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The Real Food Academy meet the team.

Meet the Team

At The Real Food Academy, we take pride in our amazing team of chefs, support staff, and culinary experts who are dedicated to bringing healthy, real food to our customers and classes. With a shared passion for creating delicious and nutritious meals, our team is committed to providing an exceptional culinary experience.

4.9 Star Rating

The Real Food Academy Team

Arthur Cummins - The Real Food Academy

Arthur Cummins

Co-Founder

As the visionary behind the Real Food Academy, Arthur Cummins brings a unique blend of business acumen and a passion for wholesome living to the forefront. With a passion for nutrition and a wealth of business, sales, and marketing expertise, Arthur Cummins has been the driving force behind the company's remarkable success.

Guided by a deep commitment to health and well-being, Arthur Cummins has skillfully shaped the messaging and mission of the Real Food Academy. Their pioneering vision combines the art of cooking with an unwavering dedication to real, unprocessed foods. This innovative approach has not only set the academy apart but also resonated with a growing community seeking a healthier way of living.

Arthur Cummins' leadership has firmly established the Real Food Academy as a beacon of culinary education and mindful eating. Their dedication to fostering a connection between food and nourishment has touched countless lives and inspired a generation to embrace real, wholesome ingredients while steering clear of ultra-processed alternatives.

Through Arthur Cummins' tireless efforts, the Real Food Academy continues to empower individuals to make informed choices about what they eat and how they cook. Join Arthur Cummins on this extraordinary culinary journey towards a healthier, more delicious future.

Chef Maria Cummins - The Real Food Academy

Chef Maria Cummins

Head Chef & Co-Founder

Born in Venezuela, Maria Cummins discovered her deep-rooted passion for food from an early age. Her culinary journey led her to Lima, Peru, where she immersed herself in the rich secrets of Peruvian gastronomy during part of her childhood. In her early twenties, she embarked on a new chapter by coming to the United States and delving into the Hospitality Industry in Boston, Massachusetts.

Maria's culinary adventure continued as she relocated to San Diego, California, where she made her mark by opening the renowned El Tucan Restaurant. Her extensive travels and diverse experiences greatly influenced her innovative culinary style, shaping the unique approach she is celebrated for today.

During her time in San Diego, Chef Maria not only honed her culinary skills but also gained a profound understanding of the importance of nutrition, particularly through the use of organic and unprocessed ingredients.

Today, Maria Cummins is the proud owner, founder, and head chef of the Real Food Academy, a culinary haven nestled in the vibrant city of Miami. Here, both kids and adults come together every week to share the joy of connecting through the power of Real Food and Real Fun!

Chef Pablo Lamon - The Real Food Academy

Chef Pablo Lamon

Director of Operations

Chef Pablo Lamon was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and at the age of 18, he began his culinary journey. Within his career, Chef Pablo worked at Award winning Hotels in Argentina, Uruguay and the United States, travelled the world cooking in Luxury Cruises, and worked for Michelin starred Chefs. He has also provided private culinary services on yachts, and consulted for several Restaurants.

At the age of 28, Chef Pablo made his way to the finals in the United States San Pellegrino Young Chef competition, being one of the 10 Chefs nationwide that traveled to New York to cook his food at the “One World Trade Center” for a lineup of Michelin starred judges.

Two years later Chef Pablo was casted to be in Season 16 of Top Chef in Kentucky where he earned the audience’s support with his passionate approach to food and charming personality. After two years of holding the Executive Chef position at the Conrad Hotel Miami and teaching culinary Arts at the Mariano Moreno Culinary Institute, Pablo took the position of Director of Operations at The Real Food Academy where he also teaches cooking classes.

Chef Toni - The Real Food Academy

Chef Toni

Chef

Food is my passion! I started out at 8yrs old cooking with my Italian Grandma. I have lived and traveled all over the world and always found myself cooking. Be it at the beach in the Cap Verde Islands or in Senegal on a wood fire on the ground or in India’s ashram making Chapati. I love food and people. I am fluent in English, French and Spanish making communication easy. I am a certified IIN health coach, raw food and pastry chef from the Living Light Culinary Institute and detox and functional nutrition coach from FxNA Functional Nutrition Alliance and Therapeutic Dietetics at Intstitut FP Sanitaria Roger de Lluria.

I was the owner of “Toni’s “ organic restaurant in Barcelona, Spain and have taught cooking classes since 2005 all over Europe and the USA. My motive is we are what we eat so fill it with healthy food, passion and make it with lots of love.

Chef Isa - The Real Food Academy

Chef Isa

Chef

Hi! I’m Chef Isa! And I play different roles at The Academy. Sometimes you’ll see me cooking with kids and teaching the importance of eating Real Food or you can see me styling and photographing a beautiful dish for our social media!

Truth is I’ve always been passionate about food. From cooking with my abuelita as a little kid to having two different careers and making it into one.

I’m a Chef and Marketing graduate, with experience in different roles in the food industry. I strongly believe that as long as you do what you love and be at your natural best you’ll be inspiring only good things! That’s why I #inspirelovethroughfood.

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Rave Reviews for The Real Food Academy

proud to have a 4.9 star rating & 700+ reviews

  • Miami Dood

    This was my first time. Maria is awesome. She made the experience fun tasty and dynamic.the food and flavor were awesome. Off course, i made it myself :) Maria muchas gracias lo pase increible
  • gymnote1

    Chef Maria is such a nice teacher.
  • Diana Banana

    I had so much fun and learned a lot. I never had tried paella before and I absolutely loved it. Everything was clean and delicious. Definitely recommend.
  • Garrison Salters

    Great Experience
  • Yvonne Iturralde

    Chef Maria was amazing! Detailed instructions was provided so my meal was delicious!
  • Grania Michel

    A wonderful evening! Chef Maria is the best
  • Tathienne Kader

    Amazing party, Paolo was incredible, we made the best food and had the best time.
  • Anthony & Jefrey Erickson-Pogorzelski

    Chef Maria consistently delivers! Her recommendations, guidance, ingredients, and staff are the best. Thanks for such a great evening- we’ll be back!!
  • ML SERVICES 2021 LLC

    (Translated by Google) The delicious food! We came to take a class as a team, it was excellent ♥️🌼 The chef was super kind to us! The food in general was delicious! I would like to repeat it and I would do so without hesitation! (Original) La comida deliciosa! Vinimos a tomar una clase en equipo, fue excelente ♥️🌼 La chef fue super amable con nosotros! La comida en general estuvo deliciosa! Me gustaría repetirlo y lo haría sin dudarlo!
  • Fabiana Aurrecoechea

    Amazing experience and delicious food
  • Veronica Pereira

    Came for a birthday party and had an amazing time! Chef Matias was attentive, educational and fun! The food was was delicious and I definitely would remake it at home. Would recommend for anyone wanting to celebrate any event in a unique way
  • Carly Rich

    We had an amazing time celebrating my friends Birthday. Chef Matías was wonderful and did a very good job teaching all of us how to cook each dish.
  • Rene Perdigon (ClubMagicoMiami)

    🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Discover the joy of healthy eating and cooking at The Real Food Academy in Miami! This exceptional establishment is not just a cooking school but a transformative experience for both kids and adults alike. 🍎🥦🍳 The Real Food Academy goes beyond traditional cooking classes by focusing on nutritious, delicious meals that are easy to prepare at home. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned chef, their expert instructors guide you through every step, ensuring you gain practical skills and culinary confidence. 👩‍🍳👨‍🍳 Classes are designed to be interactive and fun, making learning about nutrition and cooking a delightful journey. Kids are especially welcomed and encouraged to explore their creativity in the kitchen, fostering a lifelong appreciation for wholesome foods. 🏆 Awarded for their commitment to quality education and healthy living, The Real Food Academy stands out as a beacon of culinary excellence in Miami. Their dedication to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients ensures every dish not only tastes amazing but also nourishes the body. 🎉 Whether you're attending a family cooking workshop, a team-building corporate event, or simply looking to enhance your own culinary repertoire, The Real Food Academy promises an unforgettable experience. Join the movement towards healthier eating today and embark on a flavorful adventure with The Real Food Academy!
  • Nicole Forman

    2nd time here and plan to come back many more times. Super accommodating to dietary restrictions and fun, clean, engaging environment. Delicious food too and great value! Perfect for date night or girls night. Will be back!
  • Jenny Diaz-Neumann

    Amazing experience. Highly recommended, the chef and the staff are very nice
  • Clark Wycoff

    Wonderful experience. Chef Toni did a great job guiding us through the various parts of the meal, and it was very rewarding to enjoy something we made ourselves from scratch.
  • Allegra Russo

    Truly an incredible experience. My daughter loved it. Thank you for such a fun and educational week. Can’t wait to come back!
  • Nicole Rosales

    Great service by chef toni and Carmen, so great and tasty!!!
  • Samantha Oyon

    I had so much fun! Chef Toni and Assistant Chef Carmen were so amazing and friendly! 10/10 would recommend!
  • Valeria Madrid

    I loved i loved ❤️😍❤️

Real Food FAQs

No. All Payments and Deposits are non-refundable: When a payment or deposit is made, that day and time is no longer available to other customers on our calendar. For that reason, all payments and deposits are non-refundable.

In the case of a cooking class, the ingredients are shopped for and prepped in advance. Staff is also scheduled according to the number of people on the roster.

See our Wine and Beer list for your in-house kids party options. Optionally, you can bring your own wine or beer and page a corkage fee.

Corkage Fees

  • $15 per 750 ml bottle of wine
  • $30 per 1.5 L bottle of wine

Bring outside beer: $20 for beer (any quantity)

We love it when our customers decorate our place. That said, you have no idea how difficult it is to clean these types of things up. As far as noisemakers go......you will be glad you left them at home as well. So please do not bring any of those things.

Dish by Dish, Skill by Skill

Here are a few of the things you'll learn at the Real Food Academy:

The Real Food Academy - International Cookery

International Cookery

In every lesson, we will travel around the world and prepare traditional dishes utilizing healthy ingredients (the ones that are good for you!) We will be offering lessons on breakfast, brunch, lunch, snacks, and dinner preparation.

The Real Food Academy - How to Mise en Place

How to Mise en Place

Organize your meal preparation ahead of time. This way you'll have more time to enjoy with family and friends and less time worrying about the actual cooking part of a meal.

The Real Food Academy - Portion Control

Portion Control

Don't go hungry, just eat what’s right for you! You will not go hungry or suffer from energy depletion if you eat the right foods. We will teach you how to identify and choose the right ingredients, portions and how to combine different types of food for your benefit.

The Real Food Academy - Knife Skills & Cooking Techniques

Knife Skills & Cooking Techniques

Master the art of professionals and cook anything the healthy way! For example, learning how to cut properly can make the difference between seeing kitchen work as a chore and a joy.

The Real Food Academy - Choosing Disease-Preventing Foods

Choosing Disease-Preventing Foods

Learn the power of nutrient-rich herbs, spices, vegetables, low sugar fruits, non-processed meats and many more foods that are rich in antioxidants, resveratol, vitamins and minerals essential in healthy eating.

The Real Food Academy - International Cookery

International Cookery

In every lesson, we will travel around the world and prepare traditional dishes utilizing healthy ingredients (the ones that are good for you!) We will be offering lessons on breakfast, brunch, lunch, snacks, and dinner preparation.

The Real Food Academy - How to Mise en Place

How to Mise en Place

Organize your meal preparation ahead of time. This way you'll have more time to enjoy with family and friends and less time worrying about the actual cooking part of a meal.

The Real Food Academy - Portion Control

Portion Control

Don't go hungry, just eat what’s right for you! You will not go hungry or suffer from energy depletion if you eat the right foods. We will teach you how to identify and choose the right ingredients, portions and how to combine different types of food for your benefit.

The Real Food Academy - Knife Skills & Cooking Techniques

Knife Skills & Cooking Techniques

Master the art of professionals and cook anything the healthy way! For example, learning how to cut properly can make the difference between seeing kitchen work as a chore and a joy.

The Real Food Academy - Choosing Disease-Preventing Foods

Choosing Disease-Preventing Foods

Learn the power of nutrient-rich herbs, spices, vegetables, low sugar fruits, non-processed meats and many more foods that are rich in antioxidants, resveratol, vitamins and minerals essential in healthy eating.

A group of kids at The Real Food Academy's cooking camps.

100%

Hands-On

All our classes are 100% hands-on and, unlike other cooking schools, we are not limited to any one cuisine!

The Real Food Academy serving dish icon.

Unveiling the Real Culinary Philosophy

At our cooking school in Miami, Florida, we abide by a simple yet transformative mantra:

“We don’t change the dish, we change the ingredients!”

If a cooking school and functional medicine had a baby - it would be The Real Food Academy. This philosophy empowers our aspiring chefs, both young and adult, to cook what they love while incorporating healthy, all-natural substitutes. The result? Meals that are not only better for them but also taste better, creating a harmonious blend of health and flavor.

Real Food Blog

Kids Birthday Party with The Real Food Academy.

65 Ideas for an Unforgettable Kids Birthday Party

At Real Food Academy, we know planning a birthday party can be overwhelming and stressful, but we're here to make it easy and fun. Read on to see a few of our favorite themes to choose from.

Knife Skills Every Beginner Cook Should Know with The Real Food Academy

Knife Skills Every Beginner Cook Should Know

One of the first skills novice chefs need to acquire is proficient knife handling. Learn more about these key knife skills for beginners, brought to you by The Real Food Academy!

4 Essential Tips for Overcoming Anxiety About Cooking with The Real Food Academy.

4 Essential Tips for Overcoming Anxiety About Cooking

With these tips from The Real Food Academy, you'll be able to conquer your fear of the kitchen and enjoy delicious homemade meals in no time.

Essential Tips to Make You a Better Cook with The Real Food Academy.

Essential Tips to Make You a Better Cook

It takes patience and practice to become a great cook. With a few tips from The Real Food Academy, you'll be on your way to creating delicious and impressive dishes in no time.

How to Get the Most Out of a Cooking Class with The Real Food Academy.

How to Get the Most Out of a Cooking Class

At The Real Food Academy, we believe that cooking is about creating an experience. Read on for some tips about how to get the most out of a cooking class!

Kids at The Real Food Academy - learn everything you need to know about the benefits of our cooking classes!

Why Your Child Needs To Spend At Least One Week At The Real Food Academy This Summer

Learn exactly why your child should spend at least one week at The Real Food Academy! Here's what you need to know!

Real Food Recipes

The Real Food Academy's baked apple cinnamon empanadas recipe.

Baked Apple Cinnamon Empanadas

dessert
latin
The Real Food Academy asian cole slaw recipe.

Asian Cole Slaw

salad
asian
The Real Food Academy avocado fries recipe.

Avocado Fries

snack
Crunch fries on a plate, The Real Food Academy baked fries recipe.

Baked Fries

appetizer
american
The Real Food Academy berry sorbet with super food toppings, try it today!

Berry Sorbet with Super Food Toppings

dessert
italian

Dietary Accommodations

Real Flavor for Everyone

At The Real Food Academy, we take pride in crafting culinary experiences that are not only delectable but also safe for every palate. Our dedicated team understands the significance of dietary accommodations, and we go the extra mile to ensure that every participant can savor our creations without worry.

From gluten-free alternatives to nut-free options, we're well-versed in a wide range of allergies and dietary restrictions. Our kitchen is equipped with the latest tools and techniques to prevent cross-contamination, and our instructors are adept at adapting recipes to suit individual needs.

You can trust that at our academy, your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities. Join us for a flavorful journey where allergies are never a barrier to delicious dining!

We offer a variety of dietary accommodations, including but not limited to:

Gluten Free
Gluten Free
Dairy Free
Dairy Free
Nut Free
Nut Free
Soy Free
Soy Free
Vegetarian
Vegetarian
Vegan
Vegan

Real Food. Real Connections

Elevate Your Culinary Expertise with Classes at The Real Food Academy

Special Announcements

The Real Food Academy Is Franchising

The Real Food Academy is now offering a fun & family-friendly franchise opportunity. We are expanding and inviting franchisees to join us on our culinary journey! Follow us on Instagram and Learn how you can #inspirelovethroughfood!

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The Real Food Academy is Now Enrolling Summer Camps!

With a limited capacity of 40 participants per day, spots fill up quickly! Don't miss your chance to secure your desired dates for this incredible cooking camp experience. Register now to ensure your child's place at The Real Food Academy, FL's Cooking with Kids Summer Camp!

Book Now