The chefs and cooking teachers of Tante Marie’s are among the best that the Bay Area has to offer. Each one has a special field of expertise; works hard on continuing to learn; and loves to share his or her knowledge. Each Tante Marie teacher is responsible for providing their own recipes and the best quality ingredients for their classes. The teachers at Tante Marie’s are requested to supply local and seasonal ingredients that are grown organically or humanely. They teach about our impact on the environment by example.

Chef Sasha Crehan

Sasha Crehan

SASHA CREHAN is the Chef/Instructor for Tante Marie's Six-Month Part-Time Pastry Course.  After graduating from the course herself in 1995, Sasha has been a pastry chef in various restaurants in the Bay Area; opened Sweet Adeline Bakeshop in Berkeley; and has given private pastry classes on a freelance basis; as well as baked wedding and specialty cakes to order.  She is a caring and very capable pastry teacher.

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Laurie Gauguin

Tante Marie graduate LAURIE GAUGUIN is a personal chef and kitchen coach specializing in gluten-free and special diets.  Her passion is creating gluten-free meals that are so delicious and creative, that
her clients no longer crave foods that contain wheat.  Laurie has cooked and baked professionally for 16 years for caterers, restaurants, and doctors in Boston and the Bay Area.  Her recipes and food writing have appeared in publications such as VEGETARIAN TIMES, DELICIOUS LIVING, and 7X7 Magazine.  We welcome her back to Tante Marie's.


Malcolm Jessop

MALCOLM JESSOP comes to San Francisco with over 30 years of experience in fine dining restaurants and hotels. A graduate of Westminster Culinary School, he completed a 4-year apprenticeship at London's Grosvenor House. It was in his two-year stay in France that he truly learned to appreciate cooking with the freshest seasonal ingredients from local farmers markets. He has moved here from Chicago with experience in food development, teaching cooking, and catering private events. He is a great addition to Tante Marie's.  Take a look at the new video of Malcolm with his weekend students!


Jen Knapp

JEN KNAPP worked at various Bay Area restaurants and in Ketchum's Food and Nutrition Marketing Group after graduating from the Six-Month Full-Time Culinary Course at Tante Marie's Cooking School. For the past several years, she has been a personal chef, caterer and party class teacher. Her classes are very informative, and she enjoys sharing her love of cooking with others.


Julia Lee

JULIA LEE has been working in the food business for over 25 years participating a myriad of culinary jobs. She was the test kitchen director at Saveur Magazine, food stylist for a number of cookbooks, contributor to Canal House Cooking and Sunset Magazine and the long-time culinary director to Martin Yan.   She earned a BS degree in Human Nutrition at San Francisco State University.  We welcome her back to Tante Marie's.


Rachel Leising

RACHEL LEISING has been making pastries professionally for 27 years. She baked bread and pastries at Fran Gage’s Patisserie Francaise for seven years; made chocolate confections, finished wedding and custom cakes at Citizen Cake for over eight years, and was the pastry chef instructor at Tante Marie’s Cooking School for two years before entering the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena where she was recognized for outstanding performance during the baking and pastry arts certificate program and awarded the CIA Award for Baking Achievement. She has also been running her own wedding cake business formally called Petite Patisserie where she has provided custom made cakes and pastries to individual clients and catering companies. Opening a retail pastry shop in April 2006, had been a long time dream of hers. Recently selling her business and joining the opening Team at The California Academy of Science was to pursue her passion of making fine artisan pastries using local, sustainable, and organic ingredients. After two years as the Executive Pastry Chef, working for Loretta Keller and Charles Phan, she took maternity leave to have her daughter.



Kate McMillan

KATE McMILLAN graduated from the Six-Month Full-Time Culinary Course at Tante Marie's in 2002.  She is the chef and owner of KATE McMILLAN CATERING, where she handles everything from intimate dinner parties for eight to hors d'oeuvre soirees for four hundred.  Kate is currently authoring a book for Williams-Sonoma which will be released this year.  Her passion is to teach you a love of cooking and enjoying food.  Her website is


Mary Risley

MARY RISLEY started Tante Marie's Cooking School as a full-time School over 30 years ago. In 1997, she was honored "The Cooking Teacher of the Year" by BON APPETIT magazine. In 1998, she was awarded "Humanitarian of the Year" by the James Beard Foundation, for her efforts to help alleviate hunger in San Francisco, through the volunteer organization she directs called Food Runners. In 2008 she received the Jefferson Award in San Francisco for Food Runners. She is the author of THE TANTE MARIE'S COOKING SCHOOL COOKBOOK published by Simon & Schuster in 2003.