Winter 2019 - Spring 2019 Cooking Instructors

Sieglinde D’Elia was born in Landshut, Germany, and emigrated 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.

Terri Geiser is a culinary enthusiast, caterer and cooking instructor who appears regularly on WBIR. She loves entertaining and has a special interest in food and wine pairing. While staying in South Africa she learned about different foods, herbs, spices and cooking methods. She has been teaching for the Glass Bazaar for 15 years and is currently the assistant director of the Culinary Institute Non-Credit Program at the University of Tennessee.

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 recently the Executive Chef of Restaurant Linderhof in Knoxville. 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.

Steve Puleo, now retired, started Puleo’s Grille but got his start at Regas Restaurant over 30 years ago. With his success in the restaurant industry he has so much to contribute to the culinary world. Steve is dedicated to fine Italian cuisine (with a hint of East Tennessee and Southern cooking). 
His son, David Puleo, is following in his dad’s footsteps. David assisted in opening and is currently employed at Chesapeake’s Parkside Drive. David served as manager and trainer for Puleo’s Grille and also worked at Copper Cellar. 

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. 
Instructors Continued

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.