Amanda Pyle, Executive Chef / Owner
Hi, I’m Amanda Pyle and have been working in the food industry for over 25 years. I have worked every position in the restaurant industry from waitress to bartender to Executive Chef and now I want to share my culinary and restaurant knowledge with you!
I graduated from the ICC Culinary Arts program with honors in 2006 and since then have been managing and working in local area restaurants as well as teaching for the ICC Culinary Arts Program for the last 11 years. In addition to teaching for the ICC culinary curriculum, I also had the pleasure of teaching ICC workshops for the community for almost 5 years. That’s why this adventure seemed like the perfect fit when I purchased it from the previous owner in 2016! I love sharing my culinary practice and vision with you, the community in the form of fun and unique classes for the whole family!
At The Cookery, teaching is our mission. We know that if you join us for a cooking class, you will love it and you will return again. Our classes are fun, unique, and also technique driven – which is something unique to this area. Our goal is always to be sure that our guests are treated well, learn a lot and have a great time while doing so. Come let The Cookery take your cooking skills to the next level.
The Cookery specializes in fun hands-on cooking classes for anyone interested in food! We have ethnic themed classes for the adventurer, lady’s nights for the ladies, monthly kid’s classes, and a whole lot more! The Cookery teaches both savory and baking classes as well, which ensures a wide range of topics that many can enjoy. The Cookery has something for everybody! And did I mention we do all of the dishes?
In addition to cooking classes, The Cookery can help you plan a party for an upcoming special occasion, create a fun class for groups of 8-20, and even help facilitate team building workshops for your business! We also do full scale small and large catering, in-home dinner parties, and- now, The Cookery also has single serve Gourmet Meals TO GO! Whether you are busy professionals or have elderly folks who could benefit from homemade packaged meals, our Gourmet To Go line could be right for you! Please think to give The Cookery a call for any of your food and catering needs.
Coming soon….STONE FIRED PIZZA! We cannot wait to offer our new culinary creation to the Morton and surrounding areas! We’ve been working on our pizza dream for about a year now and we hope to be up and running by September 2020!
About our Local Chef / Owner~
Chef Amanda Pyle has worked, cooked and managed restaurants all over the Peoria area for over 25 years. She lives in Morton, IL with her husband, daughter, 2 dogs and a cat. She also loves to compete within the local chef’s food circuit and is Vice President of the local chapter of the Heart of Illinois American Chef’s Federation. In 2016 she was awarded several titles including Food Fight 2016 Champion, 2016 American Chefs Federation BBQ Chicken Judge’s Choice & People’s Choice Champion, and also 2016 first ever Peoria Chopped Champion as well as 2016 Chef of the Year. 2017 and later accolades include 2nd place BBQ Judge’s Choice for Sausages, 2nd Place Food Fight 2018, and she also won 1st Place Judges Chili in 2019 & 2020 for most original chili. She is most known for The Cookery’s signature Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad but her favorite kind of food to cook is definitely Tex Mex! Amanda’s favorite class to teach is Knife Skills because it is life changing.
The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.
Meet the new Cookery Crew!! All hired in 2020, these teachers inspire and amaze with their passion and talent!
Meet our new Sous Chef, Joe Gresham~
Hi! My name is Joe Gresham, and I’m the Sous Chef at The Cookery. When I graduated from high school, I wanted to be a teacher. Then a police officer. And then a medical lab technician. When I finished my degree at ICC, I realized that none of these were truly my passion; these were simply jobs. What I have always been passionate about is cooking, food, and learning. And so I decided to follow this passion and find a way to share it with others.
I grew up around food; my grandmother was always baking or cooking, and I was always eager to help. I understand how soul-satisfying food can be, especially when it’s part of your family. I want to provide people with the type of food that is satisfying for their soul, and I want to show them how to incorporate this food into their daily lives.
In one of my very first Culinary Arts classes at ICC, I met Chef Amanda. I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to join her team. At The Cookery, the kitchen has also become my classroom, and I learn something new here every day. You will often find me teaching Sushi, Homemade Pasta, Knife Skills and even teaching our virtual videos that we host on our Facebook page. I have found a new love for teaching and it is so rewarding working with the public through my love for food. I love where I’m headed in the world of culinary arts. Join me at The Cookery to discover what you love!
Meet our new Lead Baker, Sophie Schneblin~
Sophie Schneblin is a senior at East Peoria Community High School. After graduation she hopes to advance to either the Illinois Central College Culinary program or study Food Science/Dietetics with intentions to continue on to grad school. She has always loved food and loves to share that passion with others. When she was 9 years old she started her own food blog that is still active today – check it out at www.mykookiekitchen.blogspot.com
A Morton IL local, for the past 8 years, Sophie has competed in the Pumpkin cooking competition junior division where she has placed 3rd in 2012, 2nd in 2013, 1st in 2018, and 2nd in 2019. Sophie has taken classes from The Cookery Inc for years, and now having the opportunity to work with Chef Amanda and her staff has been amazing and allowed for so much growth!
Sophie has really been working on her baking and decorating techniques and she cannot wait to show you how much joy sweets can bring! She also loves teaching the vegan and vegetarian classes and acting as our resident vegetarian taste tester whenever possible! Sophie’s bright and bubbly attitude is the perfect addition to The Cookery team! You will see Sophie in most of our kid’s classes as well, as she is a natural with the kiddos.
Meet our Student Intern, Dylan Parker
Hi, My name is Dylan Parker. I am a student chef and intern at the cookery. I’m currently attending the ICC Culinary Arts Institute and will receive my degree at the end of this year (2020).
My culinary journey has been anything but straight forward. I attended the University of Iowa and received my bachelor’s degree in Enterprise Leadership (Entrepreneurial Marketing) in 2016 with plans of opening a software startup. Upon graduation, the realities of starting a business quickly set in, and I was forced to find a 9-5 to pay the bills. I then began what I thought was going to be a career in sales. I accepted a park and playground equipment sales position in Iowa, and was offered a job in software sales in central Illinois after 2 years in the park and rec industry. I was finally in the software business! After 6 months of 12-14 hour workdays, very little gratification, and a near mental breakdown, I began researching culinary programs in the area.
I’ve always loved to eat, and began cooking at age 11 when my dad taught me how to perfectly fry an over-easy egg. I’ve been developing techniques and recipes ever since. It wasn’t until my mid-20s when I realized cooking was more than just a hobby to me; it was a passion. All of this has led me to The Cookery where we learn new techniques and cook new foods on a weekly basis, which allows me to explore my culinary curiosities every day.
Chef Amanda offered me a position at The Cookery at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown. It was an incredible blessing to not only maintain employment but also a great career opportunity. I’m continuing to develop my skills in cooking as well as public speaking and, of course, teaching! I’m currently in the process of developing my own class here at the Cookery, and I’d love an opportunity to teach you some of the things I’ve learned.
Recent Accolades: 2020 Libby’s Pumpkin Recipe Challenge Winner – Professional Category: Pumpkin Pot Pie
Picture is in the making for our newest ICC intern, Haylie!
Hello, my name is Haylie! I am a student intern here at The Cookery, and a student in the Culinary Arts program at ICC. (I’ll be graduating this fall- Woohoo!) My life has revolved around the kitchen for as long as I can remember, and whether I am trying out new recipes, cooking dinner with my family, or even watching cooking shows, it has always been my happy place. I am especially passionate about baking, and I love to make all kinds of bread. There is just something so simple, yet beautiful about kneading the dough by hand, the aromas of the loaves as they are baking, and the satisfying thump of a freshly baked loaf. Once I complete the program at ICC, I will be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communications to one day become a food writer/editor. Working at The Cookery, there is always something new to learn, and it has helped me grow in so many ways in the time I have worked here. Join us to discover your happy place, here at The Cookery!