Chef Dan Witherspoon – Owner, Director and Executive Chef of The Seasoned Chef Cooking School and The Gourmet Spoon.
Chef Dan is the main instructor here at the school, and his passion is to be working with great food, surrounded by great people who are enjoying the experience along with him! Dan has been working with food for over 3 decades and teaching for over 15 years. Originally from Southern California, Chef Dan is classically trained, having worked his way up from an apprenticeship under celebrated Belgian Chef, Henri Bergmans, to Executive Chef positions in California and Colorado. He brings his down-to-earth, motivational and approachable style, as well as a distinct sense of fun, to the kitchen, where he feels completely at home sharing his wealth of knowledge. Chef Dan’s favorite thing to eat is: Anything anybody else is making.
Katherine D’Souza – Office Manager. Kath takes care of day-to-day business and administration here at the school, and ensures things run smoothly behind the scenes, as well as with our students and teachers. The voice at the end of the phone, she was born and raised in England, and relocated to the US in 1997, living in New York City and Florida before she and her husband finally settled in Boulder. Kath previously worked at the Culinary Arts Centre at the New School in New York, and has spent many years as a freelance copywriter. A busy mother of three, Kath is a self-confessed foodie, cooking and entertaining regularly, and she and her family have traveled extensively, in a quest to eat their way around the globe! Kath’s favorite thing to cook is: Lemon Tart.
Jodie Leschuk – Kitchen Manager. Jodie is our able Operations Manager, taking care of the staffing, supporting our team of instructors and overseeing all day-to-day operations in our kitchen. She came to the school as a student back in 2009, and loved it so much, she ended up working here! A busy mom of three young children under 7, Jodie is a true multi-tasker and successful businesswoman, juggling running her own company, ‘Front Range Nannies’, with keeping things afloat here! Jodie loves the newly emerging Denver food scene and she and her husband love exposing her children to different types of foods and cuisine that are now widely available around town. Jodie’s favorite thing to cook is: Upscale finger food for parties.
Michael O’Rourke – Operations Manager. Dan’s right-hand man for all our private events, MikeO has been involved in the culinary industry for over 30 years, and is well versed in the local catering scene, and all aspects of customer service. As well as prepping and planning for all our events, doing all the heavy lifting and helping to build our portable kitchens while out on location, MikeO displays a passion for healthy eating, nutrition and wellness, and can usually be found feeding the team with his delicious home-made Paleo-inspired lunches! The saying that rings out around the school is “MikeO – don’t leave home without him!” MikeO’s favorite thing to cook is: Chicken Piccata
Laura Frigo – Marketing Assistant. Laura comes to us from the front-of-the-house, with her experience holding essentially every position on the floor there! After working in multiple institutions – from country clubs to fine-dining restaurants, she developed a love for service and assistance to the clientele. Thus, she is a great addition to not only the marketing team, where she creates and executes new strategies for customer acquisition and retention, but also as an assistant during the classes as well, by enhancing the classroom experience for each person. Laura’s favorite thing to cook is: Mexican-style Street Tacos.
Ian Bergstrom – Marketing Assistant. The newest addition to the Seasoned Chef team, Ian can be seen assisting in classes or as your local cheesemonger at Whole Foods, Cherry Creek. Behind the scenes Ian spreads the school’s mission, teaching the community how to cook and eat fresh, delicious food. A young, classically trained culinarian, he brings a litany of experiences and skills that enable his passion to share with others. Whether he be in a professional or home setting, Ian is an enthusiastic proponent of the rapidly evolving food scene that aims to improve lives via a more wholesome, conscious approach to eating. Ian’s favorite thing to cook is: Scratch Puff Pastry.
Liz Harokopis – Administrative Assistant. Liz is the daughter of one of our regular instructors, Cathy, and helps out with our admin duties here at the school. A student at Metro State University, Liz is studying Hospitality, and is looking forward to a career in the culinary industry when she graduates. Liz can be found hanging out at all the local hotspots in Denver, and also loves to travel, having enjoyed eating her way around Europe during her summer breaks. Liz’s favorite thing to cook is: Mashed Potatoes.
Donna Marrone – Lead Culinary Assistant/Part-time Instructor
Donna is truly an integral part of our school, having worked here for over years, and we’d really be lost without her. If you want to know where anything is, or how it works, just ask Donna! An avid food lover and passionate home cook, Donna’s knowledge is invaluable to us, and we are delighted to announce that she has just started to teach her own Italian cooking classes, using her family’s tried-and-tested recipes. Donna’s favorite thing to cook is: Home-made Pasta.