Daniel Pliska is a chef instructor at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Mo. At the college he teaches advanced classes in world cuisine, garde manger, fabrication and contemporary cuisine, which entails running the kitchen of Scallions, the student-run restaurant.
Before making his recent transition into full-time teaching, Chef Pliska was Executive Chef and Assistant Manager for the University Club of MU (University of Missouri) in Columbia, Mo., for the previous twenty years.
Educating and training culinary and pastry staff is a passion and a calling for Chef Pliska, as evidenced by the fact that he initiated a formal American Culinary Federation (ACF) three-year apprenticeship program while at the University Club and graduated four apprentices through the program. He was also a member of the ACF National Apprenticeship Committee.
Chef Pliska has also been on the advisory boards of three culinary schools and on the accreditation evaluation team for four regional culinary schools. He is also a frequent judge for Pro Start and Skills USA cooking competitions, both statewide and nationally.
In the earlier years of his career, Chef Pliska trained and worked at first-class hotels, restaurants, and pastry shops in Washington D.C., Dusseldorf, West Germany, and New Orleans. His 42-year career in the culinary field includes more than 28 years as an Executive Chef in private clubs and hotels, including Topeka (Kan.) Country Club and the Capital City Club in Raleigh, N.C.
In July 2013 at the ACF National Convention, Chef Pliska was inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Chefs. He has been a Certified Executive Chef with the ACF for more than 25 years and also tested for and earned the Club Corporation of America’s Certified Executive Chef designation while working for the ClubCorp management company. He has received 10 ACF awards and medals in cooking and pastry, including two grand prizes and a gold medal in traditional cold-food competition. Locally Chef Pliska has garnered numerous honors and awards as well.
Chef Pliska is the author of the pastry textbook, “Pastry & Dessert Techniques,” that was published by American Technical Publishers in 2014. He was a contributing author of the ACF National Apprenticeship Training for Cooks—Baking and Pastry Station, that was released in 2012. He has authored more than 30 articles on culinary and pastry arts for the National Culinary Review, Club Management, Pastry Arts and Design, Columbia Home magazine, and Club & Resort Business.
For the past 10 years, Chef Pliska was the President of the American Culinary Federation’s Central Missouri Chapter and a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Chef Pliska was featured in a “Chef to Chef” interview article, “The Show-Me State’s Showcase Chef,” in Club & Resort Business’ May 2013 issue.
During his time off, Chef Pliska spends time at the lake with his wife Brigitte and adult children. He enjoys nature, playing guitar and fishing.