Chef Biographies

Chef Biographies

Chef Alisa Harris

Alisa Harris is a graduate of Schenectady County Community College with a Sous Chef certification from the American Culinary Federation. She has been cooking professionally for eight years in and around the capital region. She has cooked for a variety of events in Fort Ticonderoga, SPAC, private homes, and the Albany Plaza. Alisa holds close to her heart her family's way of cooking with whole, fresh ingredients as well as using what our area has to offer and bringing out the best in each ingredient.

Executive Chef Sue Hatalsky

Sue Hatalsky has a culinary career that spans almost forty years and is extremely broad based. She is an American Culinary Federation Certified Executive Chef and a Certified Culinary Educator. Sue received her Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Oneonta in Technical Education and her Associate in Applied Science Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Schenectady County Community College. She has also studied at the Notter School in Orlando, Florida, the CIA in Hyde Park, NY and the French Pastry School in Chicago. In addition to teaching her full schedule at SCCC, Sue also teaches non-credit classes at the college as well as a variety of private cooking and baking classes at home, including artisan bread baking in her wood fired oven. Sue is delighted to join the teaching staff at Spoon & Whisk.

Chef Troy Huggard

Troy Huggard started cooking at the age of 15 at a BBQ joint in Florida. After serving in the military, he began pursuing a Culinary Degree at Valencia College West in Florida. He completed his degree at Schenectady County Community College (SCCC), graduating summa cum laude. He has since worked at The Crown Grill and Circus Cafe in Saratoga Springs. Troy is currently available as a chef for small private parties and also works as Veteran Liaison for Saratoga WarHorse, an organization that helps veterans adjust to life after military service by offering a three-day experience with off-the-track thoroughbreds.

Chef Ben Kozloski

Ben Kozloski is a graduate of Adirondack Community Colleges Culinary Arts program. He has been cooking professionally for 15 years in and around the Saratoga and Clifton Park area. He is currently a sous chef at the Factory Eatery & Spirits in Ballston Spa, NY. Cooking has been Ben's passion since he was a teenager when he began working in professional kitchens. Ben's culinary roots extend to the foods of his childhood, the ravioli and other Italian delights from his mother's family and golumpki, pierogi and other Polish staples from his father's family. Ben is on a constant search for new foods and cooking techniques to blend into new flavors for customers, friends and family.

Executive Chef Patrick Mannato

Patrick Mannato is currently the Systems Executive Chef for Sodexo Health Care for the St. Peter’s Health Partners. He is in charge of the culinary operations for 5 hospital locations; St. Peter’s, Albany Memorial, Samaritan, St. Mary’s, and Sunnyview. This includes patient services, retail, and catering.He was previously a Northeast Regional District Executive Chef for Sodexo Campus Services based at Union College in Schenectady. Since September 2012, Chef Mannato has been stationed at 14 different units throughout New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington D.C. He is a graduate of the Schenectady County Community College Culinary Arts and has completed the Culinary Foundations Program at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park NY.

Chef Joseph Marosek

For over ten years, Joseph Marosek has enjoyed a successful career in the restaurant industry. His thirst for knowledge, discipline, and an ability to lead and coach other staff members has helped him to grow professionally. Joseph traveled abroad and gained additional experience by working at multiple 5-star resorts throughout the Mediterranean. He assisted with Chef Chrysanthou Stefano’s first cookbook, was an active member of the Cyprus Culinary Olympic Team, created menus, and executed startups for seasonal restaurants with new concepts. He continued to expand his knowledge by assisting in banqueting functions for hundreds of guests and was instrumental in the success and execution of many elegant gala functions.

Chef Dan Spitz

Dan Spitz, private chef in New York’s Capitol Region, brings a different approach to food to his diners. He spent the majority of his early years in Portland, Oregon where he made his mark preparing unusual and acclaimed dishes for some of the west coast’s elite restaurants like the Zagat™ rated Zefiro. As the executive chef at Mint and Ripe he began to understand and care about “sustainability” in agriculture and pasture raised and grass fed animals.

The last ten years he spent opening two fine dining establishments as the chef at Beekman Street Bistro and more recently as the Chef de Cuisine of Max London’s, both in Saratoga Springs, NY. He now brings his love of farm fresh foods along with his expertise and inspired tastes to your table. He is one of few chefs that practices what he preaches by buying 90% of his meats and produce from local framers. This is why Dan has an eclectic and ever-changing menu highlighted by whatever is seasonable.

Food Writer Alexandra Stafford

After graduating from Yale, Alexandra Stafford (Ali) moved to Philadelphia, where she attended cooking school and worked in catering and restaurant kitchens in and outside of the city. After spending two years in the Fork kitchen, first as a prep cook then ultimately as sous chef, she left the restaurant world, started her blog, Alexandras Kitchen, and began writing about food for various newspapers and magazines. In addition to developing recipes and photographing the food for her blog, Alexandra also writes weekly for Food52, generally about weeknight cooking. Alexandras Kitchen has been recognized by The New York Times, Saveur, Bon Appetit, Fine Cooking, Goop, Food52, Domaine Home, The Huffington Post, Design Sponge, Wisconsin Cheese, and FairTrade. AK is part of The52, a hand-picked group of bloggers working in the worlds of culture, food, and lifestyle chosen by Food52 editors. Alis cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs, published in April, has been praised by many.

Chef Leah Stein

Since Leah Stein was big enough to reach the mixer she has been baking yummy treats. Her hobby turned into profession, and skills were honed at culinary school. Leah is a graduate of Schenectady County Community College Culinary Arts Program, a chef/instructor at her Alma matter, and proud owner and operator of the popular Leahs Cakery in Round Lake, NY. Leah has over 10 years professional experience in baking and cake decorating. Her decorating debut was with the former Queen of Tarts in Guilderland and The Bread Basket Bakery in Saratoga Springs where she was the Head Cake Decorator and Wedding Cake Designer. Presently Leah can be found in the kitchen of her bakery creating her beloved cinnamon rolls and other baked treats in addition to the classroom at SCCC.

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