Chef Michael Hogancamp is hanging up his apron and leaving the Hill after seven years cooking for Kenyon.
“I do plan on visiting now and then, because even though my time working here has ended, we can’t ever truly leave the Hill,” Hogancamp said. “Especially when I’ve spent so much of my life here.”
Hogancamp grew up in nearby Danville, Ohio, and was hired by AVI out of high school. He departs Kenyon for a new position as Culinary Specialist at Licking Memorial Hospital in Newark, Ohio.
Before working at Kenyon, Hogancamp had a very different perception of the College.
“I thought that Kenyon was a pompous school full of pretentious people who looked down on everyone from the surrounding community and never looked before crossing the street,” Hogancamp said. But after spending time at this school, during which he worked with three different executive chefs and held a variety of positions before assuming his final role as sous chef, Hogancamp changed his mind.
“Kenyon has always been a tight-knit community that cares for those who are a part of it,” Hogancamp said. “Working as closely with [former Executive Chef] Meagan [Stewart] and [current Director of Sustainability] John Marsh on the local food program as I did really showed me how much the surrounding communities are valued here on the Hill.”
In addition to his work in the kitchen, Hogancamp has served as an advocate for students with allergies. Before he left this year, Hogancamp compiled a directory listing every known student with allergies and what their allergies are.
“He grew up with allergies, so he was a strong voice in advocating for the students who have allergies here at Kenyon,” AVI Resident Director Kim Novak said.
Hogancamp’s passion for supporting those with dietary restrictions will carry over to his new job at Licking Memorial Hospital. “I thought a hospital would be a great place to continue working with specialty diets,” Hogancamp said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to learn their current systems and improve upon them.”
Executive Chef Jeremy Fonner, who had only known Hogancamp for three months before his departure, said Hogancamp’s organizational ability and willingness to deal with the substantial officework that comes with running an industrial kitchen were critical to keeping things running smoothly.
“I like him a lot as a person and as an employee; he’s very knowledgeable about this place, and I pick his brain as often as I can,” Fonner said. “He did a lot of work in the office, with the union, the scheduling. So, when he put in his two weeks’ notice, I had to sit down with him and learn all of that.”
Hogancamp not only leaves the College with seven years of culinary and managerial experience, but plans to take with him 250 Star Wars novels — courtesy of Fonner, his most recent boss at Kenyon — and the recipe for the Kenyon Cuban, his favorite Peirce meal.