About The City Kitchen
The City Kitchen is a boutique culinary event company and food blog based in San Francisco. It is a way for me to reach people in the Bay Area, to share recipes, knowledge and techniques and to make cooking and entertaining fun. I hope that you enjoy The City Kitchen as much as I do! Meet the people that help make The City Kitchen run smoothly…
CAROLINE FEY TESTA, owner and chef
Caroline grew up in a household full of parties. One of her earliest memories is of lying in her bedroom, listening to a backyard full of people laughing and talking into the wee hours. Her mother is a gifted hostess and party planner, and her father loves to share wine from his cellar. From the time she was little, she and her siblings were taught how to pass hors d’oeuvres, fill wine glasses and know all about the Godiva chocolates served at the end of a party. Her mother made dinner for her family every night and always let her help in the kitchen. She supported her messes and creativity with a lot of laughter and hugs.
Caroline began her culinary career when she was 16 years old, making pasta and assorted breads for an Italian restaurant after school. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a Journalism degree and thought that she wanted to be a food and travel writer. So, she went to The French Culinary Institute in New York City to learn serious techniques and fell in love with the kitchen. She got two degrees from The FCI, a classic culinary degree and a pastry degree, and has worked in restaurants in Manhattan, Ithaca NY and Park City UT, and for a catering company in East Hampton, NY.
By the time she moved to San Francisco she was tired of kitchen hours, cramped quarters and small paychecks. After completing a short wine program at The CIA in Napa, she started a little company called Mariposa Kitchen and began working as a private chef and caterer. She also started teaching underground cooking classes in her home. The cooking classes took off and she quickly realized that she was passionate about teaching. She also realized that she needed to move on to a bigger, better space and that she wanted to re-brand her company to highlight The City of San Francisco. So, Mariposa Kitchen became The City Kitchen, with a full website including cooking videos and a food blog. She currently teaches classes and caters private events at venues throughout the city as well as in private homes in the Bay Area. Her work has been shown in CA Home + Design magazine, Food52 and on the CBS morning show.
Elise "Toddy" Fineberg, chef
Toddy moved to San Francisco from Austin in 1999, and quickly enrolled at the California Culinary Academy. She soon secured a position at Citizen Cake, where she learned a principle that is now a core part of her own philosophy: great food relies on serious integrity, and that means the best ingredients and absolutely no shortcuts. After Citizen Cake, Fineberg went on to work in many critically acclaimed restaurants in San Francisco: Jardinière, the legendary Stars, and Incanto. Next, she moved on to a four-year post as Executive Pastry Chef for Taste Catering, followed by a pastry chef position at TASTE restaurant in Seattle, and then back to San Francisco where she was the opening pastry chef at Prospect.
Toddy has been a full time culinary instructor at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California, San Francisco since 2011. There she trains the next generation of industry professionals in savory, pastry, and business management. She also continues to consult, cater, and private chef on the side. Toddy is thrilled to bring her experience and enthusiasm to The City Kitchen.