If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
— J.R.R. Tolkien

PREP Kitchen Essentials is a cooking school and retail store located in lovely Seal Beach, California. Our small, family-owned, community-oriented business thrives on culinary education, human connection and the love of everything food.

We carry high-quality kitchenwares and offer a wide range of top-rated, hands-on cooking classes for novice and experienced cooks alike.  Our classes and events are hands-on and 100% participatory.

Classes are only as good as their instructors and curricula. Our incomparable chefs provide dynamic, classic yet innovative instruction covering a wide range of subjects from time-honored baking to burgeoning cultural cuisines.


Our Chefs

 

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Dr. Allen Arnette

From an early age, Dr. Arnette has had a passion for cooking. He taught himself culinary skills and continued to develop them during his twenties and thirties. He holds three college degrees - all in the healing arts. During the last seven years, he has been teaching cooking classes with a wellness/nutritional approach around Southern California. Never sacrificing flavor or visual appeal, his approach to nutrition is sensible, fresh, and fun. Dr. Arnette maintains a full-time medical practice at the Advanced Wellness Center in Long Beach, CA. Acupuncture, yoga, chiropracty, Chinese medicine, nutrition and life-style counseling are the main focus of his approach to health care.

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Chef Christianne Winthrop

Christianne graduated with highest honors from Le Cordon Bleu’s Hollywood culinary program and holds a BA in English from UC Davis and studied drama at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Chris's culinarycareer began in 2009, when she launched her own boutique catering company specializing in modern Americancuisine with a healthy twist. In addition to teaching cooking classes all over LA and Orange Counties, Christiannedoes recipe development for companies such as Bob’s Red Mill and Frieda’s Specialty Produce, and is the Volunteer Chair on the committee for Taste of the Nation Los Angeles, a division of Share Our Strength. Chris alsoteaches in-home cooking classes to "kitchen chickens." When Christianne isn't teaching or catering, she is a freelance food writer with credits in The Los Angeles Timesand BrainWorld magazine. She has also contributed to the James Beard award-winning website SeriousEats.com and CBS Local's "Best of LA" website. She tracks her own culinary successes on her website: www.christiannewinthrop.com.

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Chef Dylan Regan

As a graduate of the San Francisco Academy of Culinary Arts, Chef Regan worked for many of the city’s great chefs including The James Beard Award Winning and Michelin Stared Chef Nancy Oakes of Boulevard. Aftergraduating, Chef Dylan was offered an Executive Chef position with Wyndham Hotels and Resorts began traveling opening a multitude of hotels across the US. Between hotel openings he continued taking Specialty classes at Culinary Institute of the Arts (CIA) where he earned his C.E.C credential from the American Culinary Federation (ACF). For the last 13 years Chef Dylan holds the Corporate Executive Chef position with Sodexho Marriot. In addition he has been the Lead Chair Instructor for the Sodexo Southern California Chefs Association and a Chef instructor for The Art Institute of Santa Monica.

Chef Dylan believes “Food revels in passion and creation, not pretension”. He States, “What’s beautiful and Magical about the field of culinary arts, is that I can study this craft my whole life and barely begin to scratch the surface.” He believes that one of our greatest gifts is the ability to emote through the experience of eating. “Whether we are happy or sad, celebrating or mourning, food plays an integral and vital part of these experiences”. He feels it is his honor and duty to teach and pass on the secrets and techniques to all who aspire in making the necessity of eating more than just sustenance and but a complete experience.

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Chef Elizabeth Whitt

Le Grande Diplôme in Pastry and Cuisine, Le Cordon Bleu Paris '99. Elizabeth started cooking for family and friends at a very young age under the tutelage of her grandmother. By sixteen, Elizabeth wasrunning the kitchen with Grandma as her sous-chef. Traveling through Europe as a teen, Elizabeth fell in love with the cultures and cooking of the countries she visited -- France, Italy, Germany, Russia. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Elizabeth held several positions at the distinguished culinary institute includingtranslator, chef's assistant and Director of Le Cordon Bleu’s summer program where she lead students and courses in cuisine, pastry, cheese & wine and gourmet tours. Elizabeth loves exploring and learning the history of food and food culture and spends her time between Paris and Belmont Shores hosting culinary tours. >> Learn To Cook with Chef Elizabeth Whitt

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Rahm Fama

Inspired by a life full of cattle ranching and working his way up through the restaurant ranks, meat‐ loving chef Rahm Fama followed his carnivorous curiosity across the country, searching out the choicest cuts and obsessing over mouth‐watering meat as host of Food Network’s Meat & Potatoes. Rahm is fascinated by the story behind food, especially meat, and he appreciates the time, effort, dedication and passion required to get it to the plate.

Rahm’s love of food and respect for all things meat stem from growing up in Santa Fe, N.M., and working on his mother’s cattle ranch. He began his culinary career at age 15 when he secured a prep cook position at a local restaurant, Mark Miller’s Coyote Café. He spent two years there, and he knew for sure that the kitchen was his calling. Rahm instantly fell in love with the excitement, atmosphere, and fast‐ paced action of the restaurant, and his curiosity pushed him to discover food through travel and firsthand experience.

He traveled to many kitchens, cooking his way through locales including Austin, Phoenix/Scottsdale, New York, Colorado Springs, Vail, and St. Lucia. After learning the restaurant ropes locally, he moved to Austin to work as a line cook at Westbank Fishcamp for a year then returned to Santa Fe where he worked as a cook at Quail Run. Next, Rahm traveled to Phoenix/Scottsdale to work as a lead line cook at Scottsdale Phoenician. Rahm was offered a chef de cuisine position at age 22 in The Broadmoor, a five‐ star hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He accepted his first executive chef position working with Serge Raoul at Raoul’s in New York when he was 26. Rahm discovered that the hotel culinary world was an extraordinary place to experiment with food and learn about cooking from a business perspective after two unique experiences in New Mexico: He built up the Sierra Grande Lodge & Spa in New Mexico from scratch, and then he spent more than four years as executive chef of La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa transforming the award‐winning Fuego restaurant into a world‐class destination. Then, in 2006, he took a job as the executive chef for the Lodge at Vail in Colorado, overseeing all culinary operations including the signature AAA Four Diamond Award winning restaurant, The Wildflower, and the Tuscan‐style dining venue, Cucina Rustica. In addition to his restaurant experience, Rahm also worked as a private chef and has cooked at the prestigious James Beard House in 2006 and 2008.

Quite the adventurer, Rahm spent time on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, exploring remote townships and learning indigenous recipes from village matriarchs while opening a new restaurant for RockResorts. While in Vail, Rahm lived in a mountain cabin without a kitchen; he taught himself to cook everything from bread to main course meals over a wood‐burning fire.

Rahm made his cookbook debut with Meat and Potatoes: Simple Recipes That Sizzle and Sear (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York) in July 2014.

Rahm loves to fish, boat and explore new food venues on a non‐stop quest for unique recipes and new ingredients that will ultimately inspire his own cooking. He has four children (Delani, Kali, Recce and Bailey) all of whom he’s eagerly teaching to cook. Rahm currently lives in Los Angeles.

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Chef Karla Flores-Ybaceta

Karla received a duo Associates of Science Degree in Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry from Long Beach City College. Karla studied and graduated with a Grande Diplome in Culinary Arts as well as Baking and Pastry from L'Ecole Lenotre in Paris, France. Executive Chef for Red Sypology Restaurant Trained with Master Chef Romain Bertain Executive Chef/Owner of ALiBOH Catering Lead Chef for TGIS Catering for 2 years Private Chef for the Her Royal Highness Princess Rima Al Saud and the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia

 
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Michael Recchiuti

Past and recurring guest chefs at PREP include: Michael Recchiuti: world-famous chocolatier Jet Tila; Food Network Chef, Executive Chef at Wazuzu, Steve Wynn's Asian bistro in Las Vegas Neal Frasier; owner/chef of Grace in West Hollywood, Redbird in Downtown LA Georges Perrier, Executive Chef at Le Bec Fin