Student Affairs News

WSU Chef Earns Industry’s Highest Certification

Department: Dining Services


Following two years of planning, learning and polishing his cooking skills, Washington State University Chef Jason Butcherite has received executive chef certification from the American Culinary Federation.

The Executive Chef for WSU’s Hillside Dining Center said achieving this certification is something he has wanted to do since he began working for Dining Services in 2014.

The Executive Chef Certification is designed to identify chefs who have demonstrated a level of culinary competence and expertise through their education, work experience, culinary knowledge and skills that are consistent with chefs performing at the highest levels in the industry.

Butcherite said preparing for the certification was a rigorous process that required him to pass a written exam as well as a comprehensive cooking evaluation which consisted of making a traditional three-course meal.

“In making the meal I had to showcase cooking fundamentals that included making three different kinds of sauces, utilizing four classical knife cuts, and demonstrating four different cooking techniques---all while being timed,” he said. “They observed how organized I was, and if I maintained a sanitary and safe environment. It was pretty intense.”

Butcherite’s passion for cooking began at age 16 when he got a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant. The following year he became a line cook and eventually worked his way up in several well-known restaurants in Western Washington.  His experience includes cooking at South Fork Public House in Pullman where and he earned a bachelor’s degree in WSU’s School of Hospitality Business Management in 2012.

“By achieving executive chef certification, it helps demonstrate the quality of food WSU students are receiving in the dining centers. We strive to prepare restaurant-quality food, take time to pay attention to details, and aspire to keep learning and improve." 

Butcherite received valuable coaching and encouragement from Adam Koerner, assistant director of culinary operations for Dining Services, who earned his executive chef certification in June. They join Howard Campbell, WSU Southside Dining Center, and Jamie Callison, WSU School of Hospitality Business Management, as the only chefs on campus to achieve this honor.