“Next Level Chef” Winner Named Barton School’s Latest Entrepreneur-in-Residence

The W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University has announced Pyet DeSpain, an award winning and global private chef, as it’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Fall 2023 semester. DeSpain was the first winner of Gordon Ramsay’s “Next Level Chef” TV show on Fox. In 2021, she was named one of the Top 25 Best Private Chefs in Los Angeles by Entrepreneur Magazine.

“I am very excited to share my passion for cooking, entrepreneurship and my heritage with the students and faculty of the Barton School,” said DeSpain. “While I now call Los Angeles home, my heart belongs with where I grew up - in the Midwest. This will serve as a pseudo homecoming for me.”

As the Barton School’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence, DeSpain will host a keynote presentation titled “A Recipe For Success: When Business Meets Passion” on November 2, 2023 at 11 a.m. in Woolsey Hall. There she will discuss her life’s journey and transformational experiences including winning “Next Level Chef.” It will be followed by a networking session. In addition, DeSpain will engage with students in mentoring and networking session as well as meet with the Barton School’s leadership team and faculty that will inspire innovation in its programming and curriculum.

“For anyone who watched Pyet on ‘Next Level Chef,’ you will know that she is an amazing culinary artist as well as a genuine and caring person,” said Dr. Larisa Genin, Dean of the Barton School. “She will be an inspiration as our newest Entrepreneur-in-Residence.”

DeSpain is a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribe. She grew up on the Osage Indian Reservation before moving with her family to Kansas City, Kansas. Her passion for cooking developed as a child helping in the kitchens of her family’s taquerias and restaurants in Kansas City. Her life’s work is dedicated to Indigenous Fusion Cuisine, where she combines food from her heritage (Native American and Mexican). In 2015, DeSpain started Pyet’s Plate, her personal chef business to promote passion for wellness, nutrition and quality of food.

“The Barton School and our city have deep connections to entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry,” said Dr. Shirley Lefever, Executive Vice President and Provost at Wichita State. “Pyet will bring her unique perspective as a global and award-winning chef to a new generation of entrepreneurs.”

For more information about the Barton School, visit wichita.edu/barton.