A successful caterer and event planner, Pam brings her passion for food and keen eye for detail to her leadership at New School of Cooking. Pam is an accomplished business professional and a New School graduate.
Procurement and Operations Coordinator
Senior Culinary Instructor
Jennifer Toomey has had a well-rounded career both in professional kitchens and in the culinary classroom. She received her professional culinary training at Arizona Culinary School and went on to work in restaurants in Phoenix, San Francisco, Newport Beach and Los Angeles. Most recently, she served as Executive Chef for Superba Food + Bread in Venice. In between chef positions, she has taught culinary courses at Le Cordon Blue and The Art Institute of California. Teaching is something she has always loved and she looks forward to sharing her years of experience and knowledge with new students.
Carol Cotner Thompson
Advanced Culinary Arts Instructor
A true industry veteran, Carol Cotner Thompson has over 33 years professional cooking experience and over 24 years experience in culinary education. A graduate of both the professional cooking and pastry programs at the California Culinary Academy, Thompson has since taken on a wide array of professional endeavors, including restaurant consulting, television and print food styling and on-camera chef work, recipe and curriculum development and stints as a personal chef. Thompson organizes a yearly culinary retreat to Southern France with the program Raison D’Art to explore the countryside and inspire students to engage in France’s unique culinary environment.
AOS, Advanced Pastry Instructor
As the Head Baker for Susie’s Cakes Briana oversaw production and training for one of the busiest production bakeries in Southern California. This masterful pastry expert brings candy, confection, artisan breads and the entire portfolio of the seasoned pastry chef to New School. She is a 2006 graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon.
AOS, BA, Chef Instructor – Recreational and Professional Programs
May has been a member of the New School faculty since 2001. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in 1998, chef had a varied career in fine food before becoming a teacher, including private chef, pastry chef, food writer and food buyer. May holds an Associates of Occupational Studies Degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of American and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Chicago.
AOS, Chef Instructor – Recreational and Professional Programs
Laura has been cooking professionally since before attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco in 1986. Laura joined the New School staff in 2006, and brings to our students a wealth of experience – over 30 years - and a wide and varied skill set in the savory and pastry kitchen as well as experience in specialty diets and health related food service. Laura completed the 16 months Culinary Arts Program at the California Culinary Academy in addition to coursework in philosophy at Georgetown University.
BA, Instructor – Recreational and Professional Programs
Chef Hilton is a 2003 graduate of New School of Cooking and holds credentials in Nutrition as an Educator and Consultant from Bauman College in Berkeley, California as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from Drew University. Chef has worked extensively as a personal chef and teacher and has been a member of the New School since 2010 teaching in both the ProSeries and recreational classes.
Chef Hakola is a graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts and has been a butcher at Bristol Farms since graduation in 1999. An avid beer maker and gardener, Chef Hakola brings his expertise in butchery to New School of Cooking several times each year when he teaches the butchering classes.