Rollie Wesen, EdD, CEC is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Jacques Pépin Foundation, a culinary instructor and Associate Professor at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI and the husband of Claudine Pépin. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Chef Wesen graduated with honors from Carnegie Mellon University, with a B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing in 1990. Pursuing his passion for both food and travel, he literally circled the world, experiencing the cuisines of India and Thailand among many others, and cooking in kitchens with Michelin stars, in London and France before arriving in New York City in 1994. Rollie and Claudine met in 2001, and continued to explore together, relocating to Portland, OR where their daughter Shorey was born, then on to Denver, CO where Rollie worked for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.
Returning to the east coast, Rollie joined the culinary faculty at Johnson & Wales University in 2011. At JWU, he teaches several classes, including Classic French and Italian Cuisines, the Science of Cooking, Cooking in the Global Marketplace and Culinary Consciousness, which focuses on food sustainability issues, and he is an adjunct lecturer in the culinary certificate program at Met College / Boston University. In 2016, Rollie and Claudine created the Jacques Pépin Foundation, supporting culinary and life skills training for individuals with barriers to employment through community kitchens. In 2019, he earned his Certified Executive Chef credential and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership with research on essential learning outcomes for community-based culinary training programs. Rollie loves mountain biking, snowboarding, mountaineering and all thing outdoors, photography, travel, food and family.