Ronald DeSantis, CMC
Chief Culinary Officer
As Chief Culinary Officer, Ron DeSantis is Hungry Planet’s culinary voice, advocating and leading customer-centric food innovation and execution. Ron provides leadership and support for Hungry Planet in recipe and menu development, new product R&D, and leads a culinary team to create a competitive advantage.
Early Career and The Culinary Institute of America
Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis is at heart a passionate culinarian. Ron began his career as a cook in the US Marine Corps. After his enlistment was over, he studied culinary arts and received his associate degree at the CIA. Ron then traveled to Europe for 5 years to work as a chef. Upon returning to the US, he began his 25-year career at the CIA, Ron taught several courses including a 4-year stint running a full-service teaching restaurant, the CIA’s flagship 4-star Escoffier Restaurant. While at the CIA, Ron was promoted to associate dean for curriculum and developed curriculum for degree programs and for professional education. Following Ron’s work as associate dean he accepted a position as Director of Education Services. Ron’s responsibilities were the planning and design of teaching kitchens and bakeshops. In 2005 Ron helped launch CIA Consulting, eventually rising to lead this consulting organization.
Ron’s primary responsibility was overseeing the production of over 14,000 meals each day at Yale. This leadership role included culinary concept design, development of innovative menus and cuisine and training of the culinary team. In addition to undergraduate dining, Ron also oversees food production for several university restaurants, cafes, C-stores, and Yale Catering. As the first Certified Master Chef to enter college & university dining, Ron has changed the format for delivering students meals. His approach has been to think and act like a great independent restaurant in a multi-operational institutional environment.
A 1981 CIA alumnus, Ron has received many citations during his professional career, including the highly regarded certification as a master chef (C.M.C.) by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Today there are only 72 active CMCs in the United States. In 2010 Ron co- authored “Modern Batch Cookery” with Certified Master Chef Victor Gielisse, DBA. Ron also holds a master’s in business administration (MBA) from Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, NY.