As the company has grown, so has the culinary team that supports it. Every member of the Chef Alyssa’s team brings his or her own special talents to the table, but they all live to share the art and joy of cooking with others…whether in our kitchen or yours.
Meet Chef Alyssa
Chef Alyssa has been cooking her entire life. She’s worked in different types of restaurants up to Executive Chef. She’s created and designed all of the menus and recipes in our kitchen. Chef Alyssa leads our public classes and is excited for the opportunity to cook with you!
Meet Chef Alyssa
Growing up in Charlotte, NC Alyssa Wilen (formerly Alyssa Gorelick) has been involved with cooking nearly her entire life. For her, cooking has been a culmination of her love of art and fine food. Alyssa has always had the creative spirit in her – whether it was in dance, art, or theater. In short time, Alyssa found her love and passion for cooking and focused her career path on this model.
Alyssa has made many wonderful stops in her professional journey. A 2005 graduate of the Art Institute of Charlotte, Alyssa started and ran her own catering company while in school. Her professional career has taken her to Italy and several restaurants in Charlotte the range from upscale restaurants, a country club, to small intimate dining.
In 2011, Alyssa was presented with the opportunity to hone her style in a brand new restaurant in Charlotte. Fern, Flavors from the Garden, appointed her the opening Executive Chef and in October 2011, Alyssa officially became “Chef Alyssa.” Working tirelessly for months, Chef Alyssa made countless connections with local farmers to ensure that all of her menu items would be healthy and local. The menu and dessert items, which changed seasonally and daily upon availability, reflected her efforts.
While at Fern, Chef Alyssa was recognized in multiple local, regional, and national magazines, including Food & Wine Magazine. Aside from being named one of Charlotte’s Top 5 Chefs by CBS Charlotte, Chef Alyssa had the opportunity to cook two separate times at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.
Since starting Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen, Alyssa won the 2014 Iron Fork Competition, named as one of the top 10 chefs in Charlotte to know by The Braiser and listed as one of the top culinary minds in Charlotte by South Park Magazine. In 2015 and 2016, Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen was named Best Cooking Class by Charlotte Magazine. She can been seen cooking weekly on TV every Saturday morning at 9:15 on NBC Charlotte, WCNC.
In 2016, Chef Alyssa launched her product line of condiments: Chef Alyssa’s Spreads. Most recently, Chef Alyssa appeared on June 24, 2016 on Beat Bobby Flay on The Food Network. During that year, she was also recognized as one of the top females in Charlotte culinary scene by South Park Magazine. In 2017, Chef Alyssa was named one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte by The Mecklenburg Times. In 2019, Charlotte Agenda named her one of the most influential women in Charlotte’s food & drink industry.
Her cooking style and passions are to use local, fresh ingredients and add layers of flavor.
Alyssa loves adding her personality, passion and creative sense into all of her menu items. She credits Chefs Joseph Bonaparte, Paul Verica, and Lorenzo Polegri. Chef Alyssa resides in Charlotte, NC and enjoys practicing yoga, exercising, kombucha, and trying new things.
Without Andrew, there’d be no kitchen! He brings his winning smile and expertise on event management. Andrew handles the operations, marketing and communications for Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen.
Andrew Wilen, an energetic and creative leader, grew up in Baltimore, MD. He has always been an athlete, playing team sports from lacrosse and soccer to basketball and baseball. With his involvement in so many outdoor sports, it’s no wonder that the Carolina weather drew him down south.
In 2008 he graduated from Elon University with a BA in Corporate Communications and double minors in sports marketing and business management. Following graduation, he worked in marketing and media relations for the Carolina Panthers and Bank of America. He also managed promotions for many events including the Chicago Marathon and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Denver, New York, Houston and Dallas. His ability to motivate a team and get the group excited to accomplish its goals contributed to the reason he became an event planner.
Following this career path, Andrew continued event planning with LivingSocial Adventures as the Charlotte Events Manager. He was able to design and manage exciting events for guests seeking to explore Charlotte in a vibrant and new way. Some of the events he designed were music festivals, sushi making and wine tours. He thrives in situations where he can motivate others, add his creativity, transform a space and, most of all, making sure guests have a good time. Following LivingSocial, Andrew worked for Charlotte Center City Partners in South End, the “SoHo” of Charlotte, for 5 years. Amongst other localized events in South End, Andrew organized Small Business Saturday and the Craft Beer Crawl for three years. He loves organizing events which strengthen the community and cultivate the art and cultural scene in Charlotte.
Andrew delivers his dynamic personality to Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen, which brings people together to explore cooking great food and learning in a fun way. In 2015, Andrew was named one of Elon University’s Top 10 Under 10 award recipients. In 2016, Charlotte Agenda named him as one of the Top 30 under 30 professionals. In 2017, Charlotte Business Journal named Andrew one of the Top 40 under 40 award honorees for his professional work and service in the community.
In his spare time Andrew stays active and plays in a softball league and pick-up basketball. He is an avid golfer who participates in several fun tournaments a year with his dad. Previously, Andrew has coached flag football and basketball for the British American School in South Charlotte, served on the Charlotte Alumni Board of Elon University for four years as the Events Program Manager and organized (with Alyssa) the Common Grounds Corncuopia raising funds and awareness for the Urban Ministry Center.
Andrew runs the Operations, Marketing, and Event Management for Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen. Please contact Andrew for all private event and press inquiries: [email protected]
Gloria assists all aspects of Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen including adult and kids cooking classes along with event management. She is also the lead chef for Saturday morning brunch service.
Gloria Sellers (formerly Wheeler) joined Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen February 2015 on a part-time basis. In June 2017, Gloria moved into a full-time role with several promotions since then.
Gloria was born in Washington D.C and is from Bamburg, SC. A 2015 culinary graduate from Johnson & Wales, Gloria has spent her career working in restaurants such as 300 East.
Gloria assists our cooking classes and team building events. She also helps plan many of our private events and keeps things organized! In 2018, she was promoted to lead chef for Saturday brunch service. After just 8 weeks, brunch was named top 12 in the city by Charlotte Agenda.
Gloria was one the leads starting Chef Alyssa’s Kids Culinary Camps. In 2017, after just 2 summers, the kids camps were named Best of the Best by Charlotte Magazine. In 2019, Gloria began leading public and private cooking class events.
Randy is the Catering Chef and Kitchen Manager of Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen. Randy oversees the execution and production of all dishes related to our office lunch catering and Family Table dinner meals. Email Randy: [email protected]
Randy Townes joined Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen in Spring 2019 as the Catering Chef and Kitchen Manager. Randy leads all of the office catering and Family Table Meal dinner meals.
John assists the team in all aspects of Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen. A key part of our catering team for our office catering and family table meals, John also executes many of the dinners for our chopped challenge events.
John Camp joined Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen in December 2018 initially in a part-time role. Beginning in September 2019, John was promoted to a full-time position with CAK. You can find John assisting with all parts of the company: catering, family table meals, cooking classes and special events.
Britt co-leads our Pastry Department! She is a pastry chef and operations manager at CAK helping to plan private events. With a background in both cooking and baking, Britt’s experience is a huge benefit to CAK. Along with assisting all events, Britt leads summer culinary for kids and teens and parent/child/teen events throughout the year.
Britt Nolen joined Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen in Fall 2021 as a culinary assistant. In Summer 2023 she was promoted to lead pastry chef. Britt received her culinary degree in Virginia and grew up in West Virginia. With background as a line cook at the Greenbrier Sporting Club in West Virginia along with several bakeries.
Britt has a very kind, happy and approachable demeanor and is a fantastic part of the team. She is also an event manager for some of our chopped challenges and tapas tasting events.
Jaquari is a full-time culinary assistant! With a strong background in culinary, Jaquari’s expertise is seen all throughout Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen. He assists all of our cooking class events, leads kids and summer camps and parent/child/teen events throughout the year, Jaquari also teaches private event cooking classes. We sometimes call Jaquari, JQ!
Jaquari Mallory joined Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen in January 2022. JQ received his culinary degree from Johnson & Wales in Charlotte and grew up in Leesburg, VA. With strong background as a line cook, JQ has worked at Sea Level, BLT Steak and Carmel Country Club
JQ is a patient and informative chef and loves leading events. He also is an event manager for many of our private events and on occasion cooks dinner during chopped challenge events.
April, pastry chef, co-leads the Pastry Department! April is a talented baker and culinary professional. Her experience and level of detail, help her assist all of our events. April and Britt lead monthly cake decorating classes, along with other baking and pastry events throughout the week. April leads our kids and teens camps during the summer.
April Burg joined Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen in early 2022 initially in a part-time capacity. Later that year, she was promoted to a full-time position! One year later, she was promoted to Pastry Chef. In this role, April creates dessert specials on our catering menus, leading baking classes and camps and assisting all of public and private events. April received her baking and pastry degree from Johnson and Wales. With ties to Annapolis, MD as well April grew in Charlotte. She has extensive experience in bakeries, cake shops along with working at the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
April is very enthusiastic for her craft with a calm and uplifting demeanor. April is an excellent member of our CAK team!
Brittany is an expert baker and is part of culinary and baking team! From leading baking camps to assisting cooking class, Brittany’s brings a high level of expertise, care and fun to her job. Brittany occasionally leads public baking classes for adults and parent/teens
Brittany Moulton joined Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen in Summer 2019 as a culinary assistant. She received her culinary degree in Orlando, Florida and has worked her way through various roles within the industry. From a Publix Bakery Manager to lead baker at Duke’s Bread, Brittany is a wonderful part of CAK.
Clayton is one of our private event chef instructors. Joining the team in Fall 2021, Clayton has a wide variety of culinary experience within leadership positions. He is currently a Sous Chef at Supperland
Clayton Sanders joined Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen as chef instructor in Fall 2021. As one of our private event instructors, Clayton leads event for teams and groups of friends covering all types of menus. Clayton is a natural presenter who loves cooking and sharing his knowledge.
Previous stops for Clayton include Sous Chef at Halcyon, Executive Chef/Owner of The Davidson Street Public House. He is currently a Sous Chef at Supperland.
Kaegan is part-time culinary assistant at Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen. She joined our team in Spring 2022 while she completes her bachelors degree at Johnson & Wales. Kaegan assists all of our events, classes and camps.
Kaegan Parks joined Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen in Spring 2022 as a culinary assistant. She grew up in Asheville, NC and received her associates degree in culinary from Johnson and Wales in Charlotte. She will be graduating with her bachelors in Spring 2023. Kaegan has cooked in a variety of roles for restaurants and catering companies in Asheville and Charlotte. She is a fantastic member of CAK.
Charlie is one of our private event chef instructors. Charlie brings a level of cooking expertise to the team as a natural teacher and confident chef.
Charlie Reid joined Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen as chef instructor in Summer 2021. As one of our private event instructors, Charlie leads event for teams and groups of friends covering all types of menus. Previous stops for Charlie include Sous Chef at Upstream, Executive Chef of Tin Kitchen Food Truck and Executive Chef at Clean Catch Seafood. Charlie is a Johnson & Wales culinary graduate and the Owner of Crafted Plate for private chef services.