Gretchen Dorn has been teaching at Hennepin Technical College since 1992. With over 20 years experience in private restaurants, hotels, and dinner theatres. Her background includes the seafood restaurant, The Anchorage of the Hilton Hotels, Dudley Riggs Dinner Theatre, and the local favorite, Jax Cafe. Her passions are for soup and sauce cookery, garde manger, and cake decorating.

Gretchen holds a bachelor of arts in Psychology/Education from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota; a diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Cookery from St. Paul College; and a masters of arts in Counseling and Psychology from St. Mary's University, Minneapolis. Before coming to HTC, she taught culinary arts at the Hubert H. Humphrey Job Corps Center, St. Paul, a residential program. Gretchen also spent three years at HTC in the position of Faculty Development and Curriculum Modification after which she was fortunate to serve for three additional years as Faculty Development Coordinator for the MnSCU Center for Teaching and Learning.

"Discovering the 'teachable moments' for each and every student is my greatest desire. I find that each student remembers a time when they were astonished at what they had just learned, at how it touched their soul and flamed their passion for the art, the true craft of cooking. A moment that made all the difference." I tell my students, 'It's called Culinary Arts, not Culinary Technology.' I'm all about 'the art part!' Every student will find a different beauty in their work--but I want them to find it! That is what will carry them through the challenges, and yes, difficulties of their culinary career."


Dan Vasterling is a seasoned professional in the culinary world with vast experiences to share. He entered the hospitality industry over 39 years ago as a dishwasher. Since that time he has participated in almost every aspect of the hospitality industry.

Dan graduated from North Saint Paul High School in 1977. While attending high school he took several classes involving food and business. He received a Degree of Occupational Profficiency in Chef’s Training through 916 Technical Vocational Institute in 1979. Dan later returned to school and received an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts from Saint Paul College in 2007. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Arts Degree with an emphasis on culinary management. He also continues his culinary education through various opportunities from Saint Paul College, Le Cordon Bleu, the American Culinary Federation Educational Institute, the National Restaurant Association, and the Minnesota Restaurant Association.

Dan is currently self-employed running his own catering company called Young Dan'l inc.. Dan is currently teaching at Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park. He was employed by Saint Paul College as a Chef Instructor for two and a half years. He has also taught at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts for several years. Dan is a staunch supporter of healthy eating, organic foods, sustainable agriculture and our ecology by practicing recycling and lessening the carbon footprint for the culinary industry. He is the former Owner/Operator of Dan & Molly’s Embers America, a family style franchise located in St. Paul, MN. He also continues to be on call for PROM Catering as a Banquet Chef. Before purchasing the Embers franchise, he was the Executive Chef and Clubhouse Manager at Midland Hills Country Club located in Roseville, MN. Prior to being at Midland Hills, Dan was the Executive Chef and Hotel Manager of the Best Western, White Bear Country Inn.

Dan is co-founder and former President of the St. Paul Chef’s Association, a chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Dan is a Certified Executive Chef, through the ACF. He has been the recipient of the St. Paul Chef’s Association Chef of the Year Award. In 2010 he was selected Educator of the Year by the Minneapolis Chefs Club. He was hand-selected from a nationwide search by the ACF to participate in the food preparation for the 1997 graduating class of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He has won numerous awards for his culinary abilities and humanitarian efforts. He has received recognition for hiring and working with the disabled, and has chaired several fund raisers for multiple charities. Dan also appears frequently with culinary students on a local TV station, “FOX9” for the past several years.

Last updated by smarkes : 2017-09-05 08:49:55