Contact Us

Contact OSU Institute of Technology School of Culinary Arts by calling (918) 293-5030 or emailing denise.wise@okstate.edu.

Mailing address:
OSUIT Culinary Arts
1801 E. 4th Street
Okmulgee, OK 74447


Faculty & Staff

Our faculty are experienced chefs from some of the finest restaurants and culinary institutions in the world and have been featured in prominent industry publications, including Food & Wine Magazine. Their impressive credentials are only second to their passion and dedication for teaching.

Gene Leiterman, CEPC

Photo of Gene LeitermanDean, School of Culinary Arts
(918) 293-5026
gene.leiterman@okstate.edu

In 2003 Chef Gene Leiterman and his wife opened CocoFlow Chocolate Fountains, a small catering business featuring chocolate fountain rentals. 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 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 Director of the Pastry Arts Program for Platt Colleges.

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 leadership led to improved attrition and retention for the school as a whole.

Chef Leiterman finally took his culinary and administrative talents to OSUIT, where he now serves as the Dean of the School of Culinary Arts.


Denise Wise

Role:
Senior Administrative Assistant

Division:
Culinary Arts

Biography:
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Denise has lived in Northeastern OK for more than 40 years. She worked for Centrilift-Hughes (now Baker Hughes) in Claremore for eight years in their Human Resources department with the manager of HR, then the manager of benefits, and eventually the vice-president of HR. Next, Denise worked for the City of Claremore for 12 years in the utility billing office. For the past eight years, she has been employed with Lloyd Richards Personnel Service as receptionist and eventually their payroll, safety, and workers compensation coordinator. “Helping the Culinary Arts students at OSUIT with scheduling and planning is actually one of the most rewarding positions I have ever held,” said Denise.


Celia Melson

Role:
Faculty

Division:
Culinary Arts

Biography:
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 degree in Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management from Texas Tech University. In 2009, Celia completed her Master of Science degree 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, 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 courses at OSUIT.  In 2013, she completed the Certified Hospitality Educator Program. 


Ronald L’Heureux

Role:
Faculty

Division:
Culinary Arts

Biography:
Chef Ron L’heureux was born and raised in Connecticut. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1984 and trained at Tavern on the Green in New York City while a student. Upon graduation he joined ClubCorp in Dallas, Texas. He later worked as 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.

 

John Surmont, CEC

Role:
Faculty, Adjunct

Division:
Culinary Arts

Biography:


David Perryman

Photo of David Perryman (918) 293-5006
dgperry@okstate.edu

Role:
Faculty

Division:
Culinary Arts

Biography:
Chef Grady Perryman is a 1995 graduate of Scottsdale Culinary Institute. He then went to L’Auberge de Sedona in Sedona AZ. 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 OSU Culinary program in 2005. Before OSU Chef Perryman owned and operated Muskogee Bread Works in Muskogee OK. Prior to that he held positions at Big Cedar Lodge, Branson MS, Little Italy Restaurant, Muskogee OK, Miss Addies, Muskogee OK, and Adams Mark Hotel, Tulsa OK. He also serves on the Advisory Board for Hale High School Culinary Program.


Brenda Nimmo

Photo of Brenda Nimmo (918) 293-5141
blnimmo@okstate.edu

Role:
Faculty

Division:
Culinary Arts

Biography:
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

Photo of Aaron Ware (918) 293-5008
wareab@okstate.edu

Role:
Faculty

Division:
Culinary Arts

Biography:
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 U.S., 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.


Kerri Shackleford

Photo of Kerri Shackleford (918) 293-5016
kashack@okstate.edu

Role:
Food Storeroom Supervisor

Division:
Culinary Arts


Ladonna Corn

Photo of Kyle Moore

Role:
Lead Steward

Division:
Culinary Arts

Mickie Johnson

 

Role:
Steward

Division:
Culinary Arts


Chandra Hollison

Photo of Kyle Moore

Role:
Steward

Division:
Culinary Arts