Chef Chris Terry
& Restaurant Institute
Edwins Leadership & Restaurant Institute is a unique approach to surmounting the challenges of prison re-entry through food and education. Those looking for a second chance learn professional culinary and hospitality skills. Chef Chris Terry says that students learn comprehensively everything from root vegetable identification to wine recommendation, and from knife-skills to menu creation. Everything an individual would need to look great for an open position at one of Cleveland’s new food destinations.
Chef Chris Terry was born in Salinas, California where 90% of the nation’s lettuce comes from, and his mother was a seed analyst for one of the regions top producers. After their family relocated to Iowa when he was four, Chris began helping his mother with their half-acre garden in the backyard. Later Chris attended the Culinary Institue of America in New York and was part of their garden club. Chris now brings his diverse background and wealth of food knowledge to Edwins where he is the Chef de Cuisine - overseeing much of the restaurant’s ordering and leading the on-site horticultural program. Students learn about sourcing local and using fresh ingrediants under his teaching. This year they are growing three varieties of tomatoes, zucchini, squash, eggplant and 13 herbs which are implemented across the menus. “One of the great things,” says Chris, “is seeing a graduate six months later who comes back with their success stories.” Often Edwins graduates will return to tell of a recent promotion or of creating their first special at a new job. “It’s really rewarding,” says Chris, who is proud of Edwins’ 90% graduate-employment rate and 0% re-incarceration rate, and where he and his students plant his mother’s favorite variety of tomato every year - the yellow pear.