Best of Cincinnati 2014
Upcoming Classes

Extravagant and Indulgent
with Leigh Barnhart Ochs

Saturday, April 26
11:00am - 1:30pm

Early Summer Entertaining
with Leigh Barnhart Ochs

Tuesday, April 29
11:00am - 1:30pm

Grilling Flank Steak with Ellen
with Ellen Mueller

Thursday, May 1
6:00 - 8:30pm

A Fiesta of Herbs for Cinco de Mayo
with Rita Heikenfeld and Ron Wilson

Monday, May 5
11:00am - 1:30pm

Low-Country Shrimp Boil
with Leigh Barnhart Ochs

Thursday, May 8
6:00 - 8:30pm

  • Class Calendar
Leigh Barnhart Ochs

Leigh Barnhart Ochs (Director)

Leigh is the director of The Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s International Market. She was a guest instructor at The Cooking School from 2005-2010 when she assumed directorship. Her training includes ten years of cooking school sessions at LaVarenne at The Greenbrier in West Virginia, cooking and studying with Julia Child, Anne Willan, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Todd English and other top chefs in the industry. Leigh has worked as both a personal and private chef and owned a cafe in Cincinnati. She has made appearances in the cooking segments for WCPO Channel 9 and Fox’s 19 Morning Extra Show along with radio and newspaper features. Leigh has served in recipe development as well as recipe testing for a James Beard Award winning author. Be Your Guest (2005), Leigh’s first cookbook, teaches busy people how to prepare simple, make-ahead recipes for maximum flavor with minimum work. She compiled and edited The Cooking School’s 15 Years of Cooking School Recipes (2010). Currently she is working on another cookbook. Her professional membership includes the United States Personal Chef Association (USPA). Leigh holds a Bachelor’s degree from Miami University and a Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Kim Baretta

Kim Baretta
Kim Baretta is a trained chef with experience catering and teaching cooking classes both in the United States and London, England. Having returned from England in 2006, Kim opened Garnish Catering on Kenwood Road in Blue Ash over 5 years ago. Her focus is catering, but she also sells "Gourmet Dinners to Go" Tuesday through Friday.

Terri Bergman

Terri Bergman
As a young girl growing up in New England, Terri learned the skills of preparing French cuisine at her mother’s side. As a grown woman, her life and travels enhanced her profound love of cooking and drove her to immerse herself in a new role and direction that encourages people to play with their food! She is the founder of The Kitchen’s Bounty in Sandusky, Ohio.

John Bostic

John Bostick
John has been teaching in the Chicago and Cincinnati areas for over 20 years. He has traveled extensively in Europe researching foods and has lived in France and Greece. Outside of his love for food, John has been in the high tech industry for 27 years. He is currently involved with two local well-known firms, LUCRUM, a business & IT consulting service company, and dbaDIRECT, the global industry leader in database management.

Susan Diehl

Susan Diehl
Born in Cincinnati, Susan spent a few years and many summers in England. While abroad she attended a private school and majored in culinary skills, receiving her training from chefs from the Cordon Bleu in Paris. Susan opened ‘Epicuriosity,’ Cincinnati’s first gourmet carry-out and catering business in 1985. She was the executive chef for Bebe’s Kitchen, a gourmet carry-out and catering and has taught cooking classes around town since 2005. Susan is a sous chef at the Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s.

Rita Heikenfeld

Rita Heikenfeld
Rita is a certified herbalist and a featured national speaker. She’s a member of the IACP, a certified Professional Level II Instructor, an award winning syndicated food columnist in the Community Press Newspapers, and author of several cookbooks. Rita is host of her cable TV show, "Love starts in the Kitchen" and cooks live on local television. The founding editor of her website "Abouteating.com" and her blog "Cooking with Rita" on Cincinnati.com, Rita also has an international weekly cooking segment on Sacred Heart Radio, and is resident herbalist for Granny’s Garden School, Natorp’s Garden stores and Fox 19’s Morning Extra show.

Ellen Mueller

Ellen Mueller
Ellen loves to cook and entertain family and friends. Since Ellen is Greek, food is the cornerstone of many family functions and traditions. She has been a sous chef at Jungle’s Jims for six years and teaches Mediterranean classes. Her love of cooking continues to be inspired by the many chefs she assists at the school.

Sang Nguyen

Sang Nguyen
Sang was 10 years old when her family escaped from Vietnam. She has spent most of her life here in Cincinnati. As the oldest of 6, learning to cook was a necessity. At 13 she was taught traditional Vietnamese cooking from her mother and then began to develop her own creations. Her husband and children motivated her to cook elaborate meals and hearing them say, "Thank you, Mommy," was music to her ears. For the past 3 years she has taught cooking classes, featuring her most popular dishes, in her home.

Laura Rinsky

Laura Rinsky
Laura, although born in Cincinnati, has taken her passion for cooking around the globe. Combining her culinary talents and love of travel she has engineered her career to include cooking classes from many parts of the world. After volunteering for many years at the Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s she extended her passion into teaching others. Family and friends know that dining at Laura’s for special occasions is always a great treat. Laura is owner of Wayfarer Travel in Madeira, Cincinnati’s oldest independent agency

David Schmerr

David Schmerr
Dave started making wine when he was a teenager and that started a lifetime of being in the wine business. Dave worked at Shillito’s La Gourmandise Department at 7th and Race in downtown Cincinnati for 3 years until he began working in the wholesale business with the 7th largest wholesaler in the United States, Allied Wine and Spirits. After a 9 year stint as a wine buyer/manager he came to Jungle Jim’s in 1987 as their wine buyer/director and has been here ever since. Dave does all of the wine tastings at Jungle’s and travels extensively throughout the wine world.

David Schmerr

Rob Seideman
As the founder of Salt Traders, Rob is credited with popularizing gourmet salts as we know them today. He’s also the founder of the Cooking School of Aspen, served as the food columnist for the Aspen Daily News, and now assists food companies around the globe with strategy and innovation.

Madhu Sinha

Madhu Sinha
Born and raised in India, Madhu Sinha came to Cincinnati 13 years ago. Cooking is a passion with her. She loves to encourage her students to bring in the warm, nutty, and fragrant Indian spices into their kitchens and into their hearts. She holds a doctoral degree in Victorian Literature and teaches at the Miami University Hamilton campus.

Carol Tabone

Carol Tabone
Carol earned her Grand Diplôme from La Varenne in Paris, France. She attended courses at the Cordon Bleu School in London and has training in Mexican as well as Chinese cuisine. She was formerly the Director of The Creative Kitchen at Lazarus, and The Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s. Carol is a member of the International Association of Cooking Professionals and has been certified by the I.A.C.P. as a Professional Level II Instructor. Carol holds a Master’s Degree in Education.

Calvin Tam

Calvin Tam
Born in China, Calvin moved to Cincinnati during his teen years. During high school he learned to make sushi and now has nine years of experience. Calvin likes to experiment using different ingredients in sushi. Calvin recently opened Sushi Monk, a restaurant specializing in sushi and Japanese cuisine, which also offers custom catering and specialized sushi instruction. www.sushimonk.com

Our Staff

Jenny Rupp (Office Manager)
Most of the time you'll hear her voice over the phone, she will also assist at classes.

Debbie Lavoie, Richard Eisenberg, Diane Tuma, Laine Barresi, Amy Heyd, Janet Hontanosas, Ellen Mueller, and Kay Hitzler (Sous Chefs)
They are instrumental in preparing for classes and keeping the school in good running condition.

Susan Diehl, Michael Sprinkel, Patty Tomaric, Anne Burkhart, Doris Delaney, Missy Deloney, Linda Jamison, Marilyn McKnight, Debbie Menninger, Marcia Menninger, Lyn Plummer, Marian Riestenberg, Laura Rinsky, Jean Shirley, and Bonnie Walsh (Classroom Assistants)
As the backbone of the school, their efforts before and during class enable our program to run smoothly and efficiently. All of our instructors are most grateful for the help they provide during their classes.