Polly Talbott

Director/Owner:

Polly Talbott is a Certified Culinary Professional with a degree in Home Economics, focusing on foods and nutrition. A food stylist and consultant, her background includes restaurants, corporate and editorial test kitchens, and new product development. She has studied cooking in France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Thailand and New York. A member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance and Les Dames d’Escoffier, Polly also serves on the Board of Directors of the Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce and is an on-camera personality for Lynbrook TV.

 

 

Chefs/Instructors

George Trimes is A la Carte’s Head Chef. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and brings the skills of a true master to our classes. In his career, he served as Corporate Chef at both Credit Lyonais and the McMillen Publishing Company and also as Banquet Chef Garde Manger at the Garden City Hotel. He has been a private chef for many families on Long Island and Manhattan as well. His quiet confidence and subtle sense of humor help to make our classes most informative as well as enjoyable.

Leticia Santana’s cooking is driven by farm fresh ingredients, spices, chilies, and classic artisan desserts. Leticia came from a family of chefs that brought the native flavors of Mexico to a Southern California restaurant called Santana’s. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in health science, community education from California State University, Long Beach in 2007 and a Baking and Pastry diploma from The Art Institute of California in 2010. She has been educating children and adults about food and nutrition for years through a California Department of Public Health program funded by USDA called Champions for Change in the effort to help families prevent health problems. Santana inspires her audience to understand the beauty of food science and to expand their dishes to include seasonal fruit and vegetable favorites. Santana is a member of the International Food Technology.

From a little girl to a grown woman Katie Ann Vultaggio has always loved to cook. Katie Ann graduated from Johnson & Wales, in Providence, Rhode Island. She holds an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management. She has worked her way up in the restaurant field, starting out as a busser to becoming a line chef. Katie Ann has also managed a poolside cafe at North Hills Country Club in Manhasset as well as cooked in Walt Disney World. Her love for food and cooking really shines when she is teaching. Her energetic and happy personality helps keep A la Carte young at heart. Don’t let that young face fool you, she definitely knows her way around the kitchen!

Felix Ristuccia is a native of Garden City, New York, that graduated Adelphi University with a BBA in business management. He spent his business career as a sales executive and finally followed his passion to become a chef in 2000. He became a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in 2001, where he studied under many French chefs, including Jacque Pepin. Since his graduation, he was a chef for The Port Washington Yacht Club, The Immaculate Conception Seminary and Food Production Manager for St. Vincent’s Hospital in NYC. He is currently an Executive Chef for William Floyd school district. His culinary strengths include French cuisine, nutrition, catering and food safety.

Angie Troici is our Pastry Chef. She attended The Institute of Culinary Education where she earned her Baking Certificate. She then went to The New York Restaurant School and achieved her Pastry Arts Degree. During this time she has learned how to create all different desserts and pastries. She served as the Pastry Chef at The Town in Manhattan. Angie currently works for Sony and has been with A la Carte since she moved to Long Island. Angie’s explanations of the “how’s and why’s” of cooking is always fascinating and her warm easy-going personality makes all of her classes enjoyable as well as educational.

Office Staff

Carol Campa spent a long career at MetLife as an Event Planner and Marketing Manager. About 10 years ago, she worked with us here at A la Carte in a marketing capacity. She’s now back, managing the day-to-day office operations. She’s probably the first person you’ll speak to when inquiring about our individual classes, corporate team building events, school foreign language cooking classes, or private parties. Carol immensely enjoys people, and will do everything she can to ensure that your questions are answered and your time at A la Carte is rewarding.

Assistants

Beth DeSantis is our food purveyor and our head “KP”. She worked at A la Carte years ago when her three boys were quite small, and we are very happy to have her back! Beth’s lively personality, sense of humor and attentive nature always help to make the classes here most enjoyable. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in marketing from Rutgers University. Her past includes Godiva Chocolatier, RR Donnelly and Federated Department Stores, but her all-time favorite job is “Family Concierge” for her wonderful family.

Clare Warshavsky has been with A la Carte since we opened in 1999. She has her Master’s Degree in Food Science and spent some time as a Food Scientist before deciding to stay home to be with her kids. She’s raised two great boys and it’s always a pleasure to have her here during our classes. Her warm personality and superb organizational skills keep us happily in order and on schedule. We are proud to have her as a part of our team.

 

Call 516-599-2922 to learn more about our classes.