Merrimack Welcomes Two New Chefs

Merrimack recently welcomed two new chefs to the College’s Sodexo dining team: Executive Chef Brian Santos and Pastry Chef Sean Pierce. Both chefs are highly accomplished and bring years of experience to their new roles at Merrimack including appearances on several popular culinary competition TV shows.

  • Executive Chef Brian Santos (left) and Pastry Chef Sean Pierce (right) are planning several new events for the upcoming semester, including a series of cooking classes and live demos for students.

As part of Merrimack’s ongoing commitment to offering exceptional dining options on campus, the College is pleased to welcome two new chefs to Merrimack, Executive Chef Brian Santos and Pastry Chef Sean Pierce. Both chefs have years of experience and diverse culinary backgrounds that will help elevate the College’s dining experience—which is no small feat, considering that in Sparky’s Place alone, an average of 3,000 meals are served per day, amounting to 672,000 meals per year.

Merrimack College Director of Catering Stephanie Sampsonis-Keogh shares, “We are thrilled to have Executive Chef Brian Santos and Pastry Chef Sean Pierce join our team, and they are excited to share their culinary passion with everyone at Merrimack College.”

Chef Brian Santos graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2009 and completed his internship with Delaware North Companies “DNC” working at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Over the course of his career he has worked for organizations including the TD Garden, Colonnade Hotel and Boston University and has partnered with industry giants including Williams-Sonoma, Hudson Valley Food Wine, Major League Baseball and the Head of the Charles. While working for the Colonnade Hotel, Brian was cast and selected to compete in season 13 of the hit television show Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey, where he placed 6th and was given the prestigious black jacket.

Chef Sean Pierce has an associate and bachelor’s degree from Johnson and Wales University in baking and pastry and a certificate in wine from Koblenz Wine School in Koblenz, Germany. During his first years at Johnson and Wales University, he began a three-month internship with a man from Switzerland who owned the Boston based baking and pastry shop Truly Jorgs Bakery. During the following decade he spent working with Truly Jorgs Bakery, Sean and the owner teamed up to compete in 14 episodes across several Food Network shows. Ranging from cake to sugar and chocolate competitions, the team managed to win three first place gold medals and two second place silver medals.

Both chefs are open to suggestions from the Merrimack community and are planning several new events for the upcoming semester, including a series of cooking classes and live demos for students. In his first class scheduled for February 24th, Chef Pierce will walk students through making Irish Soda Bread and demonstrate decorating techniques on specially baked cookies.

In addition, Chef Santos will be hosting a Bao Bar in Sparky’s on the same night from 5-7pm. He also plans to have Chef takeover days at the food truck this spring. For more information on upcoming events and how to sign up, students can visit the Merrimack College Dining Instagram and Facebook pages.