New Chef On Campus

New Chef On Campus
New head chef Matthew Wormer is bringing new life to the dining exerience at the cafeteria in Price Commons.

Matt Wormer loves the fast pace of working in a kitchen.

Hired in May, Wormer is the University of Wisconsin-Stout University Dining Merle M. Price Commons executive chef.

“You have to be ready for 100 or 200 people to walk up the stairs of the Commons. They are hungry and they want to eat,” Wormer said. “It’s all hands on deck.

“It’s exciting for a chef to see people being happy and being fulfilled,” he added.

Wormer, of Ridgeland, grew up in the Prairie Farm area on a family-owned 60-head dairy farm where he learned where food originates. His first job off the dairy farm while in high school was at Turtleback Golf Course restaurant in Rice Lake, learning basic knife work and cooking skills. He eventually became a line cook.

After graduating from Prairie Farm High School in 2005, Wormer went to Shoreline Community College in Washington largely to work with the archery coach.

“I had hopes of making an Olympic team someday,” he noted. Wormer has garnered third at the Wisconsin state archery indoor shoot and still shoots at state and national level competitions.

“It helped me deal with stressful environments,” Wormer said. “Shooting archery is like meditation. You need to open your mind to shoot. You have to focus on every shot and put it in the middle of the target.”

Eventually, he opted to switch schools and went to the world’s premier culinary college, Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.. There Wormer learned and refined his culinary skills and craft. While in college he had an internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando working at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in the Kona Café. He  made 450 to 500 meals for dinner with a team of six cooks.

After graduating with his associate degree, he worked at Mohonk Mountain House, an iconic resort in the Hudson Valley in New Paltz, N.Y., and Mashomack Fish and Game Preserve Club, a private sporting preserve and social club, for about a year before he returned to the area to work as Turtleback executive chef for about nine years.

Then Wormer decided he wanted a change and saw the UW-Stout executive chef position.

“I know those jobs don’t open up that often,” Wormer said, noting he loves working with other food service professionals at the university.


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