CulinaryNXT is a food service advisory practice with over 30 years experience in all facets of the food industry.  Ron DeSantis is one of only 71 Certified Master Chefs who advises organizations of all sizes. His strengths are culinary innovation, menu and recipe development, culinary assessment, bottom-line results, and outstanding communication skills that allow him to implement solutions in all organizations.

CulinaryNXT’s base is in New Haven, but the reach is truly global. CulinaryNXT’s relationships extend to numerous countries around the world in a client and alliance network that has been built over many years. These relationships provide both global support and local knowledge.

Early Career and The Culinary Institute of America

Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis is at heart a passionate culinarian. In his 25-year career at the CIA, Ron taught several courses including a 4-year stint running a full-service teaching restaurant, the CIA’s flagship 4 star Escoffier Restaurant.  While at the CIA, Ron was promoted to associate dean for curriculum and developed curriculum for degree programs and for professional education.  Following Ron’s work as associate dean he accepted a position as Director of Education Services. Ron’s responsibilities were the planning and design of teaching kitchens and bakeshops. In 2005 Ron helped launch CIA Consulting, eventually rising to lead this consulting organization.


Ron’s primary responsibility was overseeing the production of over 14,000 meals each day at Yale. This leadership role included culinary concept design, development of innovative menus and cuisine and training of the culinary team. In addition to undergraduate dining, Ron also oversees food production for several university restaurants, cafes,  C-stores, and Yale Catering. As the first Certified Master Chef to enter college & university dining, Ron has changed the format for delivering students meals.  His approach has been to think and act like a great independent restaurant in a multi-operational institutional environment.

Industry Achievements

A 1981 CIA alumnus, Ron has received many citations during his professional career, including the highly regarded certification as a master chef (C.M.C.) by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). He was also inducted into the American Academy of Chefs (A.A.C.), the ACF’s honor society. As a young CIA graduate working in Germany, Ron received silver and bronze medals at the Nuremberg International Culinary Exhibit, and upon returning to the US, a gold medal at the ACF National Championship. In 2002, Ron received the ACF President’s Medallion for contributions to the master chef exam, and The Cutting Edge Award in 2013 by ACF national president Michael Ty, CEC, AAC, in recognition of his leadership and service to the culinary profession.  In 2010 Ron co-authored “Modern Batch Cookery” with Certified Master Chef Victor Gielisse, DBA.  Ron also holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, NY.