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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

  • Robert Sutherland

    Chef Pablo was the perfect mix of humor, passion, and master teacher. I had an amazing experience, and would recommend seizing the opportunity to experience what the academy has to offer!
  • Erica Wandzel

    This was an excellent team-building event. Our team from around the world had a great time learning about the food that we were making while overall spending time together. The staff was fantastic, and the facility was first-class. Thank you.
  • Olga Meador

    Awesome experience- wonderful service!!
  • Sidney Henderson

    Very good class
  • Dan Stein

    Amazing experience for friends or coworkers, great team (Pablo and Tony), and food was amazing! 100% recommend!
  • Jennifer Swanton

    Excellent class! I took my daughter today to the sushi class for kids and she loved it! She wants to go back next week!
  • martin gallardo

    Great place. Very clean, good music, food awesome. Chef Maria is a master. Great for family too.
  • alex guzman

    This was a great experience. It was my first time cooking and it was very easy. The chef was very welcoming and gave clear instructions. I highly recommend coming to the Real Food Academy.
  • Paula Chacon

    Great location, the dinamic is fun, the food is easy and delicious, great experience
  • Isabel Guia

    The experience was amazing! Thank you Chef Maria!
  • Yesenia Gasco

    Absolutely amazing class with Chef Maria! Highly recommend. Food and ambience were great!
  • Scott Grondin

    Fun night and great food! Highly recommend.
  • Tammi Calarco

    Fabulous place for networking events. The chef did a great job in teaching our group about the food we were preparing and in directing us on how to prepare and cook. We made beef empanadas, shrimp ceviche, and beef lomo saltado. Helpful techniques. Fresh ingredients. Healthy cooking. I can't wait to go again. I highly recommend this place.
  • Rahysa Vargas

    The experience was amazing highly recommend our Argentinian chef was amazing an instructor staff was wonderful we were a huge private group and we all loved it would come back again and recommend for networking event, birthday or for a date night.
  • Vivian Urquijo

    Amazing time It was an amazing experience as always my kids had a good time and learned new cooking techniques, I love the place and very much recommend.
  • sfuji15 (bam)

    Amazing experience and a fun time! Maria was great and explained everything so well and made sure everyone was on the right page. Would definitely recommend and will for sure be coming back!
  • Jodi Lewis

    Had such a great time at the pasta making class!
  • Carlos20

    The people in at this restaurant and academy are some of the kindest people I have had the joy of meeting in my life, they will treat you like family and chef Maria will cook you an spectacular meal like you can't imagine. 10 out 10 recommend this place. Love their food like you got no idea.
  • Yvan Luzardo

    Excellent experience very good food Amazing service Staff is A++++++ Def will be back !
  • rswingle

    Great group/team-building event.

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!

Learn More

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