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Carolina Food Co.


Meet Our Culinary Team

We have a diverse team of culinary talent at the Carolina Food Co. Our chefs have extensive backgrounds in various types of cuisine. Each chef has a passion to make quality food that is healthy, fresh, and flavorful. 


 

Mike Obrochta

 Diretcor of Culinary

chef mike

 

Chef Mike is a 1992 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America with an AOS degree in Culinary Arts, achieving certified Pro Chef Levels I, II, and III. He is a certified Chef de Cuisine through the American Culinary Federation and a certified ServSafe food safety instructor through The National Restaurant Association. Chef Mike joined Aramark Higher Education in 1992, serving as Executive Chef at Elon University, then at UNC Wilmington. He went on to work in Aramark’s Healthcare and Business and Industry Divisions, returning to Higher Education in 2005. He has previously been responsible for Aramark programs in both North and South Carolina, as well as Virginia. Now Director of Culinary, Chef Mike’s focus is on providing culinary leadership to meet and exceed customer expectations.

Email: obrochta-michael@aramark.com

 

Peter Zoelinger

Presidential Executive Chef
peter
 

Chef Peter likes to boast that he “proudly hails from the Kingdom of Bavaria”, otherwise known as the southern part of Germany. He began his culinary career as an 8-year old helping out his brother and sister in their local Gasthauses. After obtaining his culinary degree, Chef Peter spent over four years in the German Army. He then set his sights on joining a cruise line and was offered his first contract on the Royal Viking Line. After eight years with the Royal Viking Line, he accepted a Sous Chef position in Grand Cayman at The Wharf and moving on to work for Crystal Cruises as Chef de Cuisine for the next ten years. In 2008, after the birth of his daughter, Chef Peter decided to work for the hotel industry landing his first job in the U.S. as the Senior Executive Sous Chef for Gaylord National. In July of 2016, Peter proudly accepted the Executive Chef III position at the University of South Carolina where he oversees all Presidential Catering Events.

Email: zoelinger-peter@aramark.com
Phone: 803-777-1174

 

Janice Benjamin

Executive Pastry Chef
janice

A native of White Plains, NY, Chef Janice attended Ohio State University for undergrad and then attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania Academy of Culinary Arts. Since graduation, she completed a Culinary and Pastry externship at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Following her externship, she moved to White Sulphuric Springs, West Virginia where she trained under Master Pastry Chef, Frederic Monti, at the Greenbrier Resort. Chef Janice’s culinary career has since taken her to Pennsylvania and Virginia. Now the Executive Pastry Chef for The University of South Carolina, she has worked for Aramark since November of 2012 and relocated here to be closer to family: consisting of her five children, two granddaughters and three cats.

 

E-mail: benjamin-janice@aramark.com

 
Jon Amador

Executive Chef

Honeycomb Cafe
jon

Chef Jon accredits the start to his culinary life to his first job washing dishes at the age of 15, in the Italian Restaurants at which his brothers were chefs. He worked his way up the chain at this restaurant, deciding this was his calling in life. He then moved on to work in country clubs, baseball stadiums, other restaurants; eventually landing a position as Sous Chef at Winthrop University where he spent 2 years before being promoted to Chef at Salem Academy & College. Now, Chef Jon is thrilled to be a part of the team at The University of South Carolina.

Email: amador-jon@aramark.com
Phone: 803-576-5715


 

Kyle Hinton

Executive Chef

Global Cafe

kyle
 

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Chef Kyle attended The Culinary Institute of Charleston. Following graduation, he went on to work in some of the finest restaurants in Charleston and has received recognition both locally and nationally for his creativity and attention to detail. With over 15 years of experience in various facets of culinary execution and management, he continues to push himself by searching for new ingredients and learning new ways to use them. Chef Kyle draws much of his culinary inspiration from the many flavors and ingredient native to the Southern United States.

Email: hinton-kyle@aramark.com
Phone: 803-777-0021


 

William Long

Executive Chef

Community Table

william
 

A graduate from Johnson & Wales University, Chef William received his Bachelors of Science in Culinary Arts. During his collegiate career, he won the Creative Clam Challenge recipe contest and also received the Dr. Anthony Kemalian Award presented to only one graduating student per campus for their service contribution to the university. Since graduation, he has held positions including Corporate Chef, Executive Chef, and Purchasing Manager for the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University. While a fan of all dining styles, Chef William describes his culinary style as “Southern Contemporary”: a combination of classic South Eastern, Low Country, and Gullah Cuisines.

Email: long-william@aramark.com
Phone: 803-777-1505

 

Dominic Towe

Executive Chef

Gibbes Court Bistro

dominic
 

A native of Hampton Roads, VA, Chef Dominic graduated from Johnson & Wales University after completing ten years of honorable service in the United States Marine Corps. Overall, he has spent twenty-two years (and counting) in the food service industry. Through all of his experiences in both the United States and abroad, Chef Dominic has had the opportunity to experience food service and cuisines in over ten countries. His specialty is upscale southern cuisine resulting from learning to cook at an early age from his mother and grandmother in his hometown of Portsmouth, Virginia.

Email: towe-dominic@aramark.com
Phone: 803-777-7625

 

Michael Wilson

Executive Chef

The Dodie Cafe

mikewil

Chef Michael was first influenced in the culinary arts by his father and uncle. With his first job, he began cooking at the age of 14 for The Salvation Army to feed refugees in the 1980’s and homeless people in Pennsylvania. Moving on to work in restaurants throughout the Greater Northeast, he quickly moved into lead positions gaining a great amount of experience over an 8-year period. At that point Chef Michael decided to attend Johnson & Wales where he received a more formal training, obtaining a degree in the Culinary Arts. Following school, he opened and ran several restaurants. In 2014, Chef Michael joined The University of South Carolina within the Athletics department, rebuilding the Training Tables program and has since continued with much success.

Email: wilson-michael2@aramark.com
Phone: 803-777-0840


Nunamaker Elkins

Executive Chef
Russell House - Grand Market Place

 Nunamaker

Chef Nunamaker has 32 years in the Food Industry under his belt. He is a Culinary Graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Class of 94. He has an extensive background in Private dining membership and resorts. Chef Nunamaker was previously an Executive Chef in Health Care Services and a Servsafe Trainer and Proctor. He is currently an Executive Chef in Grand Market Place at the University of South Carolina.

Email: elkins-nunamaker@aramark.com
Phone: 803-777-5892


Boeing Koo

Executive Chef

Bates Diner

 Koo

A Chinese/Cherokee American, Chef Koo was born in Greenwood, South Carolina and raised in the Low Country. He attended The University of South Carolina, graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality. Following graduation, Chef Koo became a Sous Chef at the Summit Club for five years then moved on to work begin his career with Aramark in 2009 at Western Carolina University. Over the years, Chef Koo has worked as Lead Chef at the Masters Golf Tournament from 2007-2011, including the Champions Sunday dinner. He has also been the Lead Chef for NBC at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games. He has since worked for Compass Group (2014-2017), recently returning to work for Aramark at The University of South Carolina. Chef Koo describes his style of cooking to be a flared fusion of international cuisine adapted to fit the pallet of his customers.

Email: boeing-koo@aramark.com

Phone: 803-777-5592

 

Nathaniel Darlington

Executive Chef
Russell House - Grand Market Place

Chef Nate

Chef Nate attended Kirkwood Community College and received two degrees one in Culinary Arts and one in Resturant Management. He had the opportunity to do an externship at The Herb Farm Restaurant in Seattle, WA that enhanced his love for cooking. Chef Nate loves to cook for others, but overall he loves to cook with his son Rieley. He is currently an Executive Chef in Grand Market Place in the Russell House at the University of South Carolina.

Email: darlington-nathaniel@aramark.com

Phone: 803-777-5892