The Professional Culinary Institute announced Chef Gary Prell as its new president and CEO. The Professional Culinary Institute (PCI), located in Campbell, California, opened its doors in 2005 and established itself as a premier training facility in the Hospitality Industry, winning state, regional, national, and international culinary competitions and awards.
“I am so excited to join the team at PCI and to be a part of their future,” Prell says. “The staff and faculty’s passion to impart knowledge and make a difference in the lives of their students is unparalleled. They are truly successful.”
Prell, most recently of Centerplate and Ai (Art Institute), will bring a fresh vision and direction to extend the success PCI has already seen. During his eight years with Ai, Prell built the organization’s first freestanding culinary school in Denver. With his success in building the student body to over 500 in two years, Prell has shown the skill necessary to take PCI to the next level. He then accepted a new role as director of Culinary Arts for Ai’s parent company Education Management Corporation where he facilitated the replication of the successful educational model in 12 other major metropolitan markets, as well as creating and implementing scholarship and study-abroad programs.
While working with Centerplate, Prell was the executive chef for the Colorado Convention Center and Denver Performing Arts Complex. He progressed to general manager and was later named vice president where he oversaw operations for the Colorado, Washington D.C., and Orlando Convention Centers. During this time he led a team of over 1,000 foodservice professionals to execute the “Guinness World Book of Records” for the largest sit-down banquet in history, serving 17,400 people.
In his culinary career, Prell has had the opportunity to cook for celebrities, the Pope, the Queen of England, and multiple U.S. Presidents, including the six concurrent balls to inaugurate the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.
“Chef Gary Prell will be a wonderful and welcome addition to the school with his many years experience in the industry as an executive chef and educator,” says Chef George Hadres, director of education at PCI. “With him, the Professional Culinary Institute is looking forward to continuing to lead the way in the development of the next generation of chefs, wine sommeliers, and high-end hospitality professionals.”