Faculty

A foundation built on excellence

The Culinary Institute of Michigan provides you with expert instruction from world-class chefs and food service professionals along with hands-on training in our state-of-the-art labs, kitchens, and restaurants.

You not only learn everything you need to know to work in a professional food service environment, you also develop the specialized skills required to manage these operations. You build a solid foundation that prepares you for the opportunities and challenges you’ll encounter in the food service industry.

A world-class teaching team

Our faculty have international accreditations and accomplishments, and bring a wealth of knowledge, talent, and real-world experience to our culinary program.

Just as importantly, the Culinary Institute of Michigan has the lowest instructor-to-student ratio of any culinary program in the state, so your training is both personal and hands-on, helping you learn more quickly. As a CIM graduate, you’ll have outstanding skills as well as the experience and professionalism that enable you to transition directly into your career.

Bruce Konowalow, CCE®

Dean of Culinary Arts

Chef Bruce Konowalow came to Baker College as Dean of Culinary Arts for the Culinary Institute of Michigan in July 2013, with over 30 years experience in the field of restaurant and culinary education. Chef Konowalow has been teaching culinary arts and restaurant management since 1987. His professional education experiences include:

  • Program Director, New York Restaurant School, New York City, New York
  • Dean of Education, Art Institute of New York City, New York City, New York
  • Director of Education, Le Cordon Bleu School, Dallas, Texas
  • Director of Culinary Arts, Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Michigan

Chef Konowalow is a Certified Culinary Educator® who has published articles in the National Culinary Review, the Livonia Observer, and other publications. His recipes have appeared in the New York Daily News, the New York Post, Livonia Observer and on several television stations and websites. While working as a chef in a variety of restaurant venues, he received favorable reviews from the New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, and New York Newsday.

Chef Konowalow holds a Master of Arts in Food Service Management from New York University, a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from the University of Bridgeport, and an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. He is also an active member of the American Culinary Federation, West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122.

Bruce, or “Chef K,” and his wife relocated to the Muskegon area from their home in Texas. They are very fond of Muskegon and frequently vacationed here when they lived in Livonia.

Thomas F. Recinella, CEC®, AAC®, HGT

Dean of Culinary Arts - Executive Chef - COURSES Restaurant

Chef Tom Recinella joined Baker College of Port Huron in September of 2012 as the Program Director of Culinary Arts and Food and Beverage Management. He has more than 30 years of culinary and food and beverage experience with an extensive background in private clubs, fine dining restaurants, catering, banquets, and culinary education.

His professional background includes:

  • Inducted into the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque 2015
  • Tenured Associate Professor, Program Director of Culinary Arts State University of New York at Delhi, Delhi, New York
  • Chef de Cuisine/Owner, Main Street Bovina Restaurant, Bovina, New York
  • Chef/Manager, Winnisook Club (founded 1886), Oliveria, New York
  • Technical Chef, University of Michigan Residential Dining Services, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Owner/Operator, Your Personal Chefs, White Lake, Michigan
  • Chef de Cuisine/Food and Beverage Manager, Heathers Golf and Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  • Night Chef, Fonte d’Amore Restaurant, Livonia, Michigan
  • Catering and Banquet Cook, B and B Catering, South Lyon, Michigan
  • Line Cook, Meriwether’s Restaurant, Southfield, Michigan

Chef Recinella earned his first American Culinary Federation (ACF) certification in 1994 at the Certified Working Chef (CWC) level. He then went on to earn his Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®) designation in 1996 and his Lead Approved Certification Evaluator (ACE) designation in 2008. He was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs® (AAC®) in 2004. Chef Tom is also one of 150 ACF Approved Culinary Competition Judges and one of 27 ACF Ice Judges in the country. He holds his ServSafe certification and is a Certified Instructor and proctor for Food Safety and Sanitation through ServSafe. Chef Recinella is also a Certified Training for Intervention Procedures Trainer (TIPS #57261).

Other awards, recognitions, and memberships include:

  • AAS, Culinary Arts, Schoolcraft College, 1988
  • Member of the ACF since 1987
  • Member World Association of Chefs Society (WACS) since 1987
  • Member of the ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association
  • Member of the National Ice Carving Association
  • Member, Downtown Port Huron Bar and Restaurant Collective
  • Advisor, United States Army Culinary Arts Team (USACAT) for the World Cup in Luxembourg and the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) International Culinary Olympics in Germany, 2009 – Present
  • Member, ACF National Culinary Competition Committee, National Student Competition Chair, 2009 – 2013
  • State University of New York at Delhi Student Senate Advisor of the Year, 2009 – 2010
  • American Culinary Federation Presidential Medallion Recipient, 2009
  • State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2008
  • ACF Northeast Region Certification Chair, 2006 – 2008
  • “Campione Nazionale Cucina Fredda,” National Champion of the Cold Kitchen, Italian National Championship, Italian National Expo, Marina di Massa, Italy, sanctioned by the World Association of Chefs Society (WACS), 2006
  • One Gold and one Silver Medal at the Italian National Championship, Italian National Expo, Marina di Massa, Italy, sanctioned by the World Association of Chefs Society (WACS), 2006
  • State University of New York at Delhi Student Senate Advisor of the Year, 2006 & 2007
  • Member, New York Culinary Olympic Team, 2004 – 2006
  • Inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Chefs® (AAC®), the Honor Society of the American Culinary Federation, 2004
  • American Culinary Federation National Educator of the Year, 2003
  • Distinguished Visiting Chef, The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, New Hampshire, 2002 – 2004
  • American Culinary Federation Presidential Medallion Recipient, 2002
  • Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 2002
  • Student Life Leadership Award from State University of New York Residence Life, 2002
  • Chef of the Year, ACF New York Southern Tier Chef Association, 2001
  • Chef of the Year, ACF Ann Arbor Culinary Association, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1997
  • Inducted into Membership of the Disciples Escoffier International-USA, 2013

Chef Recinella is an avid culinary competitor, and has won over 40 ACF Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals, six Best of Show, and numerous special judges recognition awards. His competition experience has also brought him abroad, competing and coaching in Germany at the International Culinary Olympics, Luxembourg at the World Cup, and Italy at the Italian National Championship. He was a frequent competitor of the Salon of Culinary Art of the Société Culinaire Philanthropique, one of the oldest Chef’s Associations in the United States, now over 140 years old. His participation in these competitions, held at the International Hotel, Motel, + Restaurant Show in New York, New York, resulted in the following awards:

  • Gold Medal of Excellence, 2003
  • Gold Medal of Excellence, 2004
  • Gold Medal of Excellence, 2005
  • Gold Medal of Excellence and Careme Silver Medal, 2006
  • Two Gold Medals of Excellence, 2007

Chef Recinella has coached and managed student culinary teams in two different states and two different regions of the ACF, including a 10-1 record at the ACF New York State Championship, a 6-4 record at the ACF Northeast Region Championship, and two ACF National Championship titles in both 2010 and 2012. He also coached ice-carving teams to second and third place finishes in the National Ice Carving Association’s Collegiate National Championship in both 2009 and 2010. Chef Recinella’s coaching and management style was the subject of a full-length documentary film, “Mise en Place,” produced by Kent Garrett Productions. The film followed his students on their 11-month quest from day one of tryouts through winning the 2010 National Championship in Anaheim, California. He also coached the 2008 and 2009, ACF Northeast Region, Student Chef of the Year Champions.

As a nationally recognized leader in culinary competition training and practical application for young culinarians, Chef Recinella has spoken throughout the country at numerous ACF local chapters, giving demos and workshops on competing, coaching, and building ACF competitions into curriculum for effective training and assessment of practical competencies. He also shared his experiences as a coach on the regional and national level, speaking at several ACF Regional Conferences and National Conventions. As an advisor to the military culinary team, USACAT, he mentored and coached service men and women from all five branches of the military. Chef Recinella also gave the first hands-on workshop for cold food salon competition preparation ever staged by the ACF on the national level to a sold-out crowd at the 2009 ACF National Convention in Orlando, Florida.

Chef Recinella has been a very active member of the ACF for over 25 years. He participated at the local level in the ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association, the ACF Ann Arbor Culinary Association, the ACF Southern Tier Chefs Association, and the ACF Chefs and Cooks of the Catskill Mountains. He also served the ACF on the local chapter level as chapter President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Certification Chair, Membership Chair, and Culinary Competition Chair. Chef Recinella is community oriented and has always involved his students in community outreach with such organizations as Relay for Life, Hospice, United Way, Meals on Wheels, and the Delaware County Crop Walk. He looks forward to his students becoming leaders in community outreach as they pursue their degree with the CIM.

Chef Recinella loves to write about his kitchen experiences. Several of his articles, poems, and writing on the subject have been published in both traditional and online trade newsletters, and national trade publications, such as the ACF’s National Culinary Review.

Chef Recinella is excited to be back home in Michigan and to be part of the Baker College team. He looks forward to all the future holds for The Culinary Institute of Michigan in Port Huron.

Jamie LeRoux, M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction

Program Director/Restaurant Manager

With more than 10 years in the foodservice industry, Jamie LeRoux joined Baker College of Muskegon in 2001 as a front-of-the-house instructor in the Marquette Room, our first student-run restaurant. She currently serves Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan as Department Chair for Culinary Arts and Food and Beverage Management. Le Roux’s professional background includes:

  • Food and Beverage Director, Grand Haven Golf Club, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Restaurant Manager, Spring Lake Holiday Inn Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Co-owner, The Sardine Room, Muskegon, Michigan
  • General Manager, Dee-lite Thymes Three, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Dining Room Manager, Docker’s Waterfront, Muskegon, Michigan

Ms. LeRoux has served as a board member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122, and is a former student advisor for the chapter. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Baker College of Muskegon. Active in many professional organizations, her professional affiliations and certifications include:

  • Dining Room Associate, Federation of Dining Room Professionals (FDRP)
  • TIPS Trainer, Training for Intervention Procedures
  • ServSafe Certified
  • Member, ACF, West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • Member, FDRP
  • School Board Member, West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics, Spring Lake, Michigan

Paula Recinella, CHE

Program Director/Restaurant Manager

Chef Paula Recinella joined the Culinary Institute of Michigan in June of 2013 as an instructor of Culinary Arts and Food and Beverage Management. In January of 2014 she became the Manager of COURSES Restaurant. She brings with her over 25 years of experience in the hospitality and foodservice industry. Her diverse experiences range from private country clubs, general kitchen operations to dining room manager, and owner operator of her own restaurant. She served as dining room manager and accommodations manager at one of the Catskill Mountains’ oldest and most exclusive private clubs where she also handled all accounts receivable duties. She has extensive experience in off-premise catering, banquet service, grand buffets and tableside cookery. Her skills in both the front and heart of the house allow her to teach effectively across both the Culinary and Food and Beverage Management disciplines. Her students benefit greatly from her extremely detailed and unique perspective, which comes from working in both the kitchen and the dining room.

Professional Certifications and Affiliations:

  • AAS, Culinary Arts, Schoolcraft College, 1989
  • Serve Safe Certified #10060764
  • Member of the American Culinary Federation
  • Member of the World Association of Chefs Society

Her professional background includes:

  • Approved Certified Hospitality Educator 2015
  • Breakfast Supervisor – Freighters Eatery and Tap Room – Meritage Hospitality Group, Hilton Double Tree Hotel – Port Huron, MI
  • Adjunct Instructor for Culinary Arts associate and bachelor degree Programs – State University of New York at Delhi – Delhi, NY
  • Dining room manager, lodging accommodations manager, and accounts receivable – Winnisook Club – Big Indian, NY (Founded 1886)
  • Restaurant Dining Room Manager, Owner/Operator – Main Street Bovina Restaurant and Catering – Bovina, NY
  • Owner Operator – Your Personal Chefs Catering Company – White Lake, MI
  • PM and AM Line Chef – Road House at Oak Point Golf Club and Restaurant – Brighton, MI
  • PM Chef – Wyndham Garden Hotel – Novi, MI
  • Line Chef – Lakelands Golf and Country Club – Brighton, MI
  • Training for Intervention Procedures Certified Trainer (TIPS #58571)
  • Member of the ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association
  • Lead advisor to the Culinary Institute of Michigan Port Huron student club and ACF Student Membership Chapter

Chef Recinella is currently pursuing her Bachelor Degree in General Studies through Baker College Online. Chef Paula loves working with her students at the CIM Port Huron and is especially proud of their community activities. She is thrilled to be home in Michigan. Chef Recinella and her students are excited about establishing COURSES Restaurant as a destination dining experience and jewel of Port Huron. She looks forward to providing many exciting services in COURSES Restaurant.

Scott Twichell, CEPC®

Lead Baking and Pastry Chef Instructor

Scott Twichell joined the Culinary Institute of Michigan in March of 2014 as an adjunct instructor. In winter of 2015 he became full-time and serves as the Lead Baking and Pastry Chef Instructor. He brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Baking and Pastry profession. Chef Twichell spent the last 15 years honing his craft at Motor City Casino where he worked in the capacity of pastry chef and savory sous chef. In his tenure at Motor City Casino Chef Twichell worked in every facet of large casino operations from fine dining, to buffet, retail outlets, banquets and off premise catering for 1400 plus guests.

Professional Certifications and Affiliations:

  • Associate in Applied Science, Culinary Arts, Washtenaw Community College
  • Bachelor of Science, Hotel Restaurant Management, Eastern Michigan University
  • Studied under Master Confectioner – Ewald Notter, Notter School of Pastry Arts, Orlando, Florida
  • ServeSafe Certified
  • Member ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

Some of his professional experience includes:

  • Motor City Casino, Detroit, Michigan
  • Iridescence Restaurant, Detroit, Michigan
  • The Gandy Dance, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan
  • Dough Boys Bakery, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Nicholas Cornfield, CEC®, BA

Lead Culinary Arts Instructor

Chef Cornfield joined the Culinary Institute of Michigan as an adjunct Chef Instructor in December 2013. Nick became Full Time Faculty Winter 2014. He brings with him extensive experience in the restaurant industry. He held positions as a General Manager, Executive Chef, Sous Chef and a Community Liaison between Santo Island and the U.S. Military on Roi-Namur, in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Concurrent with his work at the Culinary Institute of Michigan, Chef Cornfield is involved in the complete restoration, kitchen and menu development of an historical building in his hometown of Rochester. The upcoming eatery will feature Chef Cornfield’s contemporary style and interpretation of classical French cuisine.

His professional experience includes:

  • Chef consultant, researcher and menu development specialist.
  • Resident Chef – Sut La Table – Troy, MI
  • Head Chef – Caretel Inns of Linden – Linden, MI
  • Sous Chef – Shenandoah Banquet, Golf and Conference Center – West Bloomfield, MI
  • General Manager – East Ocean Chinese Restaurant – Clarkston, MI
  • English Teacher – World Teach – Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands

Educations and Professional Certifications / Affiliations:

  • Associates of Applied Sciences – Art Institute of Michigan
  • Bachelor of Arts with honors – Oakland University
  • ServSafe Certified
  • National Restaurant Association member
  • Certified Executive Chef®, 2017

Chef Damon K. Covington

Chef Instructor

Chef Damon has earned a stellar reputation currently the Pizza Chef at Dinette In East Liberty Pittsburgh, PA under the tutelage of James Beards Semifinalist Sonja Finn, he has also worked as the Executive Chef at the Historic Lancaster Tavern, as an Culinary Expert/Chef Williams-Sonoma Mac Arthur, Norfolk, VA, Chef Instructor Job Skills Training Program Tidewater Community College, Norfolk, VA, Chef De’ Cuisine at Vintage Kitchen Norfolk, VA, Executive Chef at the Greenhouse in Newport News, and as an Chef instructor at Tidewater Community College and Stratford University, as well as the former Executive chef of The Chamberlin Hotel in Hampton, VA, and Maître De’ at Terrapin Restaurant Virginia Beach.

Chef Damon is an active chef and educator with an eye for attention to detail and passion for the local seasonal ingredients prepared and served with the richness of southern hospitality. Over the past twelve plus years Chef Damon has honed his culinary knowledge, hands on skill set, and business expertise in all facets of classic cookery, marketing, kitchen systems development, food safety training and food and beverage management.

Chef Damon Covington has earned a ServSafe Management Certification and Certified ServSafe Instructor & Registered ServSafe Examination Proctor with National Restaurant Association. Chef Damon started his culinary education in the United States Navy receiving a Mess Management Specialists certificate. Chef Damon attended the prestigious Kendall College in Chicago, Illinois before transferring to Culinary Institute of Michigan where he received an Associate of Business Degree in (Culinary Arts) MI and Bachelors of Business Administration (Food & Beverage Management) Cum Laude from American Culinary Federation Certificated (ACF) program.

Chef Damon loves learning and teaching others about food! During Chef Damon’s tenure with Norfolk Public Schools Chef Damon was recognition for his passion, hard work and dedication to educating future chefs was awarded the Rotary Club of Hampton Roads 2011 Teacher of Year Award, Norfolk Public School All-City Teaching Team 2011, and Norfolk Technical Center Teacher of Year 2011.
Chef Damon is the owner, Grace55 Food Cart LLC (Grace55) and serves as founder of the Urban Culinary Institute (UCI)

Chef Damon Food Focus

Chef Damon’s cuisine focus is simple, elegant, refined, southern cuisine. Chef Damon’s approach to New Southern Cuisine focuses particularly on the Plantation South culinary region which begins just south of the Mason-Dixon Line in north central Maryland. Bounded on the east by the Chesapeake Bay Shore region and on the west by the Appalachian South region it encompasses much of Virginia and the Eastern Carolinas, then sweeps southwestward along America’s coastal plain. My motto is: Cooking in season makes sense, the ingredients taste better and they stand on their own!

William E. DeHaan, R.S., M.A. Ed

Food Safety and Sanitation Instructor

William DeHaan has been with Baker College since 2009, arriving with 36 years of experience in the environmental health and food sanitation industry. He is currently teaching Food Service Manager Certification at Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM), Muskegon campus in the Food Safety course (CUL 131B). He also teaches food safety at Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute of Culinary Education (SICE) and previously taught food sanitation at Davenport College of Grand Rapids, Michigan in their Hospitality Education Program. Mr. DeHaan’s other professional experiences include:

  • Environmental Health Specialist, Food Safety Section, Ottawa County Health Department, Holland, Michigan
  • Food Safety Auditor, National Sanitation Foundation International, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Supervising Sanitarian-Retired, Kent County Health Department, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Pest Control, Rose Exterminators, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Mr. DeHaan’s certifications and organization affiliations include:

  • ServSafe Sanitation Certified
  • ServSafe Sanitation, Proctor/Instructor
  • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Certified in Retail Food Safety
  • Member, American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • Member, National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)
  • Member, Michigan Environmental Health Association (MEHA)
  • Past Board of Directors, MEHA
  • Numerous Committee Chair Positions, MEHA
  • Past President, Southwest Sanitarians Seminar (SSS) of MEHA

Mr. DeHaan earned a B.S. in Environmental Health from Ferris State University and a Master Degree in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was one of the first sanitarians to be certified in Michigan to teach food safety from the National Restaurant Association prior to 1982. Since that time, Mr. DeHaan has certified culinary arts students, as well as industry personnel, at various levels within the food industry. He keeps his education current with numerous on-line food safety classes and attends food safety conferences and workshops whenever possible.

Andrea Gagnon

Food and Beverage Management Instructor / Table Service Instructor, COURSES Restaurant

Andrea Gagnon came to Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan in 2010 as a table service lab instructor at COURSES, the sophisticated, yet casual, student-run restaurant. With over 12 years of experience and knowledge in the foodservice industry, Andrea’s professional background includes:

  • Restaurant and Bar Manager, Old Boys’ Brewhouse, Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Lead Bartender, Damon’s Restaurant, Wyoming, Michigan

Andrea received a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Grand Valley State University. Her industry certifications include:

  • Member, American Culinary Foundation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • Federation of Dining Room Professionals (FDRP) Certified
  • ServSafe Sanitation Certification
  • TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) Certification
  • CPR/AED/First Aid Certification

Carrie Thomas

Administrative Assistant

Carrie has been with Baker College since 2007 in administrative positions in both the financial aid and business offices. She is working toward a Master Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Memberships/Affiliations:
IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professional) – Western Shores Chapter Member – Member since 2010

Chef Addy Kinziger, RD

Chef Instructor

 

Chef Addy Kinziger, RD came to the Culinary Institute of Michigan Muskegon Campus in June 2015 as a baking and pastry instructor. She graduated from the CIM Baking and pastry program in 2012 receiving the Muskegon Chronicle Award, the highest honor for the Baker College graduating class. She also has a Bachelor's degree in Human Nutrition from The Ohio State University. She brings over 12 years experience as a Registered Dietitian, working in clinical, community and food service areas.

Her professional experiences include:
-Pastry cook, Patricia's Chocolates, Grand Haven, MI
-Instructor of Biology 109: Food in Technology lecture and lab class at Muskegon Community College, Muskegon, MI
-Pastry Apprentice, Chef Luis Amado, Muskegon, MI
-Clinical Dietitian, Heartwood Lodge, Spring Lake, MI
-Dietetic Intern, Mount Carmel School of Nursing, Columbus, OH

Chef Kinziger has volunteered on the Community Foundation of Muskegon grant committee since 2014 allocating grant dollars to Muskegon and Muskegon Heights businesses increasing access to fresh produce and nutrition education for low-income children and older adults. She enjoys combining her nutrition background in her recipes and lectures, promoting healthy alternatives to high sugar and fat ingredients. She is also ServSafe certified.

Justin Kinziger

Chef Instructor

Chef Justin Kinziger joined Baker College of Muskegon in 2007, moving to the Culinary Institute of Michigan when the facility opened in 2009. He brings his students more than 18 years of culinary experience & knowledge. His professional background includes:

  • Chef de Cuisine, The Kirby House, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Sauté Chef, Dee-Lite Thymes Three, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Lead Cook, Gills, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Line Cook, Far Corners, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Prep Supervisor, Snug Harbor, Grand Haven, Michigan

Chef Kinziger is an active member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122, and is a former CIM student knowledge bowl coach and student advisor. Justin graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Montana and studied at the CELEP Institute in Patzcuaro, Mexico. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Kinziger has returned on numerous occasions. He enjoys traveling and learning about world culture and incorporating flavors and techniques of global cuisine into his classroom and cooking. His distinctions and certifications include:

  • Most Professional Award 2010, 2011 ACF West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter
  • Extra Mile Teaching Award, 2014 Baker College of Muskegon
  • ServSafe Certification
  • First Aid/CPR Certification

John Lakatos

Chef Instructor

Through tenures as an executive chef and business owner, Chef Lakatos’s foodservice industry experience ranges from international and regional cuisine to business management, menu design, and volume production. His professional background includes:

  • Owner / Chef, Chef John Lakatos Catering, LLC, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Executive Chef, Spring Lake Country Club, Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Sous Chef, Arboreal Inn, Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Sous Chef, The Peninsular Club, Grand Rapids, Michigan

He received his culinary training and Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from Grand Rapids Community College. He is Membership Chair of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chefs Association and is an active member of the ACF, West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122.

Rosalind Mayberry

Wine and Viticulture Instructor

With 15 years in the wine industry and 25 years of teaching at the university level, Rosalind Mayberry joined Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan as a part time instructor in 2011. Mayberry’s education and experience include:

  • BA, MA, ABD, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
  • Adjunct Instructor, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania
  • Instructor, Grand Valley State University
  • Owner/Chef, The Catered Affair, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Wine Buyer, D&W, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Wine Consultant, Dee-lite Thyme’s Three, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Teaching Chef, D&W Culinary Classroom, Grandville, Michigan
  • Wine Consultant/Educator, Spartan Stores, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Spartan Culinary Classroom Coordinator, Grandville, Michigan

Ms. Mayberry has also served as the retail representative on the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council and continues to work with the Council. A nationally recognized wine educator, she serves as a judge at various wine competitions.

  • Member, Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council Public Relations and Education Committee
  • Member, American Culinary Federation, West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • Member, Society for Wine Educators
  • ServSafe Certified
  • Judge, Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition
  • Judge, International Tasters Guild Wine Competition

Kathleen Meisinger, CEPC®

Chef Instructor

Chef Meisinger holds an A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts from Milwaukee Area Technical College and a Certificate from the L’Art de la Pâtisserie program at The French Pastry School in Chicago, Illinois.  While working in the foodservice industry, she earned a B.S. in Education from the University of Missouri. Upon graduation, she opened a 1950’s themed diner in northern Wisconsin, ran a successful specialty cake business for 15 years and patented CakeVase®.

Amanda Miller, CC, CPC

Chef Instructor

Chef Amanda Miller, CC, CPC is a veteran of the United States Army and enrolled at The Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) in 2012 after leaving the military to pursue a new career path. She served as the President and Treasurer on the student board of the local American Culinary Federation (ACF) chapter. Miller was a member of the CIM Culinary Knowledge Bowl Team. The team earned gold medals at the American Culinary Federation’s regional conference competitions. She was also a finalist in the annual MSU Museum Chocolate Party Competition and the Superior Foods Student Chef Competition on Mackinaw Island. Miller was selected as Student Chef of the Year in 2013. She graduated from the Baking and Pastry Arts program in 2014 and the Culinary Arts program in 2015. Miller was selected as outstanding graduate and received the Associate of Applied Science Award both years; a first in Baker College history.

Diana Perez

Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor

Chef Perez came to Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan in 2011 as a baking instructor. As a graduate of the CIM Baking and Pastry Arts program, Chef Perez was honored to return to Baker College to teach. She brings with her more than ten years of experience in the foodservice industry. Her professional experiences include:

  • Pastry Apprentice, Chef Luis Amado, Muskegon, Michigan
  • Server, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Muskegon, Michigan
  • New Staff Certified Trainer, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Muskegon, Michigan
  • Lead Bartender, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Pantry Cook, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Chef Perez’s organization affiliations and certifications include:

  • Member, American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • ServSafe Sanitation Certified

Chef Perez earned her Associate Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from Baker College in 2010. She is very passionate about her career and is very pleased to be able to share her experience and knowledge with others.

Justin Raha, CEPC®

Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor

As a graduate of the Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry program at Baker College, Chef Raha was proud to return to Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan as chef instructor in 2009. Working in the baking and pastry profession since the age of 14, Chef Raha considers the field his life’s passion. His professional experiences include:

  • Owner/Pastry Chef, Grand Finale Desserts and Pastries, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Sous Chef/Catering Manager, Grand Haven Bakehouse, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Personal Chef

Chef Raha is an active member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122. He has experience in the art of gluten-free baking and looks forward to expanding his educational horizons as well as those of others.

Alexander Schulte

Chef Instructor

Alexander began his career in Grand Rapids, MI at the age of fourteen. He attended Kent Career/Technical Center for culinary arts during high school, and later attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Alexander graduated in 2006, after completing his externship at The French Laundry. In 2007, he completed a teaching assistant certificate at the CIA in Hyde Park. From there, Chef Schulte worked in Manhattan at The Modern. He was then was recruited to open Darlington House, and Nest in Washington, D.C.. Afterwards moving to Seattle, WA to work at Canlis, eventually becoming the head baker. From this point Chef Schulte staged in various Michelin starred restaurants in San Francisco and New York before returning to the Hudson Valley, and opening several restaurants under CIA instructor Giovanni Scappin. He was then recruited further upstate to the finger lakes region to open The Krebs with Chef Austin Johnson, working as Chef de Cuisine, pastry chef, and baker. In the summer of 2016, Alexander worked on a commercial salmon fishing vessel in South East Alaska. He returns home to West Michigan eager to share his knowledge, experiences, and focus on his family.

Chris Sowa, CEC®

Chef Instructor / Executive Chef, COURSES Restaurant

In 2003, Chris Sowa joined Baker College of Muskegon as the Chef de Cuisine of the Marquette Room, our first student-run restaurant. Today he serves Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan as a chef instructor and as the Executive Chef of COURSES, CIM’s student-run restaurant. He also serves as the Culinary Arts Student Internship Coordinator. With more than 10 years in the foodservice industry, his professional background includes:

  • Executive Chef, Grand Haven Golf Club, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Sous Chef, Spring Lake Country Club, Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Lead Line Cook, Muskegon Country Club, Muskegon, Michigan

Chef Sowa is the current Communications Chair of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122, and has been an active board member since 2003. He is also a former Vice President for the chapter. He received his Associate Degree in Culinary Arts and his Bachelor Degree in Food and Beverage Management from Baker College of Muskegon. Chef Sowa earned his Certified Executive Chef designation from the ACF in 2009. He is also ServSafe certified.

Dave Spicher

Food and Beverage Management Instructor

Dave Spicher came to Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) in 2010 as the Manager of COURSES restaurant, and as an instructor for Table Service and Food and Beverage Management classes. Dave’s diverse operations background includes leadership roles in eight different restaurant openings and a variety of management positions. Dave’s professional experiences include:

  • Multi-unit General Manager, Levy Restaurants, Chicago, Illinois
  • General Manager/Kitchen Manager, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Naperville, Illinois and Grandville, Grand Rapids, and Muskegon, Michigan
  • General Manager/Kitchen Manager, T.G.I. Friday’s, Bloomingdale, Aurora, and Naperville, Illinois
  • General Manager/Bar Manager, Sweeney Specialty Restaurants, Orland Park, Illinois
  • Owner/Operator, The Zephyr Grill and Club Car, Naperville, Illinois
  • General Manager/Panera Bread, Greater Grand Rapids Area, Michigan

Dave’s certifications and organization affiliations include:

  • ServSafe Certified
  • Federation of Dining Room Professional (FDRP) Certified
  • Member, American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122

Dave Spicher is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Restaurant and Hospitality Management. His primary focus is helping the students at CIM use their learned operational skills in current market applications to advance their careers by building sales with exceptional cuisine and hospitality. He challenges his students to reach out into their industry to identify and stay abreast of trends in technology, staff motivation initiatives, and cost control techniques to maximize the conversion of top line sales into bottom line profits.

Rose Spickler

Adjunct Faculty

Rose Spickler is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) with Baker College in Muskegon, Michigan. She graduated in 2012 from The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University with a degree in Hospitality Business and a specialization in Sustainability. She then went on to work in the private club industry with Spring Lake Country Club as the Event Coordinator, then as the Clubhouse Manager. During the four years she worked in the club industry, she returned to school to earn her Master’s Degree from Aquinas College in Sustainable Business with an expected graduation date of May 2017. Currently, Rose is working with the CIM as an instructor and is working on her thesis research for “A Practical Analysis of the Integration of Sustainability in Professional Hospitality Education Organizations”. Rose is also a Certified T.I.P.s (Training for Intervention Procedures) Trainer.

Rose lives in Spring Lake, Michigan with her husband, two dogs, and cat. She is a Girls on the Run coach, serves as a member of the Associate Leadership Board of West Michigan Junior Achievement, a member of the Culinary Institute of Michigan’s Sustainability Committee, a member of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, a member of the Muskegon County 1in21 Health Initiative, and a member of the American Culinary Federation.

Greg Wade

Food and Beverage Management Instructor

Greg Wade joined Baker College of Muskegon in 2008 as a table service lab instructor in the Marquette Room, our first student-run restaurant. His eight years of professional experience in the food and beverage industry include:

  • General Manager, B.O.B’s Brewery, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • General Manager, Monkey Bar Asian Dipping Grill, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Manager, Bobarino’s American Grill, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Club Manager, Dr. Grins Comedy, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Manager, Eve Cosmopolitan Lounge, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Manager, Banquets and Catering, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan

Mr. Wade received a B.S. in Communications, Advertising and Public Relations from Grand Valley State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Baker College Online. In addition, Mr. Wade is Vice President of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122, as well as the student chapter advisor.

Along with his activity within the ACF, Mr. Wade holds certification in the following areas:

  • TIPS Trainer, Training for Intervention Procedures
  • Certified Beer Server, Cicerone Program
  • CPR / First Aid certification, American Red Cross

With his education, experience, and certifications, Mr. Wade brings a unique and interesting blend of industry knowledge to every one of his classes.

Candace White, RS

Food Safety, Sanitation, and Culinary Math Instructor

Candace White joined the Culinary Institute of Michigan’s teaching faculty in the Fall of 2012 as an instructor of Food Safety, Sanitation, and Culinary Math. She has an extensive background in the environmental sanitarian industry as a Field Environmentalist, performing inspections of fixed, mobile, and temporary food service facilities; and conducting health education presentations on food service and related topics. Her field experience also includes onsite sewage and water supply evaluation and inspections. Ms. White also has a background in secondary education.

Other professional experiences and certifications include:

  • Substitute Teacher, Capac Community Schools, Capac, Michigan
  • Environmentalist III, Macomb County Health Department, Mount Clemens, Michigan
  • Registered Sanitarian, State of Michigan
  • ServSafe Sanitation Certified
  • ServSafe Sanitation Certified Food Protection Manager
  • ServSafe Sanitation Proctor/Instructor
  • Allied Member of the ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association
  • Co-advisor CIM Culinary Club & ACF Student Membership Chapter

Ms. White graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology and an Associate in Applied Science in Water Quality from Lake Superior State University, Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. She also earned an Associate in Applied Science in Fisheries Technology from Alpena Community College, Alpena, Michigan. She has additional course work in Secondary Education Curriculum in Biology and General Science from Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, Michigan.

Bruce Konowalow, CCE®

Dean of Culinary Arts

Chef Bruce Konowalow came to Baker College as Dean of Culinary Arts for the Culinary Institute of Michigan in July 2013, with over 30 years experience in the field of restaurant and culinary education. Chef Konowalow has been teaching culinary arts and restaurant management since 1987. His professional education experiences include:

  • Program Director, New York Restaurant School, New York City, New York
  • Dean of Education, Art Institute of New York City, New York City, New York
  • Director of Education, Le Cordon Bleu School, Dallas, Texas
  • Director of Culinary Arts, Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Michigan

Chef Konowalow is a Certified Culinary Educator® who has published articles in the National Culinary Review, the Livonia Observer, and other publications. His recipes have appeared in the New York Daily News, the New York Post, Livonia Observer and on several television stations and websites. While working as a chef in a variety of restaurant venues, he received favorable reviews from the New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, and New York Newsday.

Chef Konowalow holds a Master of Arts in Food Service Management from New York University, a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from the University of Bridgeport, and an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. He is also an active member of the American Culinary Federation, West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122.

Bruce, or “Chef K,” and his wife relocated to the Muskegon area from their home in Texas. They are very fond of Muskegon and frequently vacationed here when they lived in Livonia.

Jamie LeRoux, M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction

Program Director/Restaurant Manager

With more than 10 years in the foodservice industry, Jamie LeRoux joined Baker College of Muskegon in 2001 as a front-of-the-house instructor in the Marquette Room, our first student-run restaurant. She currently serves Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan as Department Chair for Culinary Arts and Food and Beverage Management. Le Roux’s professional background includes:

  • Food and Beverage Director, Grand Haven Golf Club, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Restaurant Manager, Spring Lake Holiday Inn Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Co-owner, The Sardine Room, Muskegon, Michigan
  • General Manager, Dee-lite Thymes Three, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Dining Room Manager, Docker’s Waterfront, Muskegon, Michigan

Ms. LeRoux has served as a board member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122, and is a former student advisor for the chapter. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Baker College of Muskegon. Active in many professional organizations, her professional affiliations and certifications include:

  • Dining Room Associate, Federation of Dining Room Professionals (FDRP)
  • TIPS Trainer, Training for Intervention Procedures
  • ServSafe Certified
  • Member, ACF, West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • Member, FDRP
  • School Board Member, West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics, Spring Lake, Michigan

William E. DeHaan, R.S., M.A. Ed

Food Safety and Sanitation Instructor

William DeHaan has been with Baker College since 2009, arriving with 36 years of experience in the environmental health and food sanitation industry. He is currently teaching Food Service Manager Certification at Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM), Muskegon campus in the Food Safety course (CUL 131B). He also teaches food safety at Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute of Culinary Education (SICE) and previously taught food sanitation at Davenport College of Grand Rapids, Michigan in their Hospitality Education Program. Mr. DeHaan’s other professional experiences include:

  • Environmental Health Specialist, Food Safety Section, Ottawa County Health Department, Holland, Michigan
  • Food Safety Auditor, National Sanitation Foundation International, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Supervising Sanitarian-Retired, Kent County Health Department, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Pest Control, Rose Exterminators, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Mr. DeHaan’s certifications and organization affiliations include:

  • ServSafe Sanitation Certified
  • ServSafe Sanitation, Proctor/Instructor
  • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Certified in Retail Food Safety
  • Member, American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • Member, National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)
  • Member, Michigan Environmental Health Association (MEHA)
  • Past Board of Directors, MEHA
  • Numerous Committee Chair Positions, MEHA
  • Past President, Southwest Sanitarians Seminar (SSS) of MEHA

Mr. DeHaan earned a B.S. in Environmental Health from Ferris State University and a Master Degree in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was one of the first sanitarians to be certified in Michigan to teach food safety from the National Restaurant Association prior to 1982. Since that time, Mr. DeHaan has certified culinary arts students, as well as industry personnel, at various levels within the food industry. He keeps his education current with numerous on-line food safety classes and attends food safety conferences and workshops whenever possible.

Andrea Gagnon

Food and Beverage Management Instructor / Table Service Instructor, COURSES Restaurant

Andrea Gagnon came to Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan in 2010 as a table service lab instructor at COURSES, the sophisticated, yet casual, student-run restaurant. With over 12 years of experience and knowledge in the foodservice industry, Andrea’s professional background includes:

  • Restaurant and Bar Manager, Old Boys’ Brewhouse, Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Lead Bartender, Damon’s Restaurant, Wyoming, Michigan

Andrea received a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Grand Valley State University. Her industry certifications include:

  • Member, American Culinary Foundation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • Federation of Dining Room Professionals (FDRP) Certified
  • ServSafe Sanitation Certification
  • TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) Certification
  • CPR/AED/First Aid Certification

Carrie Thomas

Administrative Assistant

Carrie has been with Baker College since 2007 in administrative positions in both the financial aid and business offices. She is working toward a Master Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Memberships/Affiliations:
IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professional) – Western Shores Chapter Member – Member since 2010

Justin Kinziger

Chef Instructor

Chef Justin Kinziger joined Baker College of Muskegon in 2007, moving to the Culinary Institute of Michigan when the facility opened in 2009. He brings his students more than 18 years of culinary experience & knowledge. His professional background includes:

  • Chef de Cuisine, The Kirby House, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Sauté Chef, Dee-Lite Thymes Three, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Lead Cook, Gills, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Line Cook, Far Corners, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Prep Supervisor, Snug Harbor, Grand Haven, Michigan

Chef Kinziger is an active member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122, and is a former CIM student knowledge bowl coach and student advisor. Justin graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Montana and studied at the CELEP Institute in Patzcuaro, Mexico. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Kinziger has returned on numerous occasions. He enjoys traveling and learning about world culture and incorporating flavors and techniques of global cuisine into his classroom and cooking. His distinctions and certifications include:

  • Most Professional Award 2010, 2011 ACF West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter
  • Extra Mile Teaching Award, 2014 Baker College of Muskegon
  • ServSafe Certification
  • First Aid/CPR Certification

John Lakatos

Chef Instructor

Through tenures as an executive chef and business owner, Chef Lakatos’s foodservice industry experience ranges from international and regional cuisine to business management, menu design, and volume production. His professional background includes:

  • Owner / Chef, Chef John Lakatos Catering, LLC, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Executive Chef, Spring Lake Country Club, Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Sous Chef, Arboreal Inn, Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Sous Chef, The Peninsular Club, Grand Rapids, Michigan

He received his culinary training and Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from Grand Rapids Community College. He is Membership Chair of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chefs Association and is an active member of the ACF, West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122.

Rosalind Mayberry

Wine and Viticulture Instructor

With 15 years in the wine industry and 25 years of teaching at the university level, Rosalind Mayberry joined Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan as a part time instructor in 2011. Mayberry’s education and experience include:

  • BA, MA, ABD, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
  • Adjunct Instructor, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania
  • Instructor, Grand Valley State University
  • Owner/Chef, The Catered Affair, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Wine Buyer, D&W, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Wine Consultant, Dee-lite Thyme’s Three, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Teaching Chef, D&W Culinary Classroom, Grandville, Michigan
  • Wine Consultant/Educator, Spartan Stores, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Spartan Culinary Classroom Coordinator, Grandville, Michigan

Ms. Mayberry has also served as the retail representative on the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council and continues to work with the Council. A nationally recognized wine educator, she serves as a judge at various wine competitions.

  • Member, Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council Public Relations and Education Committee
  • Member, American Culinary Federation, West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • Member, Society for Wine Educators
  • ServSafe Certified
  • Judge, Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition
  • Judge, International Tasters Guild Wine Competition

Diana Perez

Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor

Chef Perez came to Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan in 2011 as a baking instructor. As a graduate of the CIM Baking and Pastry Arts program, Chef Perez was honored to return to Baker College to teach. She brings with her more than ten years of experience in the foodservice industry. Her professional experiences include:

  • Pastry Apprentice, Chef Luis Amado, Muskegon, Michigan
  • Server, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Muskegon, Michigan
  • New Staff Certified Trainer, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Muskegon, Michigan
  • Lead Bartender, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Pantry Cook, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Chef Perez’s organization affiliations and certifications include:

  • Member, American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • ServSafe Sanitation Certified

Chef Perez earned her Associate Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from Baker College in 2010. She is very passionate about her career and is very pleased to be able to share her experience and knowledge with others.

Justin Raha, CEPC®

Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor

As a graduate of the Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry program at Baker College, Chef Raha was proud to return to Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan as chef instructor in 2009. Working in the baking and pastry profession since the age of 14, Chef Raha considers the field his life’s passion. His professional experiences include:

  • Owner/Pastry Chef, Grand Finale Desserts and Pastries, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Sous Chef/Catering Manager, Grand Haven Bakehouse, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Personal Chef

Chef Raha is an active member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122. He has experience in the art of gluten-free baking and looks forward to expanding his educational horizons as well as those of others.

Chris Sowa, CEC®

Chef Instructor / Executive Chef, COURSES Restaurant

In 2003, Chris Sowa joined Baker College of Muskegon as the Chef de Cuisine of the Marquette Room, our first student-run restaurant. Today he serves Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan as a chef instructor and as the Executive Chef of COURSES, CIM’s student-run restaurant. He also serves as the Culinary Arts Student Internship Coordinator. With more than 10 years in the foodservice industry, his professional background includes:

  • Executive Chef, Grand Haven Golf Club, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Sous Chef, Spring Lake Country Club, Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Lead Line Cook, Muskegon Country Club, Muskegon, Michigan

Chef Sowa is the current Communications Chair of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122, and has been an active board member since 2003. He is also a former Vice President for the chapter. He received his Associate Degree in Culinary Arts and his Bachelor Degree in Food and Beverage Management from Baker College of Muskegon. Chef Sowa earned his Certified Executive Chef designation from the ACF in 2009. He is also ServSafe certified.

Dave Spicher

Food and Beverage Management Instructor

Dave Spicher came to Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) in 2010 as the Manager of COURSES restaurant, and as an instructor for Table Service and Food and Beverage Management classes. Dave’s diverse operations background includes leadership roles in eight different restaurant openings and a variety of management positions. Dave’s professional experiences include:

  • Multi-unit General Manager, Levy Restaurants, Chicago, Illinois
  • General Manager/Kitchen Manager, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Naperville, Illinois and Grandville, Grand Rapids, and Muskegon, Michigan
  • General Manager/Kitchen Manager, T.G.I. Friday’s, Bloomingdale, Aurora, and Naperville, Illinois
  • General Manager/Bar Manager, Sweeney Specialty Restaurants, Orland Park, Illinois
  • Owner/Operator, The Zephyr Grill and Club Car, Naperville, Illinois
  • General Manager/Panera Bread, Greater Grand Rapids Area, Michigan

Dave’s certifications and organization affiliations include:

  • ServSafe Certified
  • Federation of Dining Room Professional (FDRP) Certified
  • Member, American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122

Dave Spicher is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Restaurant and Hospitality Management. His primary focus is helping the students at CIM use their learned operational skills in current market applications to advance their careers by building sales with exceptional cuisine and hospitality. He challenges his students to reach out into their industry to identify and stay abreast of trends in technology, staff motivation initiatives, and cost control techniques to maximize the conversion of top line sales into bottom line profits.

Greg Wade

Food and Beverage Management Instructor

Greg Wade joined Baker College of Muskegon in 2008 as a table service lab instructor in the Marquette Room, our first student-run restaurant. His eight years of professional experience in the food and beverage industry include:

  • General Manager, B.O.B’s Brewery, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • General Manager, Monkey Bar Asian Dipping Grill, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Manager, Bobarino’s American Grill, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Club Manager, Dr. Grins Comedy, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Manager, Eve Cosmopolitan Lounge, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Manager, Banquets and Catering, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan

Mr. Wade received a B.S. in Communications, Advertising and Public Relations from Grand Valley State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Baker College Online. In addition, Mr. Wade is Vice President of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122, as well as the student chapter advisor.

Along with his activity within the ACF, Mr. Wade holds certification in the following areas:

  • TIPS Trainer, Training for Intervention Procedures
  • Certified Beer Server, Cicerone Program
  • CPR / First Aid certification, American Red Cross

With his education, experience, and certifications, Mr. Wade brings a unique and interesting blend of industry knowledge to every one of his classes.

Bruce Konowalow, CCE®

Dean of Culinary Arts

Chef Bruce Konowalow came to Baker College as Dean of Culinary Arts for the Culinary Institute of Michigan in July 2013, with over 30 years experience in the field of restaurant and culinary education. Chef Konowalow has been teaching culinary arts and restaurant management since 1987. His professional education experiences include:

  • Program Director, New York Restaurant School, New York City, New York
  • Dean of Education, Art Institute of New York City, New York City, New York
  • Director of Education, Le Cordon Bleu School, Dallas, Texas
  • Director of Culinary Arts, Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Michigan

Chef Konowalow is a Certified Culinary Educator® who has published articles in the National Culinary Review, the Livonia Observer, and other publications. His recipes have appeared in the New York Daily News, the New York Post, Livonia Observer and on several television stations and websites. While working as a chef in a variety of restaurant venues, he received favorable reviews from the New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, and New York Newsday.

Chef Konowalow holds a Master of Arts in Food Service Management from New York University, a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from the University of Bridgeport, and an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. He is also an active member of the American Culinary Federation, West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122.

Bruce, or “Chef K,” and his wife relocated to the Muskegon area from their home in Texas. They are very fond of Muskegon and frequently vacationed here when they lived in Livonia.

Thomas F. Recinella, CEC®, AAC®, HGT

Dean of Culinary Arts - Executive Chef - COURSES Restaurant

Chef Tom Recinella joined Baker College of Port Huron in September of 2012 as the Program Director of Culinary Arts and Food and Beverage Management. He has more than 30 years of culinary and food and beverage experience with an extensive background in private clubs, fine dining restaurants, catering, banquets, and culinary education.

His professional background includes:

  • Inducted into the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque 2015
  • Tenured Associate Professor, Program Director of Culinary Arts State University of New York at Delhi, Delhi, New York
  • Chef de Cuisine/Owner, Main Street Bovina Restaurant, Bovina, New York
  • Chef/Manager, Winnisook Club (founded 1886), Oliveria, New York
  • Technical Chef, University of Michigan Residential Dining Services, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Owner/Operator, Your Personal Chefs, White Lake, Michigan
  • Chef de Cuisine/Food and Beverage Manager, Heathers Golf and Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  • Night Chef, Fonte d’Amore Restaurant, Livonia, Michigan
  • Catering and Banquet Cook, B and B Catering, South Lyon, Michigan
  • Line Cook, Meriwether’s Restaurant, Southfield, Michigan

Chef Recinella earned his first American Culinary Federation (ACF) certification in 1994 at the Certified Working Chef (CWC) level. He then went on to earn his Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®) designation in 1996 and his Lead Approved Certification Evaluator (ACE) designation in 2008. He was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs® (AAC®) in 2004. Chef Tom is also one of 150 ACF Approved Culinary Competition Judges and one of 27 ACF Ice Judges in the country. He holds his ServSafe certification and is a Certified Instructor and proctor for Food Safety and Sanitation through ServSafe. Chef Recinella is also a Certified Training for Intervention Procedures Trainer (TIPS #57261).

Other awards, recognitions, and memberships include:

  • AAS, Culinary Arts, Schoolcraft College, 1988
  • Member of the ACF since 1987
  • Member World Association of Chefs Society (WACS) since 1987
  • Member of the ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association
  • Member of the National Ice Carving Association
  • Member, Downtown Port Huron Bar and Restaurant Collective
  • Advisor, United States Army Culinary Arts Team (USACAT) for the World Cup in Luxembourg and the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) International Culinary Olympics in Germany, 2009 – Present
  • Member, ACF National Culinary Competition Committee, National Student Competition Chair, 2009 – 2013
  • State University of New York at Delhi Student Senate Advisor of the Year, 2009 – 2010
  • American Culinary Federation Presidential Medallion Recipient, 2009
  • State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2008
  • ACF Northeast Region Certification Chair, 2006 – 2008
  • “Campione Nazionale Cucina Fredda,” National Champion of the Cold Kitchen, Italian National Championship, Italian National Expo, Marina di Massa, Italy, sanctioned by the World Association of Chefs Society (WACS), 2006
  • One Gold and one Silver Medal at the Italian National Championship, Italian National Expo, Marina di Massa, Italy, sanctioned by the World Association of Chefs Society (WACS), 2006
  • State University of New York at Delhi Student Senate Advisor of the Year, 2006 & 2007
  • Member, New York Culinary Olympic Team, 2004 – 2006
  • Inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Chefs® (AAC®), the Honor Society of the American Culinary Federation, 2004
  • American Culinary Federation National Educator of the Year, 2003
  • Distinguished Visiting Chef, The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, New Hampshire, 2002 – 2004
  • American Culinary Federation Presidential Medallion Recipient, 2002
  • Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 2002
  • Student Life Leadership Award from State University of New York Residence Life, 2002
  • Chef of the Year, ACF New York Southern Tier Chef Association, 2001
  • Chef of the Year, ACF Ann Arbor Culinary Association, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1997
  • Inducted into Membership of the Disciples Escoffier International-USA, 2013

Chef Recinella is an avid culinary competitor, and has won over 40 ACF Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals, six Best of Show, and numerous special judges recognition awards. His competition experience has also brought him abroad, competing and coaching in Germany at the International Culinary Olympics, Luxembourg at the World Cup, and Italy at the Italian National Championship. He was a frequent competitor of the Salon of Culinary Art of the Société Culinaire Philanthropique, one of the oldest Chef’s Associations in the United States, now over 140 years old. His participation in these competitions, held at the International Hotel, Motel, + Restaurant Show in New York, New York, resulted in the following awards:

  • Gold Medal of Excellence, 2003
  • Gold Medal of Excellence, 2004
  • Gold Medal of Excellence, 2005
  • Gold Medal of Excellence and Careme Silver Medal, 2006
  • Two Gold Medals of Excellence, 2007

Chef Recinella has coached and managed student culinary teams in two different states and two different regions of the ACF, including a 10-1 record at the ACF New York State Championship, a 6-4 record at the ACF Northeast Region Championship, and two ACF National Championship titles in both 2010 and 2012. He also coached ice-carving teams to second and third place finishes in the National Ice Carving Association’s Collegiate National Championship in both 2009 and 2010. Chef Recinella’s coaching and management style was the subject of a full-length documentary film, “Mise en Place,” produced by Kent Garrett Productions. The film followed his students on their 11-month quest from day one of tryouts through winning the 2010 National Championship in Anaheim, California. He also coached the 2008 and 2009, ACF Northeast Region, Student Chef of the Year Champions.

As a nationally recognized leader in culinary competition training and practical application for young culinarians, Chef Recinella has spoken throughout the country at numerous ACF local chapters, giving demos and workshops on competing, coaching, and building ACF competitions into curriculum for effective training and assessment of practical competencies. He also shared his experiences as a coach on the regional and national level, speaking at several ACF Regional Conferences and National Conventions. As an advisor to the military culinary team, USACAT, he mentored and coached service men and women from all five branches of the military. Chef Recinella also gave the first hands-on workshop for cold food salon competition preparation ever staged by the ACF on the national level to a sold-out crowd at the 2009 ACF National Convention in Orlando, Florida.

Chef Recinella has been a very active member of the ACF for over 25 years. He participated at the local level in the ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association, the ACF Ann Arbor Culinary Association, the ACF Southern Tier Chefs Association, and the ACF Chefs and Cooks of the Catskill Mountains. He also served the ACF on the local chapter level as chapter President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Certification Chair, Membership Chair, and Culinary Competition Chair. Chef Recinella is community oriented and has always involved his students in community outreach with such organizations as Relay for Life, Hospice, United Way, Meals on Wheels, and the Delaware County Crop Walk. He looks forward to his students becoming leaders in community outreach as they pursue their degree with the CIM.

Chef Recinella loves to write about his kitchen experiences. Several of his articles, poems, and writing on the subject have been published in both traditional and online trade newsletters, and national trade publications, such as the ACF’s National Culinary Review.

Chef Recinella is excited to be back home in Michigan and to be part of the Baker College team. He looks forward to all the future holds for The Culinary Institute of Michigan in Port Huron.

Paula Recinella, CHE

Program Director/Restaurant Manager

Chef Paula Recinella joined the Culinary Institute of Michigan in June of 2013 as an instructor of Culinary Arts and Food and Beverage Management. In January of 2014 she became the Manager of COURSES Restaurant. She brings with her over 25 years of experience in the hospitality and foodservice industry. Her diverse experiences range from private country clubs, general kitchen operations to dining room manager, and owner operator of her own restaurant. She served as dining room manager and accommodations manager at one of the Catskill Mountains’ oldest and most exclusive private clubs where she also handled all accounts receivable duties. She has extensive experience in off-premise catering, banquet service, grand buffets and tableside cookery. Her skills in both the front and heart of the house allow her to teach effectively across both the Culinary and Food and Beverage Management disciplines. Her students benefit greatly from her extremely detailed and unique perspective, which comes from working in both the kitchen and the dining room.

Professional Certifications and Affiliations:

  • AAS, Culinary Arts, Schoolcraft College, 1989
  • Serve Safe Certified #10060764
  • Member of the American Culinary Federation
  • Member of the World Association of Chefs Society

Her professional background includes:

  • Approved Certified Hospitality Educator 2015
  • Breakfast Supervisor – Freighters Eatery and Tap Room – Meritage Hospitality Group, Hilton Double Tree Hotel – Port Huron, MI
  • Adjunct Instructor for Culinary Arts associate and bachelor degree Programs – State University of New York at Delhi – Delhi, NY
  • Dining room manager, lodging accommodations manager, and accounts receivable – Winnisook Club – Big Indian, NY (Founded 1886)
  • Restaurant Dining Room Manager, Owner/Operator – Main Street Bovina Restaurant and Catering – Bovina, NY
  • Owner Operator – Your Personal Chefs Catering Company – White Lake, MI
  • PM and AM Line Chef – Road House at Oak Point Golf Club and Restaurant – Brighton, MI
  • PM Chef – Wyndham Garden Hotel – Novi, MI
  • Line Chef – Lakelands Golf and Country Club – Brighton, MI
  • Training for Intervention Procedures Certified Trainer (TIPS #58571)
  • Member of the ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association
  • Lead advisor to the Culinary Institute of Michigan Port Huron student club and ACF Student Membership Chapter

Chef Recinella is currently pursuing her Bachelor Degree in General Studies through Baker College Online. Chef Paula loves working with her students at the CIM Port Huron and is especially proud of their community activities. She is thrilled to be home in Michigan. Chef Recinella and her students are excited about establishing COURSES Restaurant as a destination dining experience and jewel of Port Huron. She looks forward to providing many exciting services in COURSES Restaurant.

Scott Twichell, CEPC®

Lead Baking and Pastry Chef Instructor

Scott Twichell joined the Culinary Institute of Michigan in March of 2014 as an adjunct instructor. In winter of 2015 he became full-time and serves as the Lead Baking and Pastry Chef Instructor. He brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Baking and Pastry profession. Chef Twichell spent the last 15 years honing his craft at Motor City Casino where he worked in the capacity of pastry chef and savory sous chef. In his tenure at Motor City Casino Chef Twichell worked in every facet of large casino operations from fine dining, to buffet, retail outlets, banquets and off premise catering for 1400 plus guests.

Professional Certifications and Affiliations:

  • Associate in Applied Science, Culinary Arts, Washtenaw Community College
  • Bachelor of Science, Hotel Restaurant Management, Eastern Michigan University
  • Studied under Master Confectioner – Ewald Notter, Notter School of Pastry Arts, Orlando, Florida
  • ServeSafe Certified
  • Member ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

Some of his professional experience includes:

  • Motor City Casino, Detroit, Michigan
  • Iridescence Restaurant, Detroit, Michigan
  • The Gandy Dance, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan
  • Dough Boys Bakery, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Nicholas Cornfield, CEC®, BA

Lead Culinary Arts Instructor

Chef Cornfield joined the Culinary Institute of Michigan as an adjunct Chef Instructor in December 2013. Nick became Full Time Faculty Winter 2014. He brings with him extensive experience in the restaurant industry. He held positions as a General Manager, Executive Chef, Sous Chef and a Community Liaison between Santo Island and the U.S. Military on Roi-Namur, in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Concurrent with his work at the Culinary Institute of Michigan, Chef Cornfield is involved in the complete restoration, kitchen and menu development of an historical building in his hometown of Rochester. The upcoming eatery will feature Chef Cornfield’s contemporary style and interpretation of classical French cuisine.

His professional experience includes:

  • Chef consultant, researcher and menu development specialist.
  • Resident Chef – Sut La Table – Troy, MI
  • Head Chef – Caretel Inns of Linden – Linden, MI
  • Sous Chef – Shenandoah Banquet, Golf and Conference Center – West Bloomfield, MI
  • General Manager – East Ocean Chinese Restaurant – Clarkston, MI
  • English Teacher – World Teach – Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands

Educations and Professional Certifications / Affiliations:

  • Associates of Applied Sciences – Art Institute of Michigan
  • Bachelor of Arts with honors – Oakland University
  • ServSafe Certified
  • National Restaurant Association member
  • Certified Executive Chef®, 2017

Candace White, RS

Food Safety, Sanitation, and Culinary Math Instructor

Candace White joined the Culinary Institute of Michigan’s teaching faculty in the Fall of 2012 as an instructor of Food Safety, Sanitation, and Culinary Math. She has an extensive background in the environmental sanitarian industry as a Field Environmentalist, performing inspections of fixed, mobile, and temporary food service facilities; and conducting health education presentations on food service and related topics. Her field experience also includes onsite sewage and water supply evaluation and inspections. Ms. White also has a background in secondary education.

Other professional experiences and certifications include:

  • Substitute Teacher, Capac Community Schools, Capac, Michigan
  • Environmentalist III, Macomb County Health Department, Mount Clemens, Michigan
  • Registered Sanitarian, State of Michigan
  • ServSafe Sanitation Certified
  • ServSafe Sanitation Certified Food Protection Manager
  • ServSafe Sanitation Proctor/Instructor
  • Allied Member of the ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association
  • Co-advisor CIM Culinary Club & ACF Student Membership Chapter

Ms. White graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology and an Associate in Applied Science in Water Quality from Lake Superior State University, Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. She also earned an Associate in Applied Science in Fisheries Technology from Alpena Community College, Alpena, Michigan. She has additional course work in Secondary Education Curriculum in Biology and General Science from Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, Michigan.

Faculty

A foundation built on excellence

The Culinary Institute of Michigan provides you with expert instruction from world-class chefs and food service professionals along with hands-on training in our state-of-the-art labs, kitchens, and restaurants.

You not only learn everything you need to know to work in a professional food service environment, you also develop the specialized skills required to manage these operations. You build a solid foundation that prepares you for the opportunities and challenges you’ll encounter in the food service industry.

A world-class teaching team

Our faculty have international accreditations and accomplishments, and bring a wealth of knowledge, talent, and real-world experience to our culinary program.

Just as importantly, the Culinary Institute of Michigan has the lowest instructor-to-student ratio of any culinary program in the state, so your training is both personal and hands-on, helping you learn more quickly. As a CIM graduate, you’ll have outstanding skills as well as the experience and professionalism that enable you to transition directly into your career.

All Faculty

Bruce Konowalow, CCE®

Dean of Culinary Arts

Chef Bruce Konowalow came to Baker College as Dean of Culinary Arts for the Culinary Institute of Michigan in July 2013, with over 30 years experience in the field of restaurant and culinary education. Chef Konowalow has been teaching culinary arts and restaurant management since 1987. His professional education experiences include:

  • Program Director, New York Restaurant School, New York City, New York
  • Dean of Education, Art Institute of New York City, New York City, New York
  • Director of Education, Le Cordon Bleu School, Dallas, Texas
  • Director of Culinary Arts, Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Michigan

Chef Konowalow is a Certified Culinary Educator® who has published articles in the National Culinary Review, the Livonia Observer, and other publications. His recipes have appeared in the New York Daily News, the New York Post, Livonia Observer and on several television stations and websites. While working as a chef in a variety of restaurant venues, he received favorable reviews from the New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, and New York Newsday.

Chef Konowalow holds a Master of Arts in Food Service Management from New York University, a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from the University of Bridgeport, and an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. He is also an active member of the American Culinary Federation, West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122.

Bruce, or “Chef K,” and his wife relocated to the Muskegon area from their home in Texas. They are very fond of Muskegon and frequently vacationed here when they lived in Livonia.

Thomas F. Recinella, CEC®, AAC®, HGT

Dean of Culinary Arts - Executive Chef - COURSES Restaurant

Chef Tom Recinella joined Baker College of Port Huron in September of 2012 as the Program Director of Culinary Arts and Food and Beverage Management. He has more than 30 years of culinary and food and beverage experience with an extensive background in private clubs, fine dining restaurants, catering, banquets, and culinary education.

His professional background includes:

  • Inducted into the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque 2015
  • Tenured Associate Professor, Program Director of Culinary Arts State University of New York at Delhi, Delhi, New York
  • Chef de Cuisine/Owner, Main Street Bovina Restaurant, Bovina, New York
  • Chef/Manager, Winnisook Club (founded 1886), Oliveria, New York
  • Technical Chef, University of Michigan Residential Dining Services, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Owner/Operator, Your Personal Chefs, White Lake, Michigan
  • Chef de Cuisine/Food and Beverage Manager, Heathers Golf and Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  • Night Chef, Fonte d’Amore Restaurant, Livonia, Michigan
  • Catering and Banquet Cook, B and B Catering, South Lyon, Michigan
  • Line Cook, Meriwether’s Restaurant, Southfield, Michigan

Chef Recinella earned his first American Culinary Federation (ACF) certification in 1994 at the Certified Working Chef (CWC) level. He then went on to earn his Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®) designation in 1996 and his Lead Approved Certification Evaluator (ACE) designation in 2008. He was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs® (AAC®) in 2004. Chef Tom is also one of 150 ACF Approved Culinary Competition Judges and one of 27 ACF Ice Judges in the country. He holds his ServSafe certification and is a Certified Instructor and proctor for Food Safety and Sanitation through ServSafe. Chef Recinella is also a Certified Training for Intervention Procedures Trainer (TIPS #57261).

Other awards, recognitions, and memberships include:

  • AAS, Culinary Arts, Schoolcraft College, 1988
  • Member of the ACF since 1987
  • Member World Association of Chefs Society (WACS) since 1987
  • Member of the ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association
  • Member of the National Ice Carving Association
  • Member, Downtown Port Huron Bar and Restaurant Collective
  • Advisor, United States Army Culinary Arts Team (USACAT) for the World Cup in Luxembourg and the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) International Culinary Olympics in Germany, 2009 – Present
  • Member, ACF National Culinary Competition Committee, National Student Competition Chair, 2009 – 2013
  • State University of New York at Delhi Student Senate Advisor of the Year, 2009 – 2010
  • American Culinary Federation Presidential Medallion Recipient, 2009
  • State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2008
  • ACF Northeast Region Certification Chair, 2006 – 2008
  • “Campione Nazionale Cucina Fredda,” National Champion of the Cold Kitchen, Italian National Championship, Italian National Expo, Marina di Massa, Italy, sanctioned by the World Association of Chefs Society (WACS), 2006
  • One Gold and one Silver Medal at the Italian National Championship, Italian National Expo, Marina di Massa, Italy, sanctioned by the World Association of Chefs Society (WACS), 2006
  • State University of New York at Delhi Student Senate Advisor of the Year, 2006 & 2007
  • Member, New York Culinary Olympic Team, 2004 – 2006
  • Inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Chefs® (AAC®), the Honor Society of the American Culinary Federation, 2004
  • American Culinary Federation National Educator of the Year, 2003
  • Distinguished Visiting Chef, The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, New Hampshire, 2002 – 2004
  • American Culinary Federation Presidential Medallion Recipient, 2002
  • Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 2002
  • Student Life Leadership Award from State University of New York Residence Life, 2002
  • Chef of the Year, ACF New York Southern Tier Chef Association, 2001
  • Chef of the Year, ACF Ann Arbor Culinary Association, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1997
  • Inducted into Membership of the Disciples Escoffier International-USA, 2013

Chef Recinella is an avid culinary competitor, and has won over 40 ACF Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals, six Best of Show, and numerous special judges recognition awards. His competition experience has also brought him abroad, competing and coaching in Germany at the International Culinary Olympics, Luxembourg at the World Cup, and Italy at the Italian National Championship. He was a frequent competitor of the Salon of Culinary Art of the Société Culinaire Philanthropique, one of the oldest Chef’s Associations in the United States, now over 140 years old. His participation in these competitions, held at the International Hotel, Motel, + Restaurant Show in New York, New York, resulted in the following awards:

  • Gold Medal of Excellence, 2003
  • Gold Medal of Excellence, 2004
  • Gold Medal of Excellence, 2005
  • Gold Medal of Excellence and Careme Silver Medal, 2006
  • Two Gold Medals of Excellence, 2007

Chef Recinella has coached and managed student culinary teams in two different states and two different regions of the ACF, including a 10-1 record at the ACF New York State Championship, a 6-4 record at the ACF Northeast Region Championship, and two ACF National Championship titles in both 2010 and 2012. He also coached ice-carving teams to second and third place finishes in the National Ice Carving Association’s Collegiate National Championship in both 2009 and 2010. Chef Recinella’s coaching and management style was the subject of a full-length documentary film, “Mise en Place,” produced by Kent Garrett Productions. The film followed his students on their 11-month quest from day one of tryouts through winning the 2010 National Championship in Anaheim, California. He also coached the 2008 and 2009, ACF Northeast Region, Student Chef of the Year Champions.

As a nationally recognized leader in culinary competition training and practical application for young culinarians, Chef Recinella has spoken throughout the country at numerous ACF local chapters, giving demos and workshops on competing, coaching, and building ACF competitions into curriculum for effective training and assessment of practical competencies. He also shared his experiences as a coach on the regional and national level, speaking at several ACF Regional Conferences and National Conventions. As an advisor to the military culinary team, USACAT, he mentored and coached service men and women from all five branches of the military. Chef Recinella also gave the first hands-on workshop for cold food salon competition preparation ever staged by the ACF on the national level to a sold-out crowd at the 2009 ACF National Convention in Orlando, Florida.

Chef Recinella has been a very active member of the ACF for over 25 years. He participated at the local level in the ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association, the ACF Ann Arbor Culinary Association, the ACF Southern Tier Chefs Association, and the ACF Chefs and Cooks of the Catskill Mountains. He also served the ACF on the local chapter level as chapter President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Certification Chair, Membership Chair, and Culinary Competition Chair. Chef Recinella is community oriented and has always involved his students in community outreach with such organizations as Relay for Life, Hospice, United Way, Meals on Wheels, and the Delaware County Crop Walk. He looks forward to his students becoming leaders in community outreach as they pursue their degree with the CIM.

Chef Recinella loves to write about his kitchen experiences. Several of his articles, poems, and writing on the subject have been published in both traditional and online trade newsletters, and national trade publications, such as the ACF’s National Culinary Review.

Chef Recinella is excited to be back home in Michigan and to be part of the Baker College team. He looks forward to all the future holds for The Culinary Institute of Michigan in Port Huron.

Jamie LeRoux, M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction

Program Director/Restaurant Manager

With more than 10 years in the foodservice industry, Jamie LeRoux joined Baker College of Muskegon in 2001 as a front-of-the-house instructor in the Marquette Room, our first student-run restaurant. She currently serves Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan as Department Chair for Culinary Arts and Food and Beverage Management. Le Roux’s professional background includes:

  • Food and Beverage Director, Grand Haven Golf Club, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Restaurant Manager, Spring Lake Holiday Inn Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Co-owner, The Sardine Room, Muskegon, Michigan
  • General Manager, Dee-lite Thymes Three, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Dining Room Manager, Docker’s Waterfront, Muskegon, Michigan

Ms. LeRoux has served as a board member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122, and is a former student advisor for the chapter. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Baker College of Muskegon. Active in many professional organizations, her professional affiliations and certifications include:

  • Dining Room Associate, Federation of Dining Room Professionals (FDRP)
  • TIPS Trainer, Training for Intervention Procedures
  • ServSafe Certified
  • Member, ACF, West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • Member, FDRP
  • School Board Member, West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics, Spring Lake, Michigan

Paula Recinella, CHE

Program Director/Restaurant Manager

Chef Paula Recinella joined the Culinary Institute of Michigan in June of 2013 as an instructor of Culinary Arts and Food and Beverage Management. In January of 2014 she became the Manager of COURSES Restaurant. She brings with her over 25 years of experience in the hospitality and foodservice industry. Her diverse experiences range from private country clubs, general kitchen operations to dining room manager, and owner operator of her own restaurant. She served as dining room manager and accommodations manager at one of the Catskill Mountains’ oldest and most exclusive private clubs where she also handled all accounts receivable duties. She has extensive experience in off-premise catering, banquet service, grand buffets and tableside cookery. Her skills in both the front and heart of the house allow her to teach effectively across both the Culinary and Food and Beverage Management disciplines. Her students benefit greatly from her extremely detailed and unique perspective, which comes from working in both the kitchen and the dining room.

Professional Certifications and Affiliations:

  • AAS, Culinary Arts, Schoolcraft College, 1989
  • Serve Safe Certified #10060764
  • Member of the American Culinary Federation
  • Member of the World Association of Chefs Society

Her professional background includes:

  • Approved Certified Hospitality Educator 2015
  • Breakfast Supervisor – Freighters Eatery and Tap Room – Meritage Hospitality Group, Hilton Double Tree Hotel – Port Huron, MI
  • Adjunct Instructor for Culinary Arts associate and bachelor degree Programs – State University of New York at Delhi – Delhi, NY
  • Dining room manager, lodging accommodations manager, and accounts receivable – Winnisook Club – Big Indian, NY (Founded 1886)
  • Restaurant Dining Room Manager, Owner/Operator – Main Street Bovina Restaurant and Catering – Bovina, NY
  • Owner Operator – Your Personal Chefs Catering Company – White Lake, MI
  • PM and AM Line Chef – Road House at Oak Point Golf Club and Restaurant – Brighton, MI
  • PM Chef – Wyndham Garden Hotel – Novi, MI
  • Line Chef – Lakelands Golf and Country Club – Brighton, MI
  • Training for Intervention Procedures Certified Trainer (TIPS #58571)
  • Member of the ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association
  • Lead advisor to the Culinary Institute of Michigan Port Huron student club and ACF Student Membership Chapter

Chef Recinella is currently pursuing her Bachelor Degree in General Studies through Baker College Online. Chef Paula loves working with her students at the CIM Port Huron and is especially proud of their community activities. She is thrilled to be home in Michigan. Chef Recinella and her students are excited about establishing COURSES Restaurant as a destination dining experience and jewel of Port Huron. She looks forward to providing many exciting services in COURSES Restaurant.

Scott Twichell, CEPC®

Lead Baking and Pastry Chef Instructor

Scott Twichell joined the Culinary Institute of Michigan in March of 2014 as an adjunct instructor. In winter of 2015 he became full-time and serves as the Lead Baking and Pastry Chef Instructor. He brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Baking and Pastry profession. Chef Twichell spent the last 15 years honing his craft at Motor City Casino where he worked in the capacity of pastry chef and savory sous chef. In his tenure at Motor City Casino Chef Twichell worked in every facet of large casino operations from fine dining, to buffet, retail outlets, banquets and off premise catering for 1400 plus guests.

Professional Certifications and Affiliations:

  • Associate in Applied Science, Culinary Arts, Washtenaw Community College
  • Bachelor of Science, Hotel Restaurant Management, Eastern Michigan University
  • Studied under Master Confectioner – Ewald Notter, Notter School of Pastry Arts, Orlando, Florida
  • ServeSafe Certified
  • Member ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

Some of his professional experience includes:

  • Motor City Casino, Detroit, Michigan
  • Iridescence Restaurant, Detroit, Michigan
  • The Gandy Dance, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan
  • Dough Boys Bakery, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Nicholas Cornfield, CEC®, BA

Lead Culinary Arts Instructor

Chef Cornfield joined the Culinary Institute of Michigan as an adjunct Chef Instructor in December 2013. Nick became Full Time Faculty Winter 2014. He brings with him extensive experience in the restaurant industry. He held positions as a General Manager, Executive Chef, Sous Chef and a Community Liaison between Santo Island and the U.S. Military on Roi-Namur, in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Concurrent with his work at the Culinary Institute of Michigan, Chef Cornfield is involved in the complete restoration, kitchen and menu development of an historical building in his hometown of Rochester. The upcoming eatery will feature Chef Cornfield’s contemporary style and interpretation of classical French cuisine.

His professional experience includes:

  • Chef consultant, researcher and menu development specialist.
  • Resident Chef – Sut La Table – Troy, MI
  • Head Chef – Caretel Inns of Linden – Linden, MI
  • Sous Chef – Shenandoah Banquet, Golf and Conference Center – West Bloomfield, MI
  • General Manager – East Ocean Chinese Restaurant – Clarkston, MI
  • English Teacher – World Teach – Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands

Educations and Professional Certifications / Affiliations:

  • Associates of Applied Sciences – Art Institute of Michigan
  • Bachelor of Arts with honors – Oakland University
  • ServSafe Certified
  • National Restaurant Association member
  • Certified Executive Chef®, 2017

Chef Damon K. Covington

Chef Instructor

Chef Damon has earned a stellar reputation currently the Pizza Chef at Dinette In East Liberty Pittsburgh, PA under the tutelage of James Beards Semifinalist Sonja Finn, he has also worked as the Executive Chef at the Historic Lancaster Tavern, as an Culinary Expert/Chef Williams-Sonoma Mac Arthur, Norfolk, VA, Chef Instructor Job Skills Training Program Tidewater Community College, Norfolk, VA, Chef De’ Cuisine at Vintage Kitchen Norfolk, VA, Executive Chef at the Greenhouse in Newport News, and as an Chef instructor at Tidewater Community College and Stratford University, as well as the former Executive chef of The Chamberlin Hotel in Hampton, VA, and Maître De’ at Terrapin Restaurant Virginia Beach.

Chef Damon is an active chef and educator with an eye for attention to detail and passion for the local seasonal ingredients prepared and served with the richness of southern hospitality. Over the past twelve plus years Chef Damon has honed his culinary knowledge, hands on skill set, and business expertise in all facets of classic cookery, marketing, kitchen systems development, food safety training and food and beverage management.

Chef Damon Covington has earned a ServSafe Management Certification and Certified ServSafe Instructor & Registered ServSafe Examination Proctor with National Restaurant Association. Chef Damon started his culinary education in the United States Navy receiving a Mess Management Specialists certificate. Chef Damon attended the prestigious Kendall College in Chicago, Illinois before transferring to Culinary Institute of Michigan where he received an Associate of Business Degree in (Culinary Arts) MI and Bachelors of Business Administration (Food & Beverage Management) Cum Laude from American Culinary Federation Certificated (ACF) program.

Chef Damon loves learning and teaching others about food! During Chef Damon’s tenure with Norfolk Public Schools Chef Damon was recognition for his passion, hard work and dedication to educating future chefs was awarded the Rotary Club of Hampton Roads 2011 Teacher of Year Award, Norfolk Public School All-City Teaching Team 2011, and Norfolk Technical Center Teacher of Year 2011.
Chef Damon is the owner, Grace55 Food Cart LLC (Grace55) and serves as founder of the Urban Culinary Institute (UCI)

Chef Damon Food Focus

Chef Damon’s cuisine focus is simple, elegant, refined, southern cuisine. Chef Damon’s approach to New Southern Cuisine focuses particularly on the Plantation South culinary region which begins just south of the Mason-Dixon Line in north central Maryland. Bounded on the east by the Chesapeake Bay Shore region and on the west by the Appalachian South region it encompasses much of Virginia and the Eastern Carolinas, then sweeps southwestward along America’s coastal plain. My motto is: Cooking in season makes sense, the ingredients taste better and they stand on their own!

William E. DeHaan, R.S., M.A. Ed

Food Safety and Sanitation Instructor

William DeHaan has been with Baker College since 2009, arriving with 36 years of experience in the environmental health and food sanitation industry. He is currently teaching Food Service Manager Certification at Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM), Muskegon campus in the Food Safety course (CUL 131B). He also teaches food safety at Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute of Culinary Education (SICE) and previously taught food sanitation at Davenport College of Grand Rapids, Michigan in their Hospitality Education Program. Mr. DeHaan’s other professional experiences include:

  • Environmental Health Specialist, Food Safety Section, Ottawa County Health Department, Holland, Michigan
  • Food Safety Auditor, National Sanitation Foundation International, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Supervising Sanitarian-Retired, Kent County Health Department, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Pest Control, Rose Exterminators, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Mr. DeHaan’s certifications and organization affiliations include:

  • ServSafe Sanitation Certified
  • ServSafe Sanitation, Proctor/Instructor
  • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Certified in Retail Food Safety
  • Member, American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • Member, National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)
  • Member, Michigan Environmental Health Association (MEHA)
  • Past Board of Directors, MEHA
  • Numerous Committee Chair Positions, MEHA
  • Past President, Southwest Sanitarians Seminar (SSS) of MEHA

Mr. DeHaan earned a B.S. in Environmental Health from Ferris State University and a Master Degree in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was one of the first sanitarians to be certified in Michigan to teach food safety from the National Restaurant Association prior to 1982. Since that time, Mr. DeHaan has certified culinary arts students, as well as industry personnel, at various levels within the food industry. He keeps his education current with numerous on-line food safety classes and attends food safety conferences and workshops whenever possible.

Andrea Gagnon

Food and Beverage Management Instructor / Table Service Instructor, COURSES Restaurant

Andrea Gagnon came to Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan in 2010 as a table service lab instructor at COURSES, the sophisticated, yet casual, student-run restaurant. With over 12 years of experience and knowledge in the foodservice industry, Andrea’s professional background includes:

  • Restaurant and Bar Manager, Old Boys’ Brewhouse, Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Lead Bartender, Damon’s Restaurant, Wyoming, Michigan

Andrea received a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Grand Valley State University. Her industry certifications include:

  • Member, American Culinary Foundation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • Federation of Dining Room Professionals (FDRP) Certified
  • ServSafe Sanitation Certification
  • TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) Certification
  • CPR/AED/First Aid Certification

Carrie Thomas

Administrative Assistant

Carrie has been with Baker College since 2007 in administrative positions in both the financial aid and business offices. She is working toward a Master Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Memberships/Affiliations:
IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professional) – Western Shores Chapter Member – Member since 2010

Chef Addy Kinziger, RD

Chef Instructor

 

Chef Addy Kinziger, RD came to the Culinary Institute of Michigan Muskegon Campus in June 2015 as a baking and pastry instructor. She graduated from the CIM Baking and pastry program in 2012 receiving the Muskegon Chronicle Award, the highest honor for the Baker College graduating class. She also has a Bachelor's degree in Human Nutrition from The Ohio State University. She brings over 12 years experience as a Registered Dietitian, working in clinical, community and food service areas.

Her professional experiences include:
-Pastry cook, Patricia's Chocolates, Grand Haven, MI
-Instructor of Biology 109: Food in Technology lecture and lab class at Muskegon Community College, Muskegon, MI
-Pastry Apprentice, Chef Luis Amado, Muskegon, MI
-Clinical Dietitian, Heartwood Lodge, Spring Lake, MI
-Dietetic Intern, Mount Carmel School of Nursing, Columbus, OH

Chef Kinziger has volunteered on the Community Foundation of Muskegon grant committee since 2014 allocating grant dollars to Muskegon and Muskegon Heights businesses increasing access to fresh produce and nutrition education for low-income children and older adults. She enjoys combining her nutrition background in her recipes and lectures, promoting healthy alternatives to high sugar and fat ingredients. She is also ServSafe certified.

Justin Kinziger

Chef Instructor

Chef Justin Kinziger joined Baker College of Muskegon in 2007, moving to the Culinary Institute of Michigan when the facility opened in 2009. He brings his students more than 18 years of culinary experience & knowledge. His professional background includes:

  • Chef de Cuisine, The Kirby House, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Sauté Chef, Dee-Lite Thymes Three, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Lead Cook, Gills, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Line Cook, Far Corners, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Prep Supervisor, Snug Harbor, Grand Haven, Michigan

Chef Kinziger is an active member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122, and is a former CIM student knowledge bowl coach and student advisor. Justin graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Montana and studied at the CELEP Institute in Patzcuaro, Mexico. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Kinziger has returned on numerous occasions. He enjoys traveling and learning about world culture and incorporating flavors and techniques of global cuisine into his classroom and cooking. His distinctions and certifications include:

  • Most Professional Award 2010, 2011 ACF West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter
  • Extra Mile Teaching Award, 2014 Baker College of Muskegon
  • ServSafe Certification
  • First Aid/CPR Certification

John Lakatos

Chef Instructor

Through tenures as an executive chef and business owner, Chef Lakatos’s foodservice industry experience ranges from international and regional cuisine to business management, menu design, and volume production. His professional background includes:

  • Owner / Chef, Chef John Lakatos Catering, LLC, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Executive Chef, Spring Lake Country Club, Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Sous Chef, Arboreal Inn, Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Sous Chef, The Peninsular Club, Grand Rapids, Michigan

He received his culinary training and Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from Grand Rapids Community College. He is Membership Chair of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chefs Association and is an active member of the ACF, West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122.

Rosalind Mayberry

Wine and Viticulture Instructor

With 15 years in the wine industry and 25 years of teaching at the university level, Rosalind Mayberry joined Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan as a part time instructor in 2011. Mayberry’s education and experience include:

  • BA, MA, ABD, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
  • Adjunct Instructor, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania
  • Instructor, Grand Valley State University
  • Owner/Chef, The Catered Affair, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Wine Buyer, D&W, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Wine Consultant, Dee-lite Thyme’s Three, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Teaching Chef, D&W Culinary Classroom, Grandville, Michigan
  • Wine Consultant/Educator, Spartan Stores, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Spartan Culinary Classroom Coordinator, Grandville, Michigan

Ms. Mayberry has also served as the retail representative on the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council and continues to work with the Council. A nationally recognized wine educator, she serves as a judge at various wine competitions.

  • Member, Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council Public Relations and Education Committee
  • Member, American Culinary Federation, West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • Member, Society for Wine Educators
  • ServSafe Certified
  • Judge, Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition
  • Judge, International Tasters Guild Wine Competition

Kathleen Meisinger, CEPC®

Chef Instructor

Chef Meisinger holds an A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts from Milwaukee Area Technical College and a Certificate from the L’Art de la Pâtisserie program at The French Pastry School in Chicago, Illinois.  While working in the foodservice industry, she earned a B.S. in Education from the University of Missouri. Upon graduation, she opened a 1950’s themed diner in northern Wisconsin, ran a successful specialty cake business for 15 years and patented CakeVase®.

Amanda Miller, CC, CPC

Chef Instructor

Chef Amanda Miller, CC, CPC is a veteran of the United States Army and enrolled at The Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) in 2012 after leaving the military to pursue a new career path. She served as the President and Treasurer on the student board of the local American Culinary Federation (ACF) chapter. Miller was a member of the CIM Culinary Knowledge Bowl Team. The team earned gold medals at the American Culinary Federation’s regional conference competitions. She was also a finalist in the annual MSU Museum Chocolate Party Competition and the Superior Foods Student Chef Competition on Mackinaw Island. Miller was selected as Student Chef of the Year in 2013. She graduated from the Baking and Pastry Arts program in 2014 and the Culinary Arts program in 2015. Miller was selected as outstanding graduate and received the Associate of Applied Science Award both years; a first in Baker College history.

Diana Perez

Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor

Chef Perez came to Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan in 2011 as a baking instructor. As a graduate of the CIM Baking and Pastry Arts program, Chef Perez was honored to return to Baker College to teach. She brings with her more than ten years of experience in the foodservice industry. Her professional experiences include:

  • Pastry Apprentice, Chef Luis Amado, Muskegon, Michigan
  • Server, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Muskegon, Michigan
  • New Staff Certified Trainer, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Muskegon, Michigan
  • Lead Bartender, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Pantry Cook, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Chef Perez’s organization affiliations and certifications include:

  • Member, American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122
  • ServSafe Sanitation Certified

Chef Perez earned her Associate Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from Baker College in 2010. She is very passionate about her career and is very pleased to be able to share her experience and knowledge with others.

Justin Raha, CEPC®

Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor

As a graduate of the Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry program at Baker College, Chef Raha was proud to return to Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan as chef instructor in 2009. Working in the baking and pastry profession since the age of 14, Chef Raha considers the field his life’s passion. His professional experiences include:

  • Owner/Pastry Chef, Grand Finale Desserts and Pastries, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Sous Chef/Catering Manager, Grand Haven Bakehouse, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Personal Chef

Chef Raha is an active member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122. He has experience in the art of gluten-free baking and looks forward to expanding his educational horizons as well as those of others.

Alexander Schulte

Chef Instructor

Alexander began his career in Grand Rapids, MI at the age of fourteen. He attended Kent Career/Technical Center for culinary arts during high school, and later attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Alexander graduated in 2006, after completing his externship at The French Laundry. In 2007, he completed a teaching assistant certificate at the CIA in Hyde Park. From there, Chef Schulte worked in Manhattan at The Modern. He was then was recruited to open Darlington House, and Nest in Washington, D.C.. Afterwards moving to Seattle, WA to work at Canlis, eventually becoming the head baker. From this point Chef Schulte staged in various Michelin starred restaurants in San Francisco and New York before returning to the Hudson Valley, and opening several restaurants under CIA instructor Giovanni Scappin. He was then recruited further upstate to the finger lakes region to open The Krebs with Chef Austin Johnson, working as Chef de Cuisine, pastry chef, and baker. In the summer of 2016, Alexander worked on a commercial salmon fishing vessel in South East Alaska. He returns home to West Michigan eager to share his knowledge, experiences, and focus on his family.

Chris Sowa, CEC®

Chef Instructor / Executive Chef, COURSES Restaurant

In 2003, Chris Sowa joined Baker College of Muskegon as the Chef de Cuisine of the Marquette Room, our first student-run restaurant. Today he serves Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan as a chef instructor and as the Executive Chef of COURSES, CIM’s student-run restaurant. He also serves as the Culinary Arts Student Internship Coordinator. With more than 10 years in the foodservice industry, his professional background includes:

  • Executive Chef, Grand Haven Golf Club, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Sous Chef, Spring Lake Country Club, Spring Lake, Michigan
  • Lead Line Cook, Muskegon Country Club, Muskegon, Michigan

Chef Sowa is the current Communications Chair of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122, and has been an active board member since 2003. He is also a former Vice President for the chapter. He received his Associate Degree in Culinary Arts and his Bachelor Degree in Food and Beverage Management from Baker College of Muskegon. Chef Sowa earned his Certified Executive Chef designation from the ACF in 2009. He is also ServSafe certified.

Dave Spicher

Food and Beverage Management Instructor

Dave Spicher came to Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) in 2010 as the Manager of COURSES restaurant, and as an instructor for Table Service and Food and Beverage Management classes. Dave’s diverse operations background includes leadership roles in eight different restaurant openings and a variety of management positions. Dave’s professional experiences include:

  • Multi-unit General Manager, Levy Restaurants, Chicago, Illinois
  • General Manager/Kitchen Manager, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Naperville, Illinois and Grandville, Grand Rapids, and Muskegon, Michigan
  • General Manager/Kitchen Manager, T.G.I. Friday’s, Bloomingdale, Aurora, and Naperville, Illinois
  • General Manager/Bar Manager, Sweeney Specialty Restaurants, Orland Park, Illinois
  • Owner/Operator, The Zephyr Grill and Club Car, Naperville, Illinois
  • General Manager/Panera Bread, Greater Grand Rapids Area, Michigan

Dave’s certifications and organization affiliations include:

  • ServSafe Certified
  • Federation of Dining Room Professional (FDRP) Certified
  • Member, American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122

Dave Spicher is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Restaurant and Hospitality Management. His primary focus is helping the students at CIM use their learned operational skills in current market applications to advance their careers by building sales with exceptional cuisine and hospitality. He challenges his students to reach out into their industry to identify and stay abreast of trends in technology, staff motivation initiatives, and cost control techniques to maximize the conversion of top line sales into bottom line profits.

Rose Spickler

Adjunct Faculty

Rose Spickler is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) with Baker College in Muskegon, Michigan. She graduated in 2012 from The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University with a degree in Hospitality Business and a specialization in Sustainability. She then went on to work in the private club industry with Spring Lake Country Club as the Event Coordinator, then as the Clubhouse Manager. During the four years she worked in the club industry, she returned to school to earn her Master’s Degree from Aquinas College in Sustainable Business with an expected graduation date of May 2017. Currently, Rose is working with the CIM as an instructor and is working on her thesis research for “A Practical Analysis of the Integration of Sustainability in Professional Hospitality Education Organizations”. Rose is also a Certified T.I.P.s (Training for Intervention Procedures) Trainer.

Rose lives in Spring Lake, Michigan with her husband, two dogs, and cat. She is a Girls on the Run coach, serves as a member of the Associate Leadership Board of West Michigan Junior Achievement, a member of the Culinary Institute of Michigan’s Sustainability Committee, a member of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, a member of the Muskegon County 1in21 Health Initiative, and a member of the American Culinary Federation.

Greg Wade

Food and Beverage Management Instructor

Greg Wade joined Baker College of Muskegon in 2008 as a table service lab instructor in the Marquette Room, our first student-run restaurant. His eight years of professional experience in the food and beverage industry include:

  • General Manager, B.O.B’s Brewery, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • General Manager, Monkey Bar Asian Dipping Grill, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Manager, Bobarino’s American Grill, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Club Manager, Dr. Grins Comedy, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Manager, Eve Cosmopolitan Lounge, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Manager, Banquets and Catering, The B.O.B., Grand Rapids, Michigan

Mr. Wade received a B.S. in Communications, Advertising and Public Relations from Grand Valley State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Baker College Online. In addition, Mr. Wade is Vice President of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter MI 122, as well as the student chapter advisor.

Along with his activity within the ACF, Mr. Wade holds certification in the following areas:

  • TIPS Trainer, Training for Intervention Procedures
  • Certified Beer Server, Cicerone Program
  • CPR / First Aid certification, American Red Cross

With his education, experience, and certifications, Mr. Wade brings a unique and interesting blend of industry knowledge to every one of his classes.

Candace White, RS

Food Safety, Sanitation, and Culinary Math Instructor

Candace White joined the Culinary Institute of Michigan’s teaching faculty in the Fall of 2012 as an instructor of Food Safety, Sanitation, and Culinary Math. She has an extensive background in the environmental sanitarian industry as a Field Environmentalist, performing inspections of fixed, mobile, and temporary food service facilities; and conducting health education presentations on food service and related topics. Her field experience also includes onsite sewage and water supply evaluation and inspections. Ms. White also has a background in secondary education.

Other professional experiences and certifications include:

  • Substitute Teacher, Capac Community Schools, Capac, Michigan
  • Environmentalist III, Macomb County Health Department, Mount Clemens, Michigan
  • Registered Sanitarian, State of Michigan
  • ServSafe Sanitation Certified
  • ServSafe Sanitation Certified Food Protection Manager
  • ServSafe Sanitation Proctor/Instructor
  • Allied Member of the ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association
  • Co-advisor CIM Culinary Club & ACF Student Membership Chapter

Ms. White graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology and an Associate in Applied Science in Water Quality from Lake Superior State University, Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. She also earned an Associate in Applied Science in Fisheries Technology from Alpena Community College, Alpena, Michigan. She has additional course work in Secondary Education Curriculum in Biology and General Science from Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, Michigan.