Our Faculty & Staff

Our Faculty & Staff

Chef Instructors

All of our professionally trained instructors are chefs with experience, food knowledge and the ability to teach and inspire. Students spend time with these chefs, learn their tips and “chef secrets” and receive mentoring to learn how they can become successful in the culinary world. Networking is of high-value when developing a culinary career and this is the perfect chance to meet local chefs and food leaders and develop relationships in the culinary world. All of our faculty have the heart of a teacher, a high appreciation for excellence, and a passion for the culinary industry.
Ethan Starr

Ethan Starr

Program Director

Chef Ethan Starr has been in the restaurant industry for over 16 years and has spent 13 out of those 16 years studying sushi. His most recent position before becoming a full-time chef instructor was Head Sushi Chef/Sous Chef at Tokyo Cafe.

Ched Pagtakhan

Ched Pagtakhan

Culinary Operations Manager

Chef Ched Pagtakhan graduated from Triton College in Chicago and received his A.A.S. degree in Culinary Arts. He has over 22 years of diverse industry experience that includes management positions in luxury hotels, resorts, fine dining restaurants, high volume catering, corporate dining and culinary education. Chef Ched has been teaching culinary arts for over 11 years and was awarded the “2014 Culinary Educator of the Year” by the American Culinary Federation, Windy City Chapter for his work as Head of the Culinary Program at Triton College. He also owns and operates a local food truck business, Just Encased LLC, which focuses on scratch-made sausage sandwiches with distinct flavor profiles.

Mark Hitri

Mark Hitri

Chef Instructor

Chef Mark Hitri is a chef instructor at The Culinary School of Fort Worth and has worked as a Chef de Cuisine and Executive Chef at numerous high ranking restaurants including Saint Emilion, Vidalia’s, and Renaissance Worthington Hotel. Having worked in the culinary industry for over 25 years, Chef Hitri specializes in classic French cuisine, and looks to culinary masterminds such as Daniel Boulud, and Jacques Pepin for inspiration.

Rosemary Pagtakhan

Rosemary Pagtakhan

Chef Instructor

Chef Rosemary Pagtakhan attended Kendall College in Chicago and received her A.A.S. degree in Culinary Arts. She has over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry ranging from hotels, bakeries, senior care and education working in both front and back of the house. Chef Rosemary loves cooking and teaching both savory and sweet foods. Her background stems from French cuisine and pastries and includes different areas of hospitality management.

Administrative Staff

Scott Wade

Scott Wade

President

Scott Wade is president of The Culinary School of Fort Worth. He and the team at The CSFTW are committed to leveraging the school’s capital for the good of its students, alumni and the local culinary community as a whole.

Scott received his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University. He has a background in operations, management and finance. He enjoys investing in his local community by serving as an elder at Fort Worth Presbyterian Church and serving in the past on the board of Covenant Classical School and as a trustee for The Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund.

Scott is grateful to have three sons and a wonderful wife. His favorite pastime is heading down to Rockport, TX with the family where they enjoy the beach and some good salt-water fishing.

Amy Jewell

Amy Jewell

Director of Admissions

Amy is the Director of Admissions at The Culinary School of Fort Worth. She has lived in Texas her whole life and is proud to call it home.

Amy graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree. She has a background in product development and customer service. She is excited to see how she can impact the culinary community and enjoy its creativity.

Amy enjoys making jewelry, gardening and spending time with family and friends. She shares her home with her lovable pet Maggie Mae (dog).

Danielle Rueter

Danielle Rueter

Director of Compliance & Financial Aid

Danielle is the Director of Compliance at The Culinary School of Fort Worth. She grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and loves calling it home.

Danielle graduated from Saint Petersburg College in Clearwater, Florida and returned to Texas in 2013. She has a background in office management, compliance, and financials in both the electronic recycling and automotive industries.

She enjoys travelings, spending time with her wonderful family and friends, and loves being involved in the local culinary community.

James Creange

James Creange

Marketing & Content Manager

James is the Marketing and Social Media Manager at the Culinary School of Fort Worth. He grew up in North Haledon, New Jersey but is now happy to call Fort Worth home.

James graduated from TCU in May of 2017 with a FTDM-Sports Broadcasting Degree. He has a strong background in both radio and podcasting.

He enjoys traveling around the country to see his friends and family. His favorite pastime is attending movies and concerts.

Jason Avelson, CCC® and CCE®

Jason Avelson, CCC® and CCE®

Apprenticeship & High School Partnerships Manager

Chef Jason Avelson attended Tarleton State University and received his Bachelors of Applied Arts and Sciences with focuses in Education, Nutrition, and Business. He is a veteran of the Armed Forces and graduated at the top of his class from The Culinary School of Fort Worth. Chef Avelson specializes in student focused learning and southern comfort classics. Chef Avelson is a Certified Chef de Cuisine® and Certified Culinary Educator®. 

Peter Ramos

Peter Ramos

Financial Aid Coordinator

Peter is the Financial Aid Coordinator at The Culinary School of Fort Worth. He was born and raised here in Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and then went on to obtain his Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Arlington. He has over ten years of experience in banking and finance as well as ten years of experience in the restaurant industry. He has a passion in helping others achieve their dreams of becoming a chef. In his free time, he volunteers at his church and at his son’s school. Peter enjoys cooking, history, and gardening, but most of all he loves spending time with his wife, young son, and his chihuahuas.

Brittney Hermeling

Brittney Hermeling

Office Manager

Brittney is the Administrative Assistant at The Culinary School of Fort Worth and a new resident to Texas.

Brittney graduated from Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota in May 2019 and moved to Fort Worth shortly after. She has a background in office administration and customer service.

Brittney enjoys spending quality time with her fiancé, friends, and two cats. She also loves traveling up north to her hometown in Minnesota to see her family. In her free time, she likes traveling to new destinations, going on long evening walks, and trying new restaurants in the area.

Michele Reichman

Michele Reichman

Admissions Assistant

Michele has lived all over the country, but she has lived in Fort Worth for 18 years and worked in administration for 30 years. She is active in her church: singing in the choir and mentoring ladies. In her free time she loves baking, making greeting cards, sewing and traveling with her husband Al. They have one daughter and a son-in-law.

Advisory Board

Richard Miller

Human Resources, The Mansion at Turtle Creek

James Morris

Executive Chef, Mira Vista Country Club

Ginger Blazek

Owner, Zenzero Kitchen

Kim Church

Dept Chair, Culinary Arts at Northside High School, FWISD

Patrick Mitchell CEC, AAC, FWMCS

Executive Chef/Culinary Advisor, Ben E. Keith Foods - DFW Division

Russel Kirkpatrick

General Manager, Reata

Ched Pagtakhan

Owner, Just Encased