Executive Chefs

Executive chefs are clearly at the helm and can be found working in restaurants, corporations, and school districts, just to name a few. With responsibility for oversight of everything from menu development to staff management, the executive chef must have the culinary skills and leadership experience to engage a team and create a compelling vision for the operation. The road to becoming an executive chef may include working up through the ranks of a single kitchen or corporation or taking ownership of your own restaurant. Whatever the path, it is the willingness to learn, define best practices, and lead that make a successful executive chef.

Llewellyn Correia ’92, Regional Executive Chef—Wegman’s Food Markets

Llewellyn Correia, CIA graduate

Degree: Associate of Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY “I knew I wanted to be a chef from an early age because I always loved food,” says Llewellyn Correia ’92, regional executive chef at Wegman’s Food Markets in both Maryland and Virginia. “I love to share my knowledge of food with others.” Born in Tanzania, Llewellyn’s family relocated to … [Read more...]

A.J. Schaller ’05, Executive Chef

AJ Shaller '05, CIA Alumni

Degree: Associate of Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Women in Foodservice On the Run From the very beginning of her culinary career, A.J. Schaller ’05 has embraced its pace, challenges, and excitement. She is that rare breed of person who has a questing and creative mind coupled with a highly organized nature. She thrives on doing more than one thing at a … [Read more...]

Trey Foshee ’90

Trey Foshee ’90, CIA alumni

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Ojai, CA Sustainability is Possible Trey Foshee’s first job in the restaurant industry was mainly a way to support his passion for surfing. Through a family connection he was hired as a busboy at The Ranch House in Ojai, CA. The restaurant’s extensive gardens provided the kitchen with … [Read more...]

Nai Kang Kuan ’02

Nai Kang Kuan, CIA Alumni, Executive Chef, Morimoto Napa

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan Nai Kang Kuan was born on July 1, 1973 in the city of Taipei. He lived a happy but unremarkable childhood until he immigrated to the United States with his mom and an Italian heritage stepfather when he was 12 years old. It was a huge cultural shock to not only move to the upscale … [Read more...]

Lauren DeSteno ’06

Lauren DeSteno ’06, Chef de Cuisine, Marea

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Franklin Lakes, NJ Lauren DeSteno ’06 knew she wanted to be a chef from the age of eight. “In my Italian-Spanish family, food was the center of everything,” she says. With two grandmothers who encouraged her interest in food, Lauren would scour the grocery store choosing items at random. … [Read more...]

Joseph “J.J.” Johnson ’04

Joseph “JJ” Johnson ’04

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Tobyhanna, PA Keeping Culinary Traditions Alive Chef Joseph “J.J.” Johnson is in good company. As one of Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” honorees, he joins such luminaries as actress Olivia Wilde, singer Bruno Mars, basketball star Kevin Durant, and CNBC anchor Kelly Evans. It’s … [Read more...]

Jason Pfeifer ’06

Jason Pfeifer ’06, CIA Alumni

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Raleigh, NC Blazing a Trail in the Food World The list of chefs Jason Pfeifer has worked for reads like a “Who’s Who” of culinary giants—Michael Anthony at Gramercy Tavern, Thomas Keller and Jonathan Benno ’93 at Per Se, René Redzepi at Noma. Now he’s joined his own prestigious … [Read more...]

Adam Altnether ’07

Adam Altnether ’07

Degree: Bachelor of Culinary Arts Management Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: St. Louis, MO The Fast Track to Success One look at Adam Altnether’s accelerated career track, and it’s easy to see why he’s been honored by Forbes magazine as part of its 2014 “30 Under 30” list in the Food category. As the co-owner and executive chef of Craft Restaurants in St. … [Read more...]

Bron Smith ’08

Bron Smith ’08

Degree: ACE Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Louisville, CO Finding His Culinary Maturity Bron Smith had plenty of experience, more than a decade as a chef in corporate foodservice and culinary development for Marriott Management Services. But he couldn’t shake that feeling; something was missing. “I needed to find a new direction and new opportunities,” … [Read more...]

Viraj Borkar ’10

Viraj Borkar ’10

Degree: Associate of Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Pune, India Passion, Persistence, and Patience When Viraj Borkar ’10 was a young boy growing up in Pune, India, the thought of a future in food industry was simply unfathomable. Suffering from stomach issues that required strict dietary restrictions, food would inevitably put Viraj on a … [Read more...]