Foundation Logo Taste the Future - August 12, 2014

Taste the Future 2016 Honorees


The Wasserstrom Companies

The Wasserstrom Companies

The Wasserstrom Companies are the world’s leading restaurant supplier, providing distribution and manufacturing services to foodservice operations nationwide. Founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1902, Wasserstrom is a family-owned business, currently run by the fourth generation of the family (Brad, Bruce and Eric pictured above). Even though Wasserstrom has more than a century of experience and a team of over 1,200 associates, they still maintain a warm, community-minded feel.

“The belief has been passed down through generations of the Wasserstrom family that the Columbus community has been so good to us for over 100 years,” says Brad Wasserstrom. “Because of that, it is our responsibility to give back to the community that has treated us so well.”

Wasserstrom Companies has given back to Columbus State through the Wasserstrom Family Scholarship and Taste the Future.  Their support has helped Columbus State students pursue their dreams of higher education.  



Hartmut Handke

Hartmut Handke, CMC

Chef Hartmut Handke is a European-trained chef with over 50 years of experience in various hotels, clubs, restaurants, and resorts throughout the world.   He is also a Certified Master Chef from the American Culinary Federation.  After apprenticing and working in his native Germany, he continued to hone his culinary skills as his travels took him to Canada, the Caribbean, and finally the United States. He served as Executive Chef of the Athletic Club of Columbus, Ohio for eight and a half years prior to being Executive Chef of the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia for five years. 

Most recently, Chef Handke was chef/proprietor for 17 years of the #1 Zagat-rated restaurant in Ohio - Handke’s Cuisine in Columbus.  He sold the restaurant in 2008 and in retirement is still very active, participating in fundraisers for the community as well as continuing to cook for loyal customers.

Chef Handke is well-known and well-respected in the culinary community for his passion to the culinary arts, having been recognized by not only the American Culinary Federation but also by the Germany Chefs Association for his contributions to the culinary profession over the years.  He successfully competed in numerous national and international culinary competitions, highlighted by being a member of the gold medal-winning 1984 and 1988 U.S. Culinary Olympic Teams, as well as being one of the top U.S. finishers ever in the Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon, France - placing sixth overall and earning top honors for the best meat platter in 2003, something no other U.S. contestant has ever done.  One of his greatest joys is passing on what he has learned throughout his career to colleagues and especially those still rising up in the ranks of becoming a professional chef.

From 1982-1984, Chef Handke was the ACF Apprenticeship Chair for the Columbus ACF Chapter, which did classroom instruction at Columbus State. He was a strong advocate of the young culinarians at Columbus State and helped them develop their cooking skills.

Taste the Future 2016 Notable Alumni

Sue Baisden '05, ‘13, Owner Capital City Cakes

Chris Domanik ‘92, General Manager BRAVO! Cucina Italiana

Jill Krafty ‘08, Registered Diet Technician Vrable Healthcare Company