Welcome to my page! My name is Kevin Roecker and I am one of two Culinary Arts Instructors at Woodruff Career and Technical Center in Peoria, Illinois. Most people, including my students call me Chef Kevin or Chef K.
A little about me. I grew up in East Peoria and have been in the Food Service and Hospitality Industry since the late 1970s. I have been involved in almost every aspect of the restaurant business from washing dishes to waiting tables to setting up banquets, hosting, food prep, bartending, wine service, supermarket deli services, nutritional services and of course, COOKING!! While I was doing this, I was also attending Illinois Central College and received my Associates Degree in Business Administration. After a few years of managing a large nursing home kitchen, I decided to bring all of my hands on culinary work, knowledge and experiences together by attending the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. I graduated with honors in 1994. I then spent some time on the East Coast and upstate New York before returning to Peoria, IL. Since then, I have worked at local restaurants, a private club, hospitals, an upscale nursing home, my own restaurant and a winery. I took a brief hiatus from working and managing these types of operations and worked in food service sales. I was contacted about teaching culinary arts at Woodruff by a former co-worker who knew that Woodruff was looking to expand its culinary program. While I have little classroom experience, I have worked with high school aged students who have gone on to work for Charlie Trotter and then her own private chef service, a young man who was the Chef in the Navy in the officer's dining room, another who eventually started her own event planning business and another is heading up a large local catering operation. I have also taught many classes for local cooking schools like the Proper Pan, Recipe Box, The Bronze Frog, Illinois Central College Adult Education Culinary Classes, and From The Field Cooking School. My most recent accomplishment was winning the 2016 Whiskey City Chili Cook-off. I am also a Certified Kansas City BBQ Society judge and have judged several wine competitions.
Some of my interests include smoking meats and sausage making. I enjoy hiking, cycling and remodeling my turn of the century home.