GRCC Cooks Presenters

GRCC chefs at work

Wilfredo Barajas

Wilfredo Barajas

Chef Will has worked all over the country in some of the top hotels in the industry, including Peninsula Hotel in Chicago and Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

He is currently a chef instructor at GRCC’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education where he teaches baking and pastry courses. When he is not in class he is in the kitchen working on chocolate candies, confections, and showpieces!

Register for Chef Will's workshop.
 

Josef Huber

Chef Josef Huber

Chef Josef Huber recognized his passion for cooking early in his career. His journey to culinary excellence began at age 16 in the 5 star, 5 diamond Elisabeth Park Hotel in Salzburg, Austria. This initial foray into the culinary realm caused a world tour of training and employment opportunities. Chef Huber's resume includes training in the Imperial and Bristol Hotel in Vienna, Austria; The Regency in Bangkok, Thailand; the Breakers in Palm Bach, Florida; and the Mandarin Oriental in Hawaii and California. Notable chefs he has trained with include: Bocuse, Verge, Palmer and Le Notre.

For the past fifteen years Chef Huber has displayed his considerable talent and management expertise as the Executive Chef at the world-renowned Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. During this time, Chef Huber has orchestrated a culinary brigade which was awarded the first ever and only AAA, 5-diamond restaurant in the state of Michigan.

Josef Huber is known for combining multi-ethnic cuisine with traditional cooking to bring forth a tour de-force for the palate. His recipes have been featured in Gourmet Magazine, The Palm Beach Post, Food Arts Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner, and Rogue and Noir. He has appeared on several cooking shows including the development of his own cooking video series, "Culinary Extraordinaire," in 2004.

Register for Josef's workshops.

 

Raymond Kusmack

Ray Kusmack

Chef Raymond Kusmack is the catering chef for Aramark Higher Education at Grand Valley State University. Chef Ray received his American Culinary Federation Executive Chef, Certified Chef D’Cuisine and Pro Chef II certifications from the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio. He is also a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York. 

Chef Ray has held several high profile positions as an executive chef at Tapawingo, an acclaimed Michigan restaurant, cooking for star chef Mario Batali on several occasions; and corporate chef for Dow Chemical. Chef Ray has also been an executive chef at Kellogg World Headquarters ARAMARK Business Services where he has taken gold medals for the district and regional ARAMARK Culinary Education (ACE) competition, and the bronze medal for the national ACE competition judged by chefs Charlie Trotter and David Burke. Chef Ray has also apprenticed at acclaimed restaurants while working with some of America’s best chefs: The French Laundry (Thomas Keller), Trio (Grant Achatz), Handkes Cuisine (certified master Chef Hartmut Handke). 

Register for Ray's workshops.

 

Kathleen Schiefler

Chef Kathleen Schiefler

Chef Kathleen is a hometown girl and graduate of the GRCC Culinary program. She has traveled the world studying foods, traditions and international customs, and also attended stints at Ecole de Cuisine LaVarene in Burgundy, The French Pastry School in Chicago, and the CIA in Napa Valley.

She brings her highly respected talents as a chef, 18-year veteran of the catering industry, wine judge, adjunct professor, former owner of a specialty food and wine shop, writer and teacher to all of her classes, giving a perspective that is dashed with tales of history, splashed with inspiration, and baked with practical real-life experience.

Register for Kathleen's workshops.

 

Susan VandenBerg

Susan VandenBerg

Chef Susan VandenBerg was born in West Michigan, Susan returned to Grand Rapids in 2015 after a 20-year hiatus during which she made the decision to leave her career as an emergency medicine physician and pursue her passion for fine pastry.

In 2006 she attended the baking and pastry program at Apicius Culinary Institute in Florence, followed by completion of Le Diplôme de Pâtisserie at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She experienced two stints as a stagiaire in a small Parisian pastry shop and has returned to Paris on a number of occasions for professional classes at Le Cordon Bleu, Le Nôtre, École Alain Ducasse and Les Cours de Christophe Felder.

Susan has held the position of pastry chef at J. M. Gerrish’s café in Winter Harbor, Maine as well as Gracie’s fine dining restaurant in Providence, RI. In 2010 she launched her small artisanal pastry business, The French Tarte, in Pawtucket, RI, teaching French pastry classes, accepting special orders and selling retail pastries during the busy Winter Farmers Market. Susan continues to operate The French Tarte in West Michigan, in addition to teaching baking and pastry classes at Sur La Table in Grand Rapids.

Susan is focused on sharing the importance of hands-on pastry preparation, emphasizing the classic bases of pastry and how one can build on those to create a myriad of baked goods both savory and sweet. Her particular interests lie in laminated dough and all its charms, as well as tartes, sablés, and rioche. In the fall of 2014 Susan launched her blog “Baking with The French Tarte” as a way to share her common sense approach to recipe evaluation and interpretation as well as her observations, tips and techniques. And it’s fun!

Register for Susan VanderBerg's workshop.