On Saturday, August 7, 2010, Brent E. Wertz, vice president of Food and Beverage and executive chef at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, was the keynote speaker at the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts Toque ceremony. This graduation ceremony, where culinary students are presented with the toque (tall chef hat) for the first time, recognizes the students’ successful completion of the culinary arts on-campus coursework and celebrates the industry externships they will shortly be reporting to.
Drawing from his extensive background, Chef Wertz talked about his professional experiences in the food service industry, and shared career and life advice with the students. He enthusiastically told the students that “there are unlimited possibilities in today’s culinary world” and “there is no better catalyst for success than curiosity.” Chef Wertz commended students for their work ethic, and confided that he enjoys recruiting at IUP because he finds motivated culinarians willing to give 110 percent.
At Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Chef Brent Wertz oversees the culinary operations of fourteen food and beverage outlets, including the Five Star, Five Diamond Lautrec. Chef Wertz is a certified executive chef and member of the prestigious American Academy of Chefs in the American Culinary Federation. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1987 with high honors. In addition, he currently serves as the president of the elite Resort Food Executive Committee.
Prior to joining Nemacolin in March of 2010, Chef Wertz was vice president of Food and Beverage at Kingsmill Resort and Spa in Williamsburg, Virginia, for eight years. His culinary resume chronicles over two decades of experience at four- and five-star resorts across the country. In addition to Nemacolin and Kingsmill, his employers include Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California; the Arizona Biltmore; the Boulders Resort in Carefree, Arizona; the Equinox Resort and Spa in Manchester, Vermont; the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland; the Tidewater Inn in eastern Maryland; and Mohonk Mountain House in New York.
Chef Wertz’s inspirational address was the perfect send-off to IUP culinary arts students as they begin their own professional experiences at properties all across the U.S. and in Switzerland. The employers that have hired IUP culinary arts students for externship positions in 2010 are listed below:
ARAMARK, Indiana, Pa.
Biltmore, Asheville, N.C.
Butler Country Club, Butler, Pa.
Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Va.
Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, Orlando Fl.
The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.V.
Holiday Inn Johnstown, Johnstown, Pa.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National, Grantville, Pa.
Jean Bonnett Tavern, Bedford Springs, Pa.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort Kiawah Island SC
Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, Va.
Lento Restaurant, Rochester, N.Y.
Marco Island Marriott, Marco Island, Fl.
Mountain Air Country Club, Burnsville, N.C.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pa.
New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, La.
Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo, Fl.
The Peabody Orlando Hotel, Orlando, Fl.
Penn State Food Services, University Park, Pa.
Perona Farms, Andover, N.J.
Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, N.C.
Primier Caterers, Camphill, Pa.
The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Three students have chosen to continue their culinary education at the DCT University Center in Lucerne, Switzerland. These students will complete their externships in Switzerland in 2011.