Pastry Arts Instructor

Coming from a family where both parents cooked, Chef Kam Golightly developed an appreciation for cooking at a young age and it was in her sophomore year of high school that she realized she could make a living out of her passion. Pursuing this idea, Chef Kam studied the culinary arts and minored in business at Drexel University in Philadelphia. After her studies, she traveled Europe, taking the opportunity to stage at various bakeries. When she returned to the US, Chef Kam took on her first full-time position at Redd in Yountville (a 1 star Michelin property) and worked under Nicole Plue, a 2010 James Beard winner. In 2011, Chef Kam became Redd’s Executive Pastry Chef and was responsible for not only onsite pastry production but also offsite accounts such as the Pebble Beach Food and Wine Events and Robert Mondavi Vineyards. Receiving recognition for her hard work, Chef Kam was nominated for best new pastry chef with Food & Wine Magazine in 2012.

Transitioning to the North Bay Area in 2013, Chef Kam accepted an Executive Pastry Chef position at Oliveto, a farm-to-table restaurant, and cafe in Oakland. It was here that she supported the Community Grain project, focusing on whole heirloom grain breads and pastries. She notes that living in California leaves no room for excuses when it comes to being conscious of seasonality and sustainability. Two years later, Chef Kam took on an Executive position at the Firehouse restaurant in Sacramento. Working under the Harvego restaurant group, Chef Kam consulted on three different locations.

Having experienced many avenues of the pastry arts world, from small breakfast cafes in London to Michelin star restaurants in California, Chef Kam has decided to share her knowledge with students at the ICC. A running theme throughout her craft is a sense of nostalgia. She explains, “I like to create dishes where, when someone puts it in their mouth, it transports them back in time”. What makes her stand out as a Pastry Chef turned Instructor is the ability to transform something well known and comfortable and give it a fine-dining twist.


Cake and Pastry Lead Instructor

Many of Chef Cynthia Peithman’s best culinary memories revolve around her family: her grandmother’s chicken soup, her mother’s stuffed cabbage, pancakes with her kids. So it should not come as a surprise that she runs her own specialty cake business, Cakeline; after all, cakes celebrate the occasions that bring families and friends together. Chef Cynthia merges her baking talents with her visual arts background to make truly show stopping results, and her wedding cakes are featured in bridal magazines with perennial regularity. Chef Cynthia joined The International Culinary Center in 2005.


Pastry Chef-Instructor

A graduate of The International Culinary Center’s Culinary, Pastry, Bread, and Wine programs, Chef Mark was Executive Pastry Chef of the Nick & Toni’s Restaurant Group as well as the Pastry Chef de Cuisine at Mesa Grill in Las Vegas. Among his career achievements, he names being selected by the James Beard House as a participant in their 2010 “Chefs & Champagne” event in the Hamptons and becoming a certified sommelier through the Master Guild of Sommeliers as some of his career highs. He feels that love for food, passion for your craft, and patience with yourself and others are the keys to career success, and he is eager to pass along the skills he has learned to the next generation of pastry chefs. Chef Mark joined The International Culinary Center in 2011.


Pastry Lead Instructor

When Chef Claudia Silva first went to University in Chile, she wanted to build highways and bridges. But once she discovered her passion for food and feeding people, the trajectory of her life changed forever. After 20+ years of working professionally in New York City, Barcelona, San Francisco and Santiago, she returned to her alma mater in 2006 and is now ICC’s Pastry Lead Instructor–a position she treasures because it gives her a chance to “learn from students every single day.” She credits success in the culinary field to discipline and dedication. “It’s not enough to LIKE to cook or bake. First feel passion for this profession.”

Pastry Chef-Instructor Stephany Buswell at ICC


Pastry Chef-Instructor

A Certified Master Baker, Chef Stephany has worked in the baking industry for more than 35 years. After gaining experience at some of the top bakeries in the Santa Cruz and Capitola, California, she went on to open her own bakery and wedding cake business. Along with her expertise in European-style baking, Chef Stephany also has experience in baking with natural foods.She began teaching in 1989, and has a passion for sharing her years of experience baking bread and pastries and cake decorating with others.


Pastry Lead Chef-Instructor

Before becoming a chef, Chef Toni Dickinson graduated from Smith College with a double major and danced professionally with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater of New York. After great success in the performing arts world, she traded the stage for the kitchen and enrolled in The International Culinary Center. This training led to pastry work in restaurants like the River Café and Le Cirque, and private catering positions with the Italian Consulate as well as her own catering company, Amye J’s. She brings her remarkable teaching skills to the Pastry Department, where her thoughtful interaction with students challenges them to think—and cook—creatively. Chef Toni Lynn joined The International Culinary Center in 1998.


Pastry Lead Instructor

“Like music, cooking cultivates your soul,” says Chef Christopher Ciresi, who is not only an accomplished chef but also a classically trained cellist. As the pastry chef at Manhattan’s legendary Plaza Hotel, Chef Christopher created stunningly inventive showpiece work that wowed guests from all over the world. At the school, he demonstrates a soulful appreciation and understanding of his craft, and his students are constantly inspired by his boundless energy and global influences. Chef Christopher joined The International Culinary Center in 2000.


Lead Bread Chef-Instructor

Johnson Yu graduated from Paul Smith’s College for Culinary Arts before attending ICC’s bread program to specialize in artisanal bread. While attending the program, he was hired as one of the first bakers at Bouchon by former ICC Bread Instructor Amy Quazza. After baking at Bouchon and Della Fattoria, Chef Johnson was lured back to The FCI by its supportive environment, inspiring staff, and the opportunities to continue growing as a chef and baker. He advises his students to work hard, but to make sure they are having fun in the process. Chef Johnson joined the International Culinary Center in 2006.


Pastry Chef-Instructor

A graduate of The International Culinary Center’s pastry program in 2005, Chef Lindsay has worked in a variety of renowned fine dining restaurants in New York City, including Esca, Ai Fiori, Marea, and Jean Georges, where she worked under the guidance of award-winning Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini for four years. After working in the restaurant industry, she joined Food Network’s Iron Chef America, where she worked as leads test kitchen chef. In 2012, Chef Lindsay returned to The International Culinary Center to become a Chef-Instructor, not only to pass on the knowledge she learned from her mentors to aspiring pastry chefs but also for the opportunity to work with the many talented professional chefs teaching at the Center. Chef Lindsay joined The International Culinary Center in 2012.


Coordinator, Pastry Arts

Jeanne Neivert graduated from The International Culinary Center’s pastry program in 1998. Before returning to the school as an instructor, Chef Jeanne was the pastry chef for Spoon Catering and Tbsp Café. While studying in college to become a veterinarian, Chef Jeanne fell in love with the warm kitchen atmosphere and the infinite number of ways a simple dough can be transformed into a complex plated dessert. She is equally as energized by her well-respected colleagues and enthusiastic students and loves the interaction she has with students, as well as having the chance to meet so many wonderful people. Chef Jeanne joined The International Culinary Center in 2010.