Lyn Deardorff, Owner & Creator of Preserving Now & The Learning Kitchen
For more about Lyn, see the “About” Menu Page
Here’s our talented pool of Instructors:
Will J. Acosta
Will Acosta has had a love and passion for food since he was a young child. He watched his grandfather preserve the fruits of his and other’s North Louisiana garden. Tomatoes, figs, blackberries… the varieties were endless. His Mother was a caterer and owned a restaurant and he washed dishes, cooked and served.
As an adult, he searches out food experiences and sees food as not only the way we nourish our bodies, but also as a way to connect people.
Donna W. Castenell
A native of New Orleans, Donna moved to Atlanta in 1995. After 23 years working in Senior Management at Georgia Tech, she has retired and is finally embarking on her new adventure with Creole Josephine, a catering company that honors the food of the culture she loves best.
Donna’s love of cooking began early in her life. coming from her mother, but her Aunt Gerry who in close family circles is still known for her amazing baking. Donna is an accomplished cook and baker, volunteering her services for years at Georgia Tech and for the past eight years as head Chef for Ladies Rock Camp-Atl and Girls Rock Camp-Atl where she served over 100 folks for breakfast, lunch and snacks.
Creole Josephine, her catering company, is steeped in family food history. Donna chose this name to honor the long lineage of women in her family who were given this name. She calls them forward with the foods inspired by their lives and experiences as Louisiana Creoles. Donna serves up classic Creole and New Orleans dishes with a contemporary twist.
Lotus Shante’ Chaney
Lotus is a Wellness Educator who has recently started her own business doing what she loves. Realizing her passion for Environmental Education in high school, she went from alumni to Assistant Farm Manager at the urban growing space planted there. After discovering Yoga, sustainable agriculture and herbalism in college, she became a Master Gardener in Los Angeles county.
Using this knowledge and experience, Lotus became an Outdoor Classroom Specialist, focusing on designing, building and maintaining outdoor classrooms in Early Learning environments. In 2015, she was accepted into the FoodCorps program in Atlanta as a service member, fusing garden, nutrition and general wellness educational into one program which she has been doing that ever since through Garden Glow Wellness.
David’s love of food and teaching has its roots in his Italian heritage and his hometown of Chicago, where a shared meal -be it a fresh slice of bread when you stopped by for a visit or an abundant Sunday dinner with neighbors, friends and family – was the norm. Life was a celebration and food was at the core of it all.
Not a culinary professional, but rather a ‘damn good cook’ this recovering caterer has overseen meals serving 2 to 2000, and has taught extensively at The Cook’s Warehouse, as well as at Americas Mart and for Breville USA, WMF, Fagor, and privately. David’s classes are an abundant bowl of information combined with hefty dollops of nostalgia, tips and tricks, off the cuff experimentation and improvisation, and a large smidge of humor.
Megan Gilroy is a certified Holistic Health Coach and Nutrition Therapy Practitioner. Feeling isolated from friends while on a health journey to overcome an autoimmune, Megan began inviting friends over to do meal prep together, unbeknownst to them it was an autoimmune/anti-inflammatory menu she had put together.
Megan’s contributes community and diet as top components of, has reversed her autoimmune disease. In her cooking classes, she is passionate about creating a sense of community and helping others uncover the tools that allow them to live each day with optimal energy and joy.
Native Atlantan, Grace Kim (“Chef KimcheeGRITS”) is a Korean-American Girl Raised In The South. She loves to share her passion for locally-sourced and foraged foods and the wisdom of Korean cuisine and other food traditions.
Chef KimcheeGRITS has been a featured chef in the pop-up dining experience, Chow Club Atlanta, cited at best Pop-up by Creative Loafing (2017) and Eater.com (February 2018). When she is not foraging or experimenting in the kitchen, Grace consults in the arts, local agriculture, and community development.
Cara-Lee Langston is a South African-born Nutritionist, Herbalist, and Wellness Cook. An Exercise Science undergraduate, she also holds a Certificate in Medical Herbalism from the Botanologos School of Herbal Studies and a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Integrative Health from the Maryland University of Integrative Health.
Cara strives to build relationships with local farmers and engage community interest in integrative health and wellness. As Teaching Kitchen Coordinator for the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, Cara-Lee works to develop nutrition and culinary education programs for adults and kids in need.
Miss Ladybug of Ladybug Events is a whimsical educator who excels at blending learning, entertainment, and wonder.
She provides enrichment programs to schools around metro atlanta and is also a children’s entertainer for birthday parties and community events. Miss Ladybug is teaching and entertaining at The Learning Kitchen’s Camps for Kids
Find out more about her and Ladybug Events at LadybugeventsLLC.com
Seung Hee Lee
Author of Everyday Korean Fresh, Modern Recipes for Home Cooks, Chef Seung has a unique background. She was born and raised in South Korea, studied traditional Korean royal court cuisine at the renowned Taste of Korea Research Institute, and has her PhD in Human Nutrition from the Johns Hopkins University.
She believes in the perfect marriage between tradition and science, creating delicious and healthful dishes. Check out her creations and pairings on Instagram @Koreanfusion.
Soap Maker Terran Lewis produces and sells her natural handmade soaps through her company, Herb ‘n Eden. Promoting healthy skin and holistic health through essential everyday products, Terran only uses essential oils and other plant-based ingredients.
Terran’s soap making experience serves her well when teaching safety first along with the important & complex steps in making cold-processed soaps. Besides teaching, you can find her and her soaps at the Ponce City Market and other festivals and events thouughout the City.
Brittany Love is a trained culinary chef, farmer and winner of several speaking competitions. Brittany holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Hospitality from Georgia State University. She also holds a Certificate of Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu, and a Certificate of Urban Agriculture from HABESHA, Inc.
Brittany is a vegan chef, baker, cake artist, cooking show host, author, and mompreneur curating a healthy yet delicious diet. In addition to vegan food and desserts, her company Free Birds Vegan Bakery provides cooking classes and tutorials, recipes, speaking engagements, and other helpful tips about veganism.
Brittany is the head chef for the second season of AIB TV’s “Kids Can Cook” show in Atlanta. and she was crowned as the “People’s Choice” award winner at the Atlanta Vegan Mac Down competition for her incredible vegan mac and cheese dish. She is a published author releasing her first book, #WhatVegansEat! and will be traveling to Africa to complete her second cook book soon.
Christine A. Seelye-King
Chef Christine Seelye-King is a professional Chef Instructor and Cookbook Author, teaching culinary skills to students of all ages from small children through senior citizens. She is the co-author of Easy Gluten-Free Entertaining, and author of the ebook Mrs. Claus Cooks for Holiday Entertaining. She has worked with the Hope Scholarship Program through Chattahoochee Technical College, teaching the first year of culinary basics and management to advanced placement high school students, and as a Chef Instructor to the public at the Viking Cooking School and Cook’s Warehouse. She is a certified ServSafe instructor and proctor for the National (and Georgia) Restaurant Associations.
Christine served a 3-year chef’s apprenticeship through the American Culinary Federation, becoming the first woman to graduate from the program in the SE in 1984. Since then her job titles have included Restaurant and Bar Manager, Personal Chef, Health and Education Coordinator for Sevananda Natural Foods, Mad Scientist, and Mrs. Claus. She currently teaches with the LEAD Homeschool Organization as a Chef Instructor and teacher of Living History and Domestic Sciences.
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Brandi Shelton (AKA “The tea lady”) grew up with a grandmother that had a concoction for every aliment.
While studying Fashion Design abroad, blending tea leaves with a little bit of fruit or herbs became her concoction in a cup while on the other side of the pond.
Back in the States, Brandi decided she would make what she wanted and share it with the world. just add honey tea company was born.
Since 2006, she’s blended what feels right and tastes good. Plain and simple with a lot of love.
Born and raised in Ethiopia, Yohana came to the US in 1998 due to the civil war in her country. Currently she resides in Atlanta Georgia with her husband and daughter.
She is the chef and owner of Kushina Catering, which specializes in authentic Ethiopian cuisine prepared using locally grown and sustainable source.
Yohana Solomon’s fresh, authentic Ethiopian cuisine has earned her a loyal following around Atlanta.
As owner and Chief Whoopie Officer of No Big Whoop! Bakery, Widdi Turner has been baking whoopie pies for Atlanta and beyond for over seven years.
With a background in acting, she’s not only a cook in real life, but she also plays one on TV, appearing as various and sundry characters whose goal is to make life miserable for Alton Brown on Good Eats (Food Network/Cooking Channel).
Rebecca’s interest in baking stems from early childhood. Her grandmothers, on both sides, would sit her up on the countertop to keep her occupied and out of trouble while they were doing their own cooking and baking. Sometimes she’d get to dump the pre-measured ingredients into the bowl and be “helpful.” Since that time, Rebecca has taken those same old recipes and reconfigured them to elevate the hydrogenated oils, preservatives, and other synthetic additives to create delicious treats made with real ingredients. She is now the Studio Mama at Zac Brown’s recording studio, Southern Ground Nashville, where she cooks and bakes with local, organic ingredients for the artists who come to work there.
Chef Renee Young
An Atlanta native, Chef Renee is a dynamic personal and catering chef with more than four years of professional experience. She began her career early in life, at the age of 7 years old, watching and mimicking cooking shows she watched on Food Network. After high school, Chef Renee went on to pursue an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary arts in 2013.
Chef Renee has worked in fine dining establishments and with celebrity chefs, as well as a few celebrities and upscale clients, providing them with excellent personal chef services. Her goal is to make a rewarding impact on people around the world by sharing recipes and experiences with them.