Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Online extras for March

High school students from 39 states to compete in ProStart

The National Restaurant Association announced that 39 states, territories and districts will be sending ProStart high school students to compete at the eighth annual National ProStart Invitational from April 24 to 26 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego. At this fast-paced competition, teams of students that won first place in their state culinary and/or management competitions will compete for the national title, as well as scholarships to continue their education at colleges and universities across the country. In 2008, $1.3 million in scholarships were awarded to winning students.

The complete roster of states, territories and districts sending teams of students to participate in the culinary and/or management competitions includes: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. A total of 275 students will be competing in the National ProStart Invitational.

College of Dupage culinary program to host fund-raiser dinner

Glen Ellyn, Ill.-based College of DuPage's 12th annual "Traditions in Excellence" food and wine dinner event is set for April 21 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The "Traditions in Excellence" dinner event is an opportunity for the College of DuPage's culinary students to showcase their skills, while raising money to enhance the Hospitality Administration program. This year's event presents a four-course, sit-down dinner prepared by the students. The College of DuPage will be recognizing one of its exemplary graduates: Gus Vonderheide, vice president of Hyatt Corp.

Throughout the evening, guests can mingle and peruse the silent and live auction items that will be offered. All the proceeds from the evening's event will go directly to the College of DuPage's Hospitality Program and expansion. Over the years, this event has raised money for new facility improvements and enhances the college's exceptional and growing program. The ambitious expansion plans include a new hotel lab with a hotel front desk, hotel room and reception area, two kitchens, two bake shops, a chocolate room, a bistro and a new culinary market. The project is scheduled for completion in 2012.

Visit www.traditionsinexcellence.com for more information.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Kendall College named 2008 Cooking School of the Year

The School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College has won the Academy of the Culinary Arts Cordon d' Or-Gold Ribbon Cooking School of the Year Culinary Academy Award for 2008. The Academy of the Culinary Arts awards recognize exemplary contributions to the culinary arts from chefs, chef-instructors, entrepreneurs, schools, associations and cuisine advocates and promoters from around the world.

Chef Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, dean, will represent Kendall and its School of Culinary Arts when he joins the other honorees at the Culinary Academy Awards Dinner on May 16 at the Don Cesar Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach, Fla., during the Tampa Bay Food & Wine Festival.

"This award from Cordon d' Or acknowledges the impact of avid, superbly trained graduates of Kendall's School of Culinary Arts on the U.S. foodservice industry, as well as our pioneering programs that position us as an education leader," said Koetke in a statement. "Kendall College is grateful to the Academy for recognizing the value of our sole product: graduates prepared to meet employers' needs for qualified personnel."

For a list of all the winners, visit www.cordondorcuisine.com.

CIA honors leaders of California wine industry

At the Culinary Institute of America's Celebration of California Food & Wine on March 14 at the CIA-Greystone, the CIA recognized the 2009 Vintners Hall of Fame inductees for their contributions to the wine industry.

(l to r) CIA president Tim Ryan and wine journalist Gerald Asher

Inductees, honored at the event's third annual Hall of Fame Induction dinner, include:
Warren Winiarski

Brothers Frederick and Jacob Beringer, who founded Beringer Vineyards in 1876, were inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame as Pioneers, a category that recognizes those who made a significant contribution to the California wine industry and passed away before March 1989.

Proceeds from the Vintners Hall of Fame Induction Dinner contribute to the CIA at Greystone's Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies. The Vintners Hall of Fame was opened to the public for the first time on March 30 at the CIA-Greystone.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Food Jobs e-newsletter launched

Author Irena Chalmers has officially launched the e-newsletter associated with her most recent book, Food Jobs: 150 Great Jobs for Culinary Students, Career Changers and Food Lovers (2008, Beaufort Books). Chalmers, a friend of FENI and a Chef Educator Today and Chef Magazine columnist, Culinary Institute of America instructor and foodservice industry expert, will continue to offer insight into the world of food jobs through the e-newsletter. To sign up for the Food Jobs e-newsletter, visit www.foodjobsbook.com.

Food Jobs recently won the 2008 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Food Book for Professionals in the United States. For more information on Food Jobs, visit Online Tool Kit's previous post, or visit www.foodjobsbook.com.

Dole awards two grand prizes for Fresh Frozen Fruit Student Recipe Contest

The Dole Fresh Frozen Fruit Student Recipe Contest ended in a tie, with the grand prize of $2,500 going to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts--Las Vegas student Bret Skiba and to a team of students from the Columbus Culinary Institute in Ohio.

Skiba's winning recipe was Lobster and Melon Salad (photo below).

The team of students--Burgess Abdallah, Juana Johnson, Lindsay Rathbone, Nic Wilcox and Heather White--prepared a Tropical Trifle (photo below).

The recipes used a minimum of two cups of Dole Fresh Frozen Fruit, and the judges evaluated the dishes based on creativity, flavor, ease of preparation and appetite appeal. For more information, visit www.dolefoodservice.com.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Raw food culinary school to open in Oklahoma City

This fall the country's first state-licensed raw food or "living" cuisine academy and café will open in Oklahoma City.

The school, dubbed 105degrees Academy in reference to the optimal temperature for preparing living cuisine without harming its healthful properties, will teach students how to combine organic, raw ingredients with classic culinary techniques to create flavorful and healthy meals.
The program will be seasonal, with recipes changing monthly.

Academy’s chef certification Level 1 classes, which begin in September, consist of a four-week curriculum and will be offered year-round with 16 students per class. Chef certification Level 2 advanced classes, which start in January 2010, consist of a 12-week curriculum, offered every quarter with eight students per session.

"Level 2 classes are designed to prepare students who currently work or aspire to work in an upscale restaurant or culinary environment," said academy director Mandilyn Canistelle in a statement.

The 3,000-square-foot academy also includes the 105degrees Café, which will offer only organic and plant-based ingredients and will be open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"We will be the only state-licensed, raw culinary school in the country that has curriculum aligned with classic culinary techniques," said co-founder and director of operations Matthew Kenney
in a statement. "The cuisine of our academy will be the most advanced and creative living cuisine available in an educational setting."

Johnsonville donates scholarship funds at El Centro gala

Johnsonville Sausage LLC sponsored a gala dinner at El Centro College in Dallas this month, where it presented El Centro's Food and Hospitality Institute with the Chefs of Tomorrow scholarship, which recognizes excellence in culinary educators and students nationwide. Culinary students enrolled in the Food and Hospitality Institute prepared and served each course served at the gala, which was held March 6 during the 2009 Research Chefs Association Conference.

(l to r) Johnsonville senior brand manager Sarah Babb, Johnsonville western region sales coach Marti Miller, El Centro College chef instructor Chris LaLonde, El Centro College chef instructor Tom Nixon

"The culinary arts program at El Centro College is honored to receive this generous contribution to our scholarship fund by Johnsonville, a brand that is highly respected among chefs nationwide," said El Centro chef instructor Chris Lalonde in a statement. "This donation will help us assist more prospective chefs in achieving their goals."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ocean Spray opens Ultimate Cranberry contest

Ocean Spray has launched the third annual Ultimate Cranberry Recipe contest, offering foodservice industry professionals a chance to win a $25,000 grand prize.

Foodservice professionals have until June 30 to submit original recipes online at www.oceansprayfoodservice.com. The recipes must incorporate Ocean Spray products and fall under the categories of beverages, salads, appetizers, entrées and desserts. Four finalists will be selected in July to compete in head-to-head cook-offs this fall in New York City.

Last year's $25,000 foodservice category winner was Justin Ward, a member of the culinary faculty at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Atlanta, as well as owner of Leapfrog Restaurant Solutions and chef/owner of Hungry Monkey Catering.

For more information, visit www.oceansprayfoodservice.com.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

L'Academie graduate wins Chaine des Rotisseurs regional competition

Seth Brady, a 2007 graduate of L'Academie de Cuisine and a cook at Vinoteca, took first place in the Chaine des Rotisseurs Mid-Atlantic regional Les Jeune Commis competition at L'Academie in Gaithersburg, Md., on March 8. Brady and five other young cooks were given a market basket and four hours to create a three-course meal.

Brady's preparation of Rockfish with Oyster Beurre Fondue, Roasted Leg of Lamb with Dijon jus, Pommes Purée and Roasted Tomato and Braised Pineapple with Pound Sweet Creme Fraiche secured him a spot to compete in the National Finals to be held June 11 to 14 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Monday, March 23, 2009

IFMA honors CIA president Ryan

International Foodservice Manufacturers Association has named Culinary Institute of America (CIA) president Tim Ryan the 2009 Silver Plate Award winner in the Specialty Foodservices category.

Ryan, a 1977 CIA graduate, has been president of the college since 2001. He was the youngest person to become a Certified Master Chef and the youngest national president of the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Since joining the CIA faculty in 1982, Ryan developed the American Bounty Restaurant on campus to advance American cuisine for fine dining. He championed the CIA's launch of the first Bachelor of Professional Studies degree in culinary arts management, and in 2007 he established the college's new campus in San Antonio, Texas. Ryan was named ACF Chef of the Year in 1998 and won the Presidential Medal from the World Association of Cooks.

The annual Silver Plate Awards recognize contributions by foodservice operators in nine segments of the industry: Independent Restaurants, Chain Full Service, Chain Fast Service, Health Care, Elementary and Secondary Schools, Colleges and Universities, Business & Industry/Foodservice Management, Hotels and Lodging and Specialty Foodservices.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Chefs of Grey Poupon to judge student competition

Kraft Foodservice named three chefs as the 2009 Chefs of Grey Poupon for their use of Grey Poupon mustard as part of their signature recipes. The winners, Tim Curci, co-founder of Bonefish Grill; Christopher Cristiano, executive chef of Fox Restaurant Concepts; and Lenny Scranton, CEC, vice president culinary at Morrison Healthcare Food Services, will be recognized at a reception May 6 at The Chopping Block at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

To recognize the 2009 Chefs of Grey Poupon for their culinary achievements and inspire the chefs of tomorrow, a live culinary competition will take place at the reception, featuring students from renowned culinary schools Kendall College, Chicago; Johnson & Wales, Miami; the Culinary Institute of America, New York City; and, new to the competition this year, The French Culinary Institute (updated 4/2/09) Institute of Culinary Education, New York City. The Chefs of Grey Poupon will judge a student culinary competition and award a first-place $20,000 Grey Poupon culinary school scholarship, second-place $5,000 scholarship, third-place $3,000 scholarship and fourth-place $2,000 scholarship. Additionally at the reception, each chef will showcase three signature recipes incorporating Grey Poupon mustard. For more information on the Chefs of Grey Poupon and to see all of their recipes, visit www.chefsofgreypoupon.com.

Three master chefs to host workshop at
The French Pastry School

The French Pastry School of Chicago will play host to three master chefs for an intensive, two-day workshop on June 26 and 27 examining specialty aspects of pastry making called "Spanish Celebrity 'Fiesta.'" Students will watch multiple demonstrations by the chefs and taste their creations.

The two chefs who will teach the workshop are: chef Paco Torreblanca and chef Oriol Balaguer. Torreblanca (photo below), chef/owner of Pastelería Totel, an exporter of baked goods and desserts in Alicante, Galicia, Spain, will demonstrate entremets, tartes and petits gateaux, which illustrate techniques he presents in his new book, Paco Torreblanca Vol. 2.

Balaguer (photo below) , chef/owner of the pastry and confectionary studio Chocolate Studio in Barcelona, will focus on chocolate candies, petits fours, pound cake, confectionary, plated desserts and ice cream. Balaguer opened Chocolate Studio in 2002 after working as the pastry chef at El Bulli in Roses, Spain.

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Rick Bayless (photo below), of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago, will prepare lunch each day for workshop attendees.

For more information, visit www.frenchpastryschool.com.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

CET talks with a high school chef-instructor whose lessons help students and the community

Editor's note: A portion of the following Q&A was featured in the "Student culanthropy" article (page 22) that appeared in the Spotlight department of the March 2009 issue of Chef Educator Today.

Jim Berman, CCI, is a chef-instructor at Delcastle Technical High School in Wilmington, Del. He also is the moderator for the school's extra-curricular Cooks and Bakers club, in which student participants receive additional culinary instruction while cooking for various community-oriented causes (see previous post on the club here). Chef Educator Today (CET) recently spoke with Berman about his unique club and his great students.

CET: What was the impetus for Delcastle's Cooks and Bakers club?
Berman: About 6 years ago, the students decided that they needed more time, beyond the regular class day, to explore their trade. They wanted to compete in local and national culinary competitions, so as a group, they decided to form an after-school club to prepare for those competitions. As such, to bring their learning to life, we decided that becoming viable contributors to the community would be the next, logical step. So, we started taking on some community service projects. The natural match would be to work with younger children and provide opportunities for them to explore the fun side of cooking, food safety, basic nutrition and tasting food.

CET: Tell us about some of the events and activities in which the club has participated.
Berman: Each year we celebrate the winter holidays with the annual Great Gingerbread House Construction Tour. The Tour takes us to local libraries, elementary schools and the Ronald McDonald House Charities to work with young children to create gingerbread houses, chocolate covered marshmallow snowmen, hot chocolate, gingerbread men and create holiday cards. The events allow us the opportunity to garner support from the community to provide supplies and gifts for the kids with which we work. This [past] year, Hy-Point Dairy Farms Inc. contributed milk cartons to use for gingerbread house frames, and Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins Publishers donated books that tie into the season. Our local supermarket, the Kenney Family ShopRite, went above and beyond with donating all of the candy needed for the events. We also partnered with our Dental Assisting program to bring along some of their students to give out toothbrushes, toothpaste and enlighten the kids with visits from the Tooth Fairy. The Gingerbread Tour participants are asked to bring along non-perishable food items to be distributed to the Food Bank of Delaware. We brought in over 1,000 pounds of canned goods, so the event is very much a multi-faceted project.

We also celebrate children’s literature with the Edible Celebration of Dr. Seuss’ Birthday. The birthday celebrations happen once on Dr. Seuss’ actual birthday, March 2nd, and then again on National and Global Youth Service Day in the end of April at local libraries. The students recreate food inspired by Dr. Seuss’ books, including Thidwick the Moose Chocolate Mousse, Yurtle the Turtle’s Caramel Turtles, Daisy Head Maisy’s Sugar Cookie Daisies. Of course, there are visits from the Cat in the Hat and hands-on cooking demonstrations, including Green Eggs. The participants at this event are asked to bring new or gently used books to benefit CHILD Inc., a local battered women’s and children’s shelter. This past year’s event was recognized by the National Education Association as Reading Across America’s “Outstanding High School Event.”

Also, throughout the year, various organizations, including Families First and the March of Dimes, will give us an opportunity to help with their fund-raising and awareness campaigns. A Taste for Art was a classical art-inspired event where students prepared various dishes based on their class work—but were limited to only serving black and white food, like risotto with black mushrooms, sushi rolls and squid ink pasta. The March of Dimes hosted “The Farmer and the Chef” showcase that pitted local restaurant chefs against each other, with the support of regional farmers’ products while raising money for birth defect research. The Cooks and Bakers were the only student-level competitors amidst a sea of regionally known chefs.

Additionally, to keep up with the spirit of serving the community, the crew participates in various walk-a-thons and local support events.

CET: What is your biggest challenge as a high school chef-instructor and culinary club moderator?
Berman: Are there ever enough hours in the day? I am fortunate to have a very dedicated, hard-working group of students that are committed to their trade and learning all that they can. My challenge is to keep up with their needs [by] providing worthwhile opportunities that hold real-world value that promotes what they need to be successful in their chosen careers. A five-day school week with days that end around 4:00 p.m. usually just is not enough. There is rarely a day that goes by without at least a handful of students in our classroom/café well past 6:00 p.m. Most weekends are, at least in part, crammed full of community service events, travel to a regional market, checking out a food-related festival or preparing for competition. The downturn in the economy has not been a tremendous help for the educational sector, but more and more students are taking writing grants and writing to potential partners to help with support. The upside is that students are taking more ownership—not just [in] getting the events organized and executed, but [also] in the planning and development of the events as well.

CET: What initiatives do you and your students have planned for the remaining school year and beyond?
Berman: In keeping with always moving the Cooks and Bakers forward, we have taken on the daunting task of helping a local art therapy group raise money and awareness to keep their program going. This group is comprised of young people with very serious cognitive disabilities, [and] art is one of only a few methods they can use to express themselves. So, we are collaborating with other departments within our school to help them: Our carpentry students are making items to assist with their art work; our production and imaging students are creating frames for their artwork; our digital media department is creating a Web site to raise awareness of their needs; [and] we are going to host a gala auction, complete with our own version of a cook-off to raise money. The art program is far reaching and grand in scope, so there is a lot of student-driven planning and organization necessary to make this new venture a success.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

JWU presents Metz with Doctor of Culinary Arts

Johnson & Wales University (JWU) presented Ferdinand Metz, CMC, president emeritus of the World Association of Chefs' Societies, with an honorary Doctor of Culinary Arts at a commencement ceremony on Feb. 27 to celebrate his life and legacy to culinary arts education.

(l to r) Karl Guggenmos, university dean of culinary education; Ferdinand Metz; and Kevin Duffy, dean of the College of Culinary Arts

Metz was president of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) from 1980 to 2001. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and is the first CMC to earn an MBA. He has been instrumental in establishing the Chef's Apprenticeship, the Chef's Certification and the Master Chefs' Certification programs in the United States and has led the American Culinary Federation U.S. Culinary Team to three consecutive world championships at the International Culinary Olympics. He also served as chairman of the board and trustee emeritus of the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation. Today he heads up consulting companies Ferdinand Metz Culinary Innovations LLC and Master Chefs' Associates.

CIA to host third annual Augie Awards gala

Culinary Institute of America (CIA) will host the 2009 CIA Leadership Awards, held in honor of Auguste Escoffier, at Cipriani 42nd St. in New York City. Proceeds of the third annual "Augie Awards" will benefit the culinary students through CIA's scholarship endowment.

Ferran Adrià (photo below), self-proclaimed deconstructivist and chef/co-owner of ElBulli in Roses, Spain, on the Costa Brava, is the recipient of the 2009 Chef of the Year Award. Adrià, a native of Barcelona, has been ElBulli's head chef for 22 years. ElBulli is only open from April to October. Adrià spends the remaining six months of the year perfecting recipes in his workshop in Barcelona. Over the past six years, the restaurant has been named the World's Best Restaurant four times by England's Restaurant magazine.

(photo courtesy of www.cocina.org)

Grant Achatz (photo below), chef/owner of Alinea in Chicago, will receive the Alumnus of the Year Award. Achatz, a 1994 CIA graduate, worked at The French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., and Trio in Evanston, Ill., before opening Alinea in 2005. He has won multiple awards from the James Beard Foundation, including Rising Star Chef of 2003 and Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2007. Alinea was named the Best Restaurant in America in 2006 by Gourmet magazine.

John J. Profaci, Sr. (photo below), president and founder of Colavita USA, is being inducted into the CIA Hall of Fame. Profaci, credited with opening the North American market to genuine Italian extra-virgin olive oil, started selling Enrico Colavita's olive oil in the United States in 1978. The company later expanded to import and distribute Italian specialty foods such as pasta, sauces and balsamic vinegar. Profaci and Colavita provided the financial support to help the CIA open the Colavita Center for Italian Food and Wine in 2001.

For more information on the Augie Awards gala, visit CIA's Web site.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Brown elected LDEI president

Les Dames d'Escoffier International (LDEI) has elected Suzanne J. Brown president. LDEI is a philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, beverage and hospitality.

Brown works as a global coffee and tea marketing specialist for The Partnership Inc., an interactive advertising and design firm based in Atlanta. In her new position with LDEI, Brown and her board of directors are charged with fostering the continued growth and success of LDEI by supporting the 26 chapters across North America and developing new chapters.

"In my profession working with coffee- and tea-growing countries, I’ve experienced the significance food has on its community. Food, its traditions and enjoyment weave into the very social fabric of these countries,” Brown said in a statement.

LDEI members are educators, cookbook authors, chefs, winery owners, food scientists--influencers who shape the way consumers think, purchase, prepare and eat food. For more information, visit www.ldei.org.

Monday, March 16, 2009

2009 FENI Educators Summit:
And the winners are...

The 11th Annual FENI Summit in Las Vegas Feb. 14 to 17 was the highest attended conference to date, featuring more than 40 different programs on effective motivation, culinary skills, leadership development and lesson planning. Below are the winners of the National Pork Board's Taste of Elegance competition, the Educators of the Year and the Poster Board Winners. Congratulations to all the winners!

For complete FENI Summit wrapup details, be sure to read the May 2009 edition of
Chef Educator Today.

(l to r) National Pork Board's Taste of Elegance first-place winner Stephen Marshall, executive chef, Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas, Henderson, Nev.; third-place winner Zachary Hillberry, chef de cuisine, Caesars Palace Las Vegas; second-place winner Jose Martinez, executive chef, Les Artistes Steakhouse at the Paris Las Vegas; and FENI executive director Daniel von Rabenau

(l to r) FENI executive director Daniel von Rabenau and Educator of the Year-postsecondary winner Michael McGreal, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.

(l to r) FENI executive director Daniel von Rabenau and Educator of the Year-secondary winner Daniel Wagner, Greene County Career & Technology Center, Waynesburg, Pa.

(l to r) FENI executive director Daniel von Rabenau and Best Poster Abstract winner Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, The School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College, Chicago, for "TAAT: Taste, Analyze, Adjust, Taste"

(l to r) FENI executive director Daniel von Rabenau and Best Poster Abstract winner Donald G. Schoffstall, MS, CSC, CHE, FMP, Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, Pittsburgh, for "A Classroom Poster Session: Using and Effective Professional Conference Technique To Enhance Classroom Learning"

(l to r) FENI executive director Daniel von Rabenau and People’s Choice Award for Best Poster Sherri Nordstrom-Stastny, PhD, LRD, Human Development and Education-Dietetics, North Dakota State University, for "'Meet the Parents' Curriculum Increases Learning in Meal Planning Lesson"

(Photos: D.F. von Rabenau)

CCI student named 2009 Almost Famous Chef

Connecticut Culinary Institute (CCI) student David Awad, from took first place overall in the seventh annual S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef competition held March 8 at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (CIA) in Napa Valley, Calif.

Awad competed against nine other student chefs from the United States and Canada over three days. His Pan-Seared Lamb Loin with a Red Wine Honey and Mint Glaze won him the $10,000 cash grand prize, a $1,000 scholarship for his alma mater and a year-long opportunity to work with a nationally recognized chef.

(from l to r) chef Ralph Pagano, co-host and chef/owner of www.kitchensynx.com; David Awad, 2009 Almost Famous Chef winner; Kristianne Pak, 2008 Almost Famous Chef winner; Kendra Orng, Signature Dish winner; Joe Branton, People's Choice winner; and Harold Dieterle, co-host and chef/owner of Perilla Restaurant in New York City

The 10 finalists competed in three categories: the Mystery Basket, Signature Dish, and People’s Choice. Awad won the Mystery Basket competition, earning him an additional $3,000, which involved creating a plate with surprise ingredients: sturgeon, bacon, bay leaves, fingerling potatoes and asparagus. Kendra Orng from the International Culinary School at The Art Institute California-Los Angeles won the $3,000 Signature Dish prize for her Chipotle-Braised Pork, and Joe Branton from the Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College won the $3,000 People’s Choice Award, with his signature dish, Pork Two Ways.

The Almost Famous Chef Competition was founded in 2002 as a mentoring program that connects top culinary students with established chefs and influential media. For more information, visit www.almostfamouschef.com.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Beef bourguignonne recipe

Editor's note: The following recipe was mentioned in the "Red meat revisited" article (page 18) that appeared in the March 2009 issue of Chef Educator Today.

Beef Bourguignonne
Chef Will Bohmann, New England Culinary Institute, Montpelier, Vt., www.neci.edu

2 lb. beef stew meat (beef chuck) cut into 1 1/2-2” cubes
4 T. butter
2 oz. smoked bacon or pork lardons, diced
2 carrots, medium dice
4 plum tomatoes, concassé
2 c. red wine
2 c. veal or beef stock
2 c. mushrooms, quartered
1 c. fresh pearl onions
Salt and pepper, as needed
4 sprigs fresh thyme

Method (1) Dice pork lardons or bacon, and render in a heavy-bottomed rondo with butter. When lardons begin to brown, remove them with a spoon. (2) In small batches, season and sear beef stew meat (beef chuck) in remaining fat left in the rondo. (3) Remove meat when browned on all sides. Add carrots to deglaze the pan. When slightly caramelized, add rough chopped tomatoes, and cook until they begin to thicken and glaze on the bottom of the pot. (4) Return meat and lardons to the pot; add red wine, and reduce for 5 minutes. (5) Add veal stock or beef stock. Cover, and simmer over low heat for 2 hours or until tender. (6) Shortly before serving, in a small sauté pan add butter, sauté quartered mushrooms and onions until evenly caramelized and tender. Reserve. (7) Adjust seasoning of stew, and incorporate mushrooms and onions. Season with fresh thyme. If a thicker sauce is necessary, remove and reserve tender meat. Bring sauce in rondo to a boil, and thicken using beurre manié. Add meat back to thickened sauce. (8) Serve over a bowl of egg noodles or fresh cut pappardelle.

Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center to host visiting chef Nahabedian

Michigan State University's Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center will host chef Carrie Nahabedian, co-owner of Naha restaurant in Chicago, at its final spring 2009 Visiting Chef Series from April 1 to 2. On April 1, Nahabedian will give a lecture and cooking demonstration of a four-course meal served with two wines. She also will prepare a four-course dinner, different from the demonstration meal, on April 2.

Nahabedian received her culinary training in Europe and Chicago. She spent 10 years at the Four Seasons, most recently as executive chef of the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, before opening Naha with her cousin Michael. Nahabedian was selected as one of the featured chefs for the 2008 Charleston Food and Wine Festival. She also was named the Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2008 by the James Beard Foundation.

This year's Visiting Chef Series already hosted Ali Barker, executive chef of The Boulevard Inn & Bistro, Cleveland, Ohio; and Paul Virant, executive chef of Vie restaurant in Western Springs, Ill. For more information or to make reservations for the Visiting Chef Series, go to www.hfs.msu.edu.

March 2009 CET digital edition online

Look Inside >>
March 2009

The digital edition of the March 2009 issue of Chef Educator Today (CET) is now online through the CET Web Site. This digital edition features all the same great content as the print edition, plus it includes an online exclusive article on classroom communications.

To access the March digital edition, click the icon above. For the CET digital archives, click here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jett's crab cakes take first in Vistive Chef Challenge

Chef Leslie Jett, CEC, resident instructor in the University of Missouri-Columbia Hotel and Restaurant Management program, won the $10,000 first prize in the Vistive Chef Challenge at the 2009 Commodity Classic held last month in Grapevine, Texas. His winning recipe was Crab Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper-Creole Remoulade (recipe below), cooked in Vistive low-linolenic soybean oil.

In combination with the Soyfoods Council, agricultural company Monsanto launched the Vistive Chef Challenge at the 2008 Farm Progress Show. Over the past six months, professional chefs nationwide have submitted recipes cooked in Vistive low-linolenic soybean oil, which contains less than 3 percent linolenic acid, resulting in a more stable soybean oil that typically doesn't require partial hydrogenation.
A panel of judges narrowed down the entries to three finalists, and the winner was determined by farmers and their families, who voted online.

Crab Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper-Creole Remoulade

Yield: 4 servings

1 c. soy-based mayonnaise
2 eggs
2 T. dry mustard
1 T. fresh tarragon, chopped
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. yellow onion, minced
1 t. Old Bay seasoning
1/2 t. hot sauce
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
8 oz. crab meat
2 1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
1 c. textured soy protein soy breadcrumbs
2 c. spring mix
Roasted Red Pepper-Creole Remoulade for service (recipe follows)

Method (1) heat fryer with soy oil to 325ºF. (2) Beat together 1 egg with 1/2 c. cold water, and set aside. (3) Combine 1 c. mayonnaise, one egg, dry mustard, tarragon, soy sauce, Old Bay seasning, hot sauce, onion, salt and black pepper in large bowl. (4) Fold in crab meat, textured vegetable proteins and 1 c. of panko breadcrumbs. (5) Scoop mixture into desired size, form into patties, dip in the egg wash prepared in step 2 and roll in remaining panko. For small appetizer-sized crab cake, use a number 40 scoop. Recipe designed to use 3 miniature cakes to make 1 portion. (6) Place crab cakes into fryer, using a double basket method to ensure even cooking around the cakes. Cook cakes for 5-6 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Drizzle plate with Roasted Red Pepper-Creole Remoulade, place 1/2 c. of spring greens on plate and position cakes on plate for service.

Roasted Red Pepper-Creole Remoulade

1 c. soy mayonnaise
1 T. creole seasoning
1/2 roasted red bell pepper
1 t. Dijon mustard
2 T. fresh chives
Pinch cream of tartar

Method (1) Combine 1 c. soy mayonnaise, red bell pepper, Dijon mustard, creole seasoning, cream of tartar and chives in food processor, and blend until smooth. (2) Refrigerate until ready for use. Prepare remoulade at least 1 hour in advance, so flavors have time to develop.

Finding 2009's Best Teen Chef

High school seniors and budding chefs on March 14 will compete in The Art Institutes Best Teen Chef 2009 Local Cook-off Competition at The Art Institute of California–San Diego. Coast-to-coast, Best Teen Chef Local Cook-off Competitions will be held at participating The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes locations across the United States and Canada.

Competitors will prepare a menu of Shrimp Cocktail, Sautéed Breast of Chicken, Fresh Broccoli and Rice Pilaf during timed heats. Local winners will head to The Art Institute of Charlotte, in North Carolina, May 8 to 10 for the Best Teen Chef Final Round Competition.

The national first prize includes a full-tuition scholarship toward an associate's degree, certificate or diploma program to study culinary arts at one of the more than 30 participating Art Institute locations; and the chance to be "Intern for a Day" at Food Network Kitchens in New York city.

More information about the Best Teen Chef Competition is available at The Art Institutes Web site.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

CIA hires associate dean for business management

The Culinary Institute of America hired Rummy Pandit, former assistant dean and executive director of hospitality management at Rutgers University, as associate dean for business management.

Pandit holds a master's in Hotel Management from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration/IMHI and an MBA with a concentration in finance from Rutgers. Before joining the academic world, he held multiple managerial positions in the hospitality industry, including executive director of hotel operations for Harrah's Showboat Casino-Hotel and general manager of the Atlantic Palace Suites in Atlantic City, N.J.; general manager of the Shoreham Hotel in New York City; and rooms division manager at the Ritz Carlton in Boston. Pandit also holds a Certified Hotel Administrator designation from the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

"With its complexity and broad scope, today's foodservice and hospitality industry needs more and better-prepared managers," said Kathy Merget, CIA dean of liberal arts and business management, in a statement. "We want to expose our students to the latest business practices, technology and leadership opportunities, whether in the kitchen or the boardroom. Mr. Pandit's experience will help provide CIA students with the most advanced business applications at both the associate and bachelor's degree levels."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

HMEF hosts third annual ProStart Invitational

The Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation (HMEF) on Feb. 10 hosted the third annual HMEF Sysco ProStart Invitational at Sysco Minnesota in St. Paul, to provide high school juniors and seniors exposure to the foodservice industry through team-based culinary and academic competitions.

Nine teams consisting of junior and senior students enrolled in one of the six Minnesota ProStart high schools competed in a culinary competition and a management competition. In the culinary session, students prepared a three-course meal in 60 minutes, which was observed and rated by judges from post-secondary colleges and universities and the restaurant and foodservice industry. The gold medal team was Elk River High School.

In the management portion, students were tested on their communication skills and ability to apply their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry to practical situations and competed in a question-and-answer portion. The gold medal team was Sauk Rapids-Rice High School. The winning team from each of the competitions will move on to represent Minnesota at the National ProStart Invitational in San Diego, Calif., April 23 to 26.

ProStart is a National Restaurant Association Solutions career-building program for high school students interested in culinary arts and foodservice management.

Monday, March 9, 2009

ACF awards first Certified Junior Culinarian designations

The American Culinary Federation awarded high school students Alveon Dixon, Stephen Kerpelman and Jessica Martinez the Certified Junior Culinarian (CJC) designation. These students are dual enrolled at the Center of Applied Technology (CAT) in Severn, Md., and Arundel High School, Gambills, Md.

The CJC designation indicates to culinary industry and post-secondary educational institutions that the student has completed a culinary arts program and has passed the required competencies of the program.

Collectively, Dixon, Kerpelman and Martinez have been awarded more than $100,000 in scholarship money for their post-secondary education. They also have earned recognition in high academic achievement, civic activity, extracurricular work and competitions. They are the only three students out of 11 in the CAT culinary arts program who have met all the requirements for the CJC designation.

"These students have excelled in an environment in which students apply theory and knowledge toward skills proficiency and practice safe work habits and professional ethics," said Bruce Davis, CAT culinary arts instructor, in a statement.

ADDED 3/18/09: For more information on the secondary certification and the CJC accreditation process, visit the ACF Web site.

Friday, March 6, 2009

CIA releases first two books of food selection series

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), in conjunction with Delmar Publishing, has released the first two books in a multi-part Kitchen Pro series designed for chefs, foodservice managers, purchasing agents, suppliers, vendors, retailers, culinary students, instructors and food enthusiasts.
Meat: Identification, Fabrication and Utilization, by Thomas Schneller, and Fish and Seafood: Identification, Fabrication and Utilization, by Mark Ainsworth, describe both traditional and state-of-the-art methods of identifying species and cuts, purchasing, fabricating and storing.
The full-color, hard-bound texts also demonstrate basic preparation methods in step-by-step format and offer tested recipes using both classic and contemporary cooking techniques. Other topics covered in the book are prevailing consumer and foodservice issues such as local sourcing, heritage breeds, animal production practices, maximizing secondary cuts to control food costs, and flavors and cooking methods that meet diner demands while increasing restaurants' check averages.

The Kitchen Pro Series comprises six components, four of which will be released later this year and next. For more information, visit www.culinary.delmar.com.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

U.S. team named champions at international cooking competition

American Culinary Federation (ACF) Culinary Youth Team USA, a team of culinary students representing the United States, placed first overall at this year's Knorr World Culinary Grand Prix, a biennial competition during ScotHot, Scotland's largest exhibition for foodservice and hospitality held from March 2 to 4, in Glasgow, Scotland. The team of chefs 25 years old or younger competed against eight international teams and won three gold medals with its representation of American cuisine, from macaroni and cheese to barbecue.

The competition covered three categories: a three-course plated meal, a five-course served hot and displayed cold and a demonstration of various skills for a group of spectators. Judges evaluated mise en place and cleanliness, correct professional preparation, arrangement and presentation/innovation and taste.

"The team did a great job overall and received fantastic comments on its appetizer," said Steve Jilleba, team manager and corporate executive chef of Unilever Foodsolutions, Lisle, Ill., in a statement. "The team earned the highest scores in both cold and hot kitchens and did an outstanding job representing American cuisine."

Along with the United States, England, Germany, India, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Scotland and Wales were represented at the competition. Last year, the U.S. team took second place behind Canada.

ADDED 3/17/09: ACF Culinary Youth Team USA members, all students at Professional Culinary Institute (PCI), Campbell, Calif., are: Edalyn Garcia, of Santa Clara, Calif.; Alfonso Mendoza, of Campbell, Calif.; Alison Murphy, of Santa Clara, Calif.; Alyssa Twelker, of Sunnyvale, Calif.; and Keriann Von Raesfeld, team captain, of San Jose, Calif. The team is coached by Randy Torres, director of culinary education, PCI. Congratulations to the team!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Barry Callebaut hires Chicago pastry chef

Barry Callebaut, the world's leading manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, hired executive pastry chef Richard Cusick to join its team of technical advisers at the Zurich-based company's Chocolate Academy, which recently opened in Chicago.

executive pastry chef Richard Cusick

Cusick, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and an American Culinary Federation-certified executive pastry chef, has been the
executive pastry chef at Chicago restaurants Ambria, Everest and Charlie Trotter's. He also was an instructor and chair of the pastry program at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, and currently is a member of the Research Chefs Association's Certification Commission.

In his new role, Cusick will help teach a range of seminars, demonstrations, theoretical courses and practical workshops on chocolate applications and processing techniques. Classes at the Chocolate Academy are specifically designed for artisans and culinary professionals including pastry chefs, confectioners, bakers and caterers.

"Chef Cusick's experience working in the kitchens of some of Chicago's best-known restaurants will be an invaluable resource for the culinary professionals who come to the academy with the goal of improving their skills in working with fine chocolate," said Massimo Garavaglia, president of Barry Callebaut North America, in a statement.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

FIU hospitality students mingle and cook at the 2009 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

More than 60,000 people attended the 2009 South Beach Wine & Food Festival last month, an annual fundraiser hosted by Florida International University's (FIU) School of Hospitality (SOH). Here Online Tool Kit compiled some photos showing highlights of the four-day event.

(l to r) 2009 Barilla Best New Student Chef Award winner Arthur Mindermann, FIU SOH dean Joe West and celebrity chef Tyler Florence

FIU SOH students assist Food Network personalities Pat and Gina Neely during a cooking demonstration

FIU students prepare food for celebrity chefs for the festival's Bubble Q event

FIU SOH student Kevin Purdy assists cooking personality Rocco DiSpirito

NBC weatherman and chef Al Roker with FIU SOH student Pamela Burque at the Bubble Q

Photos courtesy of Mitchell Zachs/FIU School of Hospitality

Bucci named Chef Educator of the Year at ACF Conference

Timothy Bucci, certified executive chef, certified culinary educator and associate chef-instructor at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Ill., received the 2009 American Culinary Federation (ACF) Central Region Chef Educator of the Year award at this year's ACF Central Regional Conference held in Schaumburg, Ill., Feb. 21 to 23. The award honors an active culinary educator whose knowledge, skills and expertise have provided leadership and guidance to culinary students.

(l to r) David Russell, ACF's central regional vice president and Timothy Bucci

Bucci was executive chef at House of Hughes, Crestwood, Ill., before joining the faculty at Joliet Junior College. He holds an associate degree from Joliet Junior College in culinary arts and a bachelor's degree in restaurant hospitality and institutional management from Purdue University Calument, Hammond, Ind. He is a member of ACF Louis Joliet chapter and an ACF-certified culinary judge. He was awarded Educator of the Year from the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago in 2001 and 2004. As a competitor, Bucci was a gold medalist in individual competition at the 2008 Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) competition in Erfurt, Germany. He also competed at the IKA "culinary Olympics" in Germany in 2004, where he was a silver medalist.

As recipient of the Central Region Educator of the Year award, Bucci will compete for the national title against three other candidates at the 2009 ACF National Convention in Orlando, Fla., July 11 to 14. Candidates will participate in a lecture and demonstration for a panel of judges who will decide the winner.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lexington College to host open house

Lexington College, a private women's hospitality management degree-granting college, will host its annual "Taste of Lexington" event on March 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the school's West Loop campus in Chicago. This year's theme is "Bounty of the Midwest" and will focus on fresh, natural flavors. Students will prepare all the hors d'oeuvres to be available at the event.

Invited guests include prospective students, families of current students and executives of hospitality-related businesses in the Chicagoland area. The event offers a chance to meet students, faculty and staff; tour the campus; and learn about degree specializations in hospitality management.