Our Instructors


Sweet Basil Cooking School’s specialty is hands-on classes. Any good teaching requires a number of skills but teaching hands-on classes requires the most. Experience and knowledge are crucial, of course.

To quote a teaching chef we knew many years ago: “You need eyes in the back – and on the sides – of your head.” And those eyes have to react quickly to a number of different hands doing a number of different tasks.

We’re proud that our chef instructors are so good at what they do – and that each one enjoys sharing their skills with those who attend our classes. Each one is an integral part of what makes Sweet Basil Cooking School a success.

Chef Lisa Brisch

Chef Lisa Brisch

Chef Lisa Brisch left a rewarding career in Information Technology management when she realized that the passion she’s developed for cooking after college kept growing. Following her dream she became a graduate of the Art Institute of Phoenix’s Culinary Program and then a Certified Personal Chef. Chef Brisch launched her Dinner Thyme Personal Chef Service in 2000 and has since won a loyal clientele in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania and now Phoenix. Her forte is cooking with a focus on high quality ingredients, good fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, etc), whole grains, fresh proteins, and seasonal vegetables.” As does any good business owner, however, Chef Brisch knows that her success as a personal chef is based on “cooking for people based on how they like to eat, not how you like to cook.”
Chef Linda Martin

Chef Linda Martin

Hometown: Santa Monica, CA

Linda owns Linda’s Dinner Designs catering.
The best advice anyone ever gave her about cooking: “Taste everything!”
What is your favorite cooking tip: “Rub your hands on stainless steel to remove food odors.”
Linda’s favorite meal: Rack of Lamb.
Linda’s favorite web site: www.saveur.com

Linda’s most memorable cooking experience: “While catering a party I was using a large amount of brandy for a flambé that created a pan fire that reached the ceiling. I kept shaking the pan until the alcohol cooked out.”

Chef Terri Milligan

Chef Terri Milligan

Chef Terri Milligan attended Chef Madame Liane Kuony’s Postilion Culinary School in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Chef Milligan’s wide-ranging culinary career has included owning a catering firm and The Inn at Kristofer’s in Wisconsin’s Door County. She is a cooking class instructor, food writer and has been featured on the Food Network and Wisconsin Public Radio. You can find “Chef Milligan’s Culinary Classroom” on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0JAa91ZaRTgwqPO5Jlt25g

TIP: Since Door County, Wisconsin is one of the premiere cherry growing regions in the world, don’t miss Chef Milligan’s Cherry Clafoutis recipe! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tik6e6WwWA

Chef Terri Milligan

Scott Weaver

Scott Weaver – Kahala Brands, Pieology Pizzeria, Craftworks Restaurants and Breweries

Scott Weaver graduated from the California Culinary Academy and joined the Great Chefs of France Cooking School at the Robert Mondavi Winery. He later became Chef de Cuisine at the critically acclaimed Old Poodle Dog Restaurant, San Francisco’s oldest restaurant.

Scott was next tapped to be the Executive Chef at Ivana’s Restaurant at the Trump Plaza Hotel in Atlantic City; after several years he was offered the Chef position at Top of the Sixes in New York City.

A couple of years past and the west was calling and so was Chef Michel Richard, so Scott took the helm at the Broadway Deli in Santa Monica. Scott later spent 18 years in the kitchens of the Cheesecake Factory and more recently was the Director of Culinary at Red Robin International in Denver and Director of Research and Development at Kahala Brands here in Scottsdale.

Chef Terri Milligan

Chef Omar Elmukhtar

Chef Omar Elmukhtar was raised in a food family. His dad owned restaurants and his mom ‘s recieps were the featured foods on his dad’s menus. As a young boy Omar learned a lot from watching his Mom cook and from working in his Dad’s restaurants – learned to love the restaurant business.

After graduating from Scottsdale Community College Culinary Program, he traveled around the United States and and worked as a chef in several top rated restaurants. One day he got a call from Royal Caribbean Cruise lines and found a position as Cruise Chef that he has enjoyed for 11 years. As a cruise line chef he has cooked and learned about cuisines from around the world. When Covid put a stop to cruises, he began a sabbatical and is sharing his knowledge and experience in each of his classes at Sweet Basil.