Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New produce-based competition provides scholarship opportunities

Culinary students don your whites and sharpen your knives because a new contest from the Southeast Produce Council is too delicious to pass up: R.E.C.I.P.E.—or Recognizing Educational Creativity in Produce Excellence—is a new culinary-student scholarship competition designed to educate future food professionals about the bounty of fresh produce items.

The competition challenges students attending culinary schools in the Southeast to create a three-course vegetarian menu that includes a starter, main course and dessert. Students can choose from a variety of fresh fruit and vegetable items as part of their pantry.

A committee of industry professionals will select the top six recipes, and the winning students will be invited to compete in a three-course meal cooking challenge in Tampa, Fla., at the Southern Exposure Convention on March 7, 2009. Finalists will also be judged on knife skills and other fundamentals.

Scholarships of $10,000, $7,500 and $5,000 will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners, respectively.

Recipes can be submitted through Dec. 1, 2008. For more details, go to www.seproducecouncil.com.

DePaul to launch hospitality
leadership school

DePaul University recently received a $7.5 million gift—the school's second largest private donation ever—from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to establish the DePaul School of Hospitality Leadership, which will help address the hospitality industry's growing need for highly-educated, diverse management.

Based at the university's nationally recognized College of Commerce in downtown Chicago, the school will offer a bachelor's degree in hospitality leadership beginning in the fall of 2009 to prepare students for management roles at hotels, restaurants, convention and tourism ventures, spas and related leisure industries.

In addition to targeting traditional undergraduates, the innovative program will seek to enroll qualified Chicago hospitality workers who want to move into management but lack the educational credentials to do so. The goal is to help these workers—many of whom are minorities and/or potential first generation college students—embark on management career paths through greater access to education. Ongoing fundraising will support DePaul's plans to add graduate degrees, continuing education programs and a research center at the school.

"Chicago is the third largest convention destination in the United States and has been chosen as a candidate city for the 2016 Summer Olympics. It deserves a world class hospitality school to support this major industry," said the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M., DePaul president. "Thanks to this generous donation from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, DePaul can build a program that will educate leaders from diverse backgrounds for this industry."