Chef Colleen Garcia

Director of Curriculum and Content Development

chef instructor colleen garcia
Location: Online programs
Favorite Dish: Risotto

"I love getting students as excited about this industry as I am, while hopefully helping them find purpose and passion."

Chef Colleen Garcia


Award-winning Certified Executive Chef® Colleen got her expertise in Italian cuisine right from the source. After attending the International Culinary Center in New York City and ALMA (The International School of Italian Cuisine) in Parma, Italy, she spent a year living and working as a stagiaire in Michelin-starred restaurants in central Italy. On her travels through Europe, she experienced many styles of local cuisine, from niche regional specialties to 2- and 3-starred Michelin restaurants.

Since her school days, Chef Colleen has gone on to work in a number of fine dining establishments in the U.S. Among them, she served as Banquet Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Denver and Lead Chef de Partie at Manzanita in The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe.

Chef Colleen is working towards her Certified Culinary Educator designation. She also won the Best Creative Display award at the 2016 Taste of Wine and Art Festival in Aiken, South Carolina, and she was named Five Star Employee of the Year in 2014 by The Ritz-Carlton Denver.

Chef Colleen loves learning from her students and working in an ever-changing industry. “[Culinary] is never boring!” she says. “And being an instructor means gaining the perspectives of countless up-and-coming culinarians.”

Honors, Awards & Affiliations

  • Five Star Employee of the Year, 2014 Ritz Carlton Denver
  • Award Winner Best Creative Display 2016 Taste of Wine and Art Festival
  • ServSafe® Manager
  • ACF Certified Executive Chef®

Professional EXPERIENCE

  • Chef Instructor - Helms College, Augusta, GA
  • Executive Sous Chef - Green Boundary Club, Aiken, SC
  • Banquet Chef - The Ritz Carlton, Denver, CO
  • Lead Chef de Partie - Manzanita, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, CA
  • Sauté - Roxy Bistro, Reno, NV


  • Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Nevada, Reno, NV
  • Grande Diploma in Italian Cuisine, International Culinary Center, New York, NY
  • Grande Diploma Culinaria, ALMA Scuola di Cucina Italiana, Parma, Italy

Special Interests

I love to read and play soccer.

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