Meet the people you’ll be seeing at your next class, birthday party, or team building event!

Maria Kopsidas

Maria Kopsidas is the creator and owner of Cookology. Prior to opening the gate to Cookology, Maria spent fifteen years leading marketing and communications campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, restaurants, and charities including Discovery Channel International as publicist for India and Australia; Grocery Manufacturers Association, the largest and oldest food manufacturer association in the country, as manager of online communications; director of communications for an Electronic Data Discovery firm, and prior to opening Cookology, she was a sought-after marketing consultant with McKinley Marketing Partners.

Growing up in a Mediterranean family with philanthropists, cooks, cookbook authors, health experts and professional chefs on both sides, including a pastry chef in the White House, the idea of a super accessible, affordable cooking school was her dream. Starting in 2003, Maria took her marketing experience and love of cooking, food, health, and people and created Cookology. Finally, after six years of chasing her dream, working on her marketing career while raising a child, she secured an SBA loan, negotiated a lease, oversaw construction buildout, hired her staff, and opened the doors of her first location in February 2009. Eleven years later, she reached for Ballston Quarter. 

Feel free to email Maria or visit her LinkedIn

Deb Claybrook

Deb Claybrook, Cookology’s Sales Director, has been with Cookology since 2015 and provides the textbook definition of industry experience! Having been in the sales industry since 1980 as an insurance broker in Missouri, Deb brings over 35 years of diverse and applied knowledge to your service! The emphasis of her business practice is highly personalized service to custom tailor your private or corporate team building event!

Trustworthy, personalized business practices while providing exemplary customer service is important in the fast paced world in which we live and that’s the cornerstone of Deb’s business philosophy.

Start planning your next Team Building or Private Event by contacting her at (703) 433-1909 or [email protected].

Paul Miller

Paul Miller, Cookology’s Food & Beverage Manager has 16 years of experience in the specialty foods industry from commercial grocery stores to a specialty food broker. His experience includes work with Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, Red White & Blue, and many more!

Paul is our resident “Cheesehead” and has a vast and extensive knowledge on everything cheesy! He has hands-on experience in making fresh and aged cheese that he mastered from Three Shepherds Farm under the direction of Dr. Larry Faillace. This, combined with his previous knowledge about cheese brought together his passion to teach people about its complexities and characteristics while sending his message that, “Cheese is not just for crackers anymore.”

Chef Dean Jeffreys

Chef Jeffreys, a native of southeast coastal North Carolina, developed his love of food and passion for cooking from his grandmother and parents.  He pulls from his childhood memories of coastal southern cuisine, home cooked meals, and family gatherings around the dinner table.

Graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY, he pursued his passion for cuisine working in AAA four and five diamond hotels, resorts, Relais and Chateaux country inns, and the Ritz Carlton.

Dean has years of experience teaching culinary and baking arts, American regional and international cuisines. He has also worked as a professional culinary arts instructor at DC Central Kitchen and The Arts Institute.

Chef Dean is known at Cookology for his patience and in-depth knowledge of pretty much any recipe that exists.

Chef Jeffreys spends his personal time teaching his children techniques of healthy cooking, emphasizing the importance of fun in the kitchen, fresh foods, simplicity, family, and friends around the dinner table.

Chef Javier Loayza

Chef Javier was born in Spain and raised in Peru. He studied culinary arts in Peru, a country with a rich food culture spanning multiple countries and ethnicities.
He spent 20 years as a chef in the US, the last 12 working for George Mason University, and the last two years as a Chef Instructor for Cookology. He has also been instrumental in creating and operating our in-house catering company.
Chef Javier is known at Cookology for his patience and in-depth knowledge of all things culinary. His tips and tricks will get you cooking like a pro in no time.

Chef Olivia Dennis

Chef Olivia Dennis started her technical training at Dr Henry A. Wise Jr. High school where she was awarded Master Chef in her senior graduating class. She spent her collegiate career at Johnson & Wales University and was able to be a part of a pilot program that has changed the culinary curriculum for all future Wildcats.

Since then Chef Olivia Dennis has had the pleasure of working throughout the DMV area at various restaurants as well as schools serving her community one plate at a time. In her spare time Chef Olivia loves being a mom to her beautiful son and hopes to bring her love for cooking and family to you!

Chef Mark Chang

Chef Mark Chang came to Cookology in 2011 with a dream and a goal. He has become the Chef de Cuisine for both locations at Ballston Quarter and Dulles Town Center.

Chef Mark is known for his thorough teaching and pleasant demeanor. He is especially wonderful with children.

Mark Chang worked at several restaurants in California before returning to his native Virginia. He is graduate of the Arts Institute, and is obsessed with food. He recently worked as operations manager at Streets Market. 

Chef Greg Himelright

Chef Greg has been working with Cookology for two years, previously as Lead chef instructor at our location in Dulles Town Center.
Chef Greg brings his 25 years as professional and private chef to each class, along with his humor, grace and erudite knowledge of food. He is known as a patience and kind instructor.

Chef Jenesis Prioleau

Jenesis Prioleau is a television series Masterchef contestant and was able to make it to the top 78 in the competition. She’s has partaken in key speaking to empowering young women throughout her home state of Delaware.  As well as, advocates in volunteering at the food bank and The Easter Seals.  Prioleau has made a guest television appearance as chef on Cooked and uncorked and the Shod Santiago show through the LGBTQ Network SVTV.

With a Master Degree in Administrative Justice. She goes against the grain by cooking with her heart while listening to music and singing off key at her home in Smyrna Delaware. Prioleau is a competitive gym rat, concert junkie and serial foodie. She has been cooking since the tender age of eight.  Prioleau is a vivacious Vegan that brings a new twist to plant base lifestyle anywhere she’s blessed with a kitchen with ingredients.

Jenesis is the author of “No Meat Allowed” . She brings a colorful love for fresh organic vegetables into your kitchen. Jenesis’s recipe book is for anyone looking to learn how to make a delicious vegan cuisine with a interesting twist. Unorthodox and non-traditional, Jenesis’ recipes open up Pandora’s box of scrumptious spices. Each flavor component that she’s created custom to the order, will send you into a journey of culinary fusion-style cooking.

Chef Dominique Jordan

Chef Dominique knew that she had a love for cooking at a very young age. Instead of watching the Cartoon Network as a child, she stared in awe at the Food Network. Dominique is grateful for her parent’s military background because she was able to live in Japan and explore diversity in culinary arts. She went on to attend her dream school at Johnson & Wales University. Though working an array of industry jobs like pop up restaurants and catering, she found her niche and flourished while teaching her craft to others and motivating them to connect through food. While Dominique is not at work, she enjoys being with her cat, Veronica, and hosting dinner gatherings with friends. Come and take a class with her and learn to become a better you through food!