Take a class and learn from the

Instructors at Appetito

Let's eat great food together!

Michael Solovey

A life-long love affair with food has led Chef Michael Solovey (Suh-luh-vee) around the globe in search of fuel for his passion for amazing flavors that excite the palate, warm the heart, sustain the body, and inspire the soul. From humble beginnings cooking with his Grandmother and Mother, to graduating from the world renowned Le Cordon Bleu program, to opening 24 restaurants, cafes, and lounges as a chef consultant, and his own restaurant Bloc in Shanghai, he threads the needle of culinary science, food psychology, and entertainment.

As head of the culinary education departments at Sur La Table, Boelter SuperStore, and his most recent startup Sage Harvest Cooking School, Chef Michael has taught over 1,800 cooking classes to over 10,000 students in the last ten years.

Michael now specializes in interactive online cooking classes, food coaching, in-home private dinners and classes, and in-person culinary events at various venues around Southeastern Wisconsin.

Katie Simpson

A graduate of the world-class Culinary Institute of America, Chef Katie has spent most of her career developing recipes as well as product development. Her experience includes crafting and facilitating training sessions as well as creating innovative recipes for large corporate baking companies. When living in New York, she would spend her time in Little Italy, tasting, learning, and taking notes, learning as much as possible about the cuisine and applying that knowledge to create amazing pastries and cakes.

Baking is her specialty, and she provides Appetito with wonderful classes that range from traditional Italian cookies to mastering the different forms of polenta to making fresh pasta to perfection. Food is her life, and she loves sharing it with everyone.

Brendan Fleming

Chef Brendan began cooking in a professional kitchen at 16 years of age. He graduated from Culinary School in 2007 and has gone on to lead professional culinary teams in a variety of fine dining settings. An experienced cook and chef, he has logged thousands of hours over the years working to understand the fundamentals of cooking and entertaining. He began teaching cooking classes in 2011 and loves to engage students in their own love of food and table. His experience at Sur La Table—one of America’s largest cooking schools—has provided him with excellent teaching skills and a passion for helping you become a pro in your own kitchen.

Melissa Brookens, Bakery Manager

Melissa has over 10 years of experience in the culinary arts, in baking. She is responsible for transforming our bakery over the last several years by launching countless bakery items that have become fast customer favorites. Her innovation and creativity can be found in the wide range of pastries, cakes, pies, tortes, focaccia, gelato, and Italian cookies we have available. She is the instructor behind our famous cannoli, tiramisu, and other Italian pastry classes.

Carrie Van Kempen, Beverage Manager

An experienced professional with a passion for Italian wine, amaro, and craft beer, Carrie has revolutionized our wine and beverage department. She is a certified Italian wine consultant, and Carrie’s events are some of the most fun and informative classes you can take at Appetito. Guided amaro tastings, Italian craft cocktails classes, quarterly seasonal Italian wine events, and cheese & beer pairings are just a few of the excellent events that Carrie conducts for us.