Originally from California, Chris Speere received his formal education at Humboldt State University before transitioning to the City College of San Francisco to complete a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Chris arrived on Maui in 1986, as an opening chef for the Maui Prince Hotel and in 1989 became a full-time Chef Instructor at Maui Community College. Chris assumed the position of Program Coordinator of the Maui Culinary Academy in 2007. During Chris's tenure at Maui Community College he has initiated many innovative and creative teaching experiences for his students. Most recently he established the Maui Culinary Academy Research and Development Center (MCARD), which provides education, and on the job training resources in Food Product Research, Development and Manufacturing to help students, entrepreneurs and local agribusiness achieve greater employment opportunities, business growth and financial success.
Under Chris’s direction the Maui Culinary Academy was recognized nationally for exemplary efforts in ecology and environmental awareness in its food service operations. Through his efforts the Academy has created an innovative environmental approach to its instructional and operational responsibilities that have improved the environmental standards and conditions of the college campus and serves as a model of sustainability to the community as a whole.
His primary interest lies in improving how people eat, how they approach time at the “table” and how they can better nourish body, mind and soul through local, fresh, wholesome, and well prepared meals. He would like to play a part in changing food consumption habits in our community, which suffers from alarming rates of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. He is especially interested in advances to the Hawaii School Lunch Program and the development of educational resources and programming that could help shape a healthier Hawaii. He is also a staunch proponent for the “Slow Food” movement that embraces and celebrates the cultural significance of traditional foods in our multi-ethnic communities.