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About the educator

About Larissa

Since the late 1990’s many areas of our lives were impacted by the fast-moving changes brought about by innovative technologies and the appliance industry was not exempt from those changes. When I was recruited into the appliance industry in 1999, I quickly understood that the technologies being used in the appliance industry to benefit the user were actually completely baffling to the user. The problem is, recipes don’t reference the tools we cook with and because all ovens are different, without education, learning to benefit from these new technologies was challenging for the user.


I began my career in the appliance industry teaching homeowners how to use Gaggenau appliances, a brand that is renowned for their advanced technology and superb culinary tools. Learning about the different tools within each appliance, especially their Convection ovens was my guide in developing a teaching program to help users easily adapt any recipe to Convection cooking. I quickly learned the oven would achieve amazing results, once I understood how to properly use it.


In 2000 when Gaggenau brought the first Combi Steam oven to the USA I definitely found myself in the baffled category of users because it was a completely unfamiliar appliance to me. Once again, I had to stand back and absorb the culinary genius behind the various cooking modes that were designed for different types of cooking. Fortunately, the results of the food we cooked in the Combi oven and the enthusiasm clients expressed when tasting the foods, quickly fueled interest in the oven that soon became a must have appliance for new kitchens.

Learning these new oven technologies was definitely a learning curve at first but my role teaching culinary education programs for Purcell Murray the appliance distributor, gave me plenty of opportunities to experiment. Educating clients about the brands they distributed, including Thermador, Bosch, Bertazzoni, Hestan, and La Cornue proved to be a rewarding experience as I was able to set owners on a path to successful cooking with their new unfamiliar appliances.


The culinary education programs I developed over the past 22 years to help people understand the tools they were cooking with and how to adapt recipes to benefit from those tools, are the cornerstone of this website and YouTube channel.


Many talented people were part of the Purcell Murray culinary team providing culinary education to consumers and industry professionals throughout California and are featured as contributors to the website.

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The Contributors

The contributors
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Susanne Jensen


Susanne, a native of Denmark, settled in the United States after several adventures around the world. Her love of cooking and belief in the healing powers of food led her to study natural foods and macrobiotic cooking at the Kushi Institute in Boston. 

After moving to the Bay Area Susanne continued her work catering and teaching cooking to adults interested in learning more about plant-based diets and the power of food for healing.


Twenty years ago Susanne joined the staff at Willard Middle School in Berkeley continuing her teaching career with young people.  She feels grateful to be able to share her love of cooking with them and is always inspired by their enthusiasm and curiosity.

As part of the fund-raising efforts to maintain the valuable garden and cooking program at the school, Susanne has been a driving force in many fund-raising outreach programs routinely orchestrating the preparation of up to 400 meals. In addition, Susanne has been a valuable member of the Purcell Murray culinary education team for the past 18 years.

If Susanne was a fruit, it would be a Pink Lady Apple because it’s crisp, firm, and sweet.



Cathy Dyla

For the past 19 years, Cathy has run the culinary education programs for the Purcell Murray Company in Southern California. In addition to teaching product education and cooking classes in the Huntington Beach Showroom, Cathy participated in countless dealer training events, providing valuable hands-on experience teaching the salespeople how the latest innovations in appliances could benefit the home cook.

Her many years of experience working as a wedding and event coordinator and participating in catering with her church community proved invaluable for the many large scale successful  industry events she has coordinated over the years.

Cathy’s marvelous culinary skills combined with her effervescent personality  made her a popular teacher and trainer for the appliance industry.


Paul Tang


After graduating from the San Francisco City College Culinary Program 19 years ago Paul became a popular member of the Purcell Murray culinary education team. Over the years Paul has participated in numerous consumer and dealer training events as well as taking the role of chef for the many special events we hosted.

Paul was able to continue his culinary education working closely with the many outstanding chefs who participated in our events and always received kudos from them for his excellent skills, personable manner and his ability to successfully orchestrate events.


These days Paul indulges his creativity and passion for cooking with catering and private chef work as well as In-home cooking classes.

Contact Paul -

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