I had the pleasure of speaking with the Program Director of the Baking and Pastry Arts program at KU Sarasota and decided to feature him as this week’s Faculty Spotlight. Check out what he had to say:

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“I began my culinary career at the age of 15 bussing tables and washing dishes at a local restaurant.  At that time I was attending the culinary arts program at the Sarasota County Technical Institute. Upon completion of the program and graduating high school, I attended the Culinary Institute of America where I earned my Associate degree in Baking and Pastry Arts and graduated with honors.  As part of my degree requirements, I successfully completed my externship at Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, FL.

After college, I accepted a position as a pastry cook at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, FL.  I began as an overnight baker and was quickly promoted to preparing plated desserts. I then accepted a kitchen manager position at Word of Mouth, a local restaurant where I was able to develop my managerial style and supervisory skills. In 2007, I started a personal chef business, which I still own and operate. During the inception of my personal chef business, I also created a partnership to open a bakery-café that specialized in fresh baked bread and breakfast pastries. In 2010, I sold my shares to my business partner to pursue other career opportunities.

With the desire to continue expanding my professional boundaries, I elected to pursue a teaching position and was hired as an adjunct instructor for the Center of Culinary Arts at Keiser University in 2011.  After approximately a year, I accepted a full-time position and was an integral part of launching the Associate of Science degree in Baking and Pastry Arts at the Sarasota campus.  In 2014 I received the promotion to Program Director of the Baking and Pastry Arts program. In order to build my professional reputation within the culinary community, I became a member of the Sarasota Chapter of the American Culinary Federation and currently serve as the President of the chapter. Through his membership, I am certified as a Personal Certified Executive Chef. Recently, I had the honor of being inducted into the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs as a Maître Rotisseur.”


Thank you Chef Ellis for sharing your story with the students of KU!

As always students, if you want to share something on ELSE, or have any questions or comments, feel free to email me. I would LOVE to hear from you!

Your fellow KU student,