Les Padzensky named Director of Redler Institute of Culinary Arts | Butler Community College

Les Padzensky named Director of Redler Institute of Culinary Arts

Les Padzensky
Published: Friday, May 31st, 2024

Industry veteran to lead new chapter of Butler culinary program.

Butler Community College is pleased to announce Les Padzensky of Andover has been named Director of the Redler Institute of Culinary Arts, a newly-created position for the College’s culinary program. His first day will be Monday, June 3.

An award-winning professional with more than 30 years of management experience in the local culinary and hospitality industry, Padzensky returns to Butler after having served as an adjunct hospitalilty professor for several years starting in 1998.

Padzensky has worked for several notable food service and hospitality organizations in the Wichita area during his career, including LaTour Management, Inc., where his major concerns were Piccadilly Market & Grill, Timberline Steakhouse & Grill, and Epoch Development where he was a Regional Manager for Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers. He also spent 12 years as Vice President of Food and Beverage for Warren Theatres.

Padzensky is a past chairman and current board member of the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association and has served on the Redler Institute’s Industry Advisory Committee for three years, most recently as Chairman.

With the goal of making the Redler Institute of Culinary Arts the premier culinary program in the midwest, Padzensky sees his decades of experience as time spent in a different sort of classroom. “In the hospitality industry we’re teaching all the time, not just the job but about life skills,” he said. ”I’m excited to teach students and share my successes. Our success is going to come from them.”

Scott Redler, co-founder of Freddy’s Frozen Custard, has worked closely with Padzensky for decades and sees his friend and colleague as a perfect match for the program. “Les has influenced and impacted many in his career. His energy, knowledge and passion for our industry will help many more students on their path to success,” said Redler. “He is the right person to lead the program for the future, and students will enjoy taking in his vast experience and knowledge. [It’s] a huge win for Butler and Butler students.”

Dr. Peter Linden, Butler’s Dean of Career and Technical Education, led the search committee for the new position and is excited to see what influence Padzensky will have on the program. “Every industry leader I spoke  with thought very highly of Les and his work. I cannot wait to see what the Redler Institute of Culinary Arts will become under his supervision, leadership and care."

Along with a recently hired full-time Culinary Arts instructor to be announced next, Padzensky believes he knows how to find the right formula for the program’s new chapter. “It’s going to be a shared vision, like a recipe, you listen to others and you tweak it. You work together and you come up with a solution.”

Padzensky holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Denver.