Since the creation of BYU Dining Services in 1952, BYU Catering has grown to be an integral part of hospitality on BYU campus. Over the years we have served many dignitaries visiting campus, including foreign ambassadors and heads of government from around the world. BYU Catering is also proud to help sponsor several yearly community events. Some of these events include the Hunger Banquet, a fundraiser to promote awareness of worldwide hunger, and the Utah Scottish Association’s annual Burns Supper, which provides scholarships for the Kennedy Center.
BYU Catering has been the recipient of several prestigious awards throughout the years, including Food Management’s Best Concept, R&I’s Ivy Award, and the Golden Key Award from the Governor’s Committee. We are also involved with several national associations, such as the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) and the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
BYU’s Executive Chef, John McDonald, arrived at the Brigham Young University with over 25 years of professional culinary experience. Educated at the Chef School at Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, Chef John’s career path included employment at the Radisson Hotel in Park City, Fort Douglas Country Club, Utah State University, and Willow Creek Country Club in Salt Lake City. He also owned a personal catering and chef business before arriving at BYU. Chef John achieved his CEC certification through the American Culinary Federation.
Executive Pastry Chef
Before BYU, Fernanda was the Executive Pastry Chef for 10 years at the Grand America Hotel. As a 5 Diamond hotel it hosted high profile events such as the Salt Lake Olympics, dinner for President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, U.S. Secretary of Defense, Utah governors and LDS Church authorities, as well as large banquets for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The hotel also hosted celebrities such as Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Cosby and many others.
Chef de Cuisine
Chef Adam Jones has always loved food. Growing up in Payson, Utah, Jones made food for his family once a week. After graduating from high school he followed his passion for food to the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona. He began his culinary career in 1997 at the Phoenician, a luxury resort in Scottsdale, cooking for VIP banquets. Jones then cooked for Deer Valley in Park City, Utah, for two seasons.
Mindy Johnson fell in love with catering when she worked her first catering job at the age of 15. Since then she has worked in several different areas of the food industry but decided that catering is where she wished to stay. Born in Utah, Johnson later moved to Washington state where she was exposed to a new world of cuisine which led her to attend culinary school in Renton, Washington in 1999. Johnson graduated in the top three in her class, and was also the only girl to make it through the program; proving she has what it takes to thrive in the industry.
Chef Garde Manger
Hans Storrer has come to us as a nine year veteran of the United States Coast Guard. Successfully completing the Coast Guard’s culinary training as well as the Army’s advanced culinary training programs with high honors and becoming a valued food service specialist in the United States Military, Hans set sail on the high seas of the South Pacific visiting most of the Polynesian Islands.
Banquet Chef de Partie
Haven Simmons grew up in North Carolina and developed a love of the culinary arts early in her childhood. For her, cooking was a passion that somewhat unexpectedly developed into a career. Simmons started as a student employee at Catering while she was earning her Bachelors in Psychology at BYU, and found she loved the fast-paced, creative environment. After three and a half years at Catering as a student, teaching cooking classes at the Provo Recreation Center, completing her college degree, and after earning the 2015 BYU Student Employee of the Year award, she has come back as a full time employee. She loves the innovation, momentum, and satisfaction of the industry.
Gianni Santamaria is a Utah native with a love for excellent food and service. Gianni earned a BA in International Relations and an MBA, both from BYU. He has worked in the hospitality industry for 13 years, first as the owner of a restaurant and catering business, and later as a general and corporate manager for Café Rio Mexican Grill. Gianni has also spent time in the California healthcare industry as the executive director of a skilled nursing facility. He has most recently been involved in food manufacturing as a manager for Frito Lay and Creminelli Fine Meats.
Lorraine has always had a love of food, entertaining, organizing events. Her background includes Art, Sewing, Event Coordination/Management, Leadership Training and Couture Cake Design.
After college, Lorraine worked for Covey Leadership Center, Red Lion Hotels and Microsoft, working in Human Resources and Program Coordination. Lorraine started her successful high-end custom cake business, Sweet Lorraine Cakes in Seattle in the year 2000. This was a part-time venture, as she was also a full-time mother/homemaker, part-time Art Docent, and part-time event sub-contractor, working on high-level corporate events, as well as making cakes for and catering desserts for smaller private weddings and corporate events.
After relocation of the family back to Utah, Lorraine joined the BYU Catering staff as the Wedding & Event Coordinator. During her almost five years in this position, Lorraine has had the opportunity to serve the BYU and local community, and has been able to establish many wonderful relationships with her clients, and the amazing students she works with.
Lorraine is excited for her new position as Assistant Manager for BYU Catering, and hopes to make significant and valuable contributions to her team and the University for years to come.
Donna came to BYU in 2005, first working in the old Cannon Center and then moved to the MTC. She joined the Catering Team in 2008. Donna is at the front desk and handles the student hiring and scheduling. She also processes the billing that goes through the Catering system. Donna enjoys working with the students and helping be their “mom away from home”.
Dave Greenland started his career at age 21 in St. Louis, Missouri at a small cafe and catering business called Russo’s and has loved it ever since. There he was able to use his talents in art, design, and sculpture with food and buffet presentations. Since coming back home to Utah, he got married and now has two children, he worked as a wedding cake designer and decorator for ten years, and now has been with BYU Catering for eight years, where he focuses on new and better ideas for those he serves.
Amber Dukes started with BYU Catering as an undergraduate student. As she earned her BA in International Relations she enjoyed working in the fast paced environment of hospitality. Amber enjoys to travel and had the opportunity to Study Abroad in Italy. Her love of Italian food grew even more when she returned to Italy for an Internship. Amber loves to help each customer have an enjoyable dining experience. In her free time Amber likes to play with her puppy and chinchilla and to spend time with her husband.
David McDowell grew up in the small Northern Arizona town of Snowflake. As a student at BYU, David was a server at Brick Oven and a manager at Training Table while earning a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management and Youth Leadership. After graduation, David completed an internship in Atlanta helping veterans and kids with disabilities learn and compete in adaptive sports. David and his wife enjoy travel and are inspired by the flavors and colors of India most of all. David loves to play wheelchair basketball, work in the garden, ride his bike with his dog, and cook Indian and Thai food.
My name is Janna Williams. I was born and raised in Sunny California. I married my husband in 1997 and moved to Studio City , California where we loved to entertain our family and friends with good food. I moved to Utah in 2010 after my last child was born. We started working for a small catering company part time. Shortly after my husband and I decided to start our own catering company part time with our family. I shortly realized how much I enjoyed the event planing side of catering, while my husband was a “Master Creator” of beautiful dishes. In 2014 some friends started a wedding venue and needed help with the coordination and planning of events. I split my time with Events, Catering as well as being a mom. I love working with people and helping make their events the best they can be. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my Husband and 3 kids and our puppy. We love to experiment with new dishes, entertain our friends and enjoy some intense family Uno battles.
Allie initially joined the catering team in 2009 when she began her undergrad degree at BYU in English language and editing. She has worked for BYU Catering on and off, taking time away for her mission in Indiana and for her publishing certificate from the Denver Institute of Publishing. When she’s not busy taking your order, she enjoys correcting grammatical errors, playing soccer and guitar, and eating bacon.
From a very young age, Susie has loved being in the kitchen and over the years she has particularly developed a love of baking. Susie enjoys planning parties and family gatherings, especially those that celebrate significant life events, and she delights in finding ways to make those occasions fun and memorable while still maintaining family traditions. Most recently she has run a small catering business from her home kitchen which kept her particularly busy during most major holidays. Susie graduated from BYU with a BA in Design and is thrilled to be back on campus and part of the BYU catering team.
Sara has grown up with the love of food; from a young age she has been helping in the kitchen. She has worked in the food industry since she was 16. Sara found that she liked the environment and had a knack for the field. This led her to a path in food management very quickly. After graduating magna cum laude with a BS in Recreational Management, Sara went to work at a local Deli which she managed. Sara then joined the BYU employment family with a job in Concessions.
Now Sara is a member of the BYU Catering team as a Sales Associate. She loves working with people and helping them make their event run smoothly. In her free time Sara enjoys cooking and creating meals, reading, watching movies, spending time with her husband and her 3 dogs, and going up into the mountains whenever she has a chance.
Each year BYU Catering employs over 200 BYU students from across campus, with majors ranging everywhere from dance to nutrition and from engineering to psychology. For some of our students, BYU Catering is their first real job experience, and BYU Catering provides a fun and exciting environment where they can learn fundamental job skills they will use throughout their future careers. We also provide many opportunities for our students to move up into various leadership positions.
While we are sad to see our students leave after graduation, we are happy to have been part of their BYU experience. We are so proud of our student employees, and we could not do what we do without them!