Meet Our Instructors:
Born and raised in Torino (Turin), Italy, it was natural that cooking and eating represent some of the most joyous moments in my early life: my mother making ravioli with me for the first time when I was 10 years old; the taste of porceddu at a reunion in Sardegna with my father's family; the smell of fresh baked bread with olive oil at snack time with my brother Franco.
Most of my early professional life was spent in beautiful Firenze (Florence), Italy, working at some of the best hotels in the city as a waiter and bartender.
In 2006, I moved to the United States for the love of a woman (and now 2 other women - my daughters, Keena and Virginia) .
Surprisingly for a former pasta-holic like myself, I fell in love with the diverse culinary offerings in the United States: Japanese, Mexican, American cuisines are now my favorites. In 2009, I graduated from Cook Street's Professional Culinary Arts Program.
After a brief experience at Jonesy's EatBar, I was invited to join the staff at the Kitchen Table. I bring to the Kitchen Table my passion for all things edible and a sharing of the simplicity of traditional Italian cooking.
I received my culinary education and training from the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, New York. After this, I earned a degree in Hotel-Restaurant Management from the University of Wisconsin.
I bring a wealth of experience to the Kitchen Table Cooking School based on my years in the restaurant business and from being a Chef Instructor at several other Culinary Schools where my specialty was French based cuisine.
I also spent time working and studying in Avignon, France where I perfected my culinary skills. In addition to this, I am a Level I Sommelier.
A native of Ithaca, New York, I grew up in a state with ample varieties of fresh produce and local foods. My parents, both from Mid-Western farms, reinforced in me the connection to food and its origins.
While pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Psychology at CU-Boulder, I cooked for my own pleasure and that of my friends, and became aware of a growing passion for the culinary arts. After completing formal training at the Culinary School of the Rockies, I embarked upon a work-study program abroad in Avignon, France, then returned to Denver where I began a fruitful career.
I found a valued mentor in Chef Troy Guard of Zengo, Ocean, Nine75 and Nine75 North, and played an integral role in opening these restaurants. During my time with Chef Guard, I also tutored students at the Cooking School of the Rockies, where I later became Assistant Instructor.
These experiences made me realize that I am equally passionate about teaching and helping others to find their own fire for cooking. I believe that everyone should have a chance to eat great foods, even those with dietary restrictions.
In 2008, I joined Kitchen Table Cooking School and Espressole Caffé (JY Foods) as part of the original team, developing and teaching recreational cooking classes and manning the coffee bar.
After JY Foods was well established, I moved on to become the Culinary Director for Pizza Republica. I helped create a strong brand, focusing on maintaining the single-unit, independent restaurant concept even as the brand grew and expanded to a second location.
Returning to JY Foods as Operations Manager in 2013, I helped to expand the operation, encouraging staff to mentor students in the professional program, infusing the kitchen with new life, and firing up our guests’ passion for cooking incredible meals.
I was designated our family's official baker at a young age because my first-ever batch of cookies turned out so light and fluffy. The baking torch was passed on to me. I didn’t realize it then, but I had found my calling.
After working many retail jobs while continuing to bake at home, I accepted a job at a local coffee shop. There I had the chance to plate pastries, learn barista skills, and even work as a line cook. It was then that I truly realized that cooking, baking, and plating delicious food could be my life’s work.
When it was time for college, I decided to take a leap of faith and attend formal culinary school. After two years, I left with an amazing network of friends, knowledge, and a degree. I am a 2010 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, in Baking and Pastry Arts.
In my culinary career, I have played every role from commercial baker to cold line cook, even working as a rooftop garden cultivator for a local restaurant. Eventually, I realized that my greatest fulfillment came from teaching others to cook and bake, and sharing my passion for fresh, well-prepared food.
In early 2013, Kitchen Table offered me a chance to join the team. Although my formal title here is Class Coordinator and Event Director for Kitchen Table’s Recreational Program, you might find me behind the barista bar at Espressolé, teaching baking classes or helping with catering and parties. But most of the time I am the friendly voice answering the phone or greeting you at the door.
For me, this is better than working in a restaurant. I love building relationships with customers and friends who attend our classes every day.
At the age of 16, I began my first kitchen job at Harvey’s on the Mall, a busy burger and beer bar.
With hard work I was soon promoted to kitchen manager. After working at Harvey’s for a couple of years, I accepted a position in a record store. The record store’s expansion brought me to Colorado, but after several years I suffered from retail burnout.
Thinking about my first job, I decided to attend culinary school. During my first semester, I was employed at Jax Fish House as a line cook.
After graduating from Colorado Institute of Art with an associates degree, I worked at the Brown Palace Hotel as a pastry chef, Il fornaio as a bread baker, Blue Plate Kitchen as a pastry chef, Trios Enoteca as an executive chef, Tommy Tsunami’s as a sushi chef, where I learned to embrace sushi-making as a form of fine art.
After taking some time off for medical reasons, I returned to the world of sushi at Rice Bistro and Sushi. Then when Kitchen Table asked me to be a guest instructor for a sushi class, I discovered I love to teach as well. So I decided to stay.
Food has been a key part of my life ever since I can remember. Growing up in Argentina, where I was born and raised, everything we did as a family involved food, cooking and eating. I cannot imagine life without these things. As I grew up, my vacations were planned around restaurants (both in Argentina and overseas), making for some amazing experiences. I still maintain this tradition even today and love it! I love sharing what I know and helping people see that anyone can cook. It just takes love for food and other people!
After many years of challenging myself with cooking unique and complex meals at home, I decided it was time to formalize my knowledge by going to culinary school.
After graduating from Cook Street School of Culinary Arts, I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to use the combination of my existing and new knowledge. I had the opportunity to work as a chef assistant for the professional program at Cook Street and soon realized that I had found my calling.
After reflecting on my life cooking experiences, I NOW know that teaching comes naturally to me; in place of students, I have been teaching my friends and family all this time.
Andrew Lubatty, Executive Chef of celebrated restaurant Avenue Grill in Denver, Colorado brings an impressive culinary background to the students at the Kitchen Table Cooking School. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, in 1992, Chef Lubatty received national recognition for bringing his cutting edge style to some of the top restaurants from New York to California. As Chef Instructor at the Art Institute of Colorado, Chef Lubatty brought his passion for the culinary arts to his students, and the Kitchen Table is honored to have him as a Guest Chef.