InHarvest, Inc. announced the promotion of Chris Bybee from corporate chef to corporate chef manager, effective immediately.
In his new role, Bybee manages and prioritizes Culinary Team activities within the company’s established sales strategy, as well as helps streamline the process and communication of InHarvest’s “Culinary First” model. Additionally, he continues to assist with broker training and account acquisition and retention.
“Chef Chris’ well-honed ability to grasp fully and communicate the respective needs of chefs, operators and manufacturers to brokers serving InHarvest is one of his greatest gifts—of which he has many,” says Michael Holleman, InHarvest’s director of culinary development & marketing. “His passion for food, values as a culinarian and environmentalist, and keen understanding of the many needs of a diverse customer base position him perfectly with our company’s goals as a leading manufacturer and supplier of some of the world’s most distinctive whole grains, legumes and signature grain blends for the foodservice, retail and industrial sectors of the food industry.”
Bybee began his industry training at 14 as a dishwasher for a Houston unit of then-Nacogdoches, Texas-based Kettle Restaurants. In high school, he earned academic credit while working full time. Bybee rose through the ranks to ultimately become assistant manager of the restaurant while still a student. By the time he was 18, his corporate standing led Kettle Restaurants to offer him the post of general manager of a new Abilene unit. But Bybee’s dreams saw beyond Texas. So upon graduating high school, he embarked for Europe.
Johnson & Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts offered an accredited training program in Switzerland, so Bybee enrolled. In the midst of his studies, however, he accepted a stage under a well-known chef in Interlaken, and chose to leave J&W. Under his Swiss chef’s tutelage, Bybee spent a year earning matchless restaurant and classic culinary experience.
That training led to his first post as a professional cook in a leadership role when Bybee departed Switzerland to open and serve as chef de cuisine of RumZa, an elegantly casual restaurant and nightclub with a fusion menu of South American, European and indigenous cuisines in the British territory of Anguilla among the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean.
Eventually Bybee returned to the States to work for integrated-foodservices provider Sodexo USA’s healthcare division as executive chef of 124-bed Seton Northwest Hospital, part of the comprehensive Seton Healthcare Family, in Austin, Texas. During his time at Seton Northwest, Bybee also designed the kitchen, developed the menu and trained staff at Seton Southwest Hospital in Austin. After leaving the hospital system, he remained a consultant to Seton Northwest’s foodservices.
Bybee’s next role was as corporate executive chef for food broker Hobby Whalen Marketing in metropolitan Denver. Upon leaving Hobby Whalen, he launched his own full-service catering operation, Sublime Catering, serving the greater Denver area, and operated the successful business for five years. InHarvest, which had worked with Bybee as a consultant, enlisted him as a full-time corporate chef in 2012.
Bybee resides with his family near Denver, where he owns and operates commercial incubator kitchens to help budding entrepreneurs launch their own food businesses. He also cultivates and harvests large and small organic vegetable plots.