Culinary Insitute of New Orleans
Kathy A Tujague
Kathy has over twenty-three years of experience in vocational education, teaching and counseling students. She is a skilled education specialist who believes in hands-on training utilizing the latest technological advances. Kathy graduated with a BS Degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, LA, and has received AFFA Certifications in fitness instruction and personal training. Her input and consultations on our Nutrition, Health, & Wellness classes have been invaluable.

Robert Koehl
The Director of the Culinary Institute of New Orleans has over thirty-five years of experience in career school operations. Bob's prior responsibilities have included recruitment, financial aid, staffing, management, policy and procedures development, curriculum design, Federal Government compliance, accreditation, state licensure, TV production, retail product line development, restaurant operations and more. Born in New Orleans, LA on August 14, 1950, Bob graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in New Orleans, LA in 1968 and completed his education at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, LA; the University of New Orleans (UNO) in New Orleans, LA; Tulane University in New Orleans, LA; and Loyola University in New Orleans, LA. Currently Bob co-hosts Jazz Brunch, a national PBS cooking program which airs throughout the United States. Through Bob's determination, persistence and leadership, his dream of creating a First Class Culinary School in New Orleans has become a reality.
Chef Lonnie Varisco
Chef Lonnie Varisco, Headmaster and Chef Instructor at the Culinary Institute of New Orleans, is a local talent come home. After graduating from the New England Culinary Institute, he worked throughout the United States from the East Coast to the West Coast as Executive Chef. His culinary experience includes operating a restaurant consulting business and owning and operating a gourmet food and wine store. His wine expertise was earned working as a consultant for a national wine distributor. Chef Lonnie has become a celebrity chef, appearing on local radio and television shows in the New Orleans area. He regularly lectures and gives cooking demonstrations to the public. His public lectures feature classic New Orleans food, nutrition and dietary concerns, cooking secrets and techniques and professional culinary secrets. Chef Lonnie currently co-hosts Jazz Brunch, a national PBS television cooking program which airs throughout the United States. He is currently working on a Jazz Brunch cookbook.

Eugene H. Castillon
Gene started his teaching career in 1969 as a full-time English instructor at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH, and now heads the English and Mathematics Departments at the Culinary Institute of New Orleans. He graduated from Jesuit High School in New Orleans, LA, and attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH, where he was awarded a BA Degree with Honors (Summa cum Laude). Gene's devotion to Education and his willingness to share with his students make him an ideal addition to our faculty of instructors.

Chef Brendan O'Donnell
As executive chef of the Chef's Table Restaurant and instructor at the Culinary Institute of New Orleans, Chef Brendan knows first-hand what it takes to be an executive chef in today's culinary industry. Seventeen years of working in the top restaurants of New Orleans (Bacco, Red Fish Grill, Crozier's Restaurant Francais, and Bella Luna) and four years of college study as an English Major at Loyola University in New Orleans, LA, have provided him with the expertise and knowledge necessary to be an effective culinary instructor. Chef Brendan's knowledge, culinary skills, patience, temperament, and passion for food make him an ideal teacher and motivator. He is truly a chef's chef.

Wayne A. Ferrara
Wayne brings twenty-one years of experience in restaurant operations from food production (line, sauté, pantry, and dessert) to food service director, purchasing agent, waiter, and Front of the House manager. His duties encompassed scheduling employee shifts, sales projections, training and counseling Front of the House employees, and inventory control. Wayne graduated from John F. Kennedy High School and attended the University of New Orleans (UNO) in New Orleans, LA. He is an active member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors' Guild. Presently Wayne teaches Wine Appreciation, Dining Room & Banquet Management, and Nutrition, Health, & Wellness.

Chef Charles Lilly
Chef Charlie Lilly brings a unique perspective to his teaching at the Culinary Institute. His culinary career began after 16 years in the business sector heading a multi-million dollar division of a large publishing company. As sales director he frequently traveled and entertained clients in the finest restaurants across America. His travels expanded his culinary interests and gave him a broad understanding of American regional cuisines. At 36 years of age, he retired from the publishing industry and entered culinary school at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, graduating at the top of his class with Alpha Beta Kappa honors.

While attending culinary school Chef Charlie held the position of Executive Private Chef to a Chicago entrepreneur and also served as a culinary consultant for two best-selling cookbooks. Upon graduation Chef Charlie worked in some of Chicago's finest restaurants, ranging from the boutique Cafe Absinthe to the tourist attraction The Signature Room at the top of the John Hancock Building. He also served a stint as Assistant Pastry Chef at Paris Pastries, a large French pastry shop. Chef Charlie then established Catering by Charlie, a catering business with a select Fortune 500 clientele, which he owned and operated for many years. His final stop before moving to New Orleans was a position as Chef de Cuisine of Adagio, a large Northern Italian fine-dining restaurant in Iowa City, Iowa. Over the course of these years Chef Charlie has remained an active member in his community by teaching classes for Share Our Strength in Chicago and by participating in events such as the “Star Chefs” March of Dimes benefit dinner in Iowa City. Chef Charlie holds a BA degree from the University of Iowa, an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts, and several National Restaurant Association certifications.

Chef Francis Casciato
Chef Eddie Phillips
Chef Eddie Phillips is a local New Orleanian who fell in love with Culinary Arts at an early age. As a student in high school he began his venture into the foodservice world as a Line Cook at Vincent’s Restaurant. By the time he graduated from high school, he had also graduated from Line Cook to Sous Chef at this high volume eatery.

Eddie’s desire to expose himself to all aspects of culinary creations led him nightly to Kathy’s Bakery to explore the world of Pastry and Baking while still working as Sous Chef during the day at Vincent’s.

Eddie then attended the Culinary Institute of New Orleans. He received the Student of the Year Award and obtained an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts with Honors.

After graduation, Eddie’s Sous Chef training continued under the nationally renowned Executive Chef Greg Picolo at the world famous Bistro at the Maison De Ville in the historic New Orleans French Quarter.

Eddie will bring his many years of experience to CINO where he will prepare and enrich the lives of the future leaders in the Culinary Field as a Lead Instructor.

Chef Sandi Pepper
Chef Sandi Pepper is a New Orleans Native with a Graduate Degree from the Culinary Arts Program at Delgado Community College. She has had several years experience in some of the most renowned and historical restaurants in New Orleans, such as, Arnaud’s, Napoleon House, Patout’s and Le Parvenu.

Chef Sandi’s restaurant experience spans from Garde Manager, Sous Chef, Executive Sous Chef, Corporate Chef to Executive Chef. Her hard work was rewarded when she was asked to represent the Culinary Apprentice Program as their Ambassador to the ACF Board by the New Orleans Chapter of the ACF. She has appeared as a guest chef on two television networks, a guest Culinary Instructor for Delgado Community College and a guest judge for the New Orleans Culinary Classic. She will bring her extensive experience, training, and culinary skills into the classroom to enrich her students’ education.

Chef Michael Auglair
Specializing in dining room and banquet management, Michael brings to his students years of Front of the House experience working in the elite fine dining restaurants of New Orleans. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of New Orleans (CINO), he returns as a faculty instructor with a unique, first-hand understanding of student needs and problems. Michael heads our banquet and catering programs and currently personally serves the Mayor of New Orleans in weekly City Hall food service functions, as well as, exclusive caterer for the Archdiocese of New Orleans at St. Louis Cathedral.

Vincenza Roques
Ms. Roques, a native New Orleanian, obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting with a Minor in Business Administration from Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana. Vincenza’s pursuit of excellence in her field is reflected in her obtaining Certifications in Accounting, Financial Aid, Student Data Systems and various software programs. She has held the position of Computer Programmer for the State of Louisiana while in active duty with the Louisiana National Guard. Upon entry into the Educational field Ms. Roques gained Certification in Federal Loan programs. Vincenza holds the position of Comptroller at the Culinary Institute of New Orleans.

Meredith Spivey
Financial Aid Officer

Amber Chauvin
Administrative Assistant
Recently a graduate from the University of New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana with a double major in psychology and biology, Amber brings a youthful energetic attitude. She has over eight (8) years experience in management with a national corporate 500 firm. As administrative assistant, her duties blend well at the Culinary Institute of New Orleans with the organizational structure and discipline gained. Amber enjoys travel, diverse cultures, yachting and hot air ballooning.

Karen Moore
Admissions Director
Karen has 12 years of experience as Admissions Director. Her excellent communication skills motivate both students and faculty to achieve beyond expectations. She brings a positive outlook and a genuine concern for students in pursuit of their career as a professional chef. Karen enjoys fine dining, theatre and international travel.

Leslie Brewer
Director of Sales

Bruce Holland
Food & Beverage Director