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
Originally from Brazil, Fernanda Dutra brings to her European-style desserts a tropical flair that will leave you enjoying a taste of the exotic mixed with the familiar. Before BYU, Fernanda was the Executive Pastry Chef for ten years at the Grand America Hotel. At this Five Diamond hotel, she catered high-profile events for celebrities, presidents, professional athletes, religious authorities, and foreign dignitaries. As a Certified Executive Pastry Chef, she now brings her world-class quality pastries to BYU’s campus. On any given day, you will find her leading one of the largest bakery productions in a University setting, filling our campus with everything from French-themed desserts to the freshest baked goods.
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.
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.
Chef Garde Manger
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. She 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 working at Catering as a student, teaching cooking classes at the Provo Recreation Center, completing her college degree, and earning the 2015 BYU Student Employee of the Year award, she has come back to the Catering team as a full-time employee.
Chance Gold was born in the great state of Utah, but as a child moved around a lot from Colorado to California, then back to Utah where he has been since the age of nine. Throughout the years however, he noticed he had one major passion. Cooking!
As a child he was always in the kitchen helping with dinner and cooking his own food. In high school, for his junior and senior years, he attended MATC’s (Mountainland Applied Technology College) culinary program and earned a Certificate of Course Completion. After high school he served an LDS Mission in Washington D.C./Maryland.
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, and organizing events. She earned her BA in Design from BYU, and her background includes art, sewing, event 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 high-end custom cake business, Sweet Lorraine Cakes, in Seattle in the year 2000.
In 2012, Lorraine joined the BYU Catering staff as the Wedding & Event Coordinator before stepping up as the Assistant Manager in 2017. She is excited 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.
Janna was born and raised in sunny California. She married her husband in 1997 and moved to Studio City, California where they loved to entertain family and friends with good food. They moved to Utah in 2010 and shortly after decided to start their own catering company part time with their family. Janna realized how much she enjoyed the event planning side of catering and began helping her friends plan and coordinate events at their wedding venue. Janna loves working with people to help make their events run smoothly. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and three kids and their puppy. Together they love to experiment with new dishes, entertain, friends, and enjoy some intense Uno battles.
Student Event Coordinator
Jacob Brading is from Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, out at BYU studying geology. He was recently married this summer and is interested in hiking and reading books. Jacob has been working here at BYU catering since August of 2015 and plans to work here throughout his studies. He enjoys catering because every event is different and it gives him a chance to visit almost every building on campus as well as meet new people.
Student Event Coordinator
Emily Moore is a BYU undergraduate student from Southern California. She is currently pursuing a BS in dietetics and has always loved food and nutrition. She started at BYU Catering as a waitstaff in 2015 and has enjoyed working with a variety of teams and bringing customers’ events to life. Once Emily completes her degree, she hopes to use her expertise in nutrition to promote healthy eating and inspire healthful change in those she comes into contact with.
Sara grew up with the love of food; from a young age she has been helping in the kitchen. She started in the food industry at age 16 and 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 on to manage a local Deli before joining the BYU employment family with a job in Concessions. Now here at BYU Catering, Sara 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, baby girl, and three dogs, and going up into the mountains whenever she has a chance.
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 ice cream.
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.
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!