MEET THE TEAM
KELLY HUDDLESTON - OWNER & INSTRUCTOR
Passionate about cooking, entertaining and teaching, Kelly brings years of culinary experience to The Cookery. Previously, Kelly has worked as a professional cooking instructor for years, and has spanned the globe expanding her knowledge of different types of cuisines.
Destined for the culinary world, it was Kelly’s mother who ignited a passion for cooking in her daughter at a young age. Growing up, Kelly often helped her mom whip up exotic dishes for many dinner parties, including their annual Chinese New Year’s party, Hawaiian luau, and Norwegian feast for the local 4-H club. She credits her love of food, along with her keen understanding of experiencing the unique role cooking plays in different cultures, to her mom.
Ever the student herself, Kelly’s desire to further her knowledge and passion has led her around the globe studying cooking throughout Asia, North America, Europe, the Caribbean and Central America. From making fresh pasta in Italy, to roasting her own pig in Kauai and discovering the unique flavors of Thailand, she possesses a distinct understanding of the world’s most coveted cuisines. Additionally, Kelly’s travels equipped her with culinary skills and techniques bespoke to each destination. Over time, she couldn’t help but find that she was passionate about sharing her experience with others.
Kelly ultimately settled in Dallas and opened The Cookery as a place where friends and family could come together and make meaningful connections over great conversation and even better food.
FIONA FORNEY - INSTRUCTOR
The daughter of a restaurant manager and gourmet “foodie,” Fiona’s longstanding love affair with food began in her childhood home. She began helping her mom cook for the family before she could even reach the stovetop and lovingly recalls her dad referring to the spices in his cabinet as his “friend.” Her father loved to try new ingredients, explore techniques and see local farmers for “the good stuff” – traits Fiona has embraced and carried on.
Originally from the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, where no meat is too bizarre and nothing goes to waste, her hometown provided a unique stage for her culinary beginnings. She first specialized in the Germanic, old-world, farmer-centric cuisine that is PA Dutch (ask about the chicken pot pie sometime) before expanding her knowledge of other global cuisine through her formal education and travels.
Perhaps Fiona’s most profound culinary experience came with a trip to Indonesia, where she was exposed to a vast array of produce, spices and flavors that sent her passion into overdrive. Fiona found inspiration in the finesse of the Jakarta fine dining scene and in the sustainable symbiotic relationship the people of Bali have with their cuisine.
Seeking change and opportunity, Fiona headed south and landed in Dallas in 2013. She attended Le Cordon Bleu to get classical French training under her apron, and eventually found herself inside the Dallas restaurant scene. Fiona has had the opportunity to work with a myriad of chefs and concepts, from a baptism by fire in fine dining, to a grueling but fun summer on a food truck.
Her journey continues at The Cookery Dallas, where she is excited to share her love of food and the creative expression that is cooking with guests.
Dixya Bhattarai – Instructor & Assistant
Born and raised in a large, multi-generation home in Nepal, food has always been a big part of Dixya’s life. From an early age, she enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the kitchen while her mom, grandmother, and aunts prepared meals for the entire family. Dixya started cooking only a few years ago during her dietetic internship as she no longer lived in the college dormitory and had to prepare her own meals. Her interest in cooking grew deeper which led her to start a food blog called “Food, Pleasure, and Health” in 2012.
Dixya’s career has focused on food and nutrition. She is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. She enjoys cooking different types of cuisines, mostly wholesome & easy to prepare recipes but making and eating momos (Nepali dumplings) is her absolute favorite. Dixya spends a lot of time in a hospital setting as a dietitian, but her ultimate passion lies in the kitchen where she can chop vegetables, stir the pot, and share her passion and knowledge of food through cooking.
She is very excited to join The Cookery Dallas team and looks forward to cooking with everyone soon. When she is not thinking about food, she enjoys drinking tea, practicing yoga, taking long walks, and exploring DFW area.
Annaly Portillo - Assistant
Annaly grew up in Wichita, Kansas, and has been happy to call Dallas home for the last two years. She grew up in a large food-friendly home, where she would help her mom prepare traditional dishes that had been passed down from generation to generation.
As an adult, she loves trying and learning how to prepare new dishes, and considers herself somewhat of a “MacGyver” in the kitchen – creating delicious dishes from random ingredients she finds in her friends’ kitchens.
She is thrilled to be working at The Cookery, and looks forward to cooking with you!