Markon Member Chef
Chef Lou Rice brings nearly 30 years of professional culinary and hospitality experience to Reinhart Foodservice. After graduating college with a Bachelor’s degree, he worked in a family operated insurance agency for years while working part-time in various local food and hospitality operations and operating his own Moonlight Catering Company. With food as his true calling, he enrolled in culinary school at Ivy Tech State College in Indianapolis, Indiana, graduating with honors two years later. It was during this time that Chef Lou opened his first brick and mortar operation, The Harvest Moon Cafe. Experience at a number of operations followed, from family casual, to white table cloth, to multiple country clubs, and even a vegetarian-only operation. It was at this time that Chef Lou started teaching and training for his alma mater, which ultimately led to his obtaining a Master’s degree in Consumer Science in order to transition into the culinary education field.
A move to Missouri, a 15-year career as a full-time culinary arts and hospitality educator where he created and developed curriculum and instructional procedures for several colleges, including Ozarks Technical Community College, Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC), and Ozarka College. During his time at NWACC he created a series of team-building concepts using hospitality and culinary techniques that were successfully marketed to such companies as Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. Upon returning to the Springfield area, Chef Rice worked for Mercy Hospitals, The Victory Mission Trade School, and most recently as the Executive Chef for Hammons Field, home of the Springfield Cardinals—all before joining the Reinhart Foodservice team.
Chef Lou is the author of Ozarks Cooking, the Best of Chef Lou & a Little More, was a weekly food columnist for the Springfield News-Leader for four years, and has written food and drink articles for a half-dozen regional hospitality and lifestyle magazines. He has been a member of the American Culinary Federation for the past 25 years and has served as President, Vice President, and as Certification Chair of various chapters. Chef Lou has won several American Culinary Federation competition medals and was proudly named Teacher of the Year by the Bentonville Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce. As a culinary arts and hospitality instructor, Chef Lou has helped hundreds of students to graduate, many of those who now own and operate their own hospitality operations. He has also proudly guided multiple secondary culinary arts teams and post-secondary students to state championship victories and appearances at multiple national competitions.
Chef Lou currently holds the following certifications:
Certified Chef De Cuisine - The American Culinary Federation
Certified Hospitality Educator - The American Hotel and Lodging Association
Certified Restaurant Manager – National Restaurant Association
AAS Hospitality Management – Ivy Tech State College
BS – Psychology – Ball State University
MA Consumer Science – Ball State University