption and use.
In 1985 Adrian opened Adrian's, located in North Truro, MA. Adrian's has been reviewed in Boston Magazine, The Boston Globe, and other local publications.
Sharon brings her nearly 30 years of industry experience to the Certificate and Professional Pastry programs. Since the 1980s, she has submerged herself in the discipline of learning from the best and teaching those who desire to become the best. Sharon built her foundation in classic French technique under the tutelage of Master Pastry Chef Delphin Gomes at his award-winning pastry shop in Marblehead, MA. She then accepted an invitation to work as Assistant Pastry Chef under Master Pastry Chef Israth Maki at The Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, where she learned the art of the English Lambeth style wedding cake. As Pastry Chef de Cuisine at the acclaimed Stein Erikson Lodge in Deer Valley, Utah, Sharon mastered the plated dessert and was awarded the title of ‘Best Brunch’ by Edible Wasatch.
Upon returning to the New England area, Sharon worked at several fine dining and local bakeries before opening her own bakery in Wolfeboro, NH. Specializing in morning pastries, BabyCakes delivered to boutique coffeehouses and contemporary cafes, including the award-winning Breaking New Grounds in Portsmouth and Durham. After selling her successful bakery in 2007, Sharon returned to her Boston roots and began teaching both professional and recreational courses at The CSCA.
Deb Drinker, CCP
Chef Deb Drinker graduated from CSCA in 1996. After graduation, she worked under Chef Alphonso Contrisciani CMC. In addition, she worked under Jonathan Marohn, chef owner of Sienna in South Deerfield, MA. Deb has also attended the Peter Kump Cooking School and Ecole Le Nôtre in Paris. Currently, Deb teaches the Baking component in the Professional Chef's Program and the Culinary Certificate Program at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. She is also an apprentice to Master Pastry Chef Delphin Gomes in the School's Professional Pastry Program. In addition to teaching, Chef Deb owns and operates a specialty dessert and wedding cake business.
Eliana Hussain, CCP
Eliana Hussain graduated from the Professional Chef’s Program at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in 2004; she also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Louisiana State University. In the summer of 2004, Eliana earned her Certified Culinary Professional certificate from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). In the year following graduation from The CSCA, Eliana divided her time between assisting in the Food Basics and Baking curricula in the Professional Chef’s Program and traveling through the United States, Canada, Europe, and Pakistan. In early 2005, she started her own business as a personal chef and began writing a food column for a Canadian quarterly magazine. Eliana currently teaches Food Basics, American, Asian, Provincial French, and the savory component of Pastry in the professional programs.
Chef Gerard Lopez was born in Capestang, France, and graduated from Le College Lagratage in 1982. Prior to joining CSCA, he gained culinary experience by cooking at restaurants and patisseries and attending pastry school along the Mediterranean and in Beziers. Gerard is a graduate of CSCA and is currently the executive chef of the Elephant Walk in Cambridge.
Steve Nill loves celebrating family and friends with good food. He has transformed his Harvard MBA and 30-year financial career with some of Boston’s best-known technology companies into an incredibly satisfying next career in professional cooking.
Steve graduated at the top of his class in The CSCA's Professional Chef’s Program in 2007. While in school, his love of Italian food led him to augment his studies in Umbria, Italy, and in several restaurant kitchens in Boston. Currently, Steve divides his time between cooking at Rialto Restaurant in Cambridge under Jody Adams, one of the nation’s leading chefs, and teaching. He regularly teaches the Techniques of Cooking series and Italian and French regional cooking series in CSCA’s Recreational Program. He also recently became a chef instructor in the Professional Chef’s and Culinary Certificate Programs, teaching foundations classes, Italian, and American cuisines. Steve’s enthusiasm for good food and cooking is contagious and his joy in sharing useful tips and techniques afford all the opportunity to gain confidence in the kitchen.
Marie Perfetti graduated from the Professional Chef’s Program in January 2005 with high honors. She was also the recipient of the Blossom Award for growth and progress. Marie's culinary experience ranges from running a small catering business, positions in area bakeries and caterers, instructional cooking demos for Williams & Sonoma, to product testing for the Cooking Club of America. She specializes in desserts and cakes for all occasions. Marie currently teaches in the baking component of the Professional Chef’s Program and the Culinary Certificate Program, as well as baking classes in The CSCA's Recreation Program
Not always a pastry chef, Lisa Raffael’s life pre-sugar, piping bags, and cake pans was filled with marketing positions for industrial companies. Lacking passion, she explored various options through career counseling and discovered that her true passion was cooking. Raffael enrolled in the Professional Chef’s Program at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in 1991, earning a Culinary Arts diploma in 1992. Upon graduation, she worked for Steve DiFillippo, also a graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, at Davio’s Restaurant as an assistant pastry chef. During this time she launched Delicious Desserts in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Due to the commute from the Cape to Boston, she left Davio’s, balancing three part-time jobs to make ends meet, including opening the bakery department of the Windfall Market. Delicious Desserts soon became popular with wedding cake reservations happening a year in advance of the big day.
Lisa continued studying pastry arts at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and trained under the guidance of Norman Love, Worldwide Corporate Pastry Chef of the Ritz Carlton Hotels. Most recently, Lisa studied at The International School of Confectionary Arts in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with Colette Peters, internationally acclaimed cake designer and best selling author.
In November 2005 Lisa appeared on the Food Network’s "Ultimate Wedding Cake Challenge," where she competed “piping bag to piping bag” with five other wedding cake designers; she received third place. The show aired in June 2006. She also appeared on the Food Network’s "Celebration Cakes" this past February, which was aired the last week of July 2006; she received second place. Raffael's Delicious Desserts was voted "A-List Best Wedding Cake" by CBS Channel 4 in July 2006.
Her other accolades include a wedding cake featured in Bride’s Magazine September/October 2003 issue, which led to publication in the book The Perfect Wedding Details by Maria McBride. In May 2005, Raffael was invited by Bride’s Magazine to participate in the Cake Walk at Grand Central, an event that highlighted the top 50 wedding cake designers in the country.
Raffael teaches the baking component in the Professional Chef's Program.
Chef Louise Ritenhouse graduated from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in 1987. After her graduation she accepted a position with Foodworks Gourmet and Caterer in Maine, creating its line of breads, pastries, and cakes. Louise later moved to New Jersey to work as a Sous and Pastry Chef for the Village Green.
Upon returning to Massachusetts, Louise continued her baking experience at La Patisserie, a wholesale pastry company in Winchester, MA, as well as DeGustibus Catering, where she concentrated in specialty baked goods. Currently, Louise teaches professional baking at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and operates a wedding cake and dessert business from her home.
Jan Schiff, CCP
Chef Jan Schiff graduated from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in 1989 with high honors. She earned ten of the school's eleven academic and lab achievement awards, an accomplishment attained only once in the School's twenty-nine year history.
Jan's relationship with food began when she was an art student in college working with food dyes and making tempura glazes from egg yolks. Combining her art and culinary backgrounds, she embarked on a teaching career that began at the Wellesley Center for Adult Education. She became involved with Mass General and Vincent Memorial hospitals producing and cooking food for several thematic, large-scale events. Her experience garnered her positions as a catering chef and head baker for the Midnight Kitchen in Wellesley, MA, and Mezzaluna Café in Boston.
Jan teaches Baking, Classical French, and Asian and Fusion cuisines in CSCA's Professional Chef's Program. She teaches her students to see food as art and encourages them to use food as an artistic medium by which to express color. Her classroom motto?..."Let them be the Reniors of the future with food! and always take it to the next level!"
Jan is a member of the New England Culinary Guild and a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She is the recipient of the award-winning Anthony Spinazzola Gingerbread Award.
Chef Deb Steinfeld is a graduate of Oberlin College and the Harvard Divinity School. After working as a manager and editor in the publishing and communications field, Deb pursued her culinary interests at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. She earned the school's Certificate of Graduate Studies in baking. After graduating, Deb developed new products and tested recipes for the Au Bon Pain restaurant chain. She also ran a small specialty cake and catering business from her home. She has since returned to the CSCA to teach Baking, French, and American cuisines. She is currently the School’s Academic Supervisor.
A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Chef Swasey began teaching classes in The CSCA's Recreational Program in the spring of 2007. He now teaches the Food Basics component of both the Professional Chef's Program and Culinary Certificate Program. In addition, he teaches American cuisine and the Food Management and Butchering seminars. His prior experience includes working as sous chef and garde manger at The Chilton Club, Boston; garde manger and tournant at the Hotel DuPont, Wilmington, Delaware; and tournant and pastry cook at The Terrace Restaurant at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. He also holds a BA from the University of Delaware and a Certificate in Wine from Boston University.
Pastry Chef Martha Timke joined the CSCA faculty as a pastry instructor for the Professional Pastry Program in 2006. She specializes in specialty cakes, complex desserts, chocolate work, breakfast pastries, and yeast breads. Martha earned her culinary training at Newbury College, in Brookline, where she received an Associates Degree in Applied Science, Culinary Arts. No stranger to teaching, she was a culinary arts and baking instructor at Bristol Community College, Randolph Public Schools, Blue Hills Regional Vocational Technical High School, Newbury College, and Crittenton Hastings House. She was the Executive Pastry Chef at The Catered Affair, a catering company based in Rockland, MA. While Martha worked at the Catered Affair, she was also a kosher caterer for Provender, a kosher catering company affiliated with The Catered Affair. In addition, she worked at The Depot Coffee Shoppe, where she produced muffins, coffee cakes, assorted breakfast pastries for morning sales and baked the desserts for lunch sales. She also worked at Zeppy's Baigel Bakery in Randolph as a pastry plater and cake decorator. Martha holds a ServSafe Certificate, CPR Certification, Massachusetts Vocational Technical Approval from the Department of Education, and she is a registered ServSafe instructor and proctor.
Stephan Viau, CCP
Chef Stephan Viau earned his culinary diploma in January 1992 from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. As a student he worked for a catering company in Boston. He entered the hotel industry after graduation by working in the kitchens of the Marriott and Sheraton Hotels in various capacities. He worked for five years for several seasonal restaurants and bakeries on Cape Cod.
Stephan owns and operates a B&B on Cape Cod, MA. He volunteers for the Cape Cod Counsel on Aging teaching cooking classes. He teaches the foundations of cooking for both the Professional Chef’s Program and the Culinary Certificate Program at the CSCA. Stephan serves as the Chairperson for the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Certification Committee, which awards the noted Certified Culinary Professional (CCP) certificate. He has been instrumental in constructing satellite testing sites for the CCP Exam at the CSCA and at other culinary institutions.
Stephan is a member of the IACP, American Culinary Federation, The American Institute of Wine & Food, James Beard Foundation, Slow Food, and Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust.
Hong Xue graduated from the Professional Chef's Program at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in 2004 with honors and received the Tom Bromby Award for creativity. Hong is known for her creativity in Asian-Fusion cuisine and her carving skills with the knife. She has done presentations with fruit and vegetable carved flower-style arrangements. Her intricate and creative arrangements were presented by The CSCA the last three years at the Anthony Spinazzola Food & Wine Gala. She is chef instructor in Recreational Program, instructor in the Asian-Fusion curriculum for the Professional Chef's Program, and garnishing instructor for students in the Professional Chef's and Professional Pastry Programs seminars at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.
Hong is also a free-lancing food stylist for CB Group Photography in Rhode Island.