Chef Troy Wilson & UVU’s Restaurant Forte

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Photo by Carrie Laudie

Lee Thomas

Lifestyle Editor


Chef Troy Wilson, a third generation chef, has been a Culinary Instructor at UVU for 15 years this August. He has been running the seemingly under-publicized, but always packed, UVU Restaurant Forte (previously known as Greg’s) with a team of students ever since.


Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Wilson attended a couple of “quarters” at UVCC, got married at 19, and moved to Poughkeepsie, NY where he graduated from The Culinary Institute of America.


After a couple of long stints in cooking positions, including Sandy-based Italian restaurant Ciao, which he opened in 1995, Wilson accepted a job offer from Greg Forte. At that time the Culinary Department at UVSC was run by Forte, the school restaurant’s namesake.


In past years, Forte has featured an international theme, each week highlighting a different cuisine, such as Indian, French, Thai or South America.

“This year the department is toying around with the idea of running a constant menu and letting the students come up with an international menu for the last two weeks. The regular menu will be more technique driven, with the station each item comes from listed on the menu,” said Wilson.


The restaurant is open every Thursday and Friday beginning the week after Labor Day, with one seating on Thursday and two on Friday in the 40-capacity dining room. The restaurant is reservation only and tends to fill up very quickly.


Wilson not only runs Forte, but also teaches a Menu and Facility Design class in which students experience the realities of opening a restaurant.

“They make a business plan, learn about getting funding, the regulations from the health department and liquor laws. They give the restaurant a name, create a menu and wine list and cost them out. They get to design their own restaurant from start to finish,” said Wilson.


Outside of classes and the restaurant, students also help run year-round catering events for the school in the UCCU Events Center, which can hold up to 7,000 dinner guests.


UVU culinary students get a lot of hands-on work experience while attending, which is not necessarily normal for most majors.

“We don’t sugar coat it for them,” said Wilson. “They get a real world experience coming to school here. They get a good education here, they really do. And that’s why we’ve got a mile long waiting list for the program.”


Easygoing, fun, and hardworking can be a rare combination of traits to find in a Chef, but this is exactly the reputation he has earned with his students. Many alumni have mentioned him as one of their favorite instructors due to his upbeat personality and patient teaching style.


One of Wilson’s most recent hobbies is motorcycle’s and he recently spent the weekend in Sturgis, S.D. at the 75th Annual 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which had attendance of over a million people in 2015.


Wilson enjoys his summers and holidays off, an extremely rare opportunity for a corporate chef. Helping shape young aspiring chefs and seeing where they end up is just another perk. He looks forward to many more years at UVU.