Contact Culinary Arts
The Culinary Arts program is located in the School of Culinary Arts building. Contact
us by calling 918-293-5030 or emailing email@example.com.
OSUIT Culinary Arts
1801 E. 4th Street
Okmulgee, OK 74447
Our faculty are experienced chefs from some of the finest restaurants, food service
management organizations and culinary institutions in the world. They have been featured
in prominent industry publications, including Food & Wine Magazine and on national
television programs such as Travel Channels "Food Paradise". Their impressive credentials
are only second to their passion and dedication to training students to be world class
chefs and food service managers.
Gene Leiterman, CEPC
Gene Leiterman, CEPC serves as Dean of the School of Culinary Arts and Interim Dean
of Information Technologies at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology.
His area of interest is in Culinary Arts, more specifically in Baking & Pastry and
Artisan Chocolates. He has been a business owner and a working chef and chef instructor
before beginning a career in higher education administration.
CocoFlow Chocolate Fountains, a small catering business featuring chocolate fountain
rentals was the start of the business that he saw grow over the course of ten years.
This small catering business allowed Leiterman to explore the artisan craftsmanship
of chocolate and in 2005 CocoFlow expanded and opened a boutique chocolate shoppe
and café with lunch and coffee service in a trendy neighborhood area of Oklahoma City.
Using traditional European style and technique as inspiration, Chef Leiterman created
CocoFlow’s signature line of chocolates, featuring hand-rolled truffles, bon-bon‘s
and pralines. CocoFlow Chocolatier became Oklahoma’s Premier Chocolate Artisan offering
premium chocolates, decadent desserts, custom chocolate sculptures and chocolate classes
in their studio.
Leiterman is a completely self-taught artisan chocolatier. Before CocoFlow’s doors
were opened, Leiterman relied on intensive research and many hours of practice to
perfect his chocolate techniques. At an early age he was passionate about food, and
a casual culinary artist but he never indulged the dream of formal training. Instead,
Leiterman opted for a degree in Zoology at the University of Oklahoma and continued
an analytical approach pursuing his Master’s degree in statistics. After a career
in the medical marketing industry and several years traveling around the country,
Leiterman translated his experiences to his true passion - pastry & culinary arts.
In 2009, Chef Leiterman’s passion for teaching found a place in the culinary world
when he accepted a part-time position with Platt College in Moore, Oklahoma teaching
pastry arts. His classes were well received, as was his development of new curriculum
for the program. In addition to owning and serving as chocolatier for CocoFlow, Gene
served as the eventual Director of the Pastry Arts Program for Platt Colleges which
enrolled over 50 day and night program students. Chef Gene also regularly competes
in pastry and chocolate competitions nationwide and serves as a regular judge and
mentor to students throughout the state. He has been asked to create custom chocolates
and centerpieces for both celebrities and professional sporting organizations. Chef
Leiterman was also called upon by the US Navy in 2012 as part of the “Adopt a Ship”
Program to lend his expertise to train Navy CS (Culinary Specialists) in a two week
culinary camp onsite at Naval Base Kitsap. In 2015 Chef Leiterman obtained his CEPC
credential from the ACF and has competed and medaled in a number of ACF events since
2013. In 2017, he became an ACF approved certification evaluator.
Most recently, Chef Leiterman led the Platt College Moore Campus as the Director of
Education over a faculty of 16 and five program tracks. His academic leadership led
to improved attrition and retention for the school as a whole. He is now beginning
to pursue his Master of Science in Higher Education Administration.
Chef Leiterman finally took his culinary and administrative talents to OSUIT, where
he now serves as the Dean of the School of Culinary Arts and Interim Dean of Information
Celia Melson, MS, BS
Celia Melson has been a faculty member at OSUIT since 2011. Celia was raised in the
Dallas, Texas, area. In college, she spent time studying abroad at Apicius: The Culinary
Institute of Florence, Italy, taking courses in Italian culinary arts and wine. She
graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Science in Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional
Management from Texas Tech University. In 2009, Celia completed her Master of Science
in Hospitality and Retail Management with a research focus of Wine Marketing from
Texas Tech University. She has since been published both nationally and internationally
in the subject area of Wine Marketing to Millennials. Celia has experience in both
the restaurant and wine industry. Upon completing her master’s degree, she served
as the Hospitality Manager at McPherson Cellars in Lubbock, Texas, where she managed
the event center, wine club, tasting room and assisted with local marketing. She
specializes in teaching the front-of-the house operations and management courses at
OSUIT. In 2013, she completed the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) Program.
National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Award 2015
Henley, C. D., Fowler, D. C., Yuan, J., Stout, B. L. & Goh, B. K. (2011, March). Label
Design: Impact on Millennial’s perceptions of wine. International Journal of Wine
Business Research. Fowler, D. C., Henley, C. D., Yuan, J., Stout, B. L. & Goh, B.
K (In press) Marketing Wine to Millennials. Proceedings of the 2010 International
Council of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education. Edible Tulsa Wine Review
Ronald L’Heureux, AOS
Chef Ron L’heureux has been a faculty member at OSUIT since 1995. He was born and
raised in Connecticut and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1984
training at the famous Tavern on the Green in New York City while a student. Upon
graduation he joined ClubCorp in Dallas, Texas. He later worked as an Executive Chef
at various country clubs throughout Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Ron landed at OSU
Institute of Technology in 1995 and has taught baking and pastry, meat fabrication
and many other classes. He left the college in 2005 to work in sales and marketing
for a wholesale food distributor. Ron later returned to our Culinary Arts program,
bringing new insight and ideas. The basic fundamentals and techniques of good cooking
are an important part of his teaching philosophy.
David Perryman, AOS
Chef Grady Perryman is a 1995 graduate of Scottsdale Culinary Institute. He then went
to L’Auberge de Sedona in Sedona, Arizona, with Chef John Harrings. Chef Perryman
is a accomplished pastry chef and ice carver. His work has been featured in Arizona
Highways and Food and Wine Magazine. Chef Perryman joined the OSUIT School of Culinary
Arts in 2005. Before OSU Chef Perryman owned and operated Muskogee Bread Works in
Muskogee, Oklahoma. Prior to that he held positions at Big Cedar Lodge in Branson,
Missouri, Little Italy Restaurant in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Miss Addies in Muskogee,
Oklahoma, and Adams Mark Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He also serves on the advisory
board for Hale High School Culinary Program.
Brenda Nimmo, AAS
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Brenda developed a desire to become a chef and graduated
from OSU Institute of Technology’s culinary program in 1995. Her career has taken
her throughout the country and allowed her to learn and cook with countless people
passionate about food, including Chef Kurt Fleischfresser and mentor Chef Kathryn
Mathis. Brenda has worked at some of the most prominent restaurants in Oklahoma including
Montrachet, Portobello, Bistro at Brookside, Wild Fork, T2 and Whole Food Market.
She has also taught cooking classes at Bodean’s Seafood Market and served as a seasonal
chef at the ABARA Ranch in Wyoming. “I always want to be growing as a chef and now
I have the opportunity to share my knowledge with our students as they learn their
craft,” said Brenda.
Aaron Ware, AAS
Chef Aaron Ware was born in Frankfurt, Germany, where his child rearing and culinary
experience unfolded. His family lived in and around Europe and traveled throughout
the countries. He came to the US, where he graduated from OSUIT in 2000. Upon graduation,
he moved to Lawton, Oklahoma, where he worked as Executive Sous Chef of Rinie’s Kitchen
and Wine Bar. There he learned the unique style of cooking from other countries, such
as Indonesian countries and surrounding Asian countries. He later became the proud
owner of Cactus Carting/Private Chef Service, where he cooked for Best Pizza and Deli.
This was a place where only the best products were used, and the old world style of
pizza making and good and unique dishes were served daily.
Becca Johnston, BS, AAS
Chef Becca Johnston has been a faculty member at OSUIT since 2017. Being from Northeastern
Oklahoma, She attended OSUIT and achieved as Associate’s in Culinary Arts in 2004.
She then went on to OSU Stillwater for a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel and Restaurant
Administration in 2006. While attending OSU, she had the opportunity to study abroad
at the Hotel Institute Montreux in Switzerland, which gave her great exposure to a
variety of European cuisine. After Becca graduated she started her career Chicago
in management for J Alexanders Steak House. She then moved to become a General Manager
for Another Broken Egg Café in Florida. After that, she worked at The Majestic Café
and Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center in the Washington D.C. area. While working
for Gaylord, she received the 2012 Maryland Hotel and Lodging Association Emerging Leader of the Year. Becca then decided to go back to her roots and moved to Tulsa. There, she taught
Culinary Arts at Platt College. She then had the opportunity to teach at OSUIT, her
Alma Mater. She teaches Food Safety, Skills 1, Skills 2, and Breakfast Cookery.
She is also serves as Advisor for the Future Chefs Association student club. She
enjoys teaching students and preparing them for an exciting career in the Hospitality