Meet The Chefs
Meet The Chefs
Our chefs are here to help you with hands-on training in the kitchen. They’re not just trained culinary experts – they’re passionate about helping kids throughout Oklahoma eat right. You can request a chef consultation here.
Chef Tiffany Poe has a storied background in the field of child nutrition. She worked with school districts to incorporate the Oklahoma Farm to School program, in which schools obtain fresh, locally sourced ingredients directly from producers. She graduated with honors from The Culinary Institute of America and Oklahoma State University, and she now works as a clinical faculty member in OSU’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration.
Tiffany’s passion for child nutrition led her to become involved with Cooking for Kids as one of the program’s leading chef consultants. She helps guide the leadership team in culinary training and liaises with the chef community.
Chef Valarie Carter studied culinary arts at The Art Institute of Atlanta and The Culinary Institute of America. She focused her talents on working as a personal chef, as well as in noted hotels and country clubs, and served as a culinary arts faculty instructor at the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology for five years. She currently serves on the board of the Tulsa Farmers’ Market and the OSUIT culinary arts advisory board.
Valarie donates her culinary skills to benefit local philanthropic organizations, and her work with Cooking for Kids will help nutrition professionals across the state learn how to prepare and implement local, sustainable food.
Chef Ginger Lugo has been making her mark on the culinary scene for more than 18 years. She and her husband shared a love of cuisine at their fine dining restaurant in Guthrie before she turned her talents toward education. Ginger is a certified executive pastry chef with the American Culinary Federation and has been an instructor of culinary arts at Francis Tuttle Technology Center for the past four years.
Ginger is excited to partner with Cooking for Kids – she is passionate about bringing better nutrition to Oklahoma kids and families. She is driven to see this program have an impact across the state and spread to schools nationwide.
Chef Callie Fowler grew up in the kitchen with her family, honing a love of cooking into a successful career. She attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and earned a spot in its exclusive manager-in-training program. Callie went on to open several restaurants in California and, after returning to her home state, downtown Tulsa.
Callie serves as the executive chef of child nutrition for Union Public Schools. Her efforts to bring health and nutritional education to children make her a perfect partner for Cooking for Kids.
Born in Kirksville, Missouri, Bill has had a small town mentality from the beginning. He has lived in over 20 cities, gathering ideas to incorporate into his life menu. From Tulsa to Chicago, Tokyo and San Diego, his passion has always been food - good food. His Tulsa Thyme Bistro was a staple for seven years until he got a corporate nudge and ran Child Nutrition programs for outlining public school districts.
His newest endeavor rested at the locally owned Reasor's Grocery as a part of the creative engine for their flagship store on Brookside. He is proud to be a part of the local food movement, found in Oklahoma's Healthy Cornerstore Initiative to continue outreach and solution to provide healthy food for students, parents, and school members.
Cooking for Kids is a perfect marriage of all his endeavors and the future is bright for bringing knowledge and fun of food for kids of all ages.
Chef Tara Burkhead’s career began in baking and cake decorating, which led to work as a pastry chef in a New York resort. She moved into a role as a hospital nutrition supervisor, then brought her expertise to a large school system in North Carolina, where she managed the school cafeterias. She relocated to Oklahoma to teach at Tri County Technology Center, where she is a culinary arts instructor specializing in baking instruction.
Tara’s extensive experience with providing healthy lunches for schools, coupled with her talents as an educator, make her a valuable addition to Cooking for Kids’ roster of chefs.
Chef Robin Obert grew up in a culinary environment, thanks to her family’s restaurant business, and developed a passion for healthy, delicious cooking. She attended, and later taught in, the culinary program at Platt College, and she graduated from Le Cordon Bleu with a culinary management degree. She now brings nutrition to students as the district executive chef for Oklahoma City Public Schools.
Robin regularly visits schools to cook meals for students, and she enjoys seeing them realize how tasty unfamiliar and healthy foods can be.
Chef Lia Lewis was born in France into a family that loved food and flavor. In over 20 years of working in the food industry, she has worked in most facets of service from the tiniest bakery, teaching college, to the third largest caterer in the country.
Her life has always revolved around food and using her talents for friends and strangers has always felt like the most tangible expression of love and respect.
She is a Certified Executive Pastry Chef, a mom and grandmother (though she prefers Lolli), and a lover of life and people and the richness that new experiences brings to her table.
As an avid baker, Chef Kim has enjoyed creating delicious pastries for many years. She is a native of Kansas, and moved to Oklahoma in 1982 where she began to explore her entrepreneurial spirit by operating a catering business part time while attending college. In 1992 she opened her first bakery, Rollin-in-dough, in downtown Oklahoma City. In 1999 a second bakery vision came to light when she opened, Cinnamon’s Bakery, in Northwest Oklahoma City where she was awarded, Best New Business and Best Bakery, by the Northwest Chamber of Commerce. In 2004 Chef Kim accepted a position to teach baking at Platt College in Oklahoma City, where in 2006 she earned her ACF Certified Working Pastry Chef title. In 2007 Kim continued her passion for culinary arts and teaching and accepted a position with Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City where she continues to inspire students. In addition, Chef Kim enjoys competing in ACF sanctioned culinary competitions and has earned several ACF medals including 4 Gold, 18 Silver and 8 Bronze medals.