Nils Norén
Nils Norén brings more than 20 years of experience to his role of Vice President of Culinary and Pastry Arts at The International Culinary Center, home of The French Culinary Institute and The Italian Culinary Academy. At The International Culinary Center, he’s made it his responsibility to ensure his instructors and the school’s curriculum takes a progressive approach, providing students the knowledge necessary for success now and in the future.

Prior to his 10-year reign as Executive Chef at NYC’s world-famous Aquavit, Nils honed his craft at various Michelin®-starred restaurants throughout his native Stockholm. It was in Sweden that Nils first discovered his passion for teaching, acting as educational coordinator for the prestigious Restaurant Akademin.

His work has been featured in numerous media outlets including the New York Times Magazine, Best Life, on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and the CBS Early Show. He was a participant on TOP CHEF MASTERS and is a contributing authority to Food Arts.

Dave Arnold
As Director of Culinary Technology of The French Culinary Institute at The International Culinary Center, Dave Arnold helps chefs achieve their most ambitious goals using new technologies, techniques, and ingredients. He teaches several courses at The FCI, including sous vide and hydrocolloids.

Arnold is an award-winning food writer and contributing editor for equipment and food science at Food Arts, and he lectures around the country at universities and industry conferences. He has been featured in Food & Wine, Time, the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, the Economist and Popular Science, among other publications. He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons; the family’s high-tech home kitchen was featured in New York magazine.

Nastassia Lopez
Nastassia met and Dave and Nils while working as the assistant to Chef and Dean of The Italian Culinary Academy, Cesare Casella. She graduated from Stanford University’s Creative Writing Program, and has an informal background in cooking which she learned by living and working in Italy and Switzerland.  She also created the urban cooking blog: 5 Foot Kitchen

Mindy Lvoff
In addition to working with Nils and Dave on various projects at The FCI, Mindy writes and photographs for Cooking Issues posts. She also fetches coconuts for Dave (since it’s not legal to employ coconut-fetching monkeys in NYC).  On the side, she also has her own, highly non-technical, somewhat nonsensical blog: Mindy’s Recipe For Disaster.

Sophie Brickman
Sophie is a current FCI student and intern in the Culinary Technology department. She collaborates on our posts & primers, which means she’s stuck with the job of extracting the info pinging around in Dave Arnold’s brain and turning it into fully formed sentences.

Raina Bien
Raina is the impetus behind starting Cooking Issues. While also working more than full-time with the FCI Marketing Team, Raina now manages and maintains Cooking Issues. Unfortunately, that includes editing long and wordy posts and trying to put all of the Cooking Issues players on the same page.