Skip to main content

Chris McMillan

Trainee Chef Instructor

A native of eastern Ohio, Christopher has always had a passion for food. Whether watching his grandmothers and mother bake, decorate wedding cakes, or hear about his grandfather being a whole hog butcher. He took that interest, starting as a dishwasher/prep cook to being a complete timeline cook. Working at local restaurants led him to attend a vocational school, then onto the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts program in Pittsburgh, PA. Chris interned at The Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, FL, upon completing culinary school. Given the opportunity to cook in the renowned Le Escalier restaurant. After completing his internship, he relocated to Boca Raton, FL, where he assisted in the grand opening of The Old Homestead Steakhouse inside the Boca Raton Resort. Devoted to his craft, he was quickly appointed to Sous Chef, holding the position until he joined Buckhead Life Restaurant Group (Atlanta, Ga) for the grand opening of Chops Lobster Bar in Mizner Park. With his brother completing high school and enlisting in the Army and his grandfather in ill health, Chris relocated home to be closer to family while working in a different foodservice operation. First, he joined his hometown’s century-old restaurant Pondis as Sous Chef. However, coming from a large market back to a tiny one presented its challenges. He then joined the La Bonne Vie Steakhouse team at Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino (Newell, W.V.) as Sous Chef. Unfortunately, the casino went under new ownership and went through a layoff period. During this time, Chris received a call from his college roommate to join the Atrias corporation. For the rebranding and grand opening of Ditka’s Steakhouse in Pittsburgh, PA. He was working his way up from lead line cook to Sous Chef. After some years of being in restaurants, he wanted to expand his knowledge on the different facets of culinary services. So he joined the Guckenheimer corporation to grand open Dicks Sporting Goods HQ (Pittsburgh, Pa). Working for Guckenheimer gave him the knowledge and confidence to offer his former Executive Chef Richard Cavacco (Old Homestead) as Outlet Chef for The Waldorf Astoria Casa Marina in Key West, FL. While there, Chris took on more responsibilities becoming Banquet Chef and eventually holding the Executive Sous Chef title. He hosted many events from weddings, corporate retreats, nonprofit dinners, and private dinners. After calling Casa home for a few years, Chris joined one of the nation’s best Little Palm Island resorts in Little Torch Key, FL. He was with the team until hurricane damage shut the Resort down for repairs. Chris then relocated back to his hometown, rejoining Pondis as Executive Chef. This time to find his fiancee and mother of their two children. Upon the birth of his second child, covid occurred, and he spent his newfound time with his children while consulting with other local restaurants, reopening and staffing after the pandemic restrictions. Recently he accepted the position of Executive Chef at the University of Akron.