Instructors Cooking Class Fall 2019



Mary Aebischer is a native of Mexico City now residing in New Mexico. She is a former psychotherapist and teacher of Foreign Languages. She taught cooking classes at Jane Buttell's Southwest Cooking School and at UNM's Department of Continuing Ed.

Mary calls her cooking style Mexican -Fusion, following traditional recipes and fusing them with French, Spanish, Italian and Southwest recipes. She is developing her cooking studio "Las Tres Marias" and finishing her cooking book "Edible Mythology: Regional Mexican Cuisine"


Dawn Akers. Her cooking enthusiasm began in 1999 when she was invited to teach a class at William Sonoma. She was 20 years old, with very little experience in the kitchen. Before the times of Google and quick access to the internet, she would drive 30 minutes to the book store and sit for hours learning to make homemade pasta. Her first Kitchenaid mixer set her baking passion on fire. Since then she has catered several events. She is also a mom of a 5 and 1 year old. She has a background of working in a Cath Lab as an Invasive Cardiovascular Tech. Please join Dawn as she cooks simple, kid friendly, easy and delicious meals to impress a group of friends or just yourself. Join us for a fun cooking experience!!


Sieglinde D’Elia was born in Landshut, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in the 50s. Here, she met her husband François, a Frenchman of Italian family, at an English evening class. She moved to Italy in the 70s and lived there for 17 years, and eventually moved back to the U.S. in the late 80s.

Her cuisine is versatile and completely intuitive, and abounds in Italian recipes for her savory dishes, and German ones for her desserts. She has a home-based baking business, and her cakes range from classic tarts to creamy flans, and she has many gluten free options.


Eric Haralson has long been an aficionado of BBQ. He studied under the renowned Billy Bob Billy, a Memphis in May champion, and has won numerous awards for his unique sauces and ribs.  He and his band of brothers, the “Friars for Hire” from his church, cater a variety of events, donating all proceeds to charity.                              


Mike Loosli, gained his passion for cooking with his mom who ran a bakery out of their home; leading him on to develop a very diverse culinary background. While in Texas, he learned from a very inspiring chef at a local Italian restaurant and other chefs at various pubs in Dallas. These experiences enhanced his leadership skills for becoming a manager at Knoxville’s Irish Times and later Puleo’s and the Executive Chef of Restaurant Linderhof in Knoxville. Currently Mike is the sous chef at Finn’s Restaurant and Tavern. Mike utilizes components from his broad ranging background to create unique and exciting flavors.




David Pinckney, a culinary celebrity in Knoxville, apprenticed under Chef Bill Allen at The Orangery. In 1987 David accepted the Executive Chef position at the Orangery and has been doing cooking classes at Glass Bazaar for thirteen years. David was a Chef for the Tennessee Bicentennial Dinner at the James Beard House in New York. He is currently the Executive Chef of Cherokee Country Club. They are very excited to have David join their great team.


Amy Ridgell has spent her life cooking with family and friends in East Tennessee. She has a master’s degree in education from UTK and started her private chef business “The Savory Whisk” four years ago. She offers a wide variety of culinary learning experiences, including both private and group classes for children to adults of all ages. She enjoys using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients in creative recipes, as well as, inspiring others to expand their knowledge of cooking in exciting and interactive classes.

David Rule, chef/owner of the Walnut Kitchen is a native of Maryville, TN. He started working in a small family owned restaurant in his hometown at the age of 15. The restaurant scene quickly made a tremendous impact on David’s future. With over 18 years of experience in the hospitality industry he has honed his skills alongside some of the top hospitality leaders in the region. These include stints with Aubrey's Restaurant Group, Dancing Bear Lodge, Walnut Kitchen, and Blackberry Farm. Most recently David is working to open a new restaurant concept Church & Charles. Expected to open in late 2019, Church & Charles will bring elegant seasonal dining to the main level of a historic high rise building in the business district of Downtown Knoxville.


Jeff Ross, Blackberry Farm’s Field School Manager since 2006, currently teaches cooking classes for Blackberry Farm. He is a Knoxville native who has a profound passion for food and he has found at Blackberry Farm, a place to showcase his talents in cooking and the food-ways of Appalachia.