Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Meet Cheryl Farhat

Proprietor, culinary instructor, and mom of two budding chefs

My inspiration for cooking came from my grandmother.  Some of my fondest memories were watching her stir up wonderful ethnic dishes in the kitchen.


Growing up, I always aspired to do something in the culinary field, but my “bread and butter” was a career in marketing.  While juggling a job in New York City, I attended Peter Kump’s Cooking School (now the Institute of Culinary Arts) and devoured cooking magazines in my spare time.


In 2010, I traded a demanding job to be at home, but always had a hankering to combine my professional experience with my culinary passion. After seeing my own children eager to help in the kitchen and a chance meeting with a friend, we came up with an idea of a children’s baking class.  The children were completely engaged and loved it. We’ve been cooking up a storm ever since – helping children learn an essential life skill while making it fun! 


I hope the kitchen is a place where people of all ages can unplug, celebrate good food and feel inspired!

Meet Jackie Ruggio

Our English Chef

My love of good food and cooking began when I studied Food and Consumer Science at Liverpool University, UK.  I then worked in ski chalets’ in the Swiss and French Alps, preparing Cordon Bleu cuisine for my guests. Later, I pursued a career in the food industry; where I worked in test kitchens for Tesco and Cadburys, developing recipes and products. Moving on, I worked for a London based Gourmet food Company in Sales, developing menus, utilizing fine ingredients for prestigious sporting events, such as; Royal Ascot and Silverstone Racecourse.


Just over a year ago, I moved from the UK with my husband and three children. Outside the kitchen I enjoy fun with family and friends, reading, interior design, singing, hiking and skiing. 

Meet Sarah Leahey-Benjamin

Pastry Chef, Culinary Arts Instructor & Food Writer

I discovered my love for cooking while at the University in London with its eclectic food scene.  From there, I traveled  through Europe where a passion for food took hold before coming home to finish my degree and get a job!


While working at Harvard Medical School my love of cooking never left, so I started moonlighting at Hamersley’s Bistro in the South End. Eventually Hamersley’s won out and I worked for Gordon Hamersley for three years. After which time I returned to London to work for many chefs including Alastair Little, the Joe Allen Restaurant Group, and Sunshine DNA Film Co. Later I worked as a private chef, cookery teacher and food writer before starting my own wholesale business. After 13 years in London and travel throughout Australia I’ve returned to Duxbury, a place where I call home.


My philosophy is that food should be first and foremost seasonal with strong emphasis on simple, wholesome, and locally sourced ingredients.

Meet Chris Chisholm

Wine Guru and Culinary Arts Instructor

I find great joy in the creativity and sensory benefits of sharing food experiences with friends and family. Wine and cooking have been my passion for nearly 25 years, so after a long career in the investment field, I finally thrust myself into my passions.  I graduated from Boston University Wine Studies and Wine Making programs and attended a program in Tuscany making wine in the Chianti region of Italy.


During a move to Denver, I went to culinary school and became a Certified Specialist in Wine Designation. After graduating, I became a Chef Instructor at the Cook Street School of Culinary Arts and as a personal chef in the Denver area.


Now back in Duxbury, I am excited to share my knowledge of both food and wine. I enjoy teaching kitchen techniques as a means to make everyone a better home cook and opening up the world of wine that will instill confidence in even the most novice wine enthusiast.