As senior vice president of operations, Charles “Chuck” Kline oversees the Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) regional management teams, directs the Company’s beverage and training programs, and manages all operations for Cameron Mitchell Catering and the Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern. Kline actively participates in new concept development for the Company, which involves traveling to diverse locations to research potential new concepts with a goal of further extending CMR’s national presence.
Kline’s enthusiasm for the kitchen started early. Growing up, holidays and family events always began in the kitchen – his grandmother, grandfather, mother and brother were all great cooks, and homemade meals always served as the centerpiece of family celebrations. At sixteen, he was making breads and entrees at Vincenzo’s an Italian restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.
Kline then completed a three-year apprenticeship at The Refectory in Columbus, Ohio under French Chef Richard Blondin. Kline graduated first in his class at Columbus State Community College, earning an Associates Degree in Hospitality Management. This was followed by two years’ service as Sous Chef under Chef Blondin whom he credits, along with Charlie Trotter, as his biggest mentor and influence.
Kline’s first assignment with CMR was menu development for the new Cap City Fine Diner & Bar concept in 1995. Hired as Sous Chef, he was quickly promoted to Executive Chef.
In 1999, Kline was promoted to the Executive Team as Corporate Chef and in 2007 became Vice President of Food and Beverage. He was promoted to Vice President of Operations in 2009 and became senior vice president of operations in 2016.
Kline says his favorite part of working with Cameron Mitchell is the freedom to run the business as if it were his own with his passion being the development and nurturing of teams. He’d like to emulate the legacy of his mentors – to assist each team member in achieving their goals. During his downtime, he enjoys spending time with family, attending OSU football games and fishing with friends. Reaching back to his early cooking roots, he says his all-time favorite Cameron Mitchell dish is the Chicken Picatta at Marcella’s Ristorante.