Friday, July 31, 2009

C-CAP competitions award nearly $3 million in scholarships

Student chefs from public high schools across the country showcased their talent during Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Cooking Competitions for Scholarships. At these fast-paced, hands-on events, top chefs judged students on the preparation of two classic recipes prepared from memory in just two hours.

More than 190 teens walked away with scholarships--ranging in value from $500 to $88,596--to attend some of the most prestigious culinary schools and colleges in the country including the nationally recognized Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales University, New England Culinary Institute, The Art Institutes and Monroe College. Students also received scholarships to premier local colleges and culinary schools in the seven locations where C-CAP operates programs, plus cash awards to help defray the costs of books, supplies, housing and other expenses while at college. Knife kits by R.H. Forschner were also awarded.

In a statement following the event, C-CAP founder and president Richard Grausman said, “With the tough economic times, students now more than ever need all the help they can possibly get with financing their college education. We are grateful to our post-secondary partners, our contributors, local chefs and to all who help us help C-CAP scholarship winners take this life-changing path to a career in the food service industry. These supporters are making the scholarship program possible.”

C-CAP held the competitions and award ceremonies in seven locations this year including: New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Hampton Roads, Va.

The cooking competitions are the culmination of the year-long C-CAP program, which introduces students to new cuisines; teaches students basic cooking skills and techniques; and helps students find meaningful careers as chefs, restaurant managers and hotel administrators. For urban teenagers at risk of leaving high school without job or college prospects, C-CAP offers direction, a set of useful skills, scholarships and the potential for a fulfilling career in a growing industry.

Chef Uwe Toedter (left), president of Les Amis d’ Escoffier Society of New York, was a judge at the C-CAP New York Cooking Competition for Scholarships Awards Ceremony. He presented a scholarship from Les Amis d’ Escoffier Society of New York and a scholarship in his daughter’s name, Natalie Toedter. (Photo by Jerry Ruotolo)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

MSU's School of Hospitality Alumni Association honors two professors with academic achievement awards

The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association at Michigan State University awarded Dr. Michael Olsen and Prof. John Drysdale its 2009 Lifetime Academic Achievement Award. The award is given to alumni whose lifetime careers in the academy have had a lasting and significant impact on hospitality education and those who study and teach it.

Olsen (pictured below) is an emeritus professor of strategic management in the hospitality industry in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and chairman of the Olsen Group Inc., a firm providing strategic visioning leadership to the global hospitality industry. He earned his bachelor’s degree from MSU's School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management and his MBA at MSU. He earned his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech.

Drysdale (pictured below), who earned his bachelor’s from the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at MSU and his master's of science in administration from Central Michigan University, is a professor emeritus at Johnson County Community College in Overland, Kan., where he taught in the hospitality management department. He also is the CEO of Hospitality Publishing LLC.

The school will honor Olsen and Drysdale today at the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education Conference in San Francisco.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Monroe Community College promotes two

Monroe Community College's (MCC) board of trustees recently approved the promotion of two faculty members in the hospitality management department at the Rochester, N.Y.-based college.

Michelle Bartell (pictured), an MCC hospitality management department chairperson who has worked at the college for 13 years, was named chair and associate professor of the hospitality department. Drew Lawrence, a five-year faculty member of MCC's hospitality department, was promoted to assistant professor.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tenbergen “adopts” USS Halsey

In support of the Naval Supply Systems Command's (NAVSUP) “Adopt-A–Ship” program, Klaus Tenbergen, Culinology Program director and assistant professor from California State University, Fresno, recently participated in a week-long at-sea session mentoring and training mess management specialists stationed aboard USS Halsey (DDG-97) (pictured right).

Halsey is the 47th ship in the Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) Class of Aegis guided missile destroyers--the U.S. Navy’s most powerful destroyer fleet. These highly-capable, multi-mission ships can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of National Military Strategy.

A crew of approximately 300 officers and crewmembers operate the 509.5-foot, 9,300-ton ship, so quality foodservice and well-balanced meals are vital to providing a higher quality of life to the sailors, both ashore and afloat. The Adopt-A-Ship program furthers industry and Navy quality-of-life objectives by facilitating the transfer of knowledge and capabilities from chefs like Tenbergen.

Tenbergen (pictured left) was welcomed onboard by Halsey’s Commander Robert E. Beauchamp and Leo Ochoa, LT, SC, USN, Supply Officer, and presented with a ship’s ball cap. Although on board for just a week, Tenbergen was welcomed as part of Halsey’s crew and given an opportunity to teach and learn from the crew.

“The program creates opportunities for industry chefs to mentor part of our nation's fighting force, and my experience was very rewarding and gratifying,” Tenbergen said in a recent press release.

As Tenbergen observed, the demands placed on the U.S. Navy's Culinary Specialists (CSs) are nearly non-stop. A normal day consists of preparing for breakfast at 0500 or earlier depending on the ship’s operational commitments. At the conclusion of each meal, CSs begin preparing for the following meal while in many cases balancing professional shipboard training outside of their rate, such as damage control and fire fighting training.

Adopt-A-Ship promotes the culinary profession within the military foodservice community and the professional image of Navy foodservice to the civilian foodservice community. Chefs can determine the amount of time they participate in the program. They schedule training based on the compatibility of their schedule with the ship's schedule. Hands-on training objectives include food preparation techniques, on-line plating and presentation.

The length of service is determined by the ship’s schedule and the needs of the volunteer--there is no monetary remuneration for offering culinary knowledge. Klaus Tenbergen invested over 200 volunteer hours into this program.
Klaus Tenbergen (center) poses with some Culinary Specialists aboard the USS Halsey

For more information about the “Adopt-A-Ship” program or to volunteer, contact
Chef Michael Harants, CEC, CCE, AAC, corporate chef/chef-instructor, Navy Family Support, at (717) 605-6323 or

Monday, July 27, 2009

Okanagan College student wins Florida Tomato recipe contest

David Colombe, a culinary student at Okanagan College in Vernon British Columbia, was the grand prize winner in the 20th annual Florida Tomato Committee's Best of the Best recipe contest held at food marketing and communications agency Lewis & Neale in New York City. A panel of chefs and food writers selected Colombe's Fire Roasted Florida Tomato Gumbo (recipe below) as the best, winning him the $2,000 first prize.

(the judging panel from l to r): chef Rob Bleifer, Food Network; chef Deirdre Devoy, Restaurant Associates; Reggie Brown, Florida Tomato Committee; Samantha Winters, Florida Tomato Comittee; Gary Tucker, Food Arts; Pat Cobe, Restaurant Business; and Jason Stemm, Lewis & Neale

For more information, visit

Fire Roasted Florida Tomato Gumbo
David Colombe, student-chef, Okanagan College,

Yield: 6 portions (10 cups)

2 1/2 lbs. fully ripened Florida tomatoes
2 T. butter
1/2 c. andouille sausage, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. carrot, coarsely chopped
1/3 c. celery, coarsely chopped
2 t. garlic, finely chopped
3 T. all-purpose flour
3 c. chicken stock
3 T. tomato paste
2 t. sugar
1 t. fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 t. ground white pepper
1 c. cooked converted white rice
1 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. croutons and rosemary sprigs, for garnish

Method (1) Set grill or broiler rack about 4 in. from heat source; preheat. Core tomatoes; place on grill or in roasting pan under the broiler. Cook, turning once, until skin blackens, about 30-40 minutes. (2) In medium saucepan, melt the butter; add sausage, onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables just begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables; cook and stir until flour begins to brown, 3-5 minutes. (3) In a blender or food processor, coarsely chop grilled tomatoes; add to vegetables in saucepan. Stir in the stock, tomato paste, sugar, rosemary, salt, red pepper and white pepper. Simmer 15 minutes, partially covered. (4) Add rice and cream; cook until just hot. Spoon into soup plates, dividing equally. Garnish with croutons and rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Monroe College culinary students compete in Frito-Lay recipe contest

Monroe College Culinary Arts students in New Rochelle, N.Y., rose to a new “Pepsi Challenge” by using PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay snack products as key ingredients in casual-dining recipes for a recent contest. Competing for prize money, students chose from from among six different Frito-Lay chip products to create new variations for breading, toppings, stuffing and more.

First-place winner, Christine Gonzalez--a sophomore and December 2009 candidate for an associate's degree in Culinary Arts--was awarded a $500 prize for her recipe: Catfish Fingers coated in Original Frito-Lay Kettle Chips and dipped in chipotle aïoli (recipe follows). A second-place prize of $300 was awarded to Rosanne Peña, also a December 2009 candidate for an associate's degree in Culinary Arts, for her recipe for Frito-Lay Southwestern Fish Sliders: tilapia pieces cut from filets and seasoned with an assortment of ingredients, including beer, and then lightly coated in finely crushed Frito-Lay Original Corn Chips. Kareem David, a December 2009 candidate for a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management, won third place and $200 for his Smoked Corn and Shrimp Fritter: shrimp breaded with Frito-Lay’s Thick Cut Tortilla Rounds and served with mango ketchup.

The competition was judged by guest-chefs from area restaurants and foodservice organizations including Michael Salvatore, executive chef, Sysco Food Services of Metro New York; Lee Tremble, owner, Iron Horse Inn, Westwood, N.J.; Jonathan Moosmiller, executive chef, Westchester Country Club; Michael Hofer, owner, SmokeHouse Chili-Grill, New Rochelle; and Jay Bigman, senior zone manager for PepsiCo. Monroe College dean of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts Frank C. Costantino and chef-instructor Tracy Zimmermann also served as judges. (Judges pictured with students above.)

Frito-Lay Catfish Fingers with Chipotle Aïoli Sauce
Christine Gonzalez, sophomore, Monroe College, New Rochelle, N.Y.

Yield: 12

3 lbs. catfish filet
12 c. Frito-Lay Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
4 eggs
4 T. Florida Bay Seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 c. dark beer
6 c. all purpose flour
Chipotle Aïoli Sauce

Method (1) Cut filets into 2 1/2" pieces. (2) Season fish with Florida Bay Seasoning, salt and pepper. (3) Beat eggs; add dark beer to mixture. (4) Grind potato chips coarsely. (5) Coat fish in flour, then egg/beer mixture and finally potato chips. (6) Deep fry coated catfish pieces in 350°F vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with Chipotle Aïoli Sauce.

Chipotle Aïoli Sauce
4 c. mayonnaise
4 T. cilantro, chiffonade
6 chipotle peppers
1 T. lemon juice

Method (1) Combine mayonnaise, cilantro, chipotle peppers and lemon juice; chill well. Reserve.

Corbett becomes a member of The Honorable Order of the Golden Toque

The Honorable Order of the Golden Toque recently inducted chef Dean Corbett, owner and chef of Corbett's, An American Place, Equus Restaurant and Jack's Lounge in Louisville, Ky., as a member at its 47th annual meeting. The Honorable Order is the highest recognition a chef can receive in the United States. Faculty members of Sullivan University were on hand to congratulate chef Corbett. Sullivan University's National Center for Hospitality Studies director Tom Hickey, who is also the Grand Commander of the Order, was also present.

(l to r) Chef Tom Hickey, Sullivan University National Center for Hospitality Studies director and Grand Commander of The Honorable Order of the Golder Toque; Al Sullivan, Sullivan University chancellor; chef Dean Corbett, owner and chef of Corbett's, An American Place, Equus Restaurant and Jack's Lounge; chef David Dodd, associate director of National Center for Hospitality Studies; chef Derek Spendlove, Sullivan University baking and pastry arts department chair

Corbett was one of six chefs to be inducted last month in Frankenmuth, Mich. The ceremony took place at Zehnder's Restaurant, the largest family-owned restaurant in the country serving more than a million covers each year. The Honorable Order of the Golden Toque has a membership restriction of only 100 lifetime active members. Chefs may not apply for membership; they must be nominated by at least three active members. They are then put through a screening process which is held by the Acceptance Committee, which includes past Grand Commanders, Grand Commander and the Board of Directors. Final membership must be decided by all members at the annual meeting.

Originally founded in France by chef Pierre Berard, the Golden Toque was brought to the United States in 1961. It was established to recognize skillful chefs who have at least 20 years executive chef experience, have achieved professional accomplishments, have an interest in professional progress and are devoted to the culinary profession and arts.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Research Chefs Foundation names president

The Research Chefs Foundation (RCF), which supports the educational endeavors of the Research Chefs Association, named Carl P. Borchgrevink president of the RCF. Borchgrevink is an associate professor in The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University.

Borchgrevink will serve as president on the all-volunteer RCF board for two years. As president, he will seek to generate resources, award scholarships and support programming and research for RCA members pursuing careers in Culinology, culinary arts and food science. He has been with The School since 1989 and was a founding member of the RCA in 2002.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Grilling contest could win you $5,000
and make you a star


Dear culinary educators and students: As culinary enthusiasts and pork fans (we hope!), we wanted to share this exciting opportunity to meet celebrity chef Guy Fieri and showcase your skills on the grill for a chance to meet celebrity chef Guy Fieri and win $5,000!

The National Pork Board is scouring the country in our "Search for the Next Pork Personality" contest. We're looking for pork lovers who not only know how to grill-up tasty pork, but someone who has a great "pork-sonality," too!

Through August 31, 2009, if you love to "hog" the spotlight when you're behind the grill, simply submit a short, creative video showcasing your BEST tip for grilling-up pork at You can rap about ribs, sing a tenderloin lovin' song or dance a pork jig--however you spin it, we want you to light-up the screen while showcasing your pork tip!

Three finalist spots are up for grabs and YOU could be one of the three to compete in a tong-tossing LIVE finale grill-off in the Big Apple. Guy Fieri will help judge and one grill master will be named the "Next Pork Personality" and take home $5,000, a Char-Broil gas grill and grilling accessories!

This link takes you directly to the contest entry page and has all the information you need to know on how to enter and who to contact with any questions:

So get "Fieri-ed" up and ENTER TODAY!

Please forward this information to your colleagues and students.

CIA to host lecture on hunger

Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, will present a lecture titled "The Hunger Challenge for Foodies" at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park on Aug. 18 as part of the school's Dooley Lecture Series.

Berg is the author of the book, All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America? Before working with the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, he formerly served in several senior executive service positions at the United States Department of Agriculture under the Clinton administration. He also served as a policy analyst for the Progressive Policy Institute.

The public is invited to attend the lecture, and attendance is limited to 100. For more information, visit the CIA's Web site.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Culinary instructors and students honored at 2009 ACF National Convention

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) honored chefs, chef-instructors, students, culinary industry professionals and foodservice establishments at the 2009 ACF National Convention held in Orlando, Fla., July 11—14. The national convention provided attendees with numerous opportunities to advance their professional development and enhance their culinary skills through informative workshops and seminars; cutting-edge demonstrations; and a tradeshow featuring more than 100 exhibitors, national competitions and ACF’s annual national awards.

The following educators, students and culinary programs were honored:

ACF National Chef Educator of the Year
- Timothy Bucci, CEC, CCE, CHE; associate professor, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.; ACF Louis Joliet Chapter

ACF National Student Chef of the Year (sponsored by Custom Culinary Inc.)
- Kelly Conwell; graduate, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.; ACF Greater Kansas City Chefs Association

ACF National Student Team Championship (sponsored by R.L. Schreiber Inc.)
- Chefs de Cuisine Association of Hawaii Honolulu, students at Kapi’olani Community College, Honolulu: Anna Hirano, Keaka Lee, Tate Nakano-Edwards, San Shoppell, Rena Suzuki and Frank Leake, CCC, CCE, coach.

ACF Industry Partnership Award
- Le Cordon Bleu, Secaucus, N.J.

Excellence in Education Award
- Grace Yek, CCC; chef-instructor, Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State, Cincinnati

ACF Humanitarian of the Year Award
- Lynn Krause, CEPC, AAC; culinary instructor, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Noreen Kinney; president, Cordon d'Or - Gold Ribbon Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla.

ACF President's Medallion Recipients
- Gary Fitting, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC; chef-instructor, IUP Academy of Culinary Arts, Punxsutawney, Pa.; The Groundhog Chapter of the ACF
- Kevin Keating, CEC, CCE; dean of culinary arts, Keiser University, Tallahassee, Fla.; ACF Tallahassee Area Chefs Association
- Brian Knecht, CEC, CCA, ACE, AAC; department chair and instructor, Sarasota County School Board, Sarasota, Fla.; ACF Sarasota Bay Chefs Association
- David Kramer; culinary-arts instructor, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, Ill.; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.
- Keith Mandabach, CEC, AAC, Ed.D.; chef, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M.; ACF Rio Grande Valley Chapter
- Christopher Misiak, CEC, CCE; executive chef, Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Mich.; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

Culinary Program Full-Service Restaurant Facility category
- Riverside City College Culinary Academy, Riverside, Calif.
- Statler Erie Room Restaurant at Erie Community College, Buffalo, N.Y.

American Academy of Chefs (AAC) Sharing Culinary Traditions Award
- L. Timothy Ryan, CMC, AAC; president, The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y.; Mid Hudson Culinary Association

2009 American Academy of Chefs Fellows

- Kyle Richardson, CEC, CCE; professor of culinary arts, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.; ACF Louis Joliet Chapter

2009 American Academy of Chefs Honorary Fellows
- Patrick Diethelm; director/head chef-instructor, DCT European Culinary & Pastry Chocolate Arts Center, Lucerne, Switzerland
- Robert Nograd; dean emeritus, Johnson & Wales University, Miami, Fla.

Monday, July 20, 2009

South Seattle Community College student wins USA Pears competition

Nicole Mau, a student at South Seattle Community College in Seattle, Wash., took first place in the Pear Bureau Northwest's first U.S. student culinary competition on June 18 at the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Ore.

(from l to r), first place winner Nicole Mau, South Seattle Community College; second place winner Andrea Howard, Florida Culinary Institute; third place winner Dallas Hinsley, Texas Culinary Institute

Mau's Red Anjou pear frite, a composition of lightly fried rice pudding molded into a pear shape, filled with pear compote served with pear sorbet won her a $2,500 scholarship. Andrea Howard, a student at the Florida Culinary Institute, took second place and won $1,500 with her pear risotto and pear poached in red wine. And Dallas Hinesly, a student at the Texas Culinary Institute, took third place to win $500 with her sweet potato and pear gnocchi with grilled pork and a Balsamic pear glaze.

Friday, July 17, 2009

City Tech and Woodhull Hospital collaborate on cookbook

Faculty and students at New York City College of Technology (City Tech) and doctors from Woodhull North Brooklyn Health Network have collaborated to create a new cookbook, Cooked to Perfection: Cherished Family Recipes That Are Good for You. The book, which is available through the City Tech Bookstore, features old family recipes donated by clients of 11 North Brooklyn senior centers.

The hospital selected 80 recipes from the many submitted by the seniors, and then passed them along to Robert Minolfo, a nutritionist and City Tech adjunct professor. “Robert reworked the recipes, omitting many of the fats and limiting the ingredients to more nutritious substitutes,” City Tech professor Claire Stewart said in a recent press release.

“Being given the responsibility of reinterpreting these recipes was an honor,” Stewart continued. “Nicole Gajadhar and Sandra Lowe-Stuart--the hospitality management students who tested the recipes with me--shared the goal of respecting their traditions. We carefully measured each item, added seasonings, corrected the amounts, and made the instructions more user-friendly and easier to read. Altogether, we ended up with a nice selection of different ethnic dishes--mostly Spanish, Polish and Jewish.”

After testing the recipes last summer, the hospitality management team passed them on to professor MaryAnn Biehl of City Tech’s advertising design and graphic arts department so that she and her Design Team class could create a design concept for the book.

While the idea for the book was originally hatched by Woodhull North Brooklyn Health Network as a means of teaching dietary lessons to diabetic and elderly patients, it is having a much larger reach. Six local restaurants have agreed to add the dishes to their menus. For example, Chimu's Peruvian Cuisine, located at 482 Union Avenue, serves the cookbook's Stuffed Red Snapper recipe.

(l to r) Claire Stewart, professor of hospitality management, City Tech; Scott Mason, assistant commissioner, Bureau of Senior Centers, New York City Department for the Aging; Narcisa Ruiz, director, Diana Jones Senior Center; Tillie Tarantino, director, Swinging Sixties Senior Center; Sabrina Ramos, director of operations and special projects, New York City Department for the Aging; Iris Jimenez-Hernandez, senior vice president, Woodhull North Brooklyn Health Network; Barbara Grumet, dean, school of professional studies, City Tech; Brenda Johnson, director, Willoughby Senior Center, City Tech students Sandra Lowe-Stuart and Nicole Gajadhar, and Wajciech Mleczko, director, Polish Slavic Senior Center

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Monroe College to host 4th annual A Chef's Legacy dinner

The Monroe College School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts on July 20 will host A Chef's Legacy: The 4th Annual Craig Rutman Memorial Scholarship Dinner. This year, the 2003-2006 New York Culinary Team who won the gold at the Italian National Championship will prepare the meal, led by team captain chef Frank Costantino, CEC, CCE, AAC, dean of the School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts. Monroe culinary and hospitality students will help prepare food, plan and manage the event.

A Chef's Legacy honors the memory of chef Craig Rutman, Monroe's first director of culinary arts. The event raises funds for Monroe College students who will be participating in the school's study abroad program in Italy.

The suggested donation for the event is $200 for sponsors and $100 for individuals. For more information, contact Carol Genese at

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Students earn college funds for serving seniors

ACTS Retirement-Life Communities, the parent company of 19 continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) in the United States, recently awarded $149,400 in culinary service scholarships to 404 high school students for serving meals to residents in their local retirement communities. The students servers earned vouchers ranging from $300 to $500 for serving meals to residents of one of CCRCs in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama or Florida during the last scholarship period.

Students age 14 and up can qualify for ACTS culinary service scholarships. They work a specified number of hours during a 16-week scholarship period and receive an hourly wage in addition to the scholarship vouchers.

ACTS Retirement-Life Communities is a nonprofit aging services organization that serves nearly 8,000 older adults in six states. For more information, visit

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The School of Hospitality Business at MSU receives Distinguished Service Award

The School of Hospitality Business At Michigan State University (MSU) recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the Hospitality High School (HHS) of Washington, DC, at its graduation ceremony June 6.

Originally founded as Marriott Hospitality Public Charter High School, the first four-year public charter high school in the nation devoted to preparing students for careers in both the restaurant and hotel industries, HHS has for eight years sent more than half a dozen of its graduates to MSU to study in The School. Aided by a generous $550,000 scholarship endowment from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, The School has been able to assist these students financially, as well as with one-on-one mentoring, career services, and outstanding academic advising. The record of success for HHS students who come to The School is extraordinary, according to a press statement.

Director of The School's Student and Industry Resources Center (SIRC) Authella Collins-Hawks was present to accept the award from HHS Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Spigler, who noted that Hawks and the faculty and staff of The School have "worked tirelessly to assure our students feel that MSU is their home away from home, and to ensure their success."

Hawks acknowledged the long and fruitful partnership between the Marriott Foundation, HHS, and The School, and introduced a graduate of HHS in the audience who is now a very active senior in The School, Alvin Brown (BA '10). In addition, she informed the gathering that the very first HHS student to graduate from The School, Victor Quintanilla (BA '08), is now working in management in the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

Noting that 100 percent of HHS graduating class plans to go on to college, Hawks wished them the fortitude to overcome any obstacles they might face and the true wisdom that comes from lifelong learning. She reminded the graduates, too, that while the field of hospitality is a business, it can also "be a way of life; one that encompasses service, sacrifice, caring and a sense of welcome."

Monday, July 13, 2009

CIA podcast features leader in fine Italian cuisine

Scott Conant, a top name among chefs of Italian cuisine in New York City, talks about his career in the newest "Insight from the Inside" podcast from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). "Insight from the Inside" is a series of chats with CIA graduates who have exciting jobs in the food world.

During the 11-minute podcast, the 1992 CIA graduate shares highlights of his professional life, from the mentors who guided his career to earning a James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant in America with L'Impero in 2003. Chef Conant is now the owner of Scarpetta in New York City and Miami Beach, Fla., and the author of two cookbooks, New Italian Cooking and Bold Italian.

What stands out in Conant's memory about his days at the CIA was the professional approach among his classmates and realizing he wasn't the only 18-year-old passionate about food. "There was such a passion that every student had. I always had it, but here it was par for the course," Conant recalled. "Every discussion was about food. Everything was about how to get yourself better; focusing on technique; how to be a professional chef."

Conant recorded the podcast while on campus to judge student presentations from the Marketing and Promoting Food course in the CIA's bachelor's degree program.

To hear the interview with Conant or receive future podcasts, visit

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chalmers' Food Jobs named world's best at Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

At the 2009 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, Food Jobs: 150 Great Jobs for Culinary Students, Career Changers and Food Lovers, by Irena Chalmers, was named the Best Book in the World for Food Professionals out of competing books from 17 countries.

In her book, Chalmers, a friend of FENI and a Chef Educator Today and Chef Magazine columnist, Culinary Institute of America instructor and foodservice industry expert, profiles a range of food sector jobs available aside from that of restaurant chef including food photographer, bed and breakfast owner, specialty food retailer, nutritionist, kitchen designer and food writer, to name a few.

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were held July 1 at La Comédie-Française in Paris, next to Louvre. The United States, United Kingdom, Spain and France took home the highest number of awards this year. For more information, visit

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A day in the life of a Le Cordon Bleu student

(l to r) Erwin Chuk with Le Cordon Bleu chef-instructor Russell Ferguson at Technique, the school's teaching restaurant (photo by Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)

An article in the July 8 edition of The Boston Globe profiles Erwin Chuk, a student-chef enrolled in Boston's Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts program.

Chuk, 37, left his job as a Web designer to pursue his dream of one day owning his own café. In preparation for his future career, Chuk hones his skills in Le Cordon Bleu Boston's one-year-old teaching restaurant--the aptly named Technique--and at Clio restaurant, where he has recently begun an externship.

To read the full article, click here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Francois Dionot awarded title of Conseil d'Honneur by La Chaine des Rotisseurs

La Chaine des Rotisseurs of Greater Washington, D.C., hosted the organization's Mid-Atlantic Assemblage on May 30, 2009. The festivities began with the multi-Bailliage Grand Induction and black-tie dinner at the elegant Park Hyatt Washington, D.C. An induction ceremony was hosted by Bailli provincial Georges Muller, who presented the title of Conseil d' Honneur to vice conseiller culinaire Francois Dionot for his many years of outstanding contribution to the Chaine.

Chef Dionot is the founder and director of L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Md., and Bethesda, Md. He has taught a generation of chefs throughout the United States. His wife Patrice, son Christophe and his daughter Clarice were all there to see him receive the award.

The Conseil d’Honneur is a program of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs des Etats-Unis designed to recognize those former national and regional officers who have made significant contributions to the society and served with distinction, despite no longer holding active offices. The Conseil d’Honneur was created on June 7, 2003 during the National Council Meeting of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs des Etats-Unis in Philadelphia.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

January 2009 graduates of The French Pastry School

Graduates of L’Art de la Pâtisserie, the 24-week Professional Pastry and Baking program at The French Pastry School at City Colleges of Chicago celebrated with their chef-instructors, friends, family and fellow pastry trainees on June 19th at The Union League Club of Chicago. Students, faculty and staff of The French Pastry School were honored to have guest speakers, Camilla Nielsen, former president of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, and Dr. Wayne Watson, chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago speak at the ceremony. Following the ceremony, students, staff and guests proceeded to The French Pastry School, where all partook in the pastry creations representing a culmination of the students’ six months of intensive training.

“We’re always impressed by what our students can accomplish in just six months,” said The French Pastry School co-owner/co-founder and chef Jacquy Pfeiffer in a recent press release, “and it’s really gratifying to see how surprised they are themselves at what they’re able to do every day.”

Many of the recent graduates, most of whom are new to the pastry industry, will stay in Chicago to work in high-end restaurants and pastry kitchens, while others will travel across the United States. Some establishments employing The French Pastry School’s new alumni include: the leading hotels of the world, such as the The Ritz-Carlton, The Peninsula and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts; the best restaurants like Charlie Trotter's, and The French Laundry; and high-end bakeries such as Payard in New York, and Jean Philippe Pâtisserie in Las Vegas.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July issue of Culinary Nutrition News now available

Do you know the difference between insoluble and soluble fiber? Are you getting the recommended amount of daily fiber, or teaching students to cook high-fiber dishes? The American Culinary Federation (ACF) Chef & Child Foundation and Clemson University address these and other topics in the July Culinary Nutrition News article "Fiber-Rich Foods" (available to download here.)

This month’s article is in an easy-to-read format complete with a list of high-fiber foods, resources and tips on ways to increase fiber in dishes.

Written by experts, the monthly Culinary Nutrition News articles help bridge the nutrition gap for chefs and chef-educators by providing up-to-date research information. Articles are free and posted on ACF’s Web site the first Monday of each month.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Art Institute of Tampa creates Cirque du Soleil cake

The Culinary Institute of The Art Institute of Tampa joined Cirque du Soleil's celebration of its 5,000th performance of Saltimbanco, according to an article in the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Chef Ricardo Castro, culinary department director, and chef Les Eckert, a faculty member in the department, supervised the creation of the Saltimbanco cake, which was made by students Sandra Caraballo, Nicole Wong, Mario Torres, Maria Liliana Vanegas and Giovanna Smith.
Students from The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Tampa wheel out the cake.
(photo credit: Kathleen Cabble/Tampa Bay Business Journal)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lexington College hosts Kraft Foods leader at 2009 graduation

Chicago hospitality school Lexington College hosted Kraft Foods business manager Stacy R. Rychlewski during its commencement ceremonies on May 13. Rychlewski, who serves on the Industry Advisory Board at Lexington College and has been in the foodservice industry for 24 years, addressed graduates, their families and friends: "The time you have invested in yourself is one of the greatest investments of all," she told graduates. Lexington College's Class of 2009 was represented by seven women.

Lexington College's Class of 2009

Lexington alumna Elaina Alexander also addressed the graduates about how her education helped her get into a career in the hospitality industry that has included positions at the Palmer House Hotel, Chicago Bears and the Viking Cooking School.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

From bean to mug: CIA offers coffee learning module

The Culinary Institute of America in conjunction with Starbucks Coffee Co. has introduced a free online learning module called, "Coffee: Brewing, Tasting and Cooking." The e-learning module explores how coffee beans are produced, how to brew coffee beans properly and how to evaluate a cup of coffee.

The module also examines coffee's compatibility with a range of cuisines. The program includes recipes and videos created by CIA chefs to provide techniques for cooking with coffee and 16 downloadable recipes demonstrated by the chefs in streaming video. The program also includes information about responsible coffee-growing practices and guidelines for would-be baristas.

The program is available at