Denis and his team are all passionate about food and wine and love bringing their knowledge and global flavors to the customers. With backgrounds in all areas of the food business, each member brings something unique to the table. And whether they have been with Denis since Carlow Cookery or have more recently joined Conquering Cuisine, each one is very much appreciated for what they have to offer.
Denis Chiappa is a retailer, chef, teacher, cookbook author and caterer. For over 10 years, Denis was the principal instructor at Carlow Cookery, a gourmet kitchenware shop and cooking studio. In that time, he conducted an extensive selection of cooking classes, bringing the culinary world to participants by showcasing the ingredients, recipes and techniques needed to make a wide variety of dishes. In 2018, Denis opened Conquering Cuisine, the brand new, state-of-the art studio dedicated to cooking classes, gourmet catering and private events. Denis lives in North Wales, Pa. and is happily married with three children.
Michael Conti is Founder and President of "From Stem to Learn, LLC, whose mission is to provide quality wine education while focusing on giving participants knowledge and experiences that will enhance their appreciation of wines and spirits from around the world. Mike has over 45 years in the hospitality and education industries. During his career, Mike has successfully managed food and beverage operations and served as Director of Food & Beverage for Penn State Hospitality Services between 1992 and 2005. While there, he taught in the School of Hospitality Management and The College of Agriculture. Currently, Mike works at Vintage Imports, in a sales and consulting role. Mike has authored numerous wine lists, three of which have achieved the Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence.
Chef David G Kiser is a Le Cordon Blue trained chef and served as a chef instructor at The French Culinary Institute. After leaving The French Culinary Institute, David opened the critically acclaimed Church Street Bistro in Lambertville where he served as both owner and chef. Since 2017, David has owned Grande Cuisine and works as a personal chef serving seasonally inspired, gourmet menus on a weekly basis. He has worked with Denis as an instructor at both Carlow Cookery and Conquering Cuisine. Most recently, Chef brings his experience to the team for our catering work.
Born and raised in Doylestown, Jack graduated from Central Bucks West High School and then Walnut Hill College in 2022. Jack's love of the kitchen started at a young age. He even attended a kid's class at Carlow Cookery. Prior to joining Conquering Cuisine at the end of 2018, Jack worked at Maryanne Pastry Shoppe for 4 years. Jack is a vital member of our team, involved with everything from catering to classes. Most recently, he has begun co-teaching our wine and food events.
Nastassja is a graduate of Central Bucks West. Passionate about food, Nastassja started working at Bocellis Italian Restaurant in 2017. She joined the Conquering Cuisine team in 2020. Another essential member of our team, Nastassja assists in all elements at Conquering Cuisine, from procurement, catering prep and service at the classes or off-site events. She also creates beautiful and delicious Charcuterie Boards, as evidenced by our photos on Instagram and Facebook.
With her business and accounting background, Sara joined Conquering Cuisine in 2018 as the only non-culinary team member. Her role has expanded since the early days, and she now handles not only the financial reporting, but also catering and event requests, social media, customer inquiries and more. Although Sara rarely meets our customers face-to-face, she loves helping them with their culinary needs. Sara lives in Maple Glen with her husband and two boys.
Pam is a cloud account software consultant during the day, but with a passion for food and people and as an accomplished cook in her right, Pam joined Conquering Cuisine from the start. As an assistant for our weeknight classes, Pam brings her passion and smile to our customers. She lives in Bucks County with her husband and four children.
Ed was raised in Connecticut, but now resides in North Wales, PA. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from Johnson and Wales University in 2002. Since that time, he has gained culinary experience as an executive chef and in opening several restaurants. His passion for cooking comes from his family and he is now excited to pass on those techniques, traditions, and his love of food.
Gema is a Family & Consumer Sciences High School teacher in Bucks County. She has been cooking ever since she was able to hold a spoon. Gema traveled the world for a year living in New Zealand, Japan, Europe and teaching English in Italy. She takes cooking classes in every country she visits to learn the secrets of traditional cooking techniques. Gema fell in love with the wonderful unique cultures and delicious food and is excited to share this experience with everyone at Conquering Cuisine.
Daniel Gallo is a graduate of the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. He started his cooking career in Philadelphia before traveling & cooking in Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and New York City. He eventually settled in Bucks County. Along the way he was part of the opening teams for 2 restaurants recognized by Bon Appetite Magazine as "10 Best New Restaurants in the Country" for their respective years and worked alongside some of the most respected chefs in the industry, including 4 "James Beard Best Chef Award Winners" and 5 "Food & Wine Best New Chefs". He is well versed in all areas of the kitchen and his background includes experience in fine dining, catering, food styling & teaching. His approach to classes is to have fun above all else. Dan currently resides in Chalfont with his wife and 3 energetic boys.
Pam is a local web developer from Mikula Web Solutions who has been working with Denis since she managed the old Carlow Cookery website. It's ironic that after so many years of working with such a talented chef that she is a hopelessly terrible cook. Despite his talents not rubbing off on her, they make a great team when it comes to sharing everything that Conquering Cuisine has to offer the community.
John McGrath is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. After working several years gaining experience in restaurants like New York Times 3-Star rated Arizona 206, John later obtained a position as Executive Chef of the Washington Square Hotel New York City, then Bliss restaurant in Sunnyside Queens. After relocating to Doylestown in 2008, John took on the position of Culinary Instructor for the Star Career Academy in Philadelphia. Throughout the years John has also served as catering chef for such notable entrepreneurs as Max Hanson Catering.