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Niemann, Triska and Miller Inducted into STLCC Hospitality Studies Wall of Fame

May 20, 2015

Wall of Fame inductees  
Wall of Fame inductees are, from left, Dan Triska, Reed Miller and Sam Niemann.

Three chefs who have blazed a culinary trail across some of St. Louis’ best-known kitchens were inducted into the St. Louis Community College Hospitality Studies Wall of Fame.

Sam Niemann, Dan Triska and Reed Miller were inducted during a special ceremony May 14 on the Forest Park campus.

The Wall of Fame recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the local culinary industry. It is located inside the Jack E. Miller Hospitality Studies Center at STLCC-Forest Park. Niemann and Triska were inducted as alumni, and Miller was inducted as a Patron of Education.

Niemann recognized his passion for the culinary world at an early age. He studied culinary arts at STLCC-Forest Park, where he graduated in 1988 from the Chefs/Cooks Apprenticeship program. Niemann then attended the Culinary Institute of America for additional training, where he learned his unique style.

Over the years, Niemann has worked under influential chefs of the St. Louis culinary profession. Niemann spent seven years at St. Louis Country Club and four years as chef tourant at the Bogey Club. Niemann accepted the position of corporate executive chef with Anheuser-Busch in 1993. Working with the finest beers and the best local products available is the essence of Niemann’s cuisine, allowing the natural flavors of the food, enhanced by quality beers to express themselves. Niemann’s recipe development is a large part of his current responsibility. He is proud to say that several of his recipes have been published.

Triska started in the food service industry 1973 via the Explorer Scouts, sponsored by the Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis and Laclede Gas. He graduated from the STLCC-Forest Park Chefs/Cooks Apprenticeship program in 1980, and continued on to earn his associate in applied science degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management in 1981.

In a career that has spanned more than 42 years, Triska worked his way up from pot washer to owner, filling every role in between on the journey. Before opening Triska's “A Taste of Class” Catering in 1989, he served stints at Slimmery, Grape Expectations, Chase Park Plaza, as executive sous chef at the St. Louis Club and chef tourant at the Saint Louis Country Club. He also returned to STLCC-Forest Park as an instructor, teaching Chef Practicum 1 and 2, lecture and lab, and Baking and Meal Planning.

“Thank the people who have helped you,” Triska said. “Look them in the eye and be genuine.”

Miller’s culinary career began at Boucair’s in St. Louis after a time as a Social Security disability counselor. Discovering that food preparation was more exciting than office work, Miller advanced to become chef at the Crest House and was accepted into the Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis.

He furthered his career with stints at Old Warson Country Club, the Lemp Mansion Restaurant and Marriott Hotels, and was asked to teach classes as an adjunct instructor at STLCC-Forest Park. He began teaching full time in 1980 and advanced to associate professor while taking students to numerous local, regional and national culinary competitions.

Miller’s culinary career was punctuated by his election as Chef of the Year by the Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis in 1982. He served several years on the board of directors, and was elected president in 1985. Miller was an active participant in bringing the Jack E. Miller Hospitality Center at STLCC-Forest Park to fruition before his retirement in 2002.

For more information about the Hospitality and Culinary Arts programs at STLCC, visit www.stlcc.edu/programs.