The real strength of the Columbus Culinary Institute culinary arts program is the combination of industry-driven curriculum, and our passionate, industry-proven chef instructors.

CCI chef instructors have won top industry awards, owned their own restaurants, and achieved their certified executive chef designations. Our faculty’s varied backgrounds and broad network of contacts are assets to our alumni as they begin their culinary careers. 

Select members of our staff include:

Chef Christopher Tanner, CEC, AAC, is the Culinary Arts Program Director at the Columbus Culinary Institute at Bradford School. Prior to joining CCI, Chef Tanner led the culinary research and development teams for Campbell Soup Company. His team drove authenticity, innovation, and strategy to develop delicious new products for Pace, Prego, Swanson, Plum, Pepperidge Farm, Chunky, Slow Kettle, and created the new and unique brands of Prego Farmer’s Market and Campbell’s Well Yes. As a Culinary Director, Educator, and Executive Chef of restaurants and resorts throughout the U.S., he brings over 25 years of solid foundation in the culinary arts. He is a Certified Executive Chef with the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Chefs (AAC); the ACF’s honor society. He is an ACF approved judge, past NE Region chairperson for ACF competitions, and holds over 45 culinary competition medals between the ACF and the Société Culinaire Philatropique.

He has held various board positions with local ACF chapters and has been awarded Chef of the Year, Chef Educator of the Year, and the Chef Professionalism Award from these chapters. Nationally he has been awarded the ACF Presidential medallion for his contributions to the industry and to the growth of culinarians and chefs. Chef Tanner holds an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from Schenectady County Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration from the State University of New York at Delhi, and a Master’s Degree in Gastronomy from Boston University.

Chef Tom Hunt, CEC, is a Chef instructor in the Culinary Arts program. Chef Hunt has over 25 years of industry experience and has opened and managed restaurants from the ground up. Chef Hunt is the competition coach for our CCI Hot Food team. Under his direction, they have won at both the regional and state level. Chef Hunt is active within the ACF organization and has seved on the board as secretary and been the managing chef at several ACF events. He earned the ACF Columbus chapter "Chef of the Year" award in 2012.

Chef Nicole Bennett, CEC, CCE, is a Chef Instructor in the Culinary Arts program.  Chef Bennett is a graduate of the Florida Culinary Institute as well as a member of their Baron Galand Knowledge Bowl Team, which placed Gold in their regional competition and Bronze in their national competition.  Chef Bennett has over 15 years of experience in the culinary industry in restaurants, country clubs, fine dining and five-star hotels.  Chef Bennett is also experienced in fruit and vegetable carving.  She has placed in many professional competitions and has studied under Chef Jimmy Zhang.  Chef Bennett is the coach/instructor for Columbus Culinary Institute’s Columbus Carving Artists, our student fruit and vegetable carving club.  Under her guidance, members of the club have had great success at the carving competitions they have entered.

To find out more about our faculty teachers, request more information today.