Dan Gendler

Assistant Professor
Daniel Gendler photo
(616) 234-3708
117 Applied Technology Center (ATC)


MS - Ferris State University

BS - Grand Valley State University

AAAS - Grand Rapids Community College


What are the strengths of SICE?

The large kitchen facility laboratory classes with new modern industrial industry equipment and the 25 hours per week of real-life operational and laboratory hands-on experience embedded in the program for our students.

We have been told time and time again from employers from around the world, that these types of experiences in the classroom will prepare you better than the most renowned culinary colleges in the United States… at a fraction of the cost!

As a SICE graduate, it is this type of college experience that led me to open and operate San Chez Bistro for over two decades. San Chez Bistro consistently earned top accolades and best restaurant awards in Western Michigan. We even garnered two national awards in the best of category for Spanish cuisine.

What do you like best about being a SICE professor?

I think a tremendous strength of SICE is our small class size and the personal attention we can give you. I also enjoy delivering hands-on experiences to a diverse body of students and watching you excel and grow while you perform in class.

Especially rewarding are the occasions to visit SICE graduates' establishments as they begin, advance, and shine in the industry. SICE graduates hone the craft not only here in Michigan; a recent trip this spring brought me to a resort in Lake Tahoe, California. There I was able to visit with a student who moved up the ranks, working on a new concept for a company in San Diego.

What do you know now, that you wished you would have known when you first started out?

Use your professor’s connections to travel the USA and Internationally to grow individual skills, experience other cultures, and become a more well-rounded culinarian at a faster pace.

While I went to Germany to compete at the 1988 Culinary Olympics with GRCC, I wish I would have spent even more time with those professors to leverage more experiences during that period in my life.

What is your current obsession?

I am adamant about balancing life, work, family, and personal health.  This industry can be very demanding and taking care of yourself, and your family must take priority. It is a skill that you must learn. While I really like living to eat… it must be tempered with eating to live.

Who is your hero? Why?

My wife; who has been at my side for so many working hours, college degrees, and over 20 years of restaurant ownership.  Moreover, through it all, my wife has been supportive, taken care of the home front, and raised two fantastic children.  If you are in this industry, I think it is paramount for you to find a partner that understands your passion.

Courses taught:

CA 115 Table Service (I have taught much, much more, but CA 115 will be my primary focus for the time being)