Mr. Wirtis established Germaine's Kitchen and Café (GKC), a gluten-free, workforce development culinary arts program of the Catholic Charities of Oregon, in 2021.
PORTLAND, OR, February 21, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Chef Jon Wirtis, CEC, CDM, has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Mr. Wirtis established Germaine's Kitchen and Café (GKC), a gluten-free, workforce development culinary arts program of the Catholic Charities of Oregon, in 2021. Serving as the executive chef and lead instructor, his 16-week program provides students with essential, hands-on culinary skills and instruction, giving them the confidence and necessary fundamentals to secure employment in the food service industry. Focused on providing instruction to the intellectual developmentally disabled community, Mr. Wirtis' school customizes the program to meet the needs of each student.
Taught by Mr. Wirtis and other faculty members, the free program is aligned with Catalyst Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that is based in Seattle and addresses joblessness, poverty and hunger. He and his team also provide personalized instruction regarding the basics of food preparation and, among many other skills, how to communicate professionally with others in the workplace. Students notably receive over 500 hours of trained instruction and earn a certificate of completion. As part of the program, Mr. Wirtis and his students serve 2,000 hot meals per month to area residents of Portland as part of the Hot Meals for Unhoused Neighbors initiative.
In addition to his work at GKC, Mr. Wirtis works as the director of culinary services and executive chef at Cedar Sinai Park. Serving the elderly Jewish population, the food that he prepares is 100% kosher. Mr. Wirtis previously served in the same capacity for the Young Women's Christian Association of Southern Arizona. Responsible for forming a workforce development training program, it was geared for women in transition that were experiencing homelessness and domestic violence.
Mr. Wirtis was also a chef and instructor for both GAP Ministries and Le Cordon Bleu College and was the executive chef for the Food Bank of Southern Arizona/Caridad Community Kitchen. Through the food bank, he successfully implemented a 10-week workforce development program to assist those having difficulty finding jobs due to previous incarceration, rehabilitation, homelessness or domestic violence. Additionally, Mr. Wirtis gained tremendous expertise as the executive chef at McCormick & Schmick's.
Hailing from a large Jewish family, Mr. Wirtis was initially exposed to food preparation by his father, who owned several restaurants. Although he initially chose to attend a traditional college after high school, he eventually decided to change career paths by following in his father's footsteps. In 1987, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America with an Associate in Occupational Studies as the third in his class. Mr. Wirtis also became a certified executive chef through the American Culinary Federation and a certified dietary manager through the Association of Nutrition and Food Service Professionals.
To support his professional career, Mr. Wirtis is the vice president of the American Culinary Federation. He is also active as a member of the Association of Nutrition and Food Service Professionals. In accounting for his success in the field, he credits the influence of his mentors, as well as his passion for food. Notably, Mr. Wirtis set the Guinness World Record for the world's largest matzah ball in 2010, which weighed in at 488 pounds and measured 36 inches across. He also won the 2021 Foodservice Education Innovator of the Year Award from the Nutrition and Foodservice Education Foundation. The award honors individuals and facilities for unique training or education initiatives.
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Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America®, Marquis Who's Who® has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America® remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis® now publishes many Who's Who titles, including Who's Who in America®, Who's Who in the World®, Who's Who in American Law®, Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare®, Who's Who in Science and Engineering®, and Who's Who in Asia®. Marquis® publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who® website at www.marquiswhoswho.com.
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