Dave Nelson is a local chef and teacher with a wide range of knowledge and skills from over thirty years working in hotel and restaurant kitchens across America. He has an absolute passion for sharing the simple “nuts and bolts” of the kitchen.
For the last 10 years, he has introduced intensity, drive and a culture of fun to professional kitchen classrooms and is now making that experience accessible to home cooks.
Chef Dave Nelson teaches in response to a disconnect between the cooking on TV shows and how pro cooks crank it out every day. He presents honest, nuts and bolts cooking skills designed to fundamentally change how you cook and look at food so that you too can whip up a dish, without a recipe, just like the pros!
In his free time, Chef Dave loves to create and dine on simple, honest dishes that reflect the cultures, cuisines and ingredients of Sacramento, CA.
As an adolescent, I grew up in my parents’ restaurant, “La Dolce Vita”, in San Jose in the late 1980’s. Upon entering college, I decided I wanted nothing to do with the food industry (obviously that was the rebellious teen in me).
At the age of 21, I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS). At that point, I was very focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and found myself back into food, perfecting my cooking skills and knowledge of food structure.
By 2000, I started il Cucina Italiana Catering, began teaching cooking classes and was a regular monthly guest on KCRA for four and half years.
Recently, I graduated from CSUS with my Bachelors of Science, Nutrition Degree. I continue to teach cooking classes at the Sacramento Food Coop, appear on Good Day Sacramento, as well as volunteer at various food banks and adult institutions and recovery.
I currently live in Woodland, CA, with my husband, Bill and daughter Savanah on our family almond farm where we raise chickens, rescue cats, dogs and any other animal that needs a home. I still face challenges with MS on a daily basis but with a healthy diet and my faith, I believe I am on a healthy path.
She started teaching professionally over twenty years ago at HomeChef Cooking School in Sacramento before moving over to the Co-op. Her specialties are chocolate, pies, cheesecakes and desserts. Jill is savvy for transforming desserts from common into superlative which is substantiated by winning blue ribbons at the California State Fair.
Although Jill confesses to be a dessert specialist at heart, she enjoys cooking practically anything as long as “quality” is the common denominator. Over the years, French cooking has become a specialty of hers with several trips to France with her husband Walt where they’ve honed their cooking skills. Jill and Walt often team up teaching food and wine pairing classes here at the Co-op.
Now retired, Jill loves to travel, learn, and teach cooking classes at the Co-op.