Lori Vacco Patton
Raised in a large Italian family, I always had a fascination for cooking and baking!
When my grandparents arrived from Calabria Italy, they brought many Italian traditions with them to
the states, where they raised their family. I am the eighth child of eleven, and needless to say, family
meals were always made in large quantities. There was always a large pot of sauce on the stove to walk
by and dip a piece of Mom’s warm Italian bread in to. Pastries were also made weekly in our house, and
we were constantly baking for friends, family and customers for their anniversaries, weddings and the
My family owned and operated a total of 11 Italian Restaurant’s in the Des Moines and surrounding areas. Although I always dreamed of going to a culinary Institute, my Mom had other ideas; she told me that she would teach me everything I needed to know! True to her word, over the years My Mom and my Grandmothers taught me to make many Italian dishes, including pastries. Thus, my experience was all “hands on”, and I learned the business from the bottom up: I can remember standing on a milk crate at the family’s restaurant at a very young age making pizzas for $2.50 an hour.
I continued to work through high school and most of my adult life in the family business, and eventually opened my own Italian restaurant featuring all of my mom’s amazing homemade recipes. This restaurant is where my son Benjamin learned some of his early culinary skills. He then received a scholarship to Iowa Culinary Institute, and now Benjamin is right here at ChefScape!!
I have now been in the Hospitality Industry for over 45 years. Throughout the years of owning my own restaurant, I have also catered events ranging from an intimate dinner for two to wedding receptions for 350 people.
Chef John Feist began his culinary journey at the Culinary Institute of America with a follow up apprenticeship in Switzerland. Today he is an award winning chef and owner of Loudoun County's Culinary Delights by Feist having catered weddings, corporate and private events for over 25 years throughout Northern Virginia.
John has extensive experience in teaching and catering full scale events in a variety of venues, from historic homes and local vineyards to offices and private homes.
John also works as a Nutrition Manager for Loudoun County Public Schools and is dedicated to providing the freshest of ingredients. He prides himself on creating delicious food and sharing his passion for all that is Culinary.
Formally trained at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Cindy traveled to Chicago and Washington D.C. for continuing education in Chocolatiering, sugar work and plated desserts with European-born Master Pastry Chefs. She excelled, being invited to attend Valrhona Chocolate L’Ecole in the Rhone region of France, an invitation only granted to 13 Americans to date. She consulted at Petit St. Vincent, a privately owned and very exclusive island in the Grenadines and her desserts have graced the tables of Phoenix restaurants such as Vincent’s on Camelback, The Euro Café and Cowboy Ciao.
In New England, Cindy created exquisite delicacies for the Four Diamond Bedford Village Inn and became the advanced pastry instructor at The Atlantic Culinary Academy/Le Cordon Bleu. While in Boston her desserts were heralded at The Federalist and The Hotel @ MIT. Becoming known as “the Bubbly Blonde Chef”, she creates approachable “twisted classics” desserts and confesses a fetish for fun edible garnishes using many Home Depot tools to finish her creations.
Among Chef Cindy’s many accolades is an award for Edible Architecture bestowed by the Phoenix Art Museum for a replica of the Louvre constructed entirely from chocolate and cast sugar and an invitation to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York. A wedding cake for the late golfer Heather Farr was featured on ESPN and was so tall she had to stand on a chair to assemble its eight layers! The Arizona Business Journal named Cindy Selby as “Top ten people to watch” in 1998 and she has been “Chef of the Month” for various Phoenix Magazines. Even after relocating in 1999, Arizona publications still have her desserts in the Top Ten list. In 2012 Cindy was featured on Food Networks Cupcake Wars – Episode Wicked.
Having studied Neuroscience at George Mason University, Calcin has always had a love for science and experimentation.
After becoming a mom, she began doing children's science parties and created her kid party company, STEM Kids, in 2015. Shortly after, she became inundated with requests from parents to do science parties geared to adults. This naturally evolved into the creation of her second company, Molecular Food and Cocktails, where she uses Liquid Nitrogen to create cool desserts & fun adult beverages.
Calcin loves introducing children to the amazing wonders of science including, simple machine creation, robotics, and sublimation. She is also a certified professional technician trained on how to safely handle liquid nitrogen in food preparation for entertaining. Using her practiced techniques, she also serves up delicious treats, drinks and popcorn using organic, seasonal, local and sustainable ingredients.
Calcin is also available for birthday parties at ChefScape or within your own home! She has an extensive menu and custom options for your specific event alloweing you to design a menu thats suits your preferences an/or theme.