|Meet Our Chefs
|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!
Chef Tyler White
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.
|Chef John Alunni|
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.
|Dr. Carol Costello|
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.
|Dr. Ann Fairhurst|
Dr. Ann Fairhurst is the Interim Director of the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management Department where the Pellissippi program is housed
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
Dr. Gaddis, educational records are as follows:
Ph.D. in Human Ecology May 1997The University of Tennessee at KnoxvillePrimary Concentration: Hotel and Restaurant AdministrationSupport Areas: Restaurant Management and Food Safety
Masters in Human Ecology December 1992The University of Tennessee at KnoxvillePrimary Concentration: Hotel and Restaurant AdministrationSupport Areas: Contract and Self-operated Food Service
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration May 1983The University of Tennessee at KnoxvillePrimary 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.