GRCC chefs at work

GRCC Cooks Presenters

Joe Borello holding a wine glass

Joe Borello

Joe Borrello is the Executive Director of Tasters Guild International; and is the author of "Recipes from Wineries of the Great Lakes" and "Ask the Wine Guy: Everything You Wanted to Know About Wine, but Didn't Know Who to Ask." He is also the Managing Director of Tasters Guild's International Wine Judging, one of the largest in the country. Joe is a member of the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at GRCC as well as its past chairman and a charter inductee into the school's Hospitality Hall of Fame. Joe and his wife, Barb, have made numerous trips to Italy researching and testing the pasta, risotto and Italian recipes offered in their cooking classes. Register for Joe's workshop.

Chef Josef Huber

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.

Chef Raymond Kusmack

Raymond Kusmack

Chef Raymond Kusmack is an Executive Chef for Aramark Higher Education, at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Chef Ray is an American Culinary Federation Certified Executive Chef and Certified Chef D'Cuisine. He is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and has been a Corporate Chef for Dow Chemical, Executive Chef at Tapawingo Restaurant (cooking for Mario Batali on several occasions), Executive Chef at Kellogg World Headquarters Aramark, where he has taken gold medals for district, regional, and national cooking competitions 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), and locally the 1913 Room (Chef Chris Madson, CCC) at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Register for Ray's workshops.

Chef Kathleen Schiefler

Kathleen Schiefler

Chef Kathleen is a hometown girl and a 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, former owner of a specialty food and wine shop, and 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.

Today, Kathleen merges her passions for hospitality in inspiring ways with Kathleen and Company — developing creative solutions in marketing, culinary arts, merchandising, purchasing and customer relations. She also continues to indulge her passions with the arts and gardening, and is featured at numerous speaking and teaching engagements throughout the city. Register for Kathleen's workshops.

Chef Chris Wessely

Chris Wessely

In conjunction with The Grand Rapids Sport & Social Club (GRSSC), Chris also directed his passion back to food, taking it to the next level. Chef Wessely pursued his culinary degree and graduated as valedictorian of his class in the spring of 2011 from the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education. Chef Wessely retains a strong fine-dining culinary work experience, from Louis Benton's Fine Dining Steak House here in Grand Rapids to The Bay Harbor Yacht Club's À la carte Restaurant in Bay Harbor, Michigan.

In addition to an AAS in Culinary Arts, Chris has a BA in Political Science, Communication, and Japanese. He completed a highly competitive immersion exchange program in Tokyo, Japan where he also furthered his Japanese culinary studies. Chef Wessely was the cofounder of the Personal Chef Group company, successfully building up the business and eventually sold it in 2011 to pursue further endeavors via the GRSSC.

Today, Chef Wessely has combined his love of cooking with the "socialness" of the GRSSC's events. The result, Simple Sushi! Chef Wessely truly embraces the mission to share his culinary knowledge and passion for sushi and finds that cooking classes are a wonderful medium to pass on skills, allowing individuals to create healthy, delicious food on their own in the comfort of their home.

Chef Wessely also teaches sushi classes at the GRCC Cooks program as a guest chef and his professional awards include the Extraordinary Culinary Student Award, Steven Raichlen's Ultimate Grilling Recipe Contest Winner, and First Place Winner in the Hudsonville Chili Cook-Off. Register for Chris' workshops.

Chef Susan VandenBerg

Susan VandenBerg

Born and raised in West Michigan, Susan returns to Grand Rapids 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. Most recently she owned and operated The French Tarte, a small artisanal pastry business in Pawtucket, RI, teaching French pastry classes, accepting special orders and selling retail pastries during the busy Winter Farmers Market. Susan is very focused on sharing the importance of hands-on pastry preparation and understanding the characteristics and nuances of dough in general. Her particular interests lie in laminated dough and all its charms, as well as tartes, sablés, and brioche.

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's workshops.