Catering Food Service Management - Atlanta

Proof Welcomes New Team Leaders Company-Wide

Proof of the Pudding has hit the ground running for the fourth quarter of 2016 as we welcome a team of talented new leaders company-wide:

pete weikel picPETE WEIKEL has joined the team as the Regional Director-Premium Seating with a primary focus at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama. Pete served most recently as the Executive Chef for Central Market in Dallas – Fort Worth. Previously, he’s held positions as the Executive Chef of Kaufman Stadium-home of the Kansas City Royals, Executive Chef of the Metrodome – home of the Minnesota Vikings, and Executive Sous Chef of the Overland Park Convention Center. Pete was an integral part of the logistical collaboration of many mega events including: the 2013 Grey Cup in Regina Saskatchewan, the 2012 MLB all-star game at Kaufman stadium, and the Consumer Electronics Show at both the Las Vegas Convention Center & the Philadelphia Convention Center. Previous to his years in S&E, he spent more than seven years in fine dining restaurants and hotels working with talented chefs and his personal mentors such as Kerry Sear, Daniel Boulud & Richard Boyer. Pete graduated from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver, BC and is certified through the Culinary Arts Institute of America. His passions include food (of course!) and the logistical operations of large scale events. In his personal time, he enjoys experiencing local food markets and exploring all things culture and food. Pete can be reached at pweikel@proofpudding.com.

Alicia BakerALICIA BAKER joins the team as Banquet Manager for the Georgia International Convention Center. Born and raised in the South she is passionate about true southern hospitality and is no stranger to hard work. She has over 15 years of experience in hospitality, food service management and customer relations. Alicia started her career as a flight attendant with Airtran Airways before moving into the restaurant industry where she was a bartender and server before working her way into management. She comes to Proof of the Pudding from Aramark at the University of West Georgia where she had fulfilled many roles. Starting as catering lead supervisor, Alicia worked hard to advance herself and quickly took over the catering department. In that role she was responsible for catering, concessions, suites, retail operations and a student dining hall. Alicia is very enthusiastic about growing the banquet department at GICC. She strives for positive leadership and completely exceeding the expectations of all her clients. Outside of work, Alicia loves to spend time outdoors and with her husband, Ben, and their five children. She volunteers weekly for the Red Cross where she teaches CPR and organizes food and blood drives. Alicia is very passionate about doing mission work and has traveled to more than ten countries to help others. Alicia can be reached at abaker@gicc.com.

Jeff CotnoirCHEF JEFF COTNOIR (or Chef Jeff!) has also joined the team as the Sous Chef at the Infinite Energy Center. He was born and raised in a small town in Connecticut and moved to Atlanta at the age of 19 to pursue his passion of the culinary industry. After starting his career with Morrison Senior Living within Compass Group, he was highly encouraged to further his education and started attending The Art Institute of Atlanta where he graduated in 2010 with an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. After graduation, he spent three years at the Ritz Carlton Atlanta Downtown working in the Atlanta Grill. From there, he rejoined the Compass Team at the World Headquarters of Coca-Cola, serving 4000+ people daily. He considers himself to be a creative, enthusiastic, respectful and caring chef with a passion for serving high quality food in a safe environment. Working in busy restaurants throughout the Atlanta area has given him tremendous experience and culinary training, helping him gain knowledge in a number of different cuisines. His passion lies in putting his own touch on traditional dishes, creating new combinations and experimenting with new flavors. Chef Jeff can be reached at jcotnoir@infiniteenergycenter.com.

Graham ConnerGRAHAM CONNER has joined the team as the Executive Chef at Duke University as a part of Proof of the Puddings newest joint venture, Trident Provisions. Graham is no stranger to sports entertainment, having worked at the Georgia Dome for many years. He relocated from Washington, DC and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to join the team in Durham. Graham has a varied culinary background from stadiums to local sustainable hotels to colleges and convention centers. As a Georgia native, Graham brings a distinct culinary flair to Southern cuisine. Graham is looking forward to taking great care of our new clients in Durham, North Carolina. Graham can be reached at GConner@tridentprov.com.

Russ LocandroRUSS LOCANDRO is leading Proof’s Trident Provisions team as the General Manager for Duke University. Russ comes to Proof with over 20 years of food and beverage experience in sports and entertainment, restaurants and retail. Most notably, he was Clubs Manager/Premium Services at Sun Life Stadium home of the Miami Dolphins, Florida Marlins and University of Miami Hurricanes, where he spent 11 years. He has worked two Super Bowls, The Pro Bowl, BCS National Championship game, Orange Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, Daytona 500 and countless other high profile events. After spending most of his years in the sunshine state, he and his family are looking forward to building a life in Raleigh-Durham and experiencing everything that the city has to offer. In his free time, Russ loves spending time with his wife and children, and especially loves playing baseball with his son. Russ is looking forward to opening day at Duke and looking forward to creating a strong partnership with the university for years to come. Russ can be reached at rlocandro@tridentprov.com.

Jason CauseyJASON CAUSEY is Proof of the Pudding’s new Assistant General Manager of CulinAero at the Georgia International Convention Center. Jason was born and raised in Atlanta and attended Woodward Academy before heading off to Athens, Ga (GO DAWGS!). He started his career as a server at Cherokee Country Club and then as the Clubhouse Manager at Ansley Golf Club. From there, he joined John Harvard’s Brew House in Buckhead just before the 1996 Olympics. He became a part of the opening team for new stores up and down the East Coast and was eventually sent to Philly as GM of the Wayne location. Afterwards, he became the Assistant GM of a family-owned business out in the Philadelphia suburbs at Normandy Farm Hotel & Blue Bell Country Club. Following some life changes, he took some time to travel and found his way back to Atlanta and Delta Air Lines. He was busy flying around the world when Susan Buchell, General Manager of GICC called and told him about the newest opportunity. Jason was pleased to join the CulinAero team and has not looked back since. He’s confident that he can make a difference. Jason can be reached at jcausey@gicc.com.


About Proof the Pudding
Proof of the Pudding was founded in 1979. Over the past 37 years, Proof of the Pudding has maintained its distinctive and personal style, setting it apart from other caterers and food service management companies. Today Proof of the Pudding is Atlanta’s premier ‘go to’ company for delicious food, operating five state-of-the-art kitchens in the Atlanta market alone. Proof of the Pudding has been a shining star on the Atlanta food service and catering scene. Innovative culinary creations, coupled with a personalized style of presentation and service, has won them the consistent rating as Atlanta’s best caterer and foodservice management company by clients and media alike.

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