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Dr. John Michael Antun

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Memories & Candles

“As a Freshman, Dr. Antun was the first professor in the Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism major who had reached out to me and offered guidance. Although...Read More »
1 of 49 | Posted by: Student - Knoxville, TN

“Dr. Anton was a great and inspiring teacher. He believed in me and instilled the confidence required to become a great leader. He was that a great...Read More »
2 of 49 | Posted by: Laurie Guidry - New Orleans , LA

“Everything I know about cooking I learned from Dr. Antun. He inspired me more than I can say. He was my favorite professor in college and a wonderful...Read More »
3 of 49 | Posted by: Amy Carter Loudermilk - Lancaster, SC

“So sad to hear of Dr. Antun's passing... I was in his class when 9/11 happened. I will NEVER forget him not only because of that, but he gave me the...Read More »
4 of 49 | Posted by: David Finch - Fort Lauderdale, FL

“So sad to hear of Dr. Antun's passing... I was in his class when 9/11 happened. I will NEVER forget him not only because of that, but he gave me the...Read More »
5 of 49 | Posted by: David Finch - Fort Lauderdale, FL

“It is sad to learn this news. Dear John R.I.P ”
6 of 49 | Posted by: Jacky Chan - Hong Kong - Student

“Dr. Anton was one of my very favorites during my undergrad at USC in HRTM and not only did I enjoy his classes, but I was also lucky enough to have...Read More »
7 of 49 | Posted by: Adair Yatko - Teacher and Friend

“During my undergrad days in the, known then as, HRTM program, I had heard about Dr. Antun before I actually took his class. Though well respected,...Read More »
8 of 49 | Posted by: Carson A. Norcross - High Point, NC

“Chef Antun was my professor in the HRTM program during my second yeat at USC in 2004. He was the closest thing I had to a real chef during my four...Read More »
9 of 49 | Posted by: jonathan doar - manhatten, NY

“John and I were students together at USC in the late 90's - how much fun we had when we all went back to school as adults. - Both Lola and John were...Read More »
10 of 49 | Posted by: Mary Zachar - Greenville, SC

“John has been a part of my life for more years than I can remember. We became family when John and Lola were married which I had the priviledge and...Read More »
11 of 49 | Posted by: Penny DeMartino

“remember the snow storm after Russia ”
12 of 49 | Posted by: Cathy & John Riordan

“This message has taken me a while to process, and garner the courage to write. Only 2 years ago, I was a Masters student at Alabama shopping for a...Read More »
13 of 49 | Posted by: Ripp Daniell - Knoxville, TN

“Lola, We know that words are inadequate at a time like this but we wanted you to know how very sorry we are for your loss. The loss of a spouse is a...Read More »
14 of 49 | Posted by: Deanne and Steven Del Campo

“John was the best. Period. The world is a lesser place without him. I miss him greatly already. My sincere condolences to his family. ”
15 of 49 | Posted by: Dean Aaser - Knoxville, TN

“You will be missed. ”
16 of 49 | Posted by: Jennifer Degl - cousin

“I greatly thank the entire Antun family for sharing John with this world. I am a better person for having known and worked with him. His poignant...Read More »
17 of 49 | Posted by: John Salazar - Colleague

“As the oldest member of the Second Rotation, it was my great honor to have learned from Chef.. I had Cancer at the time and his patience and...Read More »
18 of 49 | Posted by: Ray Wells - Knoxville, TN

“John was a special person. He will be missed greatly. ”
19 of 49 | Posted by: Jeanne d'Orleans - associate

“The first 4 stanzas of the well known Dash Poem by Linda Ellis are:  "I read of a man who stood to speak At the funeral of a friend. He...Read More »
20 of 49 | Posted by: 'Lyn, Charlie, and Bobby

“My deepest sympathy to you and all the family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. ”
21 of 49 | Posted by: Thora Schirtz - Maryville , TN

“I was privileged to work with John on the “A Taste of Success” program at UT. Through that project, he transformed dozens of local lives and...Read More »
22 of 49 | Posted by: Tim Ezzell - Knoxville, TN

“I am sorry for your lose. My thoughts and prayers are with you. ”
23 of 49 | Posted by: Ann-Marie Weldon - colleague

“I met DR. John back in the late 1980's. He gave me a lot of advise when I was putting together my file while he was at USC,and I was applying for...Read More »
24 of 49 | Posted by: Chef Joseph Crompton - Columbia, SC

“Dr. Antun was one of the first teachers that ever challenged me and encouraged me to follow my dreams. I will never forget him making me turn bright...Read More »
25 of 49 | Posted by: Amanda E. Crisp

“Words cannot express how am missing you already! I will miss you booming voice and your contagious laughter ....but I am also glad that you have no...Read More »
26 of 49 | Posted by: Marcia Johnson - friend!

“John Antun was always a favorite of mine. I loved to sit in my office and discuss politics with him and laugh and tell stories. John was bigger...Read More »
27 of 49 | Posted by: Pat Moody - Columbia, SC

“Cristin, Ken and family, We are so sad for your loss. We wish we could be there. We knew John only briefly but what memories we have are an...Read More »
28 of 49 | Posted by: Lyn, Ayse(Mallinder) & Ahmet Ozgun

“It’s very difficult sometimes to put into words how connected you feel to a person. From the moment I set foot on the UT campus, you’ve been...Read More »
29 of 49 | Posted by: Donetta Poisson

“It is an understatement to say that John was an incredible person. He will always be remembered for having such a positive influence on all people...Read More »
30 of 49 | Posted by: Scotty Chitwood

“Chef, thank you so much for allowing me to enter Rotation 12 over 8 months ago. I did not know if I as a physician would be able to meet the...Read More »
31 of 49 | Posted by: Stanley Miller, MD - Knoxville, TN

“I am so sorr for your loss. I was lucky enogh to know Chef Antun through the Culinary program at UT. He was a great person and wil be missed by many. ”
32 of 49 | Posted by: Trena Spiker - student

“Chef Antun had a big personality, a big voice and an even bigger heart. Knoxville has lost an incredible man who touched the culinary world in many,...Read More »
33 of 49 | Posted by: Mary Constantine - Knoxville, TN

“Words cannot express how much I will miss you, nor do I have enough space to recall all of the wonderful memories we have together. You were my...Read More »
34 of 49 | Posted by: Cristin Antun Mallinder

“John was more than a friend. He was, and shall remain an inspiring mentor. While all of us will remember when he spoke, the truth is that his works...Read More »
35 of 49 | Posted by: Tom Gaddis - Knoxville, TN

“I can honestly say that without his help and guidance I wouldn't be where I am today. He was my first undergrad professor at UT, and he was my last...Read More »
36 of 49 | Posted by: John Woodward Jr.

“John was a devoted educator and friend to all. He had a profound influence on all he knew and will be greatly missed. ”
37 of 49 | Posted by: BradArp - Knoxville, TN - Friend

“I have been attending our premier academic conference in hospitality and tourism (CHRIE) since 2002. I met John at that conference and could witness...Read More »
38 of 49 | Posted by: Melih Madanoglu, Florida Atlantic University - FL

“I will never forget your guidance, support, booming laugh, and passion for teaching. Thank you for your footprint on all of our hearts and minds. I...Read More »
39 of 49 | Posted by: Laura Jetter - New York, NY

“John was a very sweet colleague and friend to me. I appreciate very much John’s devotion and thoughtfulness over the years. I’ll miss John’s...Read More »
40 of 49 | Posted by: Rachel JC Chen - Knoxville, TN

“Dear Lola and Family. My heart akes for you all. I am sorry that John had to leave you so soon. Chef was an amazing man. I loved to work with him...Read More »
41 of 49 | Posted by: Sheila Veach - friend

“Thank you Dr. Steve for introducing me to you great friend. I loved hearing the two of you "argue" about "stuff" just like 2 brothers that really...Read More »
42 of 49 | Posted by: Dave Jones

“Lola, this is Eileen, Franks stepdaughter. I just found out about Johns passing and wanted you to know that I am thinking of you. He was a brilliant...Read More »
43 of 49 | Posted by: Mike, Eileen, and Ashley Zumpone

“John and I completed our Master's degrees at USC together. He was such an inspiration that he had gone back to school later in life and he and Lola...Read More »
44 of 49 | Posted by: Dr. Eva Smith - Brevard, NC

“Be thou at peace. ”
45 of 49 | Posted by: Wanda M. Costen

“I will miss sharing favorite virtual culinary indulgences and enjoying Chef John's incredible joie de vivre. Our dear friend and colleague is now at...Read More »
46 of 49 | Posted by: Pattie Davis-Wiley - Knoxville, TN

“John Antun was a special friend and colleague to me. I met him in the fall of 2002 when I arrived in Memphis, Tennessee as an assistant professor at...Read More »
47 of 49 | Posted by: Cynthia Deale - Sylva, NC

“Dr Antun was a great man. He had an amazing passion for his craft, both culinary and teaching. I will miss him. ”
48 of 49 | Posted by: Luis Aloma - Atlanta, GA

“John touched many lives during his life and career. His enourmous passion and drive provided the motivation for me and many others to reach higher,...Read More »
49 of 49 | Posted by: Steve Morse - Knoxville, TN


John Michael Antun, 67 died at home in Knoxville, Tennessee Monday, July 11, 2011 after battling pancreatic cancer for 6 months. He was an associate professor in the Department of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Professor Antun was recognized as one of the foremost teachers, researchers and visionaries of culinary arts and restaurant management education in the world. He was one of only four professionals in the world holding both the Ph.D. and the distinguished Certified Executive Chef (CEC) designation from the American Culinary Federation.

John Antun was born June 7, 1944 to the late Frank and Violet Antun in Jamacia, New York. He earned his B.S. in education from Saint John’s University in Jamacia, NY in 1967 and was a high school teacher in distributive education in the Lawrence Public School System in Cedarhurst, NY from 1968 to 1973 where he was named the NY State DECA Teacher of Year. He left teaching and from 1973 to 1995 he started, owned and operated eight successful hospitality and food service businesses including the widely popular restaurant Antun’s of Westchester in Elmsford, NY. In 1992 he was elected CEO and Chairman of the Board of the New York State Restaurant Association representing all restaurants in the State of New York.

Upon selling his businesses and retiring in 1995, Antun returned to his dream to teach. He returned to school and completed his masters degree in 1997, and doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in 1999 at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. From 1999 to 2004 he served as clinical assistant professor teaching restaurant management and culinary arts courses in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. In 2000, he was the founding director of the Carolina Culinary Institute at the McCutchen House at the University of South Carolina offering professional culinary arts classes to aspiring cooks and chefs.

In 2004 he was appointed assistant professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in the Department of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences where he was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2010. In 2007 he was the Founding Director of the successful Culinary Institute at the University of Tennessee and designed the first curriculum in culinary arts for students in four-year, two-year, and professional chef certification programs. The culinary arts course curricula he designed and taught as the Founding Director two Culinary Institutes at major universities are now used worldwide as models of excellence in designing similar programs.

Professor Antun’s extraordinary visionary and leadership qualities were lauded by fellow educators and researchers in restaurant management and culinary arts around the world. In 2000 he was recognized by his peers and fellow professors in the International Council of Restaurant and Institutional Educators with the highest chef – educator award in the world - the Chef Herman Breithaupt award. In 2002 he was awarded International Food Service Educator of the Year by the International Food Service Educators Network. He was named the 2009 Hospitality Teacher of the Year by the Tennessee Hospitality Association, and won numerous outstanding teacher awards and honors at both the college and department levels.

A dedicated researcher in restaurant management and culinary education, Antun co-authored and contributed to four leading foodservice and culinary education textbooks, completed 24 academic journal articles, and numerous international conference proceedings and presentations. In 2008 he was the Founding Co-Editor of the successful international research journal titled The International Journal of Culinary Science and Technology. He was successful at gaining over $2.5 million in grants in the culinary arts education, with the latest starting the Knoxville Empowerment Zone Culinary Arts training program in Knoxville teaching unemployed persons professional chef skills for lifelong careers. He guided and served on numerous graduate student committees of those earning masters and doctoral degrees. In 2002 he was elected by his faculty peers across the southeast U.S. as President of the Southeast Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education where he guided tremendous growth in the group’s membership and research conferences.

Professor Antun was not only an eminent scholar and researcher, he was also an extraordinarily gifted teacher, mentor and life coach full of inspiration and passion that guided many students in their careers. He was one of the few professors in his field that had both real-world hospitality business experience and Ph.D. academic training, in which he creatively used in his classroom lectures to bridge the gap between textbook concepts and real-world applications.

He took a tremendous amount of pride in teaching and nurturing students, and one time he boldly offered a class of students his personal guarantee that they would all be successful in their careers under his direction, upon which the class made chef neckerchiefs embroidered with the words “The Antun Guarantee” for each student upon graduation. He was passionate about making a difference in the lives of his students and enjoyed following their progress and accomplishments. Years after students completed Antun’s classes and graduated, they would seek his advice in their professional careers and personal lives where he would serve unselfishly inspiring, motivating and guiding them.

He held many professional degrees and professional certifications including the masters (M.S.) and doctoral degrees (Ph.D.) from the University of South Carolina, Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and Certified Culinary Educator (CCE) from the American Culinary Federation, Certified Food Management Professional (FMP) and Certified Trainer for ServSafe Food Safety Training from the National Restaurant Association, and the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) from the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

As a colleague and faculty member, Professor Antun’s leadership, passion and dedication for his teaching and research was widely known among his fellow hospitality educators. His lectures and discussions were marked by intelligence, passion, clarity, critical thinking, and his wonderful sense of humor. Fellow faculty members remember one of his favorite sayings that reflected his enormous passion for life and his profession as “Nobody ever did anything big, by thinking small.”

He is

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