Carol Cotner Thompson - Culinary Director

Carol Cotner Thompson - Culinary Director

Both California natives, Carol Cotner Thompson and Jill Chessé met when Jill enrolled in cooking school, where Carol was her advanced culinary arts instructor. Luckily for both women, a special chemistry grew. Jill was enthusiastic about Carol's extensive knowledge and natural facility for teaching, and delighted in the food they produced together. She thrived under Carol's tutelage and wanted everyone she knew to experience her "Chef." Carol saw in Jill an infectious positive energy and love of life. She feels  Jill is not only an amazing cook; she is always open to new ideas, tastes, and adventures. As the program progressed they found an easy friendship had developed, a joy of hard work was observed, and the love of cooking and hospitality was shared by both women. Then the idea sparked - let’s do cooking retreats in our beloved state of California and delve deep into the things we cherish - food, family, friends, markets and the love of the countryside.

Visit Chef Carol's website at CarolCotnerThompson.com.

Jill Chessé - Hospitality Director

Jill Chessé - Hospitality Director

Jill brings to the table her passion for theatre, and her years as a television art director and stage designer, as well as her penchant for hosting dazzling dinner parties, and wowing her friends as she cooked extravagant meals while camping. This melds with Carol's years of experience imparting her deep knowledge of all things culinary to happy students and clients all over the world. Carol has been creating exquisite cuisine for over 30 years and teaching for 24. She studied in San Francisco at the prestigious California Culinary Academy with degrees in both professional cooking and pastry.  Jill studied theatre at both Parson’s School of Design in NYC, and Yale University.