Hari Pulapaka is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of the highly acclaimed Cress Restaurant in DeLand FL. Hari is also a full-time tenured Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Stetson University. Hari lives a full life driven by two full-time professions.
As a chef, Hari received a classical culinary degree and has trained at Canoe in Toronto and opened Cress in 2008 with his wife Dr. Jenneffer Pulapaka, who is a podiatric surgeon with her own private practice The DeLand Foot and Leg Center. Jenneffer is also co-owner of Cress and is its Wine Director and General Manager. Cress is rated the #1 restaurant in the Greater Orlando area by ZAGAT. Hari is a four-time (2015, 2014, 2013, 2011) semifinalist for The James Beard Award for Best Chef South and a two-time (2012, 2013) nominee for Food & Wine Magazine’s The People’s Best New Chef. Hari attended the first official James Beard Foundation Boot Camp in Louisville for Policy and Action as one of only 15 chefs nationwide and now serves on the advisory board of CAN (The Chef Action Network) which is supported by the James Beard Foundation. Hari has cooked at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City on multiple occasions. Hari and Jenneffer actively support a wide variety of philanthropic endeavours all across Central Florida and help raise thousands of dollars every year for a variety of food and health related causes. Since the inception and more so now, Hari is passionate about finding ways to improve the regional food system of Central Florida in particular, and the nation, as a whole. Hari is also a Certified Executive Chef of The American Culinary Federation and a Certification Evaluator. Hari published his first book "Dreaming in Spice" in 2015.
As a mathematician, Hari received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from The University of Florida in 1995 under the direction of Professor Andrew Vince, an M.S. in Mathematics under the supervision of Professor James Lawrence at George Mason University, and a B.Sc. in Mathematics from St. Xavier’s College at the University of Mumbai. Hari is has published several papers in graph theory, number theory, and problem solving. After holding academic positions at Valdosta State University and a visiting position at Georgia Tech, Hari has been at Stetson University since 2000.
For more information, please visit:
www.facebook.com/haripulapaka (mostly for Chef Hari) OR www.cressrestaurant.com (about Cress Restaurant) OR http://www2.stetson.edu/~hpulapak (mostly for Mathematician Hari)