Our Chef Instructors Come From a Wide Variety of Backgrounds and Experience
Our certified chefs and instructors have years of professional experience, accompanied by first-hand knowledge of what leading food service employers are looking for in graduates.
At OCCI you’ll master culinary skills with professional chefs to help you every step of the way.
Randy J. Torres, CEC AAC
American Culinary Federation Cutting Edge Award winner 2021
Our culinary school’s Executive Director Randy Torres is more than a nationally known executive chef and former ACF Chef Educator of the Year. He’s a coach. A mentor. He’s a man who knows there are no limits to hard work, creativity and excelling in the craft and culture of food.
Torres travels the U.S. and internationally talking with other pros in the industry. He competes internationally and brings back innovative ideas and trends to blend into classes. And, then he builds community in the OCCI kitchens, ensuring small classes and individual focus.
“If a student walks in right now and says ‘Hey Chef, I want to practice my cuts. If I have the product, I’m going to say yes. I want to invest care and time into our students. I know it’s going to pay off, no matter how you slice it.”
- Associate of Applied Science, Southwestern Oregon Community College, Coos Bay OR
- Advance Culinary Certificate, Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa CA
- Certified Executive Chef American Culinary Federation
- American Academy of Chefs American Culinary Federation
- Certified Competition Judge American Culinary Federation
- 2014 American Culinary Federation Educator of the Year – Western Region
- 2014 Assistant Team Manager US Culinary Team American Culinary Federation
- 2012 Youth Team Coach US Culinary Team American Culinary Federation
- 2009 Youth Team Coach US Culinary Team American Culinary Federation World Champions
- 2008 Team Member US Culinary Team American Culinary Federation
- Chaîne des Rôtisseurs- Conseiller Culinaire Provincial
- 2000-Present Chef Coach and Mentor to include 18 state titles, 6 national titles, 2 world titles
- 2012-2014 Le Cordon Bleu, Project Manager
- 2005-2012 Professional Culinary Institute, Director of Culinary Operations
- 1998-2005 Bear Creek Golf Club, Executive Chef
- 1996-1998 Victora Country Club, Sous Chef
- 1995-1996 Hilton Hotels, Line Cook
Specializes in culinary, with an emphasis on fine dining
Chef Williams found her love for cooking at a young age while creating unique dishes for her mother. As a young adult she followed her culinary passion to OCCI where she graduated with honors. While working at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort she joined the USA Culinary Youth Team. Williams competed alongside her team in the World Culinary Olympics in Germany and brought home gold and silver medals. Laura moved to Houston, Texas and began her tenure at The Houston Country Club, focusing on culinary competitions and certifications. Eventually, Williams came back to Oregon as an Executive Chef at Awbrey Glen Golf Club in Bend. The exciting opportunity to teach brought her back to Southwestern, this time as an instructor.
“What I’m hoping to teach my students above all else is that there is so much more to becoming a Chef than just learning how to cook. Each day they learn how to work as a team, but also how to become a strong leader. I hope that I’m able to inspire my students to strive to be the best they can be and never stop learning.”
- Oregon Coast Culinary Institute Coos Bay, OR Graduated 2010
Academic Presidents List 2009-2010
Academic Scholar Award 2009-2010
Valedictorian 4.0 GPA
- Certified Executive Chef, American Culinary Federation 2015
- Certified Sous Chef, American Culinary Federation 2012
- ServSafe Certified Manager, National Restaurant Association 2016
- ServSafe Certified Proctor, National Restaurant Association 2019
- Presidents Medallion, American Culinary Federation 2020
- Gold Medal, One Pot Category 2014
- Gold Medal, K Category, 2013
- Gold Medal, IKA World Culinary Olympics USA Youth Team, Germany 2012
- Silver Medal, IKA World Culinary Olympics USA Youth Team, Germany 2012
- Gold Medal, Best in Show, Las Vegas Culinary Challenge 2011
- Gold Medal, K Category, 2010
- Silver Medal, Student Culinary Team, West Coast 2009
- Awbrey Glen Golf Club
- The Houston Country Club
- Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
Chris Foltz, CII CPIS
Yes, 2021 and 2022 World Ice Art team champion!
Chef Foltz brings 25 years of real-world culinary technique and training into his classes at Southwestern. This Certified Master Ice Sculptor also leads the college’s competitive ice carving adventures.
Foltz’s path to culinary instructor started in an inner-city. He was a young kid headed the wrong way and needing a job. A family hired him to work in their restaurant. He started work in the kitchen and fell in love with it. He found a safe place, a close family, and good food. Foltz stayed in Baltimore for culinary school, then traveled the world cooking excellent food in amazing places: Vegas’ Mon Ami Gabi, the Nassau Yacht Club in the Bahamas. He even studied culinary in Ireland.
“What I really enjoyed in the industry was the intensity of it. Now, I enjoy being able to prepare young people for that reality and give them good tools to use. Hopefully they get past the hardships and into what people love about the career. There’s so much fun, family, art, and just work. It’s a great world. It absorbs you and becomes your life.”
- Associates of Applied Science in Professional Cooking, Baltimore International Culinary College
- Associates of Applied Science in Professional Baking & Pastries, Baltimore International Culinary College
- Certified Master Ice Sculptor
- Certified Ice Sculpture Instructor
- 2019 – 2020 Collegiate Ice Sculpture Nationals Captain, Gold Medal Recipient, Frankenmuth Michigan
- 2021 World Champion Ice Sculptor Professional Division, Fairbanks Alaska
- 2016 Ice Sculptor/Culinary Chef for Team USA Coup De Mondo de Gelatoria Rimini Italy, Gold Medal Recipient
- 2014 – 2018 Executive Chef, The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park
Baking and pastry arts specialist, with a focus on coastal food
Chef Gaudette grew up mainly in Coos Bay. She worked her way through culinary school at OCCI as a dual major and took off to explore the greater world. Eventually, she returned to Coos Bay to build her dream life. Now teaching in SWOCC’s nationally renowned culinary school, Gaudette also is developing 40 acres into a farm and event venue.
Cultivation is at the center of her work. Her goal is to get students into the garden. She manages OCCI’s gardens, with work study student help. She also takes her students out to visit farms. They learn to pick produce and harvest local foods throughout the year. In the kitchen, Gaudette teaches the art of food preservation, which helps a chef save money and supports local farms.
She loves watching her students’ progress. “They come in very quiet and unsure of themselves and grow to have confidence and comfort in the kitchen.”
- Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts, Southwestern Oregon Community College, Coos Bay, OR
- Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts, Southwestern Oregon Community College, Coos Bay, OR
- Permaculture Design Certificate, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR