Faculty

Faculty

LECTURERS & STAFF

MEET the Faculty

Learn from a highly experienced culinary team, in state-of-the-art facilities at Switzerland’s finest culinary school. We support and invest in the education of our lecturers and instructors, and help industry specialists become high-level educators through further education.

Deans & Program Managers

Get to know your teachers and their areas of expertise. We support and invest in the education of our lecturers, through transforming industry specialists into high-level educators by encouraging further education.

Tanja Florenthal

Tanja Florenthal

Dean

Ms. Tanja Florenthal joined César Ritz Colleges Switzerland in 2010, as a faculty member and went on to become the Head of Curriculum. She was appointed Dean at Le Bouveret in 2012 and Brig in 2019. She graduated from Cornell University with a BSc, and holds an MBA and an MA in Education. She has extensive international experience in the hospitality industry and education. She has worked in hotel and hospitality management schools in the United States, Thailand, India, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel, and is a member of the Cornell Hotel Association.

Max Cesar Ritz

R. Max Behesht

Dean

Mr. R. Max Behesht is a multilingual Hospitality, Customer Experience, and Leadership professional. His international career started within service, to leading language schools in Malta and England to nearly a decade in finance and commercial roles with the science company DuPont. In 2015 he authored The Servicizer™ Mindset, a concept offered via his training business in the city of Geneva prior to joining us. His MSc Studies at University of Gothenburg, majoring in finance and management, include studies at the EBS in Germany, and Kobe University, Japan.

Alain Muller

Alain Müller

Assistant Dean

Before joining César Ritz Colleges in 1994, Chef Alain Müller worked both in Canada and Switzerland. He has played a key role in making Culinary Arts Academy the success it is today. He is passionate about helping students combine their culinary skills with business acumen to become successful culinary entrepreneurs.

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Jorge Arnanz, PhD

Undergraduate Program Manager, Brig

Dr. Jorge Arnanz began his career working for international hotels and travel companies, before starting his own business as a restaurant owner. Since 2015, he has been teaching Hospitality, Tourism, and Management at undergraduate and graduate levels. He holds two BA degrees in Tourism and Education respectively, an MA and a PhD in Tourism Management.

Fotios Kefalakis

Fotios Kefalakis

Program Leader - Lucerne

Chef Fotios Kefalakis has 24 years of experience as a Pastry Chef working in 5-star hotels, fine-dining restaurants, pastry shops, and seven-star cruise ships. His career has taken him all over the world, from Australia to the US, the UK, and Greece.

Chef Instructors & Lecturers

Learn from our team of experienced chef instructors who have worked in kitchens, five-star hotels, and Michelin-starred restaurants all over the world.

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Christophe Messina

Culinary Instructor

Beginning his career as a Commis Chef in Restaurant Guy Savoy, Chef Christophe Messina then moved to Glasgow where, for 2 years, he developed his love for pastry at the Abode Hotel.  He went on to work as a Pastry Chef in various catering businesses. He participated in the opening of the Shangri-la Hotel, before turning to education, first at the Ritz Escoffier school, then at Culinary Arts Academy.

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Cyril Cholley

Culinary Instructor

After an internship in Les Baux de Provence, Chef Cyril Cholley has worked as a Chef de Partie in many of the most lucrative restaurants in the French and Swiss Rivieras, and in countries such as Thailand, Egypt, and the UK. He spent the last 4 years working in Zurich for a production and catering company.

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Daniel Benner

Pastry Instructor

Specializing in intricate customized wedding cakes, pastry, and confectionary, Chef Daniel Benner has more than 20 years of experience working as an Executive Pastry Chef in 5-star establishments across Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Darren Burke

Darren Burke

Culinary Instructor

Chef Darren Burke trained in an Italian gastronomic restaurant in the UK and went on to become Head Pastry Chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the North of England. He has worked for Sir Richard Branson in Morocco and Switzerland. Most recently, he held the position of Chef-Owner of Restaurant Le Bois Sauvage, a restaurant focused on sustainable dining and local produce.

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David Alvarez

Culinary Instructor

Chef David Alvarez trained in French Gastronomy and Food & Beverage service in Paris. He joined the committee for the first “Mexican Gastronomic Forum as Humanity World Heritage” in 2011, a forum dedicated to introducing and showcasing Mexican cocoa beans and chocolate art abroad.

David_MuIler

David Müller

Culinary Instructor

Chef David Müller studied the art of traditional Swiss pastry at the Confiserie Spüngli. He has worked for 19 years as a Pastry Chef in 5-star hotels and Michelin star restaurants in St. Moritz, Berlin, Paris, Chicago, Fiji. He went on to open up his own pastry shop in Mexico. A passionate and precise artisan, he is eager to pass his skills on to Culinary Arts Academy students.

Francesco_Versari

Francesco Versari

Culinary Instructor & Lecturer

After obtaining a Diploma in Culinary and Hotel Management, Chef Francesco Versari worked in several restaurants, serving as a Sous Chef for the Lausanne Palace & Spa and the Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne. He holds an M.Sc. in Food Science from Ulster University. Since 2017, he's been imparting his understanding of the inner workings of the Food & Beverage industry to César Ritz Colleges' students.

Graham Sutherland

Graham Sutherland

Pastry Instructor

Chef Graham Sutherland is a seasoned Pastry Chef with more than 20 years’ experience as Head Pastry Chef. Having worked all over Europe and North America, he specializes in Chocolate Arts and is known for creating exclusive and innovative luxury plated desserts and petit fours.

Javier_Mercado

Javier Mercado

Pastry Instructor

Chef Javier Mercado has held Executive Pastry Chef positions in multiple high-end properties and has 13 years of teaching experience working as Pastry Chef Instructor for companies in London. He was awarded first place for sugar work during the “Coupe du Monde de La Pâtisserie” in 2015.

Patrice_Bressoud

Patrice Bressoud

Culinary Instructor

Chef Patrice Bressoud has worked in Switzerland, South America, the Caribbean, Norway, and the USA, as Head Chef and Restaurant Manager at Michelin-starred restaurants and various hotels. Trained as both a chef and a butcher, he is in charge of imparting the fundamental understanding of the art of butchering to Culinary Arts Academy students.

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Jonathan Roth

Culinary Instructor

Chef Jonathan Roth spent most of his career in his home, New York City, where he worked in some of the city’s top destinations. His experience is in classical and modern European Cuisine, fine dining, banquets, and production cooking. He teaches students culinary skills and correct work habits so that they can effectively enter the industry and make their own impact on the world of food.

Rando_Kauge

Rando Kauge

Culinary Instructor

Chef Rando Kauge trained Swiss Gastronomy in Switzerland before going on to work as the Saucier and Mise en Place chef in a Michelin-starred restaurant. He is passionate about sustainable living and vegetarian cuisine, and shares his knowledge of the subject with Culinary Arts Academy students in teaching the vegetarian gourmet course.

Roland_Duval

Roland Duval

Culinary Instructor

Chef Roland Duval has worked for more than 30 years in the industry in top restaurants all over Europe, in countries including England, Norway, Switzerland, and France. As Chef Instructor at Culinary Arts Academy, his main focus is on European cuisines.

Yann_Muriset

Yann Muriset

Pastry Instructor

Chef Yann Muriset specializes in Chocolate Arts, pastry, ice cream, confectionery, and baking. He has worked for well-known brands such as Confiserie Moret and Pâtisserie Durgnat. He has also delivered several pastry masterclasses in Sweden, Dubai, India, and Switzerland.

Apostolos Ampountolas.

Apostolos Ampountolas, PhD

Lecturer

After a successful, 20-year international career in travel, tourism, and hospitality, Dr. Apostolos Ampountolas worked as Undergraduate Programs Director at Boston University. Having worked as a lecturer at César Ritz College Switzerland first in 2017, he joins us again in 2021. With a PhD in Marketing, a PGCertHE, and a PGCert in Commercial Law, he brings years of teaching, research, and field experience to our students.

Olga Larina - SHMS

Olga Larina, PhD

Lecturer

Dr. Olga Larina has over 10 years of teaching experience. She holds a PhD in World Economy and International Economic Relations from the Kyiv National Economic University, writing her thesis on the international competitiveness of regions, with a focus on the development of intellectual capital. With a strong background in economics, she teaches Strategic Hotel Management, Economics, and Public Policy.

 

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Anastasiia Burakovskikh

Lecturer

Ms. Anastasiia Burakovskikh holds a master's degree in Wine Business from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Bourgogne, and bachelor's degrees from St. Petersburg State University in Economics and Finance and from Pierre Mendès France University. With her expertise in wine training and marketing, she teaches Wine and Food Pairing, Beverage & Mixology, Wine & Beverage Management, and Food Trends.

Aurelie Bourcart

Aurélie Bourcart

Lecturer

Ms. Aurélie Bourcart holds a PGD in Higher Education from the University of Derby and a Federal Certificate in Tourism. She specializes in Events Management and Languages. She worked as a Cabin Crew Member for Swiss Airlines before moving into sales for an Italian cruising company. Continuing to develop her skills in Virtual Event Management, she is certified as Professional by the Virtual Events Institute.

Delphine Blin

Delphine Genin

Lecturer

Ms. Delphine Genin joined César Ritz Colleges in 2019 as a lecturer in Business Plan, Marketing, and Ethics, before taking the position of Learning Consultant Specialist. As a business consultant and graduate of ESCP Management School, she has a deep understanding of entrepreneurship. Thanks to her expertise in neurosciences and metacognition, she brings creativity and innovation to her classes.

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Erik Pravica

Lecturer

With 17 years of experience covering all operational roles within hospitality, Mr. Erik Pravica has a passion for the industry. Ranging from Singapore to Thailand to Switzerland, his extensive experience has given him an acute understanding of the importance of a positive attitude on the road to success. This notion has become central to each of his classes.

Beverley Gould

Beverley Gould

Lecturer

Originally from Birmingham, England, Ms. Beverly Gould has been living in Switzerland for 13 years. After more than 28 years in the IT and Banking industry, she changed careers to deliver lectures in Business Writing and Information Systems at César Ritz Colleges, Le Bouveret. She also teaches in private language schools in the Valais and Vaud regions of Switzerland.

Loren Granger-CRCS

Loren Granger

Lecturer

After studying at the New England Culinary Institute in the USA, Ms. Loren Granger became a chef. Her career shifted from the kitchen into hygiene and sanitation, then on to Logistics and Sales with Food & Beverage companies. She has been with César Ritz Colleges since 2014 where she teaches culinary theory classes. She holds a PGD in Education from the University of Derby.

Lynda Pasamore-

Lynda Pasmore

Lecturer

Ms. Lynda Pasmore's career in food product development and communications involved working for the British government and manufacturers of food and white goods. Moving into training and education enabled her to work in various international markets, before focusing on formal education. She holds a Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma, a Certificate in Human Nutrition, from the University of Lausanne, and a PGCE, awarded by the University of Hertfordshire. 
 

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Neil German

Lecturer

Mr. Neil German holds a Bachelor in Psychology, a Teaching Certificate in Education, a Master in Counselling Psychology, and a Psychoanalytic Diploma from the Jung Institute in Zurich. With over 35 years of education in the field of psychology, he has been lecturing at Webster University in Geneva since 2000 and at Cesar Ritz Colleges in Le Bouveret since 2004.

Sandra-Bandelier-César-Ritz

Sandra Zhu-Bandelier

Lecturer

Ms. Sandra Bandelier holds a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management from Bournemouth University and is a Certified Hospitality Education Instructor. She has a been lecturer at César Ritz Colleges for over 16 years, teaching Hotel Business Management. She was Senior Executive at Starwood and Hilton, leading Marketing and Sales, Finance, and Operations teams across Asia, North America, and Europe.

Sarah Goncalves

Sarah Gonçalves

Lecturer

Ms. Sarah Gonçalves began lecturing in 2004, before being offered a position with a social department service, in which she was responsible for internal audits, team coaching, and follow-up training. In 2011, she moved to Switzerland, working as an International Program Assistant and as a lecturer. She has been teaching Language and Communication at César Ritz Colleges since 2014.

Tania_Thompson

Tania Thompson

Lecturer

Ms. Tania Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Pretoria and a PGCE in Education from the Kingston University. With her expertise in sciences and mathematics and over 12 years of teaching experience, she teaches Sustainable Science for Hospitality, Business Mathematics for Hospitality, Quantitative Analysis for Hospitality Business, and Health & Nutrition.

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Virginia Meza

Lecturer

Beginning her career in the field of the Philosophy of Sciences, Ms. Virginia Meza went on to study French Language and Literature, and finally Psychology at the University of Lausanne. Throughout the years, she has taught different subjects surrounding Hospitality and Culinary Arts, has coordinated student groups, and was in charge of the student theatre club.

Internship Coaches

Ruth CR-

Ruth Knöepfel

Internship & Career Coach

Ms. Ruth Knöpfel began her career in Food & Beverage Management in the hotel industry in Canada, before moving on to teach Food & Beverage at a college in Canada. Her teaching career brought her to Switzerland in 1992. She's been working with Swiss Education Group ever since, taking on roles in teaching, operation management and career services over the last 30 years.

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Paulo Pereira

Internship & career coach

Mr. Paulo Pereira holds a Bachelor in Literature, Culture, and Languages (Portuguese and German) as well as two PGcerts in Teaching. His professional experience extends over the fields of Education and Customer Service for Portuguese Airlines. He also spent 5 years working as a multi-operational employee at the Royal Caribbean International.

Lynn Wijngaard

Lynn Megan Wijngaard

Internship & Career Coach

Ms. Lynn Wijngaard's academic background lies in the fields of sociology, psychology, and travel and tourism. After graduating from HIM, her career took off, leading to operational roles in the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa and working as a Junior Project Assistant at Swiss Education Group. As of 2021, she's been working in Lucerne as a Career Coach and Academic Assistant.

Sara Caetano

Sara Nunes Caetano

Internship & Career Coach

Following her work as a receptionist in Portugal, Ms. Sara Caetano moved into training and education. Since 2019, she has been teaching Personal Development, Introduction to Tourism Industry, and Career Management. She holds a B.Sc. in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and a PGD in Management of Touristic Destinations. She is in the process of completing a master's degree in Education.

Alyaa-Fathi-MBA

Alyaa Fathi

INTERNSHIP & CAREER COACH

Ms. Alyaa Fathi has been working for over seven years in the hospitality & event management sectors in the Gulf region & Europe. She holds an MBA from the American University in Switzerland and is certified in Train the Trainer, Event Management & Wedding Planning. Her professional experience has covered fields such as international enrolment and student recruitment in higher education, and Catering & Sales for five-star properties such as the Four Seasons in Milan, Marriot Hotel in Doha, and launched soft & grand opening Fairmont Hotel in UAE.

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