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New Chef Brings International Experience To OTC’s Culinary Program

New chef brings international experience to OTC’s culinary program

Things are heating up in the kitchens of OTC’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program. Daniel Pliska, the former executive chef at the University Club of MU in Columbia, will join the college’s team of experienced culinary instructors this fall.

In his early years, Pliska worked at first-class hotels, restaurants and pastry shops in Washington, D.C.; Dusseldorf, West Germany; and New Orleans, Louisiana. He’s spent 25 years of his career as an executive chef in private clubs and hotels. In total, Pliska will bring more than 40 years of experience to the college’s culinary program.

Pliska is also an accomplished author. His textbook, “Pastry & Dessert Techniques,” was published in 2014. He has written more than 30 articles on culinary and pastry arts for magazines including the National Culinary Review, Club Management, and Pastry Arts and Design.

Above all else, Pliska says it is his calling in life to educate and train aspiring chefs. During his tenure at the University Club of MU, Pliska initiated a formal American Culinary Federation apprenticeship program in which he trained and graduated four apprentices.

“I’ve been fortunate to learn a great deal throughout my career,” Pliska said. “I find teaching incredibly rewarding – I love paying that knowledge forward and watching others develop successful careers of their own.”

At OTC, Pliska will teach savory cooking courses and oversee the department’s on-campus restaurant, Scallions. The restaurant gives culinary and hospitality students the opportunity to put their newly learned skills into action. Scallions is open to the public during the fall and spring semesters on Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

“We look forward to welcoming Chef Pliska to OTC this fall,” said Lisa Gardner, department chair of culinary arts and hospitality management. “His passion for the culinary arts is contagious, and I know our students will benefit from his real-world instruction and expertise.”

For more information about OTC’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program, visit academics.otc.edu/cul-hsm/.

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