MEET OUR CHEFS
DEB APULI has been a Territory Sales Manager for Le Creuset for 22 years. She has extensive experience in product education, conducting food demonstrations and cooking classes in the Upper Midwest, including over seven years of experience conducting live television segments to promote and educate consumers about the fabulous features and benefits of Le Creuset products! She is a veteran entertainer, hosting dinner parties and celebrations with flair for over 30 years. Her passion for delicious food and festive entertaining is only surpassed by her passion for the uncompromising quality and perfect performance provided by the finely engineered products Le Creuset has been known for since 1925.
CHRIS COLEMAN retired from a long teaching career in Rapid City and had the opportunity to travel to many parts of the world sampling food, drinks, and recipes. A lover of ethnic spices and ingredients and having a fantastic reputation for serving delicious and creative vegetarian entries, Chris has taught classes for Someone’s In the Kitchen for 14 years. A passionate cook, she’s a long time member of a local gourmet group and two book clubs.
TERESA CIANI is the owner/innkeeper of High Prairie Lodge, outside of Whitewood, SD. Teresa is in the process of writing her first cookbook and has taught many classes here at SITK. Using well-loved recipes, Teresa pairs her varied culinary and life experiences to provide food that is organic
TORI HAUDENSCHILD was born and raised in a small town in Ohio where she decided to pursue her passion for pastry arts. She went on to earn her degree and become a certified pastry chef. As she traveled around the country, she expanded her knowledge tremendously until finally settling in Texas where much influence came in to play. At the age of 23 she earned the title of Sous Chef which was a pivotal point in her career. This inspired her to open her own business Decadent Sweets by Tori. She went on to juggle that and being an instructor at a local cake shop. She just recently moved to the Rapid City area. "My passion is to create temporary pieces of art and I am always determined to push my limits!"
COLLEEN LECY is Principal at St. Elizabeth Seton and a part-time staff member at Someone’s In The Kitchen. Prior to becoming a principal, she was also an elementary school teacher for 12 years. Colleen has taught kids classes at SITK since 2007.
ROBERTA LECY was the owner/operator of Pewter Place on Quincy for 5 ½ years until she closed it in the early 1980s, after which she worked for Alex Johnson Fine Dining for several years. For many years, Roberta was the Food Service Director at Westhills Village until her recent retirement. She continues to cater private parties, including events for Someone’s In The Kitchen.
APRIL MALIK has called South Dakota home for 27 years. She has five daughters who greatly inspired her to start cooking. The activity of cooking Thai and other foods has been a positive and constructive outlet for her family’s energy and has helped them learn how to work together. She lived in Thailand for five years as a child and grew up with a Thai step-mom in South Dakota. She owns Thai To-Go in Rapid City, where her daughters join her in her love for food and the kitchen.
LORRAINE MARTINEZ moved to Rapid City 26 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico. After arriving in Rapid City, she started having Christmas parties at her home for friends featuring her specialty—Spanish cuisine. She had to give up the custom when the demand outgrew the size of her home. A native New Mexican from Taos, New Mexico, Lorraine has catered many
events for organizations and special friends.
BETH McINTYRE has worked at Someone’s In The Kitchen since 2013 and is very well versed in the culinary world. She is a connoisseur of cheese; her husband has been a professional cheese maker since he finished college. Together they have traveled the United States for his job, living in Wisconsin and California. She is originally from South Dakota and previously demonstrated for Maytag Appliances and worked for Cowgirl Creamery in California.
BEN NELSON works for the local hospital and is an avid camper and experienced Dutch Oven cook. He assisted in our Dutch Oven Camp Cooking Class for several years before taking over as instructor of this very popular class.
HELEN NICHOLS, RD LN CDE is a Registered Dietitian, Licensed Nutritionist, a Certified Diabetes Educator, and has completed adult weight management Level II training through the Commission of Dietetic Registration. She serves as the consulting dietitian to several healthcare facilities in the Black Hills. Helen has a passion for helping people with special diet needs and her interest in cooking and baking goes way back to early childhood. "I used to spend hours in the kitchen preparing desserts from scratch. Now my time in the kitchen is spent preparing healthy foods my husband and I can enjoy every day!"
JOYCE PAYTON'S love of preparing food began over 40 years ago and she’s been perfecting her skills ever since. She has cooked professionally in several kitchens here in Rapid City, including her own; Willow Springs Cabins, B & B for the last 30 years. One of the things she enjoys most is teaching classes for Someone’s in the Kitchen. Her love of sharing with others is apparent in all of her classes.
RHONDA PEARCY was born in Lakeland, Florida where she married her high school sweetheart. After twenty-two years of traveling the world with the Air Force, they settled in the Rapid City area in 2004. Rhonda combines her love of teaching and passion for food
with our community as she brings a pay-what-you-can model to the Fork Real Community Cafe. She believes in bringing people together through nutritious family dinners and is currently Cornerstone Rescue Mission’s kitchen manager.
CHRISTOPHER ROTH hails from Rapid City, SD. He has cooked professionally in Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, and all over the Black Hills of South Dakota. He is the owner of Salt and Season Personal Chef Services, and the Executive Chef at the Wine Cellar Restaurant in downtown Rapid City.
JEFF SLATHAR is the Pastry Chef at the Colonial House Restaurant in Rapid City. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of Art in Denver, he creates all of his desserts and specialty breads from scratch. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation and is a Certified Working Pastry Chef. He has taught culinary classes through Community Education in Rapid City for many years.
JULIE SMORAGIEWICZ is a native of South Dakota. Her great great-grandparents homesteaded in Dakota Territory in the 1880s. She returned to South Dakota more than 20 years ago with her husband and two young sons who all enjoy time in the kitchen. She was inspired by her grandmothers and many other excellent cooks. Julie and her family operated Dakota Thyme for nearly two years. In preparation for opening Dakota Thyme, Julie trained at the international School of Baking. Julie now heads the family business, Yak Ridge Cabins and Farmstead and is a champion for local foods.
KARA SWEET is a Certified Senior Cellar Manager and Trained Sommelier, living in eastern Wyoming. She is a member of the International Wine Guild and works as a Personal Wine Consultant. She has hosted promotional tastings for liquor stores, provided Sommelier services at charity wine tasting events and for private themed wine tastings. She also teaches wine appreciation classes for community education and created a blog on food and wine.
VICKY TENNEFOS is currently doing private parties and one on one culinary classes. She also became a pastor and spends time with her ministry, Healing Rooms of the Black Hills.
DANIEL VOORHEES grew up in Hill City, SD before attending the Culinary School of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado. After graduating he worked at The Kitchen in Boulder. Upon returning to the area, Daniel has specialized in bringing the farm to table aspect from Colorado to the Black Hills. He is the Executive Chef at Black Hills Surgical Hospital where he utilizes local ingredients to provide exceptional food and service.
MELINDA WILLIAMS loves food and cooking. You might recognize her from many a SITK cooking class! That combination brought her to a point where she was carrying too much weight and developing health problems. Through Weight Watchers’, she’s been reminded eating healthy does not mean bland, boring or monotonous—and she’s taken a lot of that extra weight off! Melinda teaches 8th grade in “real life”.