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Central Wyoming College Welcomes New Culinary Director

Central Wyoming College Welcomes New Culinary Director

Photo of Justin Stone, Director of Hospitality and Culinary Programs

Jackson, Wyo.—Central Wyoming College is thrilled to welcome Justin Stone as the new Director of Hospitality and Culinary Programs. 

Stone, a seasoned professional with more than 15 years of experience in hospitality, food and beverage services, and education, is bringing his wealth of knowledge to the culinary arts program at the college.

Stone shared his excitement about joining the faculty, saying, “The prospect of joining the devoted and passionate faculty at Central Wyoming College and the Jackson Campus is deeply inspiring.”

“The faculty, instructors, and especially students that I have worked with over the past three spring semesters as an adjunct in the culinary program rekindled my own passion for education and community.”

Stone’s venture into the restaurant world started during his college days with humble roles as a ‘cellar rat,’ ‘busser,’ and ‘dishwasher.’ 

These early experiences, as he fondly recalls, taught him some of life’s most important lessons. Over the years, he transitioned to managing wine shops, vineyard tasting rooms, and restaurant dining rooms in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In 2016, Stone ventured westward and joined the leadership team at the A Bar A Ranch in Southeast Wyoming, where he served as the Food & Beverage Manager. 

“It is a stunningly beautiful place with an incredible operation and team, where I was able to further develop as a program manager, industry educator, and professional leader,” Stone said.

In looking back at his varied career, Stone recalls moving with his wife to Teton Valley, Idaho, in 2018 as a pivotal moment that redefined his direction.  

He began exploring opportunities in Jackson’s wine and food industry and took on the role of an adjunct instructor at Central Wyoming College in 2019. These small stepping stones in life began to accumulate into his new path and career. 

His passion for education led him to Central Wyoming College in 2019, where he served as an adjunct professor. Stone’s immersive introductory course on wines of the world for culinary and hospitality students has been a valuable addition to the program. 

He believes, “What happens around a table of food, wine, and people is true magic.”

Beyond his role in education, Stone has also excelled in the wine and sales industry. He served as a Sales Representative and Operations Manager for Purveyors of Wine, where he was responsible for the successful sale of an international wine portfolio. 

He highlighted his core values of Creativity, Balance, and Connection, and shared personal insights that showcase his love for the Teton Valley/Jackson community.

Stone’s appointment comes at a crucial time for the culinary arts program at CWC. The program, exclusively based in Jackson, Wyoming, offers courses in areas such as food preparation, baking, garde manger, and management that prepare students for immediate entry into the industry.

What distinguishes this program is its hands-on approach, integrating internships at Jackson’s premier resorts and restaurants. 

Central Wyoming College students gain real-world experience during the bustling summer and winter seasons, establishing valuable connections within the vibrant hospitality industry.  They serve as invaluable members of the workforce of Jackson Hole and Teton Valley. 

“The culinary arts program at Central Wyoming College is designed to prepare students for a diversity of positions in food service within the hospitality industry,” Stone said. “I am excited to contribute to the program’s success with my steeped background in hospitality and education.”

As Central Wyoming College looks forward to a new chapter under Stone’s leadership, the culinary arts program is poised to benefit from his extensive industry knowledge, commitment to education, and passion for community building. 

Stone, along with his wife Tracy and two dogs Hattie and Olive, are excited to put down deeper roots in the Teton Valley/Jackson community.

“We are delighted to welcome Mr. Stone to Central Wyoming College. His extensive experience in hospitality and education aligns perfectly with our commitment to providing high-quality programs for our students,” Central Wyoming College President Dr. Brad Tyndall said. “We look forward to the positive impact he will have on our culinary arts program.”

For students aspiring to thrive in the culinary arts, Stone’s appointment marks a significant step in continuing the excellence of CWC’s hospitality and culinary programs.