A Word About Our Chefs
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John Bridgens ~ When asked, "What are some of your hobbies?" One of John’s responses was "Trying new foods – eating, cooking." This began early for him. At the age of 10 John began cooking family meals with his mother. He spent ten seasons in Alaska feeding hungry men on a fishing boat, and now is involved in a thriving catering business. He brings a wealth of knowledge to us in the assorted sushi and Korean cooking classes that he presents in our school.

Kim Davaz ~ Kim has been teaching for Pepperberries since it was Cookin’ on Broadway. She loves to eat all kinds of foodstuff, though some cuisines she’d rather have someone else cook (intensive-chopping Chinese comes to mind). There are real challenges in cooking for today. Kim regularly feeds a family that includes two vegetarians, some hard-core carnivores and two small children. Coming up with a dinner that pleases everyone can be difficult. Her favorite classes to teach are baking and menus for meals that are delicious but not fussy. The kinds of dinners that are good enough for company but easy enough for every day. In her spare time, she reviews cookbooks for the Register-Guard.

Mary Minor Diehl ~ Did you know that Mary ran her husband’s pediatric office, as well as two different delicatessens, the most infamous being "Munchies" in Norman, Oklahoma? This took place during the days of hip hugger jeans and halter tops, which was their uniform. Mary has been teaching at Pepperberries for over a decade. She presents a broad array of food types, specializing in well-made, wonderful tasting food that is easy to prepare, because "Life is just too busy!" 

John Carlile ~ John is an accomplished home cook with years of experience both in and out of the kitchen.  Growing tired of watching cooking shows with hosts offering meals that he really wasn't interested in, John came up with the idea for  KitchOut.com.  John is passionate about teaching people about how to eat better food:  in taste, nutrition, budget friendly and better skills.  He brings fresh ideas on feeding your family ... well.

Vickie Hamory ~ Vickie loves to play around with her food and would rather make up recipes consisting of what is in the pantry than spend one more minute at the grocery store. Her new cookbook "A Forty Year Collection" is missing one thing: anything starting with the word "congealed." Vickie has been teaching at Pepperberries for the past 10 years. Her extensive culinary training in Italy and Japan make her catering and cooking school (Savorys) in Albuquerque, New Mexico a local favorite. When asked if she has any hobbies, she says "You bet!" (hand painting one of a kind canvas rugs, mosaic stained glass and mowing the lawn.) "I cook a lot of things in my head while mowing the lawn." Her words of wisdom are "Teach your kids to cook!"

Bill McCallum ~ Bill is no stranger to the world of food. His tutelage began at the Shilo Ranch House. Soon, Bill found himself as the head chef at the Tree House Restaurant in the early 80’s, an establishment known for elegant evenings. Bill is passionate about wonderful, rich foods and the developing of new recipes to tempt the palate. He is currently owner of Billy Mac’s as well as a catering business.

Jeem Peterson ~ Jeem loves sharing his knowledge and meeting new people through teaching Thai cooking. He grew up near Seattle and moved to Eugene with his wife in 2011. He was a public school science and math teacher for 15 years. When he switched careers to the solar industry in Vermont, he often found himself with a 6-week winter work furlough, which opened up the door to study Thai cooking. He has taken 4 trips to Thailand to study at various professional cooking schools. He offers various Thai cooking classes, including popular dishes and street food. He likes making Thai cooking easy and accessible for everyday cooks.

Karen Reid ~ Karen has had a passionate love of cooking and good food since her childhood, where she got a solid grounding in cooking techniques from her mother. As an adult raising a family, her repertoire expanded to include many cuisines and hundreds of recipes, including Asian, Mexican, French and American comfort foods, all of which she has taught at Pepperberries. Her philosophy is "Life is too short to eat processed food." She loves to pass on to her students her many technique tips to show how cooking healthy, delicious meals at home can be easy and enjoyable. A special treat in some of Karen’s classes is the assistance of her husband, Tom, who acts as "breadmaster", "grillmaster" and "steammaster", depending on the class. Tom adds his own special knowledge of these techniques to the fun and information of Karen’s classes.

Tom Reid ~ Tom has been happy to be a grillmaster, breadmaster and steam master for his wife, Karen for the past 30+ years, as she thrives on being the household chef. He and Karen have taught classes together at Pepperberries since 2003. With his educational training as a chemist and his love of good food and drink, he has developed over the year’s excellent technique for grilling a multitude of foods, and he loves working with yeast, which explains his penchant for fine bread-making and beer making. Tom also "mans" the Chinese steamer when dim sum are being prepared. Tom has an engaging teaching style that entertains students while informing them.

Ann Schar ~ Ann is no stranger to the Eugene area, being a fifth generation resident. No only does she have a local heritage, but Ann has a culinary legacy as well. She hails from generations of "good cooks." She began pursuing her desire to be in the kitchen at a young age, often joining her Grandmother. Soon, she became the family bread baker. Ann takes much delight in treating her guests to not only wonderful foods, but also extra special touches in the way things are prepared and presented. When asked to describe herself, she says she is a "passionate cook."

Amy Van Dyke ~ "My grandma, Carolyn, gave me my first cookbook when I was 8 years old." Amy still remembers the excitement of looking through the pages of simple recipes and being so excited about making her own creation! Her first attempt was popovers. She didn’t even know what a popover as, but couldn’t wait to give them a try. Amy still recalls the joy of watching her family eat them. Having grown up in a family that loves to cook, her first real job was flipping burgers at her family’s resort on the Oregon Coast. Currently Amy is teaching a culinary arts program for Lane County Department of Youth Services. She says, "Nothing brings me more joy than to see them grow and change…"













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