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CORE PROFESSIONALS

OUR TEAM:

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Provided professional services for the following non-profit organizations:

 

PIONEER Center for Human Services, McHenry, Illinois

Commercial kitchen for a homeless facility, serving over 150 meals a day

 

LAHIA Culinary Pathway, Stuart, Florida

Commercial kitchen to feed the homeless, serving over 250 meals a day.

  • Culinary Job Training Program

 

Roberti Culinary Pathway, Waukegan, Illinois

Commercial kitchen provides meals for people in need, that live in the community, serving over 150 meals a day

  • Culinary Job Training Program

CHEF TOM GESCHEIDLE

Founder

As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Tom Gescheidle has spent over 30 years in the culinary world, working as Executive Chef at various restaurants, country clubs and operating his own restaurant for over a decade. He has provided hands-on training for thousands of kitchen staff, restructured kitchen layouts to maximize productivity and safety, and developed menus and programs that highlight the very best of quality and nutritional value.

With his vast culinary experience, Chef Tom has made it his mission to share his culinary skills and knowledge by creating training and educational programs. Chef Tom founded Culinary Pathways to provide others with the opportunity to support themselves, their families, and their communities through a culinary education.

Tom’s leadership guides our team with all the significant aspects required for a successful foodservice program:

  • Creates curriculums for various culinary programs

  • He’s a highly qualified professional culinarian

  • Kitchen set-up, training, and operations

  • Develops hands-on training for kitchen staff

  • Menu design and recipe creation, based on food donations

  • Food safety and sanitation certifications

  • Community involvement (volunteer base, food donation programs, etc.)

  • Kitchen layout, design, build-out assistance & equipment procurement

 

Culinary Pathways wants to see each new kitchen venture succeed, which is why he is committed to providing support at every step of the process to ensure a well-planned and functioning foodservice kitchen facility.

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Provided professional service for the following non-profit organizations:

 

PIONEER Center for Human Services, McHenry, Illinois

Commercial kitchen for a homeless facility, serving over 150 meals a day

 

Meals on Wheels, Evanston, Illinois

Commercial kitchen delivering over 100 meals a day to those in need

 

LAHIA Culinary Pathway, Stuart, Florida

Commercial kitchen to feed the homeless, serving over 250 meals a day

 

Roberti Culinary Pathway, Waukegan, Illinois

Commercial kitchen provides meals for people in need, that live in the community, serving over 150 meals a day

BOB SURMAN

Program Executive​

Bob Surman is the Program Executive for the Culinary Pathways programs. His business background provides him with the skills required to adapt the programs to the client's needs. He is a licensed architect and a real estate broker. Bob's projects start with finding and evaluating new locations, lease negotiations, design & planning, architecture, engineering, project and construction management. He was a very active volunteer at the Chicago Food Depository for many years, assisting with their storage warehouse expansion. He is very active in his community as a Plan Commissioner and a Zoning Board Member.

 

Bob's Chef Tom and Bob have collaborated on culinary projects for over 20 years of experience. His vast knowledge of the building industry provides a base for developing commercial kitchens and communal eating areas adjacent to the kitchen to share a meal. Bob and Tom work side by side in the development and layout of all their projects.

 

As the past Vice President of Real Estate and Development for Homemade Pizza Co., Bob was responsible for expanding from their first location in Chicago to over 40 locations in Illinois, Minnesota, Washington DC, Virginia, New York & New Jersey. In addition, several projects were in various phases of development in multiply states concurrently. He also developed three commercial kitchens in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Virginia to act as commissaries to distribute cooked products to the stores.

 

  • Reviewed locations that met the predetermined property requirements

  • Evaluated properties for existing utilities, building structure, space requirements & ceiling height

  • Developed the Letter of Intent, Construction Work Letter, Lease Agreements

  • Worked with the city regarding zoning, special use permits, building codes, and permits

  • Created and oversaw the development of architectural and engineering contract documents

  • Worked with the city or county health departments for permits and final approvals

  • Acted as or hired the general contractor, reviewed bids, negotiated contracts, and collected lien waivers

  • Procured all kitchen equipment and provided construction management for all projects

  • Coordinated with the opening and marketing teams

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Provided professional services for the following non-profit organizations:

 

PIONEER Center for Human Services, McHenry, Illinois

Commercial kitchen for a homeless facility, serving over 150 meals a day

 

LAHIA Culinary Pathway, Stuart, Florida

Commercial kitchen to feed the homeless, serving over 250 meals a day

  • Culinary Job Training Program

 

Roberti Culinary Pathway, Waukegan, Illinois

Commercial kitchen provides meals for people in need, that live in the community, serving over 150 meals a day

  • Culinary Job Training Program

CHEF CLAY ERICKSON

Chef Instructor

Chef Clay is a graduate of the College of Lake County with Certificates in Culinary Arts, Professional Cook, and Food Service Management.  He was awarded their highest honor for academic excellence.  Chef Clay has served as a committee member on the Culinary Arts Program for the College of Lake County Board of Directors. His culinary background includes working in corporate kitchens, assisted living facilities, healthcare institutions, military galleys, restaurants, and culinary training programs. 

Clay was the opening Culinary Program Instructor for three years at the Roberti Culinary Pathway program. Chef Clay and Chef Tom work closely together to develop the culinary curriculum, training, and meal programs. The goal was to provide training to individuals that live nearby and are struggling with dire economic situations. Additionally, Clay works on all of the programs that are developed.

Chef Clay had the privilege to work side-by-side with a few outstanding chefs and mentoring alongside two great chefs, Executive Chef Warren Jones and the late Executive Chef Dave Teichman, learning the art of Cajun Cuisine. 

  • In 2005, he won the Hobart sponsored National Chili Competition held at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America campus in the beautiful, breath-taking region of Napa Valley, California, with his award-winning “Clay’s Colossal Chili” recipe.

 

  • In the fall of 2008, with the help of friends and family members, Chef Clay wrote and self-published a soup cookbook called “25 Soups & One Chili”.  The inspiration behind creating this cookbook was to help raise money for the Youth Ministry at his church, in which he was instrumental providing the means to do so.

 

  • He has also collaborated with the famous Original Crabby Bill’s Seafood restaurants in Florida with having his signature dish and the very popular “Crabby Bill’s Seafood Gumbo.”

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JOHN GESCHEIDLE

Food Safety Instructor

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Provided professional services for the following non-profit organizations:

 

LAHIA Culinary Pathway, Stuart, Florida

Commercial kitchen to feed the homeless, serving over 250 meals a day.

 

Roberti Culinary Pathway, Waukegan, Illinois

Commercial kitchen provides meals for people in need, that live in the community, serving over 150 meals a day

 

Meals on Wheels, Evanston, Illinois

Commercial kitchen delivering over 100 meals a day to those in need

 

PIONEER Center for Human Services, McHenry, Illinois

Commercial kitchen for a homeless facility, serving over 150 meals a day

John Gescheidle has dedicated his 30-year career to the hospitality industry, specifically in education and training. John began his successful career with The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, directly involved with the development and marketing of their food safety and alcohol awareness programs., John has taught in hospitality programs and continuing education programs at the post-secondary level. John’s expertise lies in the development and implementation of all the training programs that Foodservice Safe offers. John is currently an approved sanitation instructor and proctor for the National Restaurant Association and the National Registry for Food Safety Professionals. These credentials allow John to teach and administer all his risk management programs on a national basis.  John’s commitment to training and education stems from his membership in the Illinois Foodservice Executives Association, the Illinois Environmental Health Association, and The Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association.  John has his Bachelors of Science from Kendall College in Chicago, IL, and his Masters in Non-Profit Management from Regis University in Denver, Colorado.

Chef Tom
Bob Bio
Chef Clay
John Bio
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