Mike ObrochtaDiretcor of Culinary
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.
Peter ZoelingerPresidential Executive Chef
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.
Janice BenjaminExecutive Pastry Chef
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.
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.
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.