Leadership change stirs things up event center

Long-time local Chef Nick Lensing officially turned over the Rochester International Event Center's kitchen to a successor Thursday as he was promoted to a new lead catering position.

Lensing has been in charge of the Rochester  International  Event Centerat the business park at Rochester International Airport as the executive chef for many years. At the 2012 Rochester Area Chamber of CommerceCelebration last week, he handed off those duties and introduced Christopher Hodappas the center's new executive chef.

Canadian Honker Enterprises,which owns the center as well as the Canadian Honkerrestaurant and Canadian Honker Events at the Ramada, is promoting Lensing to the position of catering sales executive. In the new role, he will handle catering sales for special events, meetings and conferences at all of Canadian Honker Enterprises' locations.

"I am delighted for the opportunity…," said Lensing in the announcement of the changes.

Hodapp, his successor at the event center, spoke to the crowd at Thursday's chamber event and explained the menu that he had put together for his first time being in charge of the annual celebration.


Prior to coming to Rochester, Hodapp served as the executive chef for the Sun Valley Co. in Sun Valley, Idaho. He has held various chef and cooking positions with restaurants throughout Idaho and Minnesota. Hodapp graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

"The addition of Chef Christopher to the Rochester Event Center team and the promotion of Chef Nick brings and extraordinary level of culinary skill and professionalism to our organization,"  

said company owner Joe Powers"The changes will continue to strengthen our reputation and enhance services in our growing operations."

Canadian Honker Enterprises has 150 employees overall and does more than $7 million in sales each year.

Biz buzz

A northwest Rochester fast food place has something cooking.

The order has been placed, so expect a royal revamp, inside and outside, to be served up soon.

Stay tuned. I should be able to deliver some details, while they are still hot.

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