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 in February 2009.

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].

Mafhy Diamaano

Dulles Town Center’s Store Manager, Mafelida Diamaano joined the Cookology team in 2017 and has been absolutely vital to us since! This is her first venture into the culinary world, but before us she worked in high end retailers such as Burberry and Giorgio Armani and was a corporate flight attendant for a private charter company for ten years.

When Mafhy isn’t in the store organizing our day-to-day operations, she has a son named Liam who she spends all of her time outside of work with going back and forth from New York City visiting her family and friends.

Call her at the store to schedule your next children’s birthday party at Cookology!

Will Bushey

Manager of Business Development, Will Bushey started with Cookology in 2016 as a Front of House Receptionist during the summer when he was home from Michigan State University (Go Green!) during breaks. He recently moved back to Northern Virginia in 2018 and has been having a blast at Cookology ever since!

Managing the development of Cookology’s professional culinary school in the works, overseeing the Kitchen Rental Program, social media accounts, on top of helping with day-to-day operation in the store, there’s never a dull moment! In his free time he is the Assistant Color Guard Coach at Riverside High School in Leesburg, VA and coaches a team of 16 hard-working students.

Catch him out and about at the Loudoun County and Arlington Chambers of Commerce during the week and don’t be afraid to say hello!

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.”

Michael Feidt

Michael is a local boy raised all over Northern Virginia.  But no matter the city, Michael’s one constant is his deep love of cooking. From the age of six, Michael has been in the kitchen experimenting, learning, tasting, and occasionally burning all different types of food.  After graduating from a Manassas high school, he began his obsession with traveling.  From a cattle hand in Scotland, to an English teacher in Ukraine, to an actor in Australia, Michael just can’t sit still and retains an insatiable taste for the extraordinary.

After graduating from the College of William & Mary, at which he won two campus-wide chili contests, Michael worked as a writer for a political marketing firm, only to return to his true passion – Cooking!  He is thrilled to be part of Cookology, and terribly proud of the work Cookology does: inspiring people to connect through food!

Chef Jenna Dawson

Executive Chef, Jenna Dawson has been with Cookology since 2016 and has been our energetic rock since! If you ever take a class with her, get ready for high energy and lots of laughs! Jenna is a free spirit with a love for teaching guests how to cook.

She got her start at Johnson and Wales and earned an Associates in Culinary Arts and a Bachelors in Hospitality & Food Service Management with a concentration in Spirits and Mixology. After working internships in South Carolina, Jenna found Cookology and decided to drive through the night for her interview in the morning and has been a dedicated employee ever since!

Fun things about her: She love Tex-mex Foods and Margaritas. Her favorite food to teach is Fresh Pasta and other Italian Classics. She never leaves home without her “U” Shaped Peeler. Her favorite kitchen tool is the micro plane. Her favorite recipes are cheesecake, French Macarons, and her specialty, Mini Cinnamon Vanilla Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream!

Chef Ed Hardy

Chef Ed Hardy brings his extensive restaurant experience in some of America’s best kitchens to Cookology! Chef Ed has worked for Top Chef Master Marcus Samuelsson, as well as the acclaimed restaurants Red Rooster (NY Times Two-Star rated), Aquavit NYC (NY Times Three-Star rated), and American Table.

You may recognize Ed from his appearances on the Food Network (most recently on Beat Bobby Flay), his Top 50 selection by Northern Virginia Magazine for his work at Bistro Vivant, or by his Maryland’s Best New Restaurant award for his menu at Quench!

Ed specializes in Southern Fusion cuisine and has self-proclaimed “complicated opinions” about curing, smoking, and hamburger construction. In his spare time, he builds Lego creations with his son Jacques, and still finds time to play the trombone!

Chef Erin St. Louis

Chef Erin St. Louis combines her creativity and work ethic with a passion for food, nutrition, and healthy living. Erin has a Culinary Degree from the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of San Diego, and has been a proud member of the American Personal & Private Chef Association for the last 6 years.

As a Navy spouse with two busy boys, Chef Erin has lived all over the United States, as well as in Japan and Guam! She has also traveled extensively throughout Asia, greatly diversifying her culinary talents. One thing all this travelling has not impacted however, is her passion for nutritious meals! At home, she packs loads of nutrition into her sons meals and specializes in spinning classic European dishes into healthier options for even the pickiest of eaters!

Chef Christina Yanez

Chef Christina Yanez has an Associates Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from the Art Institute of Washington and is a Certified Pastry Chef. She started off in Culinary Arts, but has always had the dream of owning her own bakery, so switching to Baking and Pastry made the most sense!

Christina has worked in Masseria, a Michelin Star restaurant in DC, several restaurant groups such as Chef Geoffs and SRG Restaurant Group, as well as a fine-dining catering company in DC. Her favorite things to prepare are tarts that she makes from scratch, various types of breads, and anything involving chocolate!

Chef Yolande Nanayakkara

Chef Yolande Nanayakkara began her career in non-profit management, working with small NGOs to large international trade associates. She prides herself in becoming the Executive Director for the Greater Washington Partnership for Palliative and End of Life Care, and since reaching her goal has been looking for her next challenge.

Chef Yolande grew up in a culture where cooking and eating meals together is an important part of showing love for one another. She learned everything she knows about cooking from her mother, grandmother, and friends throughout the years, so her next career choice was crystal clear. For the last five years, she has been working on her first cookbook and has worked as a personal chef in the Northern Virginia Area.

Chef Yolande brings her joy of making multicultural dishes, gluten and salt free meals, or developing creative dishes based on what’s seasonal to Cookology! From instructing on essential pantry staples, to introducing new seasonings or techniques, she enjoys showing guests how cooking can be an expression of one’s self! In her free time, she loves sailing around the Chesapeake, travelling, and is a registered artist in Maryland and Virginia!