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Meet Chef Eric Merklein

Eric Merklein is a Chef de Partie at the University of Rochester. He works with the Douglass Dining team to help feed countless students, staff and other guests at the U of R. Eric’s career in dining and hospitality services had a humble beginning, as he started out washing dishes at a local restaurant in his hometown of Ithaca, NY.

Chef Eric later moved to another local establishment called ‘Collegetown Bagels’ where he spent the next 10 years working his way up from doing prep work and dishes to having responsibility for running the business as an assistant manager. After moving to Rochester, NY and working as a server and bartender at local restaurants, Chef Eric attended culinary school and started working in the restaurant division of Wegmans Food Markets. For the next five years, Eric spent time in the front of the house at Wegmans new Italian restaurant, Amore, where he eventually earned his first kitchen job upon graduating from culinary school.

After a few years working for various Wegmans departments – pantry, proteins and prepared foods, Chef Eric decided to pursue a career with Aramark at the University of Rochester. Starting as a Sous Chef in the Commissary Kitchen, Eric is currently a Chef De Partie for Douglass Dining Hall where he has responsibility for overseeing the Street Station as well as working with the Douglass team to manage the entirety of the operation.

Harvest Table employs a team of culinarians just like Chef Eric who share a passion for quality food, service excellence, and preparing healthier food options. All team members have a distinct role, yet share a common philosophy – deliver inspiring food experiences that help create meaningful and memorable connections. If you’re interested in connecting with us about employment opportunities, please get in touch.

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