Our Mission:

To empower families and educators to engage in fun, interactive culinary activities, enhancing Math, Science and Social Studies Knowledge.

Our Vision:

To bring families together to discover the world through healthier lifestyles, while emphasizing nutrition and the culinary arts.

Meet the Team!

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.
Milos Macura
Milos MacuraDevelopment Wizard
Milos is a seasoned software developer with expertise in iOS. Milos grew up with Accenture and met Layla at SAP’s AppHaus team, where a beautiful partnership grew. With a strong dedication for children and technology, Milos has been coding towards a more delicious future for all kids.
Delarai Tarwe
Delarai TarweIdea Generator
The inspiration behind Chef Koochooloo, Delarai is officially the world’s youngest entrepreneur. Every recipe lesson plan developed for Chef Koochooloo goes through Delarai, she actively cooks, listens to the fun facts (or sometimes comes up with them), and adds her personal touch to each dish.
Olivia Arstein-Kerslake
Olivia Arstein-KerslakeCurriculum Developer Specialist & Head Teacher
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.
Oro Fernandez
Oro FernandezGame Developer Specialist
Oro came all the way from Quezon City, Philippines. He has a Bachelor of Science in Animation degree from iAcademy, Makati, Philippines, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Development from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, where he focused on 3D Modeling and Digital Art. Having lived in four different countries, including the Philippines, Indonesia, China, and the US, Oro is eager to make use of his international experiences and his educational background to help teach kids about the wonders of the international culinary world.
Tanya Campbell
Tanya CampbellFront-End & Back-End Developer
Tanya Campbell is a product of working the right and left sides of her brain. With a background in electrical engineering technology and oil painting from SUNY Buffalo State, Tanya expanded her expertise into the areas of  front-end web development, graphic design, user experience design and illustration during her graduate studies at NYU. Originally from the Bronx, NY, Tanya currently resides in the Bay Area working as a part-time head robotics coach, and a full-time front and back end developer for Chef Koochooloo.
Russell Jong
Russell JongCulinary Lead
Russell holds degrees from Stanford University, Bachelor of Arts in Design and the California Culinary Academy, San Francisco. As a chef instructor at Sur La Table he has a deep understanding of hands-on cooking education. In addition, Russell was a software developer at the Culinary Institute of America (Greystone Campus, Napa) on their early online marketplace and recipe applications.

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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