Bruce S. Davis ’72 has enjoyed a long and varied career. He’s worked in hotels and restaurants, as a corporate consultant, and as a culinary educator at Anne Arundel County Public School’s Center for Applied Technology North (CAT-N) in Severn, MD. As chairperson of the Production and Services department, Chef Davis has been teaching and developing the school’s culinary arts curriculum since 1994. The honors program accepts students based on their GPA, is certified by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation, and has been honored multiple times, including a Maryland State Department of Education, Governor’s Citation for the Most Outstanding Secondary Technology Program in the State of Maryland, and, in 2017, Chef Davis was named by the Anne Arundel County Board of Education as the April Educator of the Month. In 1999, Chef Davis was one of 200 teachers selected by the Japanese government, from a pool of 2,500 teachers, to participate in that year’s Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program—a three-week study program in Japan.
Chef Davis grew up helping with his family’s two grocery stores and a catering operation. When he expressed an interest in culinary school, Chef Davis’ father said, “If you want to be a chef you have to go to the CIA.” Chef Davis graduated from the CIA with honors and was 10th in a class of 432. He was offered a fellowship to teach at the CIA but chose instead to accept a job with Marriott Hotels. “At the time, Marriott had only 12 hotels,” recalls Chef Davis. “My first assignment was in Dallas, TX feeding 5,000 people three meals a day for a week.” He was just 19 years old. Chef Davis worked with Marriott for three years moving from Washington, DC, to Crystal City, VA. “My father taught me well so I was prepared for school, Chef Davis recalled. “The CIA rounded out that talent and Marriott gave me management experience.”
His next professional stop was as sous chef at Clyde’s Restaurant in Washington, DC. Within two weeks, Chef Davis was named executive chef at Clyde’s Restaurant in Columbia, Md. He would go on to lead Clyde’s as assistant general manager and executive chef for the restaurant group’s numerous concepts as well as running his own French Fry stand business. After 30 years in the industry, Chef Davis wanted to give back, and accepted a teaching position with CAT-N.
Chef Davis’ curriculum has been adopted nationwide and, in 2001, the National Dissemination Center for Career & Technical Education nominated CAT-N as one of the top five technology programs in the nation. CAT-N is heavily involved in SkillsUSA and its students routinely take home gold medals and scholarships. Every year, Chef Davis brings a group of students to Hyde Park to tour the campus. Many of them have gone on to attend his alma mater. “The CIA is the best culinary school in the world with the best facilities and the most talented instructional staff,” he explains. “It’s the crème de la crème and a degree from the CIA can take you anywhere you want to go. The education you receive will give you the experience, knowledge, and skill set needed for your choice of career, whether it’s in the front of the house or back of the house.” Chef Davis relishes his role in preparing high school students for a career in the foodservice industry, passing on his passion for food, and guiding the next generation of culinary professionals.