Maria Kopsidas

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Meet Our Founder Maria Kopsidas Maria Kopsidas Maria Kopsidas is the founder and owner of Cookology Recreational Culinary School, Metropolitan Culinary Arts Institute (MCAI), Cookology Kitchen and Helbroth Consulting.  Prior to opening her flagship store in 2009, Maria spent fifteen years leading marketing and communications campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, restaurants, and charities including Discovery Channel International as publicist for India and Australia, Grocery Manufacturers Association, the largest and oldest food manufacturer association in the country, as manager of online communications, and director of communications for an Electronic Data Discovery firm. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Journalism from University of Maryland, College Park; a handful of certificates in Finance and Plant-based Nutrition from Cornell University, and is pursuing her Master’s degree when her daughter goes off to college in 2022. (Linkedin Profile) With an SBA loan, Maria opened Cookology at Dulles Town Center during the Great Recession in February 2009. This award winning cooking school loved by every Fortune 100 company in Northern Virginia from Google to Capital One, caught the eye of developers, Forest City. In 2017 they began a $354M rebuild of Ballston Commons, with the intention of creating an experiential mall, so ten years later, Maria opened a 6000 sq.ft. culinary center housing both Cookology and Metropolitan Culinary Arts Institute in Arlington, VA.  Metropolitan Culinary Arts Institute is a post-secondary culinary arts program certified to operate in Virginia by SCHEV.  During the pandemic, Maria launched Cookology Kitchen, a delivery only concept whose meals live at the intersection of restaurant delivery and make your own ingredient boxes – Official Launch is 2022. In 2021, the pandemic still not over, Maria, took elements of the professional culinary training program, MCAI, and created MCAI 501(c)3. This non-profit trains students into prep cooks in six short weeks, finds them positions, and acts as an advocate for their well-being and future throughout their career. Restaurants make donations to MCAI 501(c)3 to cover the costs of the students’ training.   Growing up in a Mediterranean family with philanthropists, cooks, cookbook authors, health experts and professional chefs, including a former pastry chef in the White House, the idea of a super accessible, affordable cooking school was her goal but many years later, the idea of a creating a culinary workforce where education is financially accessible has become her latest passion.  Feel free to email Maria!