Our Staff

Stop by and say 'Hi!'

Janet Zalewski

Janet Zalewski

Manager, Original Cast Member/Everyone's Mom

Where did you grow up? Chicago. How long have you lived in North Carolina? 10 years. Where did/do you go to school? What did/do you study in school? I went to City of Chicago Junior College, general studies. Please list any children or pets you have, and their names. I have a daughter named Sarah, a son named David, and two dogs (Cody and Sully) and a cat (Cleo). What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Gardening, go to the Farmers' Market, trying new restaurants. What is your favorite cooking ingredient? Chocolate. What is your favorite dessert? A flourless chocolate cake with raspberries, raspberry sauce and homemade whipped cream. Who is your favorite TV or famous chef? Ina Garten. What is your best advice for new cooks? Be patient. When cooking savory foods, often a mistake can turn into something delicious. Be careful with knife skills - speed comes with time.

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith

Asst. Manager, Original Cast/Song & Ukulele Master

Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in North Carolina? I was born and raised in Charlotte so I’ve lived here my whole life. Where did/do you go to school? What did/do you study in school? I went to Catawba College in Salisbury, NC to study musical theater performance and graduated in 2012. If applicable, what is your other part or full time job? I teach voice and ukulele lessons at Ballantyne School of Music. Please list any children or pets you have, and their names. I have two cats, Binx and Chloe. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I enjoy cooking, singing, gardening, binging Netflix, and spending time with family and friends. What is your favorite cooking ingredient? Fresh herbs What is your favorite savory food? What is your favorite dessert? I LOVE Thai food, so spring rolls and pad Thai are a favorite of mine. For dessert I usually reach for ice cream. Who is your favorite TV or famous chef? I love Gordon Ramsey! I’ll watch anything he makes. What is your best food-related childhood memory? When we would travel to my grandparents’ house and after a long day of driving, they would have a big pot of their famous chili on the stove waiting for us. What is your best advice for new cooks? Learn from your mistakes instead of giving up! It takes time to master these skills, keep going!

Wendy Zannini

Wendy Zannini

Instructor, Magic Maker/Kid at Heart

Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in North Carolina? I grew up in Massachusetts. I have lived in Charlotte for 15 years Where did/do you go to school? What did/do you study in school? Rivier college. Bachelors degree in early childhood education If applicable, what is your other part or full time job? Pre school teacher Please list any children or pets you have, and their names. Elizabeth 22 Caralynne 16 What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Being with my family What is your favorite cooking ingredient? Sugar What is your favorite savory food? What is your favorite dessert? Cheezits for savory, fudge brownies for dessert Who is your favorite TV or famous chef? Cake boss What is your best food-related childhood memory? Birthday parties ( my mom makes yummy cool cakes ) What is your best advice for new cooks? It’s okay to make mistakes. That is how we learn.

Julia Sartori

Julia Sartori

Instructor, Math Whiz

Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in North Carolina? Weddington, NC; been here all of my life Where did/do you go to school? What did/do you study in school? Nutrition Science at NC State University If applicable, what is your other part or full time job? Middle school math teacher Please list any children or pets you have, and their names. Roch, my black lab What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Cooking, hiking, hosting guests What is your favorite cooking ingredient? Garlic What is your favorite savory food? What is your favorite dessert? Goldfish; angel food cake with pineapple whipped cream Who is your favorite TV or famous chef? Julia Child What is your best food-related childhood memory? Making homemade pasta with my grandma What is your best advice for new cooks? Try, try, try! Things sometimes don’t work out, but you will get it eventually. Have fun with experimenting with different recipes and ingredients.

Grace Campbell

Grace Campbell

Instructor Assistant, Cooking Prodigy

Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in North Carolina? I have lived in North Carolina my entire life. Where did/do you go to school? What did/do you study in school? I go to Providence High School. Please list any pets you have, and their names. I have a hedgehog named Rosie. And two dogs named Lady and Tucker. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I like bike riding, painting, baking, and macrame. What is your favorite cooking ingredient? I love vanilla. What is your favorite savory food? What is your favorite dessert? My favorite savory food is mac and cheese. And my favorite dessert is brownies. Who is your favorite TV or famous chef? I like Duff Goldman from Food Network. What is your best food-related childhood memory? I remember going to my grandmas house and making chocolate chip cookies. What is your best advice for new cooks? Don’t be afraid to try new recipes, you might find your new favorite dish.

Rachel Holden

Rachel Holden

Instructor Assistant, Chocolate Chip Cookie Taster

Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in North Carolina? I was born in Massachusetts and live there till I was 7. Then I moved to Charlotte and have lived here for 9 years. Where did/do you go to school? What did/do you study in school? I go to Providence High School. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? In my free time I enjoying hanging out with friends, playing flute, and of course cooking and baking for my family. What is your favorite cooking ingredient? Chocolate Chips, you can put them in so many baked items and they get all gooey in the oven. What is your favorite savory food? What is your favorite dessert? My favorite savory food is sushi and my favorite dessert is probably a really fresh chocolate chip cookie. Who is your favorite TV or famous chef? Alex Guarnaschelli What is your best food-related childhood memory? I had cooking birthday parties for 7 years in a row, however; one of my favorites was when my mom and I created a multi-course meal menu and found recipients for me and my friends to make at the party. I still remember having so much fun and loved creating it with my mom. What is your best advice for new cooks? Don’t be afraid to experiment a little, and when searching for recipes online always read the reviews. Sometimes other people will have made the recipe and recommend using more/less of an ingredient and it can make a world of a difference.

Anne Irwin Ward

Anne Irwin Ward

Studio Owner, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer

Anne spent her childhood in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. Her love of seafood started in New Orleans, tagging along with her Grandpa catching blue crabs, then later savoring her Mississippi-born stepmother's classic southern cuisine - chicken fried steak, pecan pie, fried okra, creamed corn, & proper cheesy grits. After graduating from Queens University then UNC-Chapel Hill with a social work degree, she worked several years in mental health settings, which, some might argue, prepared her well for working later for 17 years in the financial services industry. Anne & her husband Rob, while both working full time outside the home, ultimately began thinking about how they could change things to bring more joy & balance to their family (11 yr. old Fiona & 7 yr. old Jude, dog Macy, grumpy cat Toonces, and a flock of backyard chickens). After recognizing certain themes in what she enjoyed - teaching & working with children (child therapist, summer camp counselor, & nanny) food-related work and hobbies (server, catering and cooking class assistant, cooking club member), she was thrilled to discover the Flour Power opportunity. Opening a Flour Power studio is really a dream come true - a perfect blending of all of these joys, and she is so excited to share them with children & families in south Charlotte! When not playing in the kitchen with her kids, Anne enjoys travel and exploring the outdoors with her family (especially western NC!). Faves: Ingredient: Basil. Dish: Ethiopian Lentil Stew. Dessert: Peach-blackberry crumble. Childhood food memory: tossing cooked blue crabs onto a newspaper-covered table. Kitchen scent: Baking bread. Favorite chef and her cooking advice: Julia Child “No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”