COOS BAY – Southwestern Oregon Community College has selected Chef Randy Torres as the interim executive director of the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute. A certified executive chef with 25 years of experience in the culinary industry, Torres will step into this key leadership position on Feb. 1.

“We are very pleased to have Chef Torres take on this new role. Randy is a true teacher. He always strives to inspire our students,” said Southwestern President Patty Scott. “Not only is Chef Torres a high achiever in the classroom, he is a past member of the U.S. Culinary Team and coached the 2012 U.S. Culinary Olympic Youth Team.”

Chef Torres started studying as an aspiring chef at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif. He went on to work many years in the culinary industry and wanted to teach. Twelve years ago, Chef Torres became a culinary instructor, spending seven of those years at OCCI. He also serves as a certified judge for the American Culinary Foundation and the World Association of Chefs’ Societies.

“I come to OCCI every day with a goal of fulfilling the needs of our students and encouraging their creative ideas,” said Chef Torres. “I’m excited about this opportunity and am committed to increasing our partnerships in the culinary industry. I want our students to be innovative and have opportunities to gain real world experience in a variety of culinary venues.”

Current OCCI Executive Director Shawn Hanlin announced this week he will leave his position at OCCI on Jan. 31, 2018, to enter into a private business venture, Sea Level Coffee Co. He held the executive director position at OCCI for the past 10 years.

Established in 1999, OCCI offers students an accelerated 12-month association degree program, focusing on classic culinary theory, technical skill refinement and academic courses. Following professional training in the Culinary Institute, students move into a 3-month externship with industry partners. OCCI students and chef instructors also participate in American Culinary Foundation Youth Team Competitions at the state, regional and national levels.

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