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Meet Our Chefs

---- Chef Heather Pennypacker (large)Chef Heather Pennypacker
Graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania Academy of Culinary Arts.
Started off my career rotating through the many kitchens of the Grove Park Inn. I took a full-time job working in their Pastry Department. After making desserts in a very high production pastry shop for 2 1/2 years I moved across Asheville to the Biltmore Estate. I worked at the Bistro Restaurant for about 1 1/2 years making a la carte desserts, fresh breads, and specialty cakes. After my time at the Bistro I was promoted to Pastry Chef at Deerpark Restaurant (also on the Biltmore Estate). I worked at Deerpark managing all aspects of the Pastry Department for 11 years. This including desserts, breads, pastries, wedding cakes, specialty cakes, petits, cookies, etc. I've been featured in Southern Living, Grace Ormond, and Western North Carolina Magazines. Also, I have had the opportunity to do live cooking segments for the local television station, live demonstrations and classes for Biltmore and locally, and speaking engagements. I have a huge love for teaching and I'm so happy to be a part of this program!

---- tyler (thumb)Chef Tyler White
Tyler has had over 15 years in the restaurant industry as a Sous Chef working in private clubs, resorts, full service hotels, and casual dining restaurants in North Carolina and Knoxville Tennessee. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Carolina University in Hospitality Management, and a Master’s Degree from The University of Tennessee in Retail Hospitality and Tourism. Throughout his career Tyler has worked with celebrity chefs Tracy Griffith and Darren McGrady, and has cooked for Anthony Bourdain, Paula Deen, and ZZ Top. While working in Knoxville he has prepared meals for groups of over 5,000, as well as preparing food for university presidents and provosts. He recently helped with Destination Imagination where he helped facilitate the feeding 3 courses a day to over 10,000 people on UT campus. Tyler was hired by UT Culinary Institute in 2010 and currently teaches for PSTCC Culinary Arts Program at the University of Tennessee, where he is the program facilitator overseeing all purchasing and special events.

---- alunnijohn2 (thumb)Chef John Alunni
Started career in the US Army as a cook. Promoted to Dining Facility Manager and operated two facilities feeding 2,850 soldiers. Went on to college after the military and achieved a B.S. degree in Hotel, Restaurant Management. Worked for CAESARS Resorts as a Sous Chef and Hilton Hotels as an Executive Chef. Made a career change in 2001 and took over operations at two Health food stores under ownership of Wild Oats Markets. Was hired by Earth Fare in 2005 as a Store Director and opened their first unit in Turkey Creek. Began teaching a Resort Management Courses at Lakeside Resort for Pellissippi State College in 2007 and taught UT Culinary classes part time as well. Was hired by Kingston High School to start up and teach their Culinary Arts Program. Also taught Culinary Arts to children with disabilities, Kids U, and Boys and Girls club. Currently Teaching Culinary Arts for PSTCC, hold the position of Internship Coordinator, and am pursuing a Master Degree in Educational Psychology. A member of the American Culinary Federation and am a Certified Culinary Arts program evaluator for the ACF. Also responsible for Program Accreditation through the ACF.
---- carol wine 2 (large)Dr. Carol Costello
Carol Costello is a Professor in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management. She has over 25 years of teaching and research experience. She completed the International Sommelier Guild 1 and 2 classes and teaches wine and beer classes for the Culinary Institute. She also has 20 years of event management experience and is the supervisor for food service for UT Conferences summer conferences. She has just taken over the job of scheduling all the UT non-credit culinary food classes.
---- my formal picture.jpgann (large)Dr. Ann Fairhurst
Dr. Ann Fairhurst is the Interim Director of the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management Department where the Pellissippi program is housed

---- tom_gaddis (large)Dr. Tom Gaddis
Dr. Tom Gaddis established the Hospitality program at Pellissippi State in 1996. The program has visualized much success and boasts a 14 year tradition of 100% placement. Gaddis has multiple decades of restaurant development and management to his credit. Of note, he started with Cracker Barrel in its infancy and had a long term stint with New York’s Horn and Hardart Corporation. During graduate school, Dr. Gaddis gained expertise in college and university food service as well as very high level catered event including presidential dinners and skybox extravaganzas.

Dr. Gaddis, educational records are as follows:


Ph.D. in Human Ecology   May 1997

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Primary Concentration: Hotel and Restaurant Administration
Support Areas: Restaurant Management and Food Safety

Masters in Human Ecology   December 1992

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Primary Concentration: Hotel and Restaurant Administration
Support Areas: Contract and Self-operated Food Service

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration   May 1983

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Primary Concentration: Marketing

Dr. Gaddis has been honored by education as well as the industry on many occasions such as:
•    Received 2012 Idahlyn Karre national award for exemplary leadership from the Chair Academy.
•    Received 2008 Hospitality Educator of the year award from the Tennessee Hospitality Association.
•    Received 2008 Pauly Achievement Award from the  Knoxville Tourism Alliance
•    Honored as President of the KTA in 2006.
•    Nominated for 2005  ATEA national technical teacher of the year award. Received regional award.
•    Received 2003 Outstanding Hospitality Educator for the state of Tennessee award from the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association.
•    Received 2001 Outstanding Hospitality Education Leadership Award from the Tennessee Hospitality Education Council.
•    Received 1998-99 Gene Joyce Visionary Award at Pellissippi State.











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