Meet the Chefs

Jamie Kohler - Executive Pastry Chef Central Production Unit
Chef Jamie's love for creative cooking and baking began while working alongside her grandmother in a small country kitchen. During her teen years, Jamie developed her passion by taking home economics and cooking courses, as well as a few Wilton cake decorating classes. After graduating with a Culinary Arts Degree from the Western Culinary Institute in 2000, she worked at a large hotel as a pastry chef. After her entrepreneurial side led her to start a small home business making wedding cakes and catering in-home events, she went to work for the Seattle Seahawks during their summer camp in 2002. Shortly after, Jamie went back to school and earned a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management in 2004 from Lewis Clark State College in Lewiston, ID. Chef Jamie joined our culinary team in May 2007. She is very excited to see the direction the university has taken towards using fresh, local ingredients and supporting local businesses through sustainability practices. She looks forward to sharing her creative ideas and helping expand the diversity of our culinary adventures.
Jake Cho - Executive Chef Hillside Cafe
Chef Cho has a passion and proficiency for cooking that emerged while living in many different countries around the world. Born in Korea, Chef Cho developed a love of diverse types of cuisine at an early age, particularly food from Asia and the Middle East. His travels while living in Israel, France, and Canada gave him the opportunity to further expand his culinary horizons. He has a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University and years of experience in the restaurant industry including banquets, catering, and sushi among others. Chef Cho also has experiencing working in the private sector while working at a college account for Sodexo in Boston, MA. Prior to working at WSU, he owned an Asian restaurant in Providence, RI and operated as owner and chef. Chef Cho is looking forward to sharing his background and knowledge with the Cougs in every way possible.
Mel Dacanay - Executive Chef Southside Cafe
Chef Mel Dacanay has been a chef for more than 30 years. Some of his recent ventures include 2 years as Chef for Norwegian Cruise Line America on board the 5-Star cruise ship, Pride of America, based in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has been Executive Chef of the 4-Star McKinley Grand Hotel in Canton, OH; Executive Chef of the 4-Star Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas, TX; Executive Chef of two Radisson Hotels, one in Cincinnati, OH, the other in Stockton, CA. He also served as Food Production Manager and Executive Chef for 8 years at Aramark's Campus Dining and Healthcare Support Services and as the Food & Beverage Manager and Executive Chef at TRAC (Trade, Recreation and Agriculture Center) in Pasco, WA. He was even involved with the Four Season's Catering in California. Chef Mel has been featured in television cooking spots for several TV stations and his artistic talents include ice sculpting, fruit sculpting and vegetable flowers. Chef Mel is an active member in the American Culinary Federation and he enjoys the outdoors in his leisure time.
Jason Butcherite - Sous Chef Northside Cafe
Chef Jason Butcherite began his Culinary career like most chefs, as a dishwasher. His culinary roots began with line cooking; he developed a passion for food and knew this was his life calling. After high school he earned an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts from Clover Park Technical College. Chef Jason is also a Coug, having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the prestigious School of Hospitality Business Management at Washington State University. Chef Jason has experience in various food institutions from upscale casual to fine dining; having worked for multiple Washington-based corporate restaurants such as Ram Restaurant & Brewery and Restaurants Unlimited Inc. Prior to coming to WSU, Chef Jason was the Executive Chef at a local restaurant in Pullman, South Fork Public House. Chef Jason is married with a daughter, son and two dogs. He enjoys learning and cooking different cuisines and is looking forward to integrating restaurant quality food, along with locally sourced ingredient’s to WSU.
Michael Amore, CWS - Executive Chef University Catering
Chef Amore comes to WSU with 30 years of Food Service experience spanning all facets of the industry. He has owned 2 restaurants, manufactured and distributed his own marinara sauce, held a concessionaire contract to service large concert venues, even co-hosted a radio show. Some of his other accomplishments are working for award-winning and celebrated Chef Brian Polcyn, being Chef de Cuisine at the acclaimed OBA Restaurant with Chef Scott Neuman in Portland. He was also Chef of the historic Grant House Restaurant at Fort Vancouver, Manager of Culinary Arts at Northwest Culinary Institute in Vancouver, and Sous Chef at the venerable Couch Street Fish House. In addition, he was also a supervisor at the prestigious Kellogg Center in East Lansing, MI. Some volunteer events Chef Amore has been involved with are Final Critique Judge for Pro Start High School Culinary Competition for 3 years, Demonstration Chef for NPS National Park Family Day for 3 years, and the honor to do 2 benefits in the historic Fort Vancouver kitchen’s open hearth, being one of the only people to cook in the kitchen since the fort was decommissioned in 1911 Chef Amore graduated from Michigan State University with a BS in Food Systems Economics and Management. From there, he relocated to the Pacific Northwest and then graduated from Western Culinary Institute with Honors. His credentials include being a Certified Executive Chef, a Certified Wine Sommelier, ServSafe and a proud member of the American Culinary Federation. Chef Michael is excited to be a Cougar now and looks forward to sharing his culinary expertise and knowledge with his new family here in Pullman.