At City Cooking West End, we’re proud to work with experienced chefs and food professionals to bring you the best instructors and delicious, well-tested recipes.
Stephanie Sarikaya, Founder
After years of developing recipes and food blogging for the James Beard award-winning website The Kitchn, Stephanie started her blog City Cookin’ where she focused on re-creating top NYC restaurant dishes. When friends and family kept asking her to share her tasty recipes and techniques, Steph began offering cooking classes out of her apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Designed to give students tips and techniques to make restaurant-style dishes at home, the classes sold out almost immediately. After a strong first year, Steph’s cooking classes were beginning to grow out of her limited apartment space. And so, in the fall of 2016, City Cooking West End was born.
After forming a partnership with the Urbani Truffle Lab, City Cooking West End now offers its unique cooking classes hosted out of an amazing test kitchen in the Upper West Side of New York. As leading Truffle sellers throughout the world, Urbani’s commitment to excellence resonates throughout the lab, highlighted in the state-of-the-art kitchen design.
Ken Connors, Head Chef
A graduate of the French Culinary Institute, Ken has vast experience at top NYC restaurants, including Nobu 57, Shang, and ‘inoteca. He also worked as the executive chef at the Educational Alliance, where he promoted healthy diet and eating habits for children, teachers and senior citizens, serving breakfast, lunch and a snack out of a certified Kosher kitchen to over 300 people per day. Ken not only loves to cook food, but to grow it as well.
He built a hydroponic system in his house for herbs and tomatoes, and has a small garden that continue to grow each year. So far he has been growing his own lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, herbs, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Born and raised in Hawaii, Ken has a unique culinary background of Hawaiian, European and Asian fusion cuisine, and was making poke bowls long before they were trendy.
Angie Marin, Chef (latin cuisine specialist)
A Queens, NY native, Angie found her calling as a chef after a career in the non-profit world. Her cuisine is influenced by her Colombian roots and Latin flavors, and she's a patient and skilled instructor. She brings to the table restaurant experience from NYC hot spot, Boqueria, and a myriad of catering clients. You can also find Chef Angie on weekends at her pop-up Arepa stand in Brooklyn.
Liz Kennedy, Chef (pastry specialist)
Dating back to her teens, Liz has amassed significant experience throughout her career making desserts for a variety of local NYC based restaurants and caterers. Liz has also established significant culinary teaching experience hosting pastry classes at Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table Fairways “The Cooking Place”, and now City Cooking West End.
Lany Phlong, Chef (Asian cuisine specialist)
Lany Phlong grew up in Florida and was immersed in Cambodian culture and food. In 2011 Lany pursued her passion in food, travelling throughout SE Asia for six months in order to reconnect with her roots and while studying regional flavors and techniques throughout the region. Upon her return, she has hosted various supper clubs which grew into her own catering company. Lany has also worked in various New York City restaurants. You can follow her food adventures and labradoodle on Instagram @dinnerbylany.
Fabian Robinson, Assistant Chef
An UWS local, Chef Fabian shines in the kitchen with his passion for comfort food and keeping guests smiling. Follow him @foodjunkienyc for his latest NYC hot foodie spots and entertaining tips.
Niamani Brown, Event Manager & Virtual Host
With 20 years of experience in the Hospitality, Niamani's experience showcases the passion behind bringing people together through food. Most recently she has served as an Event Service Manager for The Lobster Place and prior as Beverage Director for Candle Cafe West in addition to Candle Cafe in the UES. She has also functioned as wine buyer for Cull & Pistol in Chelsea Market. Known for her expressive cocktails as a Mixologist, Niamani has curated as well as implemented effective wine and bartending training programs. Stretching beyond the realms of guest relations she brings a knack for actualizing an unparalleled event experience. Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Conyers, GA, Niamani has a special love for the culinary arts which stems from her growing up in traditional Carribean rooted kitchen.