Dede Turner and Carol Harrell co-own the Village Kitchen Shoppe. After a career in banking, Dede developed and operated a successful catering business from her Claremont facility for nearly ten years. Carol owned and operated a prosperous service-based business for eighteen years before turning to real estate project management.
Friends for over 20 years, Carol and Dede dreamed of creating new directions for themselves. As long-time customers of the Village Kitchen Shoppe, they were elated to find the shop for sale in 2007. In October 2007, they joined the Glendora community as new business owners and business neighbors.
Some Our Fabulous Chefs
In The Pantry, Laura’s company, started as a few friends who would come to Laura’s home mainly to have a good time, eat some really great food and coincidently learned a few cooking techniques. These casual afternoon lunches blossomed into a complete culinary instruction business where Laura now travels all over teaching cooking to anyone who wants to learn. Her “On The Road” classes are what drive her business while creating chef-proteges all around the state.
Laura added producer and author to her repertoire. She and her husband produced and Laura hosted an award-winning cooking show that aired on local cable stations nationwide. Laura is a frequent contributing food writer for local papers and her Cookbook, Dinners from In The Pantry, launched in Spring 2005.
While media ventures and publications keep Laura busy, to her it’s really all about the food and the connection with people As Laura says, “Expressing oneself through the love of food is an art unto itself. It might just be a pot of chili, but to me it’s my reputation.” When asked about what’s next for her, she replies, “Whatever the recipe calls for…”
Leslie was born into a family that migrated from Northern Italy through Austria and Yugoslavia to France before finally settling in Southern California. With them, they brought the culinary traditions of each country and culture. Because her entire family participated in the daily creation and preparation of meals, Leslie started her culinary career at a young age.
Following her passion for creating and cooking, Leslie studied fine arts and design. She later developed an interest in artisanal baking and food science, enrolling in and graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts. She held positions as a pastry chef with the Park Hyatt in Century City and Smash Box Studios, and later became Executive Chef at Duxbury Catering in South Pasadena where she created parties for such clients as the Tournament of Roses Committee.
Leslie is committed to using local, organic and seasonal produce. She continues to be inspired by her family’s culinary traditions, creating meals that are elegant and easy. Leslie believes that meals can be elevated from mundane chore to creative pursuit.
Among Leslie’s many goals is to bring families, couples and friends back into the kitchen where bonds are strengthened and memories are created.
Sharon has been cooking in professional kitchens for over 25 years. Beginning her restaurant career as a dinner house hostess, she advanced in every position while still in high school. In college, she waited tables, was a bartender and a baker.
The granddaughter of the founder of the California-based barbeque chain, Chris & Pitts, Sharon’s love of cooking is in her blood. In 1995, she became Director of Catering for Wolfe’s Market in Claremont. During her 10 year tenure at Wolfe’s, Sharon also honed her skills in cake baking and creating all things chocolate. Creating new recipes and new ways to combine ingredients was a natural progression for Sharon. This was when she realized her true passion of becoming a chocolatier.
In 2005, Sharon decided to take a leap of faith with the dream of opening her own chocolate shop. While looking for just the right location, she accepted a position with Williams-Sonoma, Inc. as a cooking instructor. She fell in love with teaching and put her dream of becoming a famous a chocolatier on the back burner.
Sharon worked in just about every facet of business that involves cooking and baking. Among her many food related activities are teaching cooking classes at The Village Kitchen Shoppe, creating and writing the menu for The Parlour Restaurant and consulting for the AIM restaurant group, including Spaghetti Eddie’s in Glendora and Tutti Mangia in Claremont.
Sharon has had an exciting career in cooking and restaurant development. Her desire to find a kitchen to call her own is again in her sights. She still considers herself a chocolatier in the making.
Growing up in Green Bay, WI, Jyll Everman was in for a major food shock when she moved to Los Angeles at the age of 19. Never seeing or tasting foods from so many other cultures or cooking anything but midwest comfort food, she immersed herself into the culinary world, putting herself though culinary school and also spending many hours learning what her own style should be. Parkway Grill was the first kitchen she worked in after graduating, eventually becoming the Sous- Chef at the Rose Bowl during the 2006 UCLA Football season, catering to many celebrities and athletes. She then became a private chef, starting with daily meals for busy families and moving onto cocktail and dinner parties.
On a dare from her husband Tommy and Mom, Jyll went to an open call in August of 2010 for Food Network’s “Food Network Star.” She sailed through the first 3 auditions, landing herself in New York for a final audition. After an entire day at Food Network Headquarters in Chelsea Market, she was sure she didn’t make the show. Two weeks later, she received a phone call letting her know that she is one of the finalists for Season 7. She left home January 7th to tape the show and ended up making the finals in New York. She returned home in March and returned to Jyllicious Bites.
Jyll continues to work hard at her business; teaching cooking classes at Village Kitchen Shoppe in Glendora as well as performing cooking demonstrations for various events all over the United States. When she is not cooking, you can find her walking her humongous dog with her husband, playing racquetball or inventing recipes for her upcoming cookbook.
Gina is a Glendora native and has been a Village Kitchen Shoppe fan since she was young. Her passion for cooking started about 20 years ago when she and her husband moved to San Francisco and she was exposed to a plethura of fine food from all over the Bay Area. She attended Culinary School weeknights and weekends honing her skills and passion for cooking.
After moving back to the Glendora area with her family, she partnered with another foodie friend and started Sugar and Spice Catering, which she and her partner have successfully run for the past 10 years.
In addition to catering, she realized her dreams included a hands-on approach to cooking as well as a sharing of her skills, so she switched gears and accepted a Sous- Chef position under Chef Sharon Sessler at the Parlour in Glendora, working closely with her. Shortly after, she was asked to come join the family of chef’s at the Village Kitchen Shoppe doing what she loves best: teaching. Gina also works and teaches Technique classes at Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
Gina’s favorite culinary quote is “The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star!”
Leyla Can (pronounced k-ah-n) was born in Istanbul, Turkey and moved to the East Coast. with her family at the age of 6. One tradition her family held onto was their love of authentic Middle Eastern Cuisine. Leyla’s mother Lusi was a skilled cook who passed on her talent to an always eager student, her daughter.
Although Leyla studied Art History and Photography in NYC, she always maintained a keen interest in learning her family’s traditional cooking. When it became clear Leyla would be moving to California for her husband’s business, she began to record recipes in print, which previously had only been taught to her in demonstration or passed down by word of mouth. It was through these efforts that Leyla compiled a varied repertoire of savory and sweet recipes.
Leyla and her husband Viktor are currently raising their two boys in Glendora. She is excited to share a mixture of authentic Middle Eastern favorites along with healthy and quick family dinners which always utilize fresh, whole food ingredients.