Our Mission:

To cultivate global citizens through healthy, collaborative cooking classes, enriched with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics learning).

Our Vision:

To improve the health, happiness and education of children worldwide with our dynamic curriculum and engaging gamified technology.

Meet the Team!

The Founding Team

Delarai Tarwe
Delarai TarweIdea Generator
The inspiration behind Chef Koochooloo, “Delarai” is officially the world’s youngest entrepreneur.
Bubbling with personality, Delarai launched Chef Koochooloo with an affection for both cultural diversity and healthy cooking. Every recipe lesson plan developed for Chef Koochooloo goes through Delarai, she actively cooks, listens to the fun facts and adds her personal touch to each dish. Delarai is attending third grade in Gabriella Mistral Elementary school in Mountain View, and is fluent in four languages. Delarai takes her studies seriously and ensures she takes time to help her community.
Layla Sabourian–Tarwé
Layla Sabourian–Tarwé Founder & CEO
Layla’s passion for community development and social change ignited after teaching cooking to underprivileged kids living in Guadalajara, Mexico. At 21, Layla opened a restaurant with a friend and ran it successfully before launching her career with LVMH in France. In 2005, Layla moved to Silicon Valley and launched a number of successful communities for world known brands including Yahoo! eBay. Layla is passionate about helping people all over the world live better, and her daughter Delarai was the inspiration behind Chef Koochooloo.
Antoine Tarwe
Antoine TarweOperations and Finance Guru
Antoine has a technical background, 10 years of expertise in product and business development roles, and loves to work with anything involving numbers. He moved to Silicon Valley in 2003 and began a career in electronics. With a passion in caring for kids through fun activities he became a certified camp youth leader at 20. His dream is to bring Chef Koochooloo to a global audience.


Dr. Haining Zhu
Dr. Haining ZhuUser Experience Research Lead and Human Computer Interaction
Haining received her Ph.D. degree in Informatics and minor in Statistics from The College of Information Sciences and Technology at Pennsylvania State University. Her research lies at the intersection of people, information, and technology. She utilizes user-centered design and consumer-driven approaches to explore how people produce, gather, interpret, use, and share their personal data. Her work has resulted in the identification of novel HCI insights and actionable design recommendations for tailored technologies.
Shanni Liu
Shanni LiuTechnology & Culinary Education Researcher and Instructor
With a great passion for education, Shanni has switched her career from an award-winning marketing professional at Prada Fragrances to education because she wants to make a more profound impact. After receiving a STEM master’s degree in Learning Sciences and Technologies from the University of Pennsylvania, now she has years of proven experience in teaching and designing technology-enriched learning and instructional products. In addition, she has worked and studied in the US, Switzerland, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Dr. Patricia Langford
Dr. Patricia LangfordSteam Expert
Dr. Patricia Langford is a former Nutrition and Food safety Director for the government of Mexico, who has already begun to work with Chef Koochooloo towards the alignment of our curriculum with what elementary schools need/desire in the USA.
Dr. Gratiana Pol
Dr. Gratiana PolData Scientist
is the data scientist on staff for Chef Koochooloo. She worked as a Data Scientist at United Talent Agency. Dr. Pol holds a Ph.D. in marketing/consumer psychology from the University of Southern California and has extensive experience in the area of designing and conducting research studies, both in an academic and a commercial context, and across a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods. For the current project she will develop the measurement instruments for the research portion of the project, conduct the statistical data analyses, and provide the result interpretation.
Nitish Rai
Nitish RaiTechnical Product Assist
Experienced Software Developer currently working as a Senior Software Engineer at Globallogic, India. He has 5 years of experience in development but far superior in knowledge. He does smart work and is very enthusiastic about his work.
He is skilled in the various Technology stack and is very keen to work in Cloud Technologies as his area of interest. He would like to help others in their work in any matter.
Jason Rodriguez Hand
Jason Rodriguez HandMedia Intern
Jason holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Interactive Media with a Concentration in Game Design. As a digital artist, Jason has the ability to create and edit assets and media. With his knowledge and experience in game design, he can assist in gamification processes, to ensure that the learning opportunities are as fun as they are insightful.

Justin Rodriguez-Hand
Justin Rodriguez-HandMedia Intern
Justin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Interactive Media with a Concentration in Game Design, and a minor in Creative Writing from Bradley University. An individual who favors working in teams, Justin offers skills of working with multimedia in the form of creating and editing. He also brings knowledge and experience of game design, hoping to make learning more dynamic and engaging through gamification.
Mohadeseh KhazaeeEducational Researcher
Mohadeseh is a PhD candidate in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). She is writing her thesis in educational gamification and English vocabulary learning. She is cooperating with the Chef Koochooloo team as an educational researcher.
ArunNutritionist and lifestyle coach


Tom Kalinske
Tom Kalinske Executive Chairman of Global Education Learning
Dr. Michael brenner
Dr. Michael brennerProfessor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics at Harvard University
Dr. Kip Tellez
Dr. Kip TellezDean of Education UC Santa Cruz University
Gerard DuBois
Gerard DuBois Chief Program Officer, Head of Data Driven Science to Solutions Organization at IBM
Scott Brewster
Scott BrewsterChief Operating Officer at Triad Interactive Media and Partnership Director at Hats & Ladders, inc
Paul Albuquerque
Paul AlbuquerqueINSEAD Associate Professor of Marketing and Chair
Richard Zare
Richard ZareTech-Ed Chemistry & Science Advisor (Stanford University)
Heather Stinnett
Heather StinnettK-5 Education Expert Advisor


Special Thanks to NSF for providing funding to Chef Koochooloo!

Read what educators and parents say about Chef Koochooloo’s innovative approach to education.

I am pleased to write in support of the Chef Koochooloo curriculum. As Dean of the Mills College School of Education, I have the opportunity to review many different programs and assess their value to children during the school day and in after school programs. I was impressed by the thoughtful curriculum that Layla Sabourian has developed. After hearing about the curriculum and reviewing the videos, I can attest to its high quality and value to children. The recipes are clearly written and contain valuable information that will be interesting to children. Perhaps more importantly, this material introduces children to important social issues combined with thoughtful moral lessons about kindness and other positive attributes. The curriculum provides children with knowledge about several scientific properties such as the properties of matter and the effects of heat on solids and liquids. I imagine this curriculum will be engaging and educative for all children. I strongly endorse it.
Kathy Schultz, Dean and Professor, Mills College School of Education
As a pediatrician I emphasize the importance of preventive measures towards obesity with early intervention programs such as the Chef Koochooloo platform. Chef Koochooloo is ideal for children between the ages of 4-12, the students benefit from the early introduction of textures, smells and flavors that facilities sensory-motor processing, while benefiting from quantitative and qualitative measurements. Obesity is mainly related to environmental factors and habits that are nurtured early in life and often correlate with lower cognitive and social functions even in the general population. Thus the developments of programs such as Chef Koochooloo should become a priority in our public health education. I found the curriculum unique because of the simplicity of the teaching methods, the choice of recipes, and the interactions between peers and instructor. I also like the way the platform addresses cultural sensitivity and socials skills’ acquisition by discovering new countries and learning about their respective cultures. I suggest this program for all my patients specially those that are at risk of developing obesity, as well as those with problems with social skills and sensory processing issues.
Reymundo Lozano, M.D & College Professor, Mind Institute, UC Davis
As an academic I highly value the Chef Koochooloo curriculum. Their program is fostering social skills in a unique way. Communication is an important part of cooking with another person. Kids get a chance to read, understand and explain recipe steps, while taking turns and problem-solving any issues that pop up. The Chef Koochooloo cooking classes provide inspiration for meaningful conversations: I like how the instructors tell fun relevant facts about the country and origin of the recipe as kids mix the secret quince mixture for the Persian delights. The lessons are encouraging good eating habits and give kids the confidence and cultural curiosity to get creative in the kitchen, building lifelong habits of healthier eating. As an anthropologist, I simply love the way Chef Koochooloo brings up issues that affect kids world wide, and ignites meaningful conversations on how to help bring about positive change, encouraging responsibility and independence. The field of cultural anthropology has as a main aim helping students to better understand and appreciate cultures in various countries. The Chef Koochooloo cooking classes does this beautifully through teaching students about cultures of other countries, and will help them to appreciate cultural diversity.
Mary Elaine Hegland, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Santa Clara University
We have worked with Chef Koochooloo this year and our students and parents have found it to be an educational and engaging experience. Chef Koochooloo’s approach to merging culinary adventures with child relevant geography facts has enabled our students to have fun while learning cooking and safety skills.
Children who have been attending the Chef Koochooloo classes for the past weeks have begun to exhibit better knowledge about making healthy food choices, better attitudes about food and improved eating habits.
We love that Chef Koochooloo leverages everyday cooking to illuminate basic principles in physics and engineering, while teaching the kids social responsibility in a unique way that makes learning a truly global adventure.

I have been very impressed with the academic focus of the program and their focus on integrating math, science and geography into the curriculum.

We are pleased to be able to offer this program to our students and feel it has been of great benefit to those who have enrolled. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Sarah Tellez, Principal
The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center aspires to be a community that enriches lives builds the community and inspires the Jewish journey. Working with a person who can bring all ages together in one room has been a great asset to our Cooking Havurah class. Instead of working within the normal boundaries Chef Koochooloo has taught us to work together and across ages, showing us ways to interact without verbal skills; like teens working with toddlers, grandparents working with young adults. She has also shown families how to be more health conscience by preparing and consuming heathier non processed foods.

Part of Chef Koochooloo’s skill is being able to share her knowledge about geography, history, Jewish traditions and holidays then fitting these into what is cooked as a group. Because of Chef Koochooloo’s skills and expertise we now not only prepare food for ourselves but started “Cooking it forward,” sharing what we make with the seniors at our local memory unit home.

Overall working with Chef Koochooloo has taught all of us how to build a community together better, as well as continue to discover new ways to look at why we are doing it, giving it a story and pathway for those joining us in the future.

Robin E. Vasilakos , Community Engagement & Marketing