Lyn Deardorff, Owner & Creator :
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. 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 Di Corpo
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 issue, 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.
Pamela D. Jones
Born and raised in Cross, South Carolina – a little town near the Gullah Region in Charleston, S.C. – Pamela has always had a love for cooking since childhood. Being the oldest of four girls and having two working parents, she was responsible for preparing meals for her three younger sisters.
With encouragement from family and friends, Pamela decided to start her own catering business offering boutique catering services, weekly meal preparation and basic cooking skills, and thus Taste of Satira was born. She named her business after her great-grandmother Satira Gethers whom she watched as a little girl teaching her eight aunts how to prepare Gullah cuisine. Preparing the food that her great-grandmother taught always reminds her how much her family enjoyed preparing and sharing meals together. Pamela has adopted her great-grandmother’s mantra “Let me love you with my food.”
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.
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.
Mercedes varied culinary background crosses time and distance for twelve years from Atlanta to Hawaii. She has taught as a kitchen instructor of raw and living foods in Atlanta’s own Living Foods Institute and can be seen around town at local farmers markets showcasing her work at chef demos.
Having been certified in both raw foods preparation and as a ServSafe Food Protection Manager, Mercedes has worked with high-end private clients, managed a busy restaurant kitchen, and shared her talents with underprivileged communities. Her ultimate goal is to make food delicious, nutritious, and accessible to all. When taken taking a course with Chef Mercedes, expect meals that are sprouted, living and allergy friendly. She strives to have ingredients that are organic, fair-trade, and as local as possible. Her close relationship to Atlanta’s local farmers and food producers ensures just that.
Chef Jenn Robbins is an Atlanta native, LDEI Atlanta member, and veteran catering chef who approaches food with a restaurant-level intensity in which every dish matters. She has a knack for highlighting seasonal ingredients in simple dishes that pop with flavor. In 2017, Jenn started Good Foods Kitchen, offering (not your typical) catering and prepared food services, as well as regular farmers market pop-up appearances. She has a passion for creating food with minimal waste and maximum flavor, with a knack of utilizing overflow products from farmers around town!
In addition to having her own business, Jenn regularly helps run & operate kitchens for large food events – Taste of the Championship, Taste of the NFL, Charleston Wine & Food festival, Taste of Derby, and Taste of the Master Chefs. She also enjoys leading technique-driven cooking classes & demos in a number of settings, from farmers markets to hands-on culinary intensives.
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, 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).