We are proud to present our talented cast of kitchen characters…
Stay tuned as we add more mentors to the list!

Samantha Smith – Head Chef and Teacher
Samantha’s culinary style is an amalgamation of her interest in culture, creativity, survival and love. For her, food is a way to connect; cooking is energizing and inspiring. Being a chef is a path of curiosity and experimentation and Samantha’s cooking and teaching style emanates these core values.

Tracy Paulding Cates – Program Director and Teacher

Tracy Cates is the creator and director of the San Francisco Bay Area’s COOK! Programs, a summer cooking program for kids, ages 9 – 18. She has worked in culinary fields for the better part of 24 years, as a cook, manager, planner, and teacher. Her passion is in feeding people and creating spaces that are alive with possibility. She currently lives in Berkeley with her husband and two small children, and helps her mom, Terry Paulding, to run their family business, Paulding & Company, A Creative Kitchen.