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Our experienced chefs are here to educate and inspire. Get to know these local restauranteurs and culinary masters as they bring flavor and fun to our cooking schools’ interactive learning environment.

Florida - Jacksonville

Tony Charbonnet

Tony Charbonnet

From an early age Tony shook the hand of destiny when he ran the milkshake machine in the Picayune Junior High School cafeteria. This exposure to large scale cooking coupled with the family-style cooking in his home influenced him without him knowing.

In his early teen years, Tony began the second phase of his culinary journey in the dish room of a local restaurant. Like many teenagers a job in the food service industry would carry Tony into college.

After graduation from Florida State University, Tony spent some time in the corporate world. With a growing interest in the information technology sector, Tony made the transition as a help desk technician into a software engineer for Sprint PCS.

Upon his wife's graduation with a PH.D in chemistry, Tony reevaluated his career goals. With the need to express himself and satisfy his love of food, Tony returned to the kitchen as a prep cook. With diligence and determination, Tony rose to the position of sous chef at a gourmet restaurant in upstate New York. A move to Florida brought Tony, his wife and two sons closer to family and landed Tony a full-time position as sous chef at the Publix Aprons Cooking School in Jacksonville.

Ansley Dickens

Ansley Dickens

Ansley Kinchen is a Jacksonville native and has been working for Publix since Spring 2013. Upon graduating high school, Ansley started attending Florida State College at Jacksonville in pursuit of a degree in Culinary Management.

In the fall of 2014, Ansley began working with the Apron’s Catering team at their off-site events. This eventually lead to her being transferred to the Aprons Cooking School, a department where her talents and passions could thrive.

Jacksonville Events

Florida - Lakeland

Jeff Conley

Jeff Conley

Born in Orlando Florida, Jeff stared cooking with his mom in the mornings before his father left for work. At the time, it was one of the ways that Jeff could see his dad who was working long hours and rarely came home before Jeff and his brother, Ken had gone to bed. Jeff’s love of food, (both eating and cooking) continued to grow and at the age of 14 he learned of the Culinary Institute of America. This became the goal.

Working in restaurants in college, Jeff continued to enjoy the feeling of cooking for other people and after earning his AA in management and then a BA in English he applied for and was accepted to C.I.A. Since that time, Jeff has worked at The Boca Raton Resort and Club where he first began doing large production in the 110 square foot banquet kitchen. Preferring the pace and attention to detail of individual plates, Jeff moved to Tampa where he quickly moved up the line at Timpano Italian Chophouse where he also got his strongest foundation in restaurant line cooking. Soon, the possibility of working with Michael Ginor, the owner of Hudson Valley Fois Gras, at two of his restaurants in Great Neck NY brought Jeff back to the Empire State. It was there that he got a much more hands on look at Mediterranean and specifically Israeli food.

Soon, the love of his home state of Florida brought Jeff back south and to the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes. Here Jeff worked in Chef Melissa Kelly’s restaurant, Primo, in every roll including dessert, pasta maker, butcher and of course, all stations on the line. Here Jeff also helped to write some of the items for the menu, which changed every few weeks.

In 2015 one of Jeff’s friends at Publix asked Jeff for his resume. It was then that Jeff had the opportunity to join the Publix family. Since joining Publix, Jeff has continued to learn and grow as a chef and in November of 2016 became the Assistant Resident Chef, running the school’s catering program. Hard work and a lot of support from the other chefs at Publix helped Jeff reach his current role as the Sr. Resident Chef.

Gene Gelb

Gene Gelb

Gene, a Polk County native, joined the Aprons cooking school in 2014. He bypassed culinary school and opted to dive head first into the kitchen in order to gain real world experience. Gene spent 15 years working around the greater Tampa bay area, learning a myriad of techniques and culinary styles including modern American upscale dining, tapas, upscale Italian, steakhouses, and full service catering. 

Lakeland Events

Florida - Orlando

Trent Walker

Trent Walker

Orlando Events

Florida - Plantation

Rey De La Osa

Rey De La Osa

Rey began his Publix career in 1999 in Customer Service. While attending Johnson & Wales University, Rey worked at The Four Seasons Hotel in Miami. In 2008, Rey transferred to the Prepared Foods Department at Publix Greenwise Market in Boca Raton to pursue his culinary career. Rey began working at the Plantation Publix Aprons Cooking School in 2010 to share his culinary passion with others. He was promoted to Resident Chef at the Boca Raton Cooking School location and now is the Resident Chef at the Plantation Publix Aprons Cooking School.

When asked "what is your favorite cuisine to make?", he answers, "all of them!" He enjoys cooking traditional recipes, but Rey's Latin heritage has a lot of influence on the recipes he creates.

Together with the Aprons staff, Rey wants students to "learn to have fun in the kitchen!"

Joshua Bullion

Joshua Bullion

Plantation Events

Florida - Sarasota

Jim Hendry

Jim Hendry

Before joining the Aprons program in 2002, James spent a number of years honing his culinary skills at some of southwest Florida’s most acclaimed restaurants. As the resident chef of Aprons Sarasota location, he has had the pleasure of working with some of the world’s finest chefs and winemakers and continues to pass along his own passion for food to all of his students, both young and old.

Sarasota Events

Florida - Tallahassee

Levi Newsome

Levi Newsome

Whether it’s sharing the Portuguese origins of tempura frying or demonstrating the emulsifying properties of egg yolks, Levi Newsome likes to add a little food science and history to his cooking classes. A native of Tallahassee, Levi started cooking professionally at the age of 15 and trained under several classically trained chefs at different restaurants. After becoming head chef at the age of 22, Levi wanted to expand his culinary knowledge and incorporate the fields of chemistry, biology, and history into his repertoire. He’s been with Aprons Cooking School for eight years and teaches at Village Square.

Sergio Endara

Sergio Endara is a true believer in the goodness of sustainable and fresh foods. A native of Miami, Sergio specializes in Spanish and Caribbean cooking styles that highlight the flavor profiles of fresh ingredients. After a few years working in law enforcement, Sergio discovered his true calling was in the kitchen. He attended Orlando Culinary Academy and graduated with honors. He worked as a restaurant manager and sous chef for 13 years at several Walt Disney World Resort restaurants was featured at several EPCOT Food & Wine events. He joined Aprons Cooking School in June 2020 and is assistant managing chef at Village Square.

Tallahassee Events

Florida - Tampa

Anthony LoGerfo

Anthony LoGerfo

Anthony LoGerfo joined Aprons Cooking School in October 2010. Coming from an Italian background, food and family have always been a big part of his life. At an early age, he learned the basics of old-school-home-style cooking from his parents, grandparents, and relatives, which led him to seek out his first professional job in the food industry.

At the age of 16— Anthony was hired as a prep cook at a local gourmet shop in NY. Learning the proper way to prepare and present an array of exotic dishes, homemade pastas, and delicate desserts. From there, Anthony moved on to a fast-paced, full-service restaurant on Long Island, working his way up from prep cook to Head Chef/Kitchen Manager. It was then he realized he could never love any other profession more than cooking.

In 1991, Anthony graduated from the French Culinary studying under the world-renowned Master Chef, Jaques Pepin. He learned the most important lessons about traditional French cuisine, food preservation, safety, and technique. From there, Anthony experimented with a variety of international cuisines including, Asian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and good old home-style cooking. In May 2004, Anthony opened and operated “A Bite to Eat” in Pompano Beach, creating a successful restaurant/cafe, catering to the surrounding businesses and local residents.

After three short years with Publix, Anthony has been promoted to Resident Chef. Still sharing his passion for food, culinary knowledge, and expertise so that you too can "learn to have fun in the kitchen".

Tampa Events

Florida - Winter Park

Angela Saunders

Chris Holbrook

Winter Park Events

Alabama - Hoover

Emily Roy

Emily Roy

Emily Roberts was born at Fort Polk, Louisiana; she lived in nine states, but moved over twenty times with her father's military career. In college she acquired two degrees at Johnson & Wales University, with an Associates of Science, Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts. Baking artisan breads and pastries will always be her ultimate passion.

Emily moved to Lakeland from Colorado in May 2012, determined to work for Publix. As an employee, she will continue to further her career with Publix, learn as much as she can from the chefs, and teach customers the joy of cooking and baking at home.

Adam W. Joiner

Adam W. Joiner’s specializes in combining French cooking techniques with Southern ingredients. Adam’s appreciation for these distinctive flavors started as a child in his native of Mississippi where he helped his grandfather grow vegetables for his family and community. A graduate of Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College in Birmingham, Ala., Adam was executive sous chef at Greystone County Club’s flagship Restaurant Cellar 91 and has worked at several fine restaurants and clubs. He is assistant managing chef at Aprons Cooking School in Tattersall Park.

Hoover Events*

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Georgia - Alpharetta

Bruce Braswell

Bruce “L.B.” Braswell

Bruce’s (L.B.) love of cooking started at a very young age. He began cooking with his Korean grandmother, helping her to make dumplings. Bruce’s family roots have given him a passion for Southern Soul Food and Korean cuisine.

Bruce L.B. Braswell enjoys experimenting with ingredients and creating new, exciting flavor combinations. He attributes this to his passion for soul food, Korean cuisine—and LEGOs. Bruce discovered his love of cooking as a boy while helping his grandmother make Korean-style dumplings in her kitchen. After graduating from the Art Institute of Tampa, he worked at several restaurants there including The Refinery and Fodder & Shine. He is the managing chef at Aprons Cooking School in Alpharetta.

Alpharetta Events

Virginia - Richmond

Willie Hernandez

Willie Hernandez

Willie Hernandez is a graduate of The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. He has 19 years of culinary experience working his way through the ranks of a retirement community kitchen in Fairfield, California, Sous Chef and Chef De Cuisine of two hotels and resorts, Executive Chef of restaurants in Maui, Hawaii and Hilton Head, South Carolina and Banquet Chef of a Country Club in Richmond, Virginia.

Willie enjoys experimenting with new cuisines for his friends and family and is excited to share his passion for food and wine with everyone at the Publix Aprons Cooking School.

Kara Gavitt

Kara Gavitt

Kara, a young Culinary Professional, has always cherished bringing smiles to people’s faces with food. The instant satisfaction that food brings to someone is the reason beyond why she loves to cook.

While in high school Kara was in the Culinary program, where she was selected to lead a team to Richmond, VA to compete in a statewide culinary competition. Her team placed 3rd and they received a scholarship to Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, NC, where she attended and graduated in 2014.

In 2012, Kara joined the Publix Family and started at our Simple Meals Center, where she could demonstrate the culinary skills she obtained along the way. To expose more of her bright disposition to the customers, she became an Event Planner and later transferred to the Bakery department to further her interest and skills in becoming a Baker.

She now has achieved her primary goal, with a position as a Sous Chef at The Publix Aprons Cooking School, where she can broaden her culinary passion with not only food, but customers. She is excited to share her love for cooking and entertaining to help make you the superhero of your own kitchen.

Richmond Events

Publix reserves the right to cancel classes not meeting enrollment standards, change recipes, or substitute instructors for any reason. Terms and conditions apply.