Triumph Higher Education's Escoffier and Gecko Hospitality Showcase Commitment to Support Industry Excellence, Innovation and Strengthen Work Force


Events at NYC Tin Building by Jean-Georges and Boulder Honor Innovators for their Contributions

CHICAGO, Feb. 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Triumph Higher Education Group’s powerhouse culinary education and hospitality recruitment entities Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts (Escoffier) and Gecko Hospitality Inc., recently celebrated strategic partnerships with leaders in culinary and hospitality development and recruitment to show their commitment to support innovation and collectively strengthen the workforce landscape. By joining forces, Triumph’s Escoffier and Gecko bring together expertise and resources from the largest culinary school brand in the U.S.* and one of the largest recruitment firms dedicated solely to the hospitality and restaurant industry.

Exclusive collaborations with Escoffier and Gecko Hospitality Inc., were feted with special events in New York at the Tin Building by Jean-Georges and in Boulder, Colorado with guest of honor, Michel Escoffier, great-grandson of esteemed chef Auguste Escoffier, “Father of Modern Cuisine.”

*(based on comparable student population data currently reported in IPEDS).

“We’re continuing Auguste Escoffier’s legacy of innovation, support, and advocacy with these talented collaborators,” said Jack Larson, Triumph’s founder and CEO. “By integrating resources we can work together to address new and different ways to bolster our industry and make a positive impact.” added Larson.

Named to Forbes list of “America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms, Gecko Hospitality Inc.’s national network of professional recruiters and clients can now connect with Escoffier’s professionally trained students and experienced alumni to access Gecko’s career opportunities. “By pooling expertise, we’re able to expand the scope of our operations and continue to provide personalized services to connect quality candidates with the businesses who need them,” said Robert Krzak, Gecko Hospitality’s founder and president.

Escoffier’s Boulder campus also partnered with Food Bank of the Rockies to engage culinary students in volunteer work as well as externship opportunities. Students will also participate in training and class excursions and assist with meal preparation in the kitchen.

“This partnership allows our students to take lessons learned in the classroom and apply them in meaningful ways,” said Kirk T. Bachmann, Escoffier Boulder campus president and provost. “It is an honor for us to collaborate with the Food Bank’s culinary team and provide trained, skilled volunteers to create nutritious, flavorful meals for the individuals they serve,” added Bachmann. 

Michel Escoffier paid tribute to six industry professionals for their culinary support and contributions and personally oversaw their inductions into the Disciples Escoffier International, a prestigious, invitation-only international society of chefs and culinary and hospitality-industry professionals created to honor Auguste Escoffier, organize gastronomic events, promote the profession and craft of cooking and instill the humanistic spirit of Auguste Escoffier into others.

With 30,000 members to date, the organization is focused on the promotion and preservation of excellence in cuisine, culinary education, and hospitality. Inductees are chosen based on their contributions to and influence in the gourmand community. The six inductees were chosen for their impact on hospitality recruitment, culinary and food innovation, local agriculture and business, sustainable sourcing and cultivating cohesive community relationships.

The inductees included:

  • Robert Krzak,  Recruitment pioneer, founder and president of Gecko Hospitality. For his contributions to the hospitality recruitment industry, developing more than 25,500 hospitality clients in North America and making connections to help more than 40,000 professionals find career opportunities since 2000.
  • Ron DeSantis, Certified Master Chef, American Academy of Chefs honor society, chair of the American Culinary Federation Certification Commission and Auguste Escoffier Global Solutions strategist.

    For his contributions as a Certified Master Chef (one of 69 in the U.S.), former U.S. Marine turned culinary leader, White House and Camp David guest chef, director of culinary excellence and quality assurance for Yale University and advocate for customer-centric food innovation and execution.
  • Eli Kulp, James Beard Best Chef Finalist, Food & Wine Magazine Best New Chef, Chef.

    For his contributions as an award-winning chef, co-founder and Culinary Director of High Street Hospitality Group, and creator and host of Chef Radio Podcast, where he navigates deep relevant conversations with the people that shape the way we eat today.
  • Daniel Asher, certified Raw Foods Chef, owner River and Woods in Boulder, Acreage Cider House and Restaurant, Ash’Kara, Mother Tongue, Barrio75, EcoChef Culinary.

    For his contributions as a passionate advocate for local agriculture, sustainable sourcing, and food justice for more than two decades in the restaurant industry.
  • Steven Nalls, owner, operator of 80-acre Three Sisters Farm & Ranch, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts chef instructor.

    For his contributions to food service operations, education, Farm To Table® and culinary instruction, local and sustainable food production and sustainable agriculture business.
  • Anne Cure, farmer, owner Cure Organic Farm.

    For her contributions to creating a healthy agroecological farm system, fostering a culture of giving through community relationships and educating future farmers who want to develop a relationship with the land.

For more information, visit Triumph Higher Education Group LLC.

For more information, visit Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.

For more information, visit

For images from events and inductions into Disciples Escoffier International, visit PR

Media contact and for additional images and broll:

Patti Thomas for Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

[email protected]

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts


Gecko Hospitality

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