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Executive chef at Levi’s Stadium featured in Career-exploration video series for high school students nationwide

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, in partnership with PepsiCo Foodservice, released its fourth Project Taste Test – Servin’ Up Successful Careers video. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 16, 2016 – The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, in partnership with PepsiCo Foodservice, released its fourth Project Taste Test – Servin’ Up Successful Careers video. The video features Jesus Cibrian, executive chef at Centerplate, an international foodservice management company, who currently oversees foodservice operations at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Project Taste Test is an ongoing video series that features leading industry executives and gives advice to ProStart students seeking a foodservice career. Previously profiled chefs include Gidget Wickham, executive chef at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, and Stephen Kalil, corporate executive research chef at PepsiCo. ProStart is a two-year career and technical education program available in all 50 states, Guam and Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe and the Pacific. The program will reach nearly 140,000 high school students this year, and focuses on teaching culinary arts and restaurant management fundamentals. Project Taste Test videos, and their accompanying classroom-ready discussion and activity guides, help students learn about what opportunities are available to them in the restaurant and foodservice sector.

Cibrian’s path to executive chef highlights the diverse array of career paths and opportunities in the sector, and his passion for the industry is clear.

“I started traveling on a cruise ship line… I went to 40 countries,” said Cibrian. “There are plenty of opportunities to get a job somewhere, learn from great chefs and before you know it you are there. In this job every day is a new day… we are artists, we are creators.”

As an executive chef for Centerplate, Cibrian oversees the creation of thousands of meals a year served during both professional sporting and special events at Levi’s Stadium. His career began as a chef de partie for Royal Viking Line cruises, and has taken him around the world during his 30-plus year culinary career. Cibrian served as senior executive chef for the Olympic Village, in Athens, Greece, during the 2004 Summer Olympic Games and oversaw the kitchen expansions of convention centers in Las Vegas; Santa Clara, California; and Phoenix. He completed his formal training at the California Culinary Academy, San Francisco, and earned Pro Chef I & II certifications from The Culinary Institute of America.

“Cibrian’s story is inspiring, yet attainable, to young adults looking for a career path,” said Doug Allison, vice president of industry relations and communications, PepsiCo, Foodservice. “We’re so pleased that PepsiCo can present another edition of Project Taste Test, and help high school students understand that they can build long-term, fulfilling careers within foodservice.”

“Project Taste Test is a vehicle for us to demonstrate the vast number of career paths available in the restaurant industry,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president, strategic operations and philanthropy for the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “While restaurants are at the core of foodservice, their placement can be in less thought of venues, such as sports centers, hotels, hospitals and cruise ships around the world.”

To watch Project Taste Test videos and access video supplements, For more information on the ProStart program, visit or find us on Twitter or Facebook.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. In 2015, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to comprise one million outlets and a workforce of 14 million employees, making it the nation’s second largest private sector employer. For more information on the NRAEF, visit

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