Chef JD Thomas


Chef J.D. Thomas, grew up in San Diego in a family that appreciated good food. He was exposed to a wide array of cuisines at a young age and wholeheartedly participated in the cooking for family and friends during his early years. Many travels drew Chef Thomas into the world of flavor and cuisine.

Chef Thomas has worked in restaurants since the age of 14. After developing his family’s restaurants in Seattle, he was awarded a 3-star rating from Seattle’s Travel Magazine “Places Rated Northwest” for his flavorful South-American food. Leaving the restaurants behind in 1988, he attended culinary school in Portland. He earned the Valedictorian Award of his class at Western Culinary Institute while also working as a Private Chef for the Archdiocese of Portland and Louisiana Pacific Corporation. From there, Chef Thomas worked in R&D for a 30 million dollar, fresh-food manufacturing company, an Executive Chef for catering outlets, and also as a private Chef.

​He also brought his sense of humor and knowledge of culinary history to radio for over five years and has been a Culinary Educator for over 16 years. He is a proud member of the Chef’s de Cuisine Society of Oregon and was elected American Culinary Federation’s “Chef of the Year” in 2011 for the Northwest Chapter. Chef Thomas is currently Lead Instructor, Culinary Events Director, and Manager of Northwest Culinary Institute in Vancouver, WA.


Jared Bassett


As the grandson of a chef, Jared Bassett discovered early his love for food and cooking. At age thirteen, Jared’s first job was at a New York-style pizza restaurant in Portland, OR. Upon graduating high school, Jared enlisted in the United States Army, where he received his first culinary training. During his six years in the Army, Jared’s mess section won the “Connelly Award” four years in a row for the best Army kitchen in the Nation. While enlisted, he received several meritorious service awards.

​Jared also received formal training at Western Culinary Institute. Since graduating, he has worked in a variety of Portland restaurants including Piccolo Mondo, Jakes Famous Crawfish, Ringside West, and Newport Bay Company. Ringside West won the prestigious “James Beard Award” while he was the Chef. While at Newport Bay, Jared was a corporate trainer and helped open some new locations, training all cooks.

With over thirty years of line cooking, training, and Chef experience, Jared is enthusiastic about being a part of Northwest Culinary Institute, where he can pass on his knowledge to upcoming Chefs. In 2014, Jared took two teams of students to the US Army recipe revision competition at Fort Lewis and took first and second place.



Joe Morgan is a career Professional Chef living here in Vancouver, Washington. He grew up in his family’s restaurants in Bend, Oregon. Following his childhood, Joe went on to explore the culinary world within the U.S. From Carlsbad, California to Tampa, Florida, Joe worked as an ACF Certified Executive Chef and as an instructor on both coasts of the U.S. Joe received the bulk of his classical training from a Bavarian Master Chef while living in the Tampa, Florida area.

Eventually, Joe found his way back to Bend, Oregon where he purchased a house and started a family. Utilizing his acquired knowledge, he spent a few seasons as an Executive Chef at Mt. Bachelor Resort while continuing to both learn and teach culinary arts. He returned to Southern California for two additional years where he transitioned to Senior Living.

Now, presently, Joe has found himself in the welcoming Northwest Culinary Institute where he continues to pass on his culinary experience and knowledge to students of our program. With a wealth of information and experience in the culinary world, Joe looks forward to teaching, encouraging, and assisting students by laying the foundation necessary for a bright future in the culinary industry.

Classes STARTING Soon!