CHEF MITCHELL FRIEDER
Chef Mitchell Frieder has over 43 years in the restaurant and hospitality industry, working both front-of house and back-of-house positions. Mitchell worked on the sushi line at Ai, a South Pasadena, classical Japanese restaurant and has consistently opened and managed restaurants that are voted among the best in the world. Mitchell was the Sous Chef of San Francisco’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel and its fine dining restaurant, Silk’s. Downtown Bistro, his restaurant in Lancaster, California was voted by the Los Angeles Times to be the fifth best in the Los Angeles valley region. Mitchell owns and and has operated Max Catering at the Antelope Valley Country Club for more than 17 years, and Mack’s BBQ, both in Palmdale, California, and is co-owner of Le Gourmet Culinary, a cooking school in Orange, California.
Mitchell has been teaching culinary students for over 14 years and was a Chef Instructor at the Art Institute, Le Cordon Bleu, and UCLA Extension, and consults for various businesses including the Shanghai Trade School in Shanghai, China. He has been a food columnist, had a radio cooking show for five years and a television cooking show for ten years.
Mitchell, and his wife, Jennifer, and their four children live in Lancaster with an extended family of pets, large and small.
Mary FitzGerald is a recognized food safety resource and began her career by earning her certification as a Registered Dietician after graduating from Immaculata College in Philadelphia. Mary joined a San Francisco based, rapidly growing upscale restaurant company as a culinary trainer for new restaurant openings, progressing through the ranks to General Manager of the two largest restaurants in New York City. Moving to Los Angeles in 1990 with her husband and son, Mary returned to the food and beverage industry to oversee special events at several prestigious restaurants and hotels. During an extended assignment in New York in 2009, Mary became a Certified Food Safety Inspector for EcoSure, one of the largest global food safety companies in the world where she inspected restaurants, hotels, airport food service kitchens, public schools and universities. Upon her return to Los Angeles in 2012, Mary became a ServSafe Certified Management Food Service Trainer/Proctor as well as a TIPS Trainer and created Safe and Sound Food Safety Consultants. Mary currently holds an active role with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health – Food Safety Advisory Council and is on their Referred Vendors Provider’s List for training food safety certification. Mary inspects food service facilities including restaurants, hotels, schools, airports in New York, Las Vegas, California, and is writing food safety certification programs for restaurants in Peru, Panama and Costa Rica. In addition, she teaches and certifies ServSafe to Managers and foodservice employees and is proud to be associated with HTA.
Jennifer Gatlin has been in the hospitality industry for over 25 years, and received her sommelier/wine certification through the W.S.E.T (Wine Spirit Education Trust) and the International Court of Master Sommeliers, while pursuing her Business Management Degree from the University of Phoenix. Jennifer has worked as a trainer, manager, server, ServSafe Liquor Instructor, and bartender in both fine dining and high volume restaurants including The House of Blues, Gladstone’s, Wolfgang Puck Express, and the highly acclaimed Papadakis Taverna. Additionally, she honed her wine and sales skills as a wine broker for an international boutique wine brokerage house for several years.
Jennifer believes that with the proper training we can begin a “service revolution” here in Los Angeles, meeting and exceeding industry standards and setting the tone for the industry as a whole.
Jennifer enjoys bartending at the Los Angeles International Airport where she was named a Customer Service Hall of Fame recipient. She serves as the Secretary for the San Pedro/ Wilmington NAACP branch, where she is able to give back to her community. She lives in San Pedro with her husband and two sons.
Chef Danny Harold has over 35 years of professional culinary and hospitality experience. Danny earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island, and via a fellowship to the Montreaux Hotel School in Switzerland. From a beach-front Hampton’s resort on Long Island, to Grey Advertising in Manhattan, to the Beverly Hills icon, The Grill on the Alley, Danny grew from Line Cook to Executive Chef, ultimately managing all aspects of the premiere restaurant.
In 2000, Danny founded Harold Catering and was personal chef and private caterer for notable clients including Bruce & Patti Springsteen, Ari and Sarah Emanuel, former CEO of NBC Jeff Zucker, the Royal Danish Consulate, the British Embassy, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Harold Catering has been the first-choice caterer for high-profile companies such as William Morris Endeavor, Warner Brothers Records, Sony Pictures, ABC Television, Manulife Financial and many others. Danny appeared on multiple episodes of “Operation Style”, the USA Network’s “Before and After’noon” and the DIY Network’s Food Specials…and, Danny is prominently featured in the 2014 hit movie ‘Chef’, as the expert hand-double for Carl Casper (Jon Favreau), the writer, director and star of the film.
In 2009, Danny began teaching at the International Culinary School at The Art Institute. Through 2016, he taught Concepts & Theories, Classical European and American Regional Cuisines. He is also a Certified ServSafe Instructor, Trainer and Proctor. Danny is a proud member of the James Beard Foundation, the American Culinary Federation, and the Chefs de Cuisines of Los Angeles. He actively supports Community and Charitable Organizations such as the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, PATH (People Assisting The Homeless), St. Paul the Apostle Parish and Notre Dame High School. Danny enjoys cooking at home for his wife and three children…..it is simply his passion.
Missy Iwneferi has been in the coffee industry for over 15 years as a barista, manager, consultant, wholesale trainer & sales representative. Missy is licensed through the Specialty Coffee Association as certification trainer and examiner–or Authorized SCA Trainer–and has taught coffee classes and administered certification exams through that organization for 5 years. She has worked extensively with all types of espresso machines and coffee brewing devices and has won several competitions for both coffee mixology and latte art. She is now a Head Judge for the United States Barista Championships for her 6th season of judging, where she presides over judges panels during competitions and helps to train new judges each season. As a member of the Competitions Working Group, she works with other members to discuss rules changes and complete projects to improve training resources for both judges and competitors.
In addition to being passionate about coffee, Missy is is also deeply interested in Sociology and Psychology, and is working toward a Masters in the former and PhD in the latter while remaining immersed in the coffee industry.
Missy loves working with the HTA to teach people new job skills and lives to inspire a passion for coffee in her students.
Paul began his culinary career working at his Uncle Joe’s restaurant in 1980.
He attended Culinary Arts Institute at LAMC in Sylmar, CA where he received an AA degree in Culinary Arts. In addition, Paul complimented his education by completing Profiles in Good Taste Course at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, CA. Paul’s culinary career has allowed him the distinction of having worked in every sector of the culinary industry, as well as many different cuisines.
Since 2012, Paul founded his consulting business, PB Foods, where he has established himself as a Food Consultant and Health and Wellness Chef Instructor. Among his accomplishments is developing healthy cooking classes with Pre-Med Students at USC, creating a healthy options cooking line for a local grocer, menu planning cost analyses for local businesses, and specialty catering and planning.
Paul is pleased to join HTA where he can share his knowledge and expertise to enhance the knowledge of HTA students enrolled in HTA’s programs.
Thomas Salazar has over 15 years in instructor experience with 10 years Human Resources experience. He started his teaching career in the United States Armed Forces where he taught various subjects to service members. After being honorably discharged he continued teaching various subjects such as lifesaving skills, basic computer skills, workforce development and several other topics at various organizations such as the American Red Cross, American Trade Academy, University of Phoenix, California State University, Northridge, Olive View Medical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, TELACU Veterans Upward Bound, LA Mission College, Head Start afterschool programs and other institutions.
For the past 3 years he has been consulting and training small companies on their teaching techniques and Human Resources department training.
Being a Veteran himself, Thomas Salazar currently works with helping people with disabilities and veterans of the Armed Forces reintegrate into their daily lives, helping them overcome barriers and assisting them to continuing to be productive in society by teaching workforce and life skills for organizations like Veteran Readiness (VA) and The California Department of Rehabilitation.
Thomas Salazar is honored to instruct at the Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) in both Spanish and English to help HTA reach underserved populations and assist the students in reaching their personal and professional growth.