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 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 and Assistants:
Katie Ann Vultaggio
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!
is a 2009 graduate of the Natural Kitchen Cooking School in New York City, where she specialized in vegan cooking. Inspired by her Italian heritage, Maryann has always had a great passion for cooking. Her father pedaled produce and her mother was well-respected in the neighborhood for turning the bounty into creative cookery for a large family. Maryann has since then travelled throughout Europe and Asia and lived in her husband’s ancestral home in India together with their three daughters. It is there that she learned the secrets of authentic regional Indian cuisine and experimented with synthesizing elements of Mediterranean and south Asian dishes. Maryann has been a professor of Sociology and Anthropology for over thirty years, and has recently begun a second career as a chef, satisfying a life-long desire for a professional role in the kitchen.
Chris Casalo has been with A la Carte since February of 2004. When you come in to fine-tune your culinary skills, Chris is one of the people keeping your work area clean and safe. Chris is “organizer extraordinaire”; her attention to detail keeps A la Carte in tip top shape! She loves meeting new customers, learning new recipes and tasting new food. When she is not busy in our kitchen, she is busy taking care of her husband, 4 kids, and 2 dogs.
began her career as a middle school and high school math teacher. Upon moving to New York, she took the opportunity to pursue another passion: cooking. She attended the Institute for Culinary Education in NYC with the intention of teaching people to cook. The change has been a rewarding experience. Treva is also an independent food stylist and recipe tester with clients that include The Food Network and NBC Today Show.
is A la Carte’s resident grandmother. Nancy stopped into A la Carte one day and we can’t let her go. An accomplished home cook herself, she loves to add her “thoughts” to most everything we do! When Nancy is not helping out, she volunteers at Sunrise Assisted Living – she also swims regularly! Nancy is a mother of 4, a grandmother of 8, and a great grandmother of 13. She is always cooking, baking, and bringing in treats for the staff. Nancy’s smile is contagious.
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.
has been at A la Carte since November 2010. Lisa lives in Lynbrook with her husband and is the mother of two teenage boys. She is very active in the school PTA and is also a nanny for some of the neighborhood children.
Lisa is a graduate of Wilkes University and was formerly a Human Resources Manager at Forest Dale Inc. Her warm pleasant personality and attention to detail always enhances our classes.
You will see Lisa helping around the kitchen, keeping everything in order, and you may even talk to her when you sign up, as she also works in our office.
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.
is a classically trained chef—and a former pro hockey goalie. While kicking out pucks, he dreamed of being a chef. Fourteen years ago he began studying culinary arts at the New York Restaurant School. Upon earning his culinary arts/pastry arts certificate, he worked with famous N.Y. chef Waldy Malouf at his Beacon restaurant. He attended extra-curricular classes given by Jacques Pepin, Pierre Franey, Andre Soltner and James Peterson. For the past 6 ½ years, Steve has been the executive chef/culinary arts instructor in a corporate setting at FEGS (Federation Employment and Guidance Service) in their Manhattan and Bronx locations. He is a member in good standing of the American Culinary Federation. Eager to share everything he has learned, Steve started teaching at A la Carte in early 2008. His exceptional talent, combined with his charm and good humor makes his classes exceptional.
graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York. He has been a private chef for families on Long Island as well as the Chef Manager at Aramark. George also served as the Banquet Chef Garde Manager at the Garden City Café.
Call 516-599-2922 to learn more about our classes.