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K12 Chefs to Watch: Metz Culinary Management’s Chef Don McIntosh builds K-12 street cred with trendy menu items

Chef Don McIntosh started out managing a KFC and is now getting kids to try new things at Westmont Hilltop School District in Johnstown, Pa., including cool noodle bowls and smoky barbecue made with USDA ingredients.


On this episode of FM On Demand with Tara Fitzpatrick, Don McIntosh—aka Chef Donny Mac—shares his path to a school district that’s known for its food. During the pandemic, Regional Culinary Chef and GM McIntosh and the Metz team at has been facing the same labor and supply chain challenges as many other school districts across the country. He’s worn “many hats” in terms of taking charge of different ways of serving and getting busier than ever, but still considers himself “living the dream,” because revenue is good, some challenges seem to be easing up and, most importantly, kids are happy.

We also talk about how McIntosh got into the culinary world, including his early career years at KFC, where he got a glimpse of Colonel Sander’s secret recipe, and more importantly, the systems and methods required for big volume foodservice and on-trend, craveable menu items.

He’s looking forward to making more new menu items and “taking K-12 to the next level.” There is a new barbecue smoker waiting in the wings for the school days to come, and with collaboration and advice from experienced K-12-foodservice guy-turned-pitmaster Joe Urban of Greenville, SC schools, he’s ready to get smokin’.


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