Schiller brings a fusion of creative menus to campus kitchens as new head chef


Claire Kim

Prior to his job at SPA, Food Service Director Tom Schiller gained experience from working at restaurants.

Behind the scenes of the daily long lines, hungry students, and diverse lunch menus is the Taher staff, including new head chef Tom Schiller.

Schiller is the current Food Service Director and Chef Manager at SPA, which puts him in charge of planning menus and ordering the food for them.

Schiller has been in the cooking industry for more than 35 years. He feels most familiar cooking in a fast-paced restaurant environment. “Being creative and working with upscale food is my comfort zone,” Schiller said. His experience prior to SPA includes the Lake Elmo Inn, located in Lake Elmo, and The Onion Grille, located in Hastings, both of which mainly serve American cuisine and are known for their creative menus and drinks.

Being creative and working with upscale food is my comfort zone.”

— Tom Schiller

“The hardest part is keeping up with the foods and trends people like,” Schiller said when describing the development of new menus. He finds it rewarding and exciting to prepare food for students and staff at SPA, especially with his huge collection of recipes. “The kids here at SPA eat a lot of fresh and great food you do not get [access to] in public schools,” he said.

Schiller loves cooking all kinds of food, including steaks, seafood, pasta, and more. He also enjoys preparing food from a variety of styles such as Cajun, fusion, and Asian cuisine. Some of his go-to recipes are for his chicken marsala and duck with wild rice risotto.