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Our Story

Create-a-Cook Camp About Us

At Create-a-Cook, we believe that cooking is a form of self-expression, and we encourage our students to think like chefs and explore their creativity while learning basic to advanced culinary techniques. Our classes are designed to be interactive and fun, allowing students to gain hands-on experience while learning the art of cooking.

 

We offer a wide range of classes, from basic knife skills to advanced pastry techniques, and everything in between. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced cook, we have a class that will challenge and inspire you.

 

Join us at Create-a-Cook and discover the joy of cooking while developing your skills and creativity in the kitchen.

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Our Team

Meet the team that makes the Create-a-Cook brand thrive! Our culinary arts and baking and pastry instructors come from diverse backgrouns within the culinary realm, bringing a wealth of knowledge and passion for food. Their hard work and dedication are integral to the Create-a-Cook experience, where they share their expertise with our Junior Chefs and help create lifelong memories. We are incredibly grateful for their contributions and the culinary wisdom they impart. 

In addition to our skilled Chef Instructors, Create-a-Cook is fortunate to have outher dedicated team members who play vital roles in supporting our overall vision. We are honored to work with each and every team member who helps make Create-a-Cook a success.

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Chef Jarrett K. Young

Co-Founder & CEO 

Jarrett is a seasoned chef with a wealth of experience in culinary education and professional cooking. From teaching high school students at a Technical College High School to becoming the Director of the Culinary Arts Summer Cooking School, he has worked with individuals of different ages and backgrounds.

Jarrett’s culinary journey began in 1996 at Central Montco Technical High School (formerly Center for Technical Studies) in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, where he is currently a chef instructor—his time at the school provided a strong foundation in cooking, which he built upon at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. During his studies, Jarrett’s passion for culinary arts flourished. To further refine his skills, he trained under French Master Chef Dominique Filoni at Savona Cucina Della Costa, a world-renowned restaurant. With this impressive background, it’s clear that Jarrett is a highly skilled and experienced instructor.

 

Jarrett's personality and sense of humor allow people of all ages to feel comfortable and enjoy cooking. He has a unique ability to teach and make the art of cooking fun, giving it a different flavor for people who never knew they could enjoy it so much.

 

Through his experiences, Jarrett developed a desire to share his knowledge and love of cooking with others. He is patient, understanding, and passionate about helping others learn and discover their own passion for cooking.

Chef Lindsay Hills

Since Lindsay was a child, she has always been fascinated by food. In fact, she stole it right out of people's hands to try it! Her love of food started at a young age, and that passion grew stronger. 

 

She was born in Virginia and raised in New Jersey, and she now lives in Coatesville, Chester County, PA. She graduated from Coatesville Senior High School and the Culinary Arts Program at The Technical College High School Brandywine Campus. She is also a proud Culinary Institute of America (CIA) graduate in Hyde Park, New York. 

 

During her time at the CIA, she spent four months on an externship at the Addison Reserve Country Club in Delray Beach, Florida, where she gained experience in the culinary arts field while working alongside incredible chefs. In addition, she worked at Restaurant Alba in Malvern, PA, and enjoyed cooking for Martha Stewart. She also cooked on a Philadelphia cooking show with her high school chef instructor, Chef Jarrett Young, owner of Create-a-Cook, who she still considers her mentor. 


In addition to her work with Create-a-Cook, teaching kids how to cook at a summer camp program alongside Chef Young, she is a Personal Chef and owner of Lindsay's Lunch Box in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Her passion is food and the joy it brings into people's lives, and she enjoys sharing that passion with the Junior Chefs at Create-a-Cook!

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Chef Carisa Hamilton

Carisa's journey in the culinary world began at a young age, as she found her passion for cooking and baking while spending time in the kitchen with her grandmother. Growing up in southern Pennsylvania and now residing in bustling Philadelphia, Carisa has developed a deep appreciation for the vibrant food scene and diverse culinary experiences the city has to offer.

She pursued her culinary education at Avon Grove High School and the Culinary Arts Program at Technical College High School Pennock's Bridge campus. Eager to expand her knowledge and skills, Carisa then enrolled at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) in Providence, Rhode Island, where she earned her Associate's degree in Baking & Pastry Arts.

Carisa's professional journey started at Jenners Pond Retirement Community, where she gained experience as a server, prep cook, and pastry assistant. She further honed her skills at Wegmans Food Market, specializing in prepared foods, and later at Dupont Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware.

In 2019, Carisa seized the opportunity to return to the Culinary Arts Program, this time as an instructional assistant. It was during this period that she discovered her passion for teaching and began to explore the art of culinary instruction. Currently, Carisa serves as the Culinary Arts instructor at Technical College High School Pickering Campus, where she imparts her knowledge and expertise to aspiring culinary enthusiasts.

With a rich background in baking, pastry, and culinary arts, Carisa brings a wealth of experience and a genuine love for her craft to her teaching role. Her journey has been marked by a strong commitment to continuous learning and a dedication to nurturing the culinary talents of her students.

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Chef Dayvon Bladen

Dayvon's journey from a small town in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, to the bustling world of culinary arts reads like a testament to the power of passion and perseverance. Born and raised in Chester County, Dayvon discovered his love for baking and pastry at an early age. Despite initially feeling adrift in high school, he stumbled upon a technical school offering Culinary Arts, which ignited a spark within him.

Under the mentorship of Chef Young and Chef Landis, seasoned professionals with roots in the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, Dayvon honed his skills and found his calling in the delicate art of pastry making. With determination and grit, he pursued his dreams, eventually earning a Bachelor's degree in Baking and Pastry Science from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island.

Amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, Dayvon embarked on a journey through various bakeries, immersing himself in the intricate world of artisanal pastry production. His passion for understanding the nuances of ingredients and their interactions with the environment drove him to excel in his craft.

Now, as he collaborates with Create-a-Cook, Dayvon aims to share his wealth of knowledge and experience with aspiring bakers. Through comprehensive classes that span basic to advanced techniques, he seeks to empower students to explore the realm of baking with independence and creativity. With each lesson, Dayvon hopes to instill in his students not only the skills of the trade but also a deep appreciation and love for the culinary arts.

With boundless enthusiasm and a commitment to excellence, Dayvon continues to inspire and delight with his creations, leaving an indelible mark on the world of pastry.

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Image by Lucas Kapla

Chef's Apprentence Connor

Connor, a dynamic 16-year-old with an insatiable passion for food and a rich tapestry of life experiences. Born in the vibrant city of Philadelphia, he embarked on a journey that took him to various corners of the United States before finally settling back in Pennsylvania. This diverse upbringing has exposed Connor to a wide array of culinary traditions and flavors, further fueling his love for all things food-related.

Connor's fascination with the culinary arts began when he was 14 years old, and he quickly realized that cooking was his true calling. Since then, he has eagerly lent a helping hand in his family's kitchen, assisting in prepping dinner every single night. Through this daily practice, he honed his skills, developed an intuitive understanding of flavors, and fostered a deep appreciation for the joy of creating delicious meals.

Currently, Connor finds himself embracing a thrilling opportunity as an intern at the renowned Create-a-Cook Cooking Camp. This invaluable experience allows him to immerse himself in a professional culinary environment, learn from experienced chefs, and connect with fellow food enthusiasts who share his passion. As an intern, Connor actively contributes to cooking demonstrations, assists in camp activities, and shares his culinary knowledge and enthusiasm with aspiring chefs of all ages. Beyond his involvement with Create-a-Cook, Connor's diverse upbringing has exposed him to various regional cuisines throughout the United States. His time in northern New Jersey, California, and other places has given him a deep appreciation for the culinary tapestry that makes up American cuisine. He treasures the memories and flavors acquired during his travels, drawing inspiration from each unique culinary experience.

When he's not in the kitchen, Connor is an avid explorer of local food scenes and farmers' markets, always on the lookout for new and exciting ingredients to incorporate into his culinary creations. His inquisitive nature fuels his constant search for new recipes, techniques, and cultural influences, broadening his culinary horizons with each discovery.

Connor's dream is to continue his culinary journey by attending a prestigious culinary institute and eventually establishing his own restaurant. He aspires to create a welcoming space where he can showcase his innovative approach to cuisine while honoring the diverse flavors that have shaped his culinary identity.

With his boundless enthusiasm, diverse background, and dedication to his craft, Connor is well on his way to achieving his culinary aspirations. His unwavering love for food, nurtured by his experiences across the United States, combined with his internship at Create-a-Cook, serves as a strong foundation for a promising future in the world of gastronomy.

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Chef's Apprentence Noura

Noura Merryman-Lotze has had a deep love for baking and food for as long as she can remember. Born in the West Bank, Palestine, she has traveled to ten countries in her 16 years, immersing herself in a diverse array of cuisines and culinary traditions. This global exposure has fueled her passion for trying new foods and challenging herself in the kitchen.

Much of Noura's culinary knowledge comes from her father, the resident cook in their household. Her true passion lies in baking and pastry, with a particular expertise in crafting exquisite macarons. Additionally, Noura has a keen interest in food history and aspires to delve deeper into this field in the future. She delights in learning everything about food, and her favorite food origin story is about coffee. Her extensive knowledge of food-related trivia is a testament to her dedication and curiosity.

Noura is thrilled to embark on her new journey as a chef's apprentice at Create-A-Cook. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge and learning from others who share her culinary passions. Eager to start this new adventure, Noura is committed to making the most of this exciting opportunity.

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Image by Lucas Kapla
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Technology Specialist & Campus Coordinator

Jessica McPolin

Jessica is an experienced educator with a passion for technology integration in the classroom. With a background spanning over two decades in education, she currently serves as a Technology Teacher for students ranging from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. Prior to assuming this role, Jessica taught various grade levels including third, fourth, and Kindergarten, accumulating a wealth of experience and expertise in early childhood education.

Combining her love for teaching with her enthusiasm for technology, Jessica seamlessly integrates innovative educational tools into her curriculum. She holds certifications as an Apple Educator and Seesaw Certified Educator, and most recently an AI in Education Certification, demonstrating her commitment to staying at the forefront of educational technology trends. Additionally, she has facilitated numerous summer technology classes, specializing in subjects such as coding, Minecraft, and Web Design, further showcasing her dedication to fostering digital literacy among her students.

Jessica's academic journey began in Jackson, NJ, where she attended high school before pursuing higher education at Georgian Court University. She graduated with certifications in Education and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, providing her with a comprehensive understanding of both pedagogy and human behavior.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Jessica maintains a keen interest in culinary arts, though she did not pursue formal training in this field. She enjoys exploring all aspects of food-related knowledge and finds joy in sharing her passion with others, particularly in educational settings.

With her diverse background, unwavering commitment to education, and innovative approach to technology integration, Jessica continues to inspire and empower students to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

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