Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) will present Christopher Coleman, the executive chef at Stoke, located in uptown Charlotte's Marriott Center City location, with the 2018 Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award at its spring commencement ceremony, on May 17, at Bojangles' Coliseum. The award recognizes a former CPCC student who has benefited significantly from experiences at CPCC and whose efforts have helped the community.
Coleman graduated from CPCC in 2005 with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts. After earning his two-year degree, he went on to work as an executive chef for some of Charlotte's most prestigious restaurants, including McNinch House in uptown and The Asbury, located in Charlotte's historic Dunhill Hotel. For the past two years, he has served as executive chef at Stoke, where he created the menu from scratch. Patrons may choose from a variety of wood-fired seasonal American cuisine items made with high-quality ingredients sourced from local farms and purveyors, something Coleman is renowned for executing in his kitchens.
Most notable, however, is how Coleman gives back to his alma mater when not wearing his chef's hat. He makes it a point of mentoring others, especially students enrolled in CPCC's Culinary Arts program. In the past, he has helped fellow CPCC grads secure positions within the kitchens where he works, and makes time to visit campus to give classroom presentations to culinary students on how to achieve a successful career, the importance of professionalism and the value of family.
When not mentoring or educating the next generation of chefs, Coleman can be found at home with his wife, Ashley, and their two children, Luke and Ellie, or playing drums in his church's band. He is also an active member of the Piedmont Culinary Guild
, a nonprofit committed to growing the area's food economy, and the Hospitality Education Advisory Committee.
As a result of his achievements, a scholarship will be granted to a CPCC student enrolled in the college's Culinary Arts program the area of study that most closely reflects Coleman's background.
The Hagemeyer Award takes its name from Dr. Richard H. Hagemeyer, CPCC president for 23 years, who led the college from its beginnings as a trade school with 1,200 students to one of the largest N.C. community colleges. View the previous award recipients at cpccfoundation.org/alumni/hagemeyer-award-honorees