The words "Yes Chef" are a fundamental part of any professional kitchen. In this busy atmosphere, communication needs to be quick and clear. When your chef gives you direction, it is important to say "yes chef" so that they know you heard them and understood. Under the leadership of a French chef this phrase then becomes "Oui Chef". It is a happy coincidence that "oui" is pronounced the same as "wee"--the size of our little chefs in training!
Laura Ragano Chef Instructor/Owner
While attending the University of Michigan, Chef Laura found herself cooking and baking to relieve stress from her classes. Upon graduation from the U of M she decided to pursue a career in the culinary arts, which had become her passion. Chef Laura graduated first in her class from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY in 1999. She moved to Chicago to begin her career as a culinary professional. Early on she knew she had a particular interest in pastries and pursued that in the kitchen. She attended The French Pastry School and graduated in 2001.
Upon graduation from the prestigious school, Chef Laura was fortunate to be offered a job as an assistant by the owner, Jacquy Pfeiffer. She stayed with the school for 10 years working her way up to chef instructor under the master guidance of Chef Pfeiffer and Chef Sebastien Canonne. Chef Laura decided it was time to hang up her toque (French Chef's hat) for a bit when her daughter arrived in 2010.
When it was time to return to work, Laura knew she needed to create something that would combine not only the profession she was trained in and loved, but also everything she has learned from being a mom. From this Oui Chef was born. Chef Laura is excited to share her passion and knowledge with the families that come to Oui Chef and help them build a strong base for cooking together from scratch with skill, flavor and fun.
Brady Braden Chef Instructor
Working with all ages from early childhood to senior adults, Chef Brady has a long history in
Chicago as an Instructor of many different fields. His passion for baking and cooking is life
long, spending time in his younger years with his Cherokee Grandma in her Oklahoma kitchen
and garden learning hands on how to grow and cook a wide variety of food.
During his early years as a Group Fitness Instructor for Chicago Athletic Clubs, Brady spent
much of the time baking using all-natural & whole grain ingredients. Noticing the lack of
bakeries creating these kinds of products, he attended The French Pastry School in 2007,
graduating Summa Cum Laude, and immediately opened his first business, B True Bakery.
(Fun Fact, Chef Laura was one of Brady’s Chef Instructor’s at The French Pastry School!)
A few years later Brady bought his second business, LeFlour Bakeshop in Edison Park, and
continued his presence at local Farmer’s Markets with the two bakeries & a retail location until
His background as an Instructor is just as unique as his past, including opportunities as a
National Educator of Cosmetology, Group Fitness Instructor, Educator for the American Cancer
Society and as a Small Business Presenter in local schools.
Chef Brady really enjoys teaching children culinary skills, as they are filled with incredible life
skills that encourage self-confidence and creativity. He is thrilled to be a part of Oui Chef and
is extremely excited to have come full circle, working with Laura again.
About the Facility
Oui Chef is a professional cooking facility designed to accommodate kids of varying ages and skill levels. Our goal is for kids to come into our facility and feel like they are stepping into a a professional kitchen with each becoming a Oui Chef sous chef (chef speak for "second-in-commanding the kitchen"). We want our sous chefs to take the knowledge they gain with us to become an integral part of the food experience at home and out to dinner.
Oui Chef is a nut-free environment although we cannot guarantee with 100% certainty that all ingredients we use have been produced in nut-free facilities. The core curriculum is also meatless ensuring Oui Chef is as inclusive as possible.