Wednesday, September 30, 2009

McDonald's executive vice president and COO to address Lexington College

Jan Fields, executive vice president and COO of McDonalds USA, will be speaking to Chicago's Lexington College students, staff and faculty Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. in the college's Library.

In her current role, Fields oversees operations for the more than 13,700 McDonald's restaurants in the United States, and she began her career as a crew member in 1978. She has been honored with many awards, including McDonald's President's Award, the Golden Arch Partners Award, the Women Operators Network Recognition Award and the Women's Leadership Award.

Fields, an advocate for people development, is actively involved in the company's mentoring and diversity programs, acting as executive sponsor for the career development program and speaking at many Diversity Network meetings.

On Nov. 2, Lexington will also honor Fields and her continuing leadership in the hospitality field at the "Building Scholarships for Service" Annual Benefit Dinner at Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (previously posted about here). For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wedding cakes course offered at the French Pastry School

How a wedding cake tastes is just as important as how it looks. Chef Donald Wressell, in his fourth year at The French Pastry School of Chicago, will teach Wedding Cake Construction and Tasting from Oct. 6 to 8, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The course will cover how to create a cake that tastes extraordinary and is well-constructed, even when you are under pressure to produce a high volume. In this three-day hands-on class, participants will focus on the baking, filling and building of wedding cakes. Chef Wressell will guide participants through flavor profiles and textures, along with a range of cakes and different filling combinations. Once you have all the components, it is time to build your cake ensuring the structure is safe and stable. Chef Wressell will share invaluable tips and tricks to producing high-volume quality cakes in the shortest time possible.

This course is accredited by the American Culinary Federation for 24 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs). For more information, visit

(photo courtesy of The French Pastry School)

And for more great opportunities to learn about wedding cakes--as well as many other topics, from baking and pastry to savory preparations and culinary education advancements--visit to learn more about the 2010 Foodservice Educators Network International (FENI) Educators Summit, Feb. 12 to 15, 2010, in Chicago!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Diversified Foods gives $20,000 to ECU hospitality

Diversified Foods Inc. (DFI) presented the Department of Hospitality Management at East Carolina University (ECU) with $20,000 at its Tournament of Friends Golf Outing at the Lane Tree Golf Course in Goldsboro, N.C., on Sept. 19. The funds, which were raised through tournament entry fees and sponsorships, will be used for scholarships for hospitality management students in the current school year.

This is the ninth year that DFI has donated proceeds from the Tournament of Friends for hospitality student scholarships. In that time, the restaurant management concept has donated more than $100,000 total. Approximately 135 golfers attended this year's event. At a dinner following the tournament, DFI owner H.M. Poythress presented a check to chair of ECU's Department of Hospitality Management, Bob O'Halloran.

Friday, September 25, 2009

CHIC pastry instructor earns CMB designation

Nancy Carey, a baking and pastry instructor at The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (CHIC), was granted the Certified Master Baker designation by the Retail Bakers of America (RBA). This is the highest level of baking certification.

Carey has been an instructor at CHIC since 2002. Before that, she founded and developed Red Hen Bread, a wholesale and retail artisan bakery in Chicago. In order to earn the designation, Carey worked a minimum of eight years in the industry and passed several written and practical tests and participated in seminars.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Q&A with the Culinary Institute of Michigan's John Cappellucci

By Maggie Shea, Chef Educator Today

The final hours are ticking down on the Sept. 24 grand opening of The Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) at Baker College in Muskegon, Mich. The three-story, 40,000-square-foot culinary facility took 18 months to build and houses a specialty pastry lab, three hot food labs and state-of-the-art demonstration classrooms, as well as a new restaurant and pastry and coffee shop. CIM currently offers four degree programs: Culinary Arts Associate of Business, Baking and Pastry Certificate, Food and Beverage Management Associate of Business and Food and Beverage Management Bachelor of Business. Before classes officially start on Sept. 28, John Cappellucci, dean of the culinary program, took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to talk to CET about the new culinary facility and how it will bring the CIM to prominence among regional and national culinary institutes.
Final renderings of the Culinary Institute of Michigan facility

CET: How many students are currently enrolled in the four degree programs?
Cappellucci: Right now we're over 400 students. We're what's called a "right to try college," so we try to accommodate as many people as we can within the physical confines of the building. We're running classes from 7 in the morning until 11 at night, 6 days a week.

CET: How will the new facility improve on the culinary arts program offered by Baker College?
Cappellucci: We have a chocolate lab for chocolate and sugar work that's temperature- and humidity-controlled. We also have a demonstration kitchen with theater-type seating. We're going to have three high-definition cameras [in the demo kitchen] with the ability to do our own video editing and develop our own video content for our classes. In the future we'll be able to do live broadcasts right from here. The teaching kitchens also will all have flat-panel televisions that will have the capability to bring up any of the demonstrations or anything we have stored so students can view them right in the classroom for a refresher or to give students an idea of how the demos work.

CET: With the new facility, name and logo, how does it feel to make this change and sort of brand yourselves as a culinary school?
Cappellucci: Of all the campuses within the Baker College system, we're the only one that has a culinary program. In the interest of utilizing our resources to the best of our ability, we wanted to do something that wasn't just going to serve the people of Michigan, but we wanted to have a more regional presence and hopefully, within a few years, develop a national presence as well. It is definitely a branding opportunity for us. We have gorgeous facilities, and we're really going to be able to do some stupendous things here.

CET: Will Courses restaurant and The Sweet Spot pastry shop be run by students?
Cappellucci: The restaurant is exclusively run by students. There is a front- and back-of-the-house instructor, but for the most part, [the students] run the show. That's part of the curriculum. The Sweet Spot, which is our coffee and bakery outlet, will be just that--an outlet for baking and pastry products. Right now we're in the midst of hiring people. It will be student- and staff-run.

How do you plan to use the Web to help you market yourselves?
Cappellucci: Well, this project has spurned a lot of other things to happen. One is that we've tried to take some of our marketing to social networking opportunities. We're trying to have a lot more visible Web presence. We have some individuals that help us with maintaining Facebook pages and Twitter sites--things that are a little beyond my years I guess! That's a really important part. I recently read somewhere that libraries are becoming more underutilized as people go to the Web more and more to do their research. And I think when you look at the opportunity for us to have a presence as far as our own original content and the ability to do webcasts and podcasts, we'll be able to have a nice niche as far as culinary schools go. Everyone talks about opening the classroom to the world, but I think we're trying to open the world to the classroom so we can have instructors from anywhere with the ability to stream on the Web and add content to our own video library, so to speak. We're also trying to go as paperless as possible. We're going from giving multipaged, photocopied handouts to actually burning CDs for students so they have the ability to go back and reference them; it's a more durable way of saving that information.

CET:Are there ways you are being more green in your teaching kitchens?
Cappellucci:We're trying to develop a partnership with the community garden here locally. They need an opportunity to recoup some of the input costs of their efforts, and in trade, we're going to give them whatever kind of organic materials we can for their compost efforts. In return, they will also give us some of the product they're putting together. They have big plans for putting up some hoop houses [to extend the growing season] this winter, so we'll have access to fresh herbs and lettuce greens and things like that. ... We're super-excited. It's getting down to the 11th hour, and everyone's a little edgy. But it's really going to be the best culinary program that we could have put together.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CIA student wins SkillsUSA cooking competition

Craig Growney, a student at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, won the Medallion of Excellence Award in the WorldSkills four-day cooking competition. Growney competed as a member of the United States WorldTeam at the Sept. 1 to 7 event in Calgary, Canada. Growney, a member of SkillsUSA, a partnership of students, instructors and professionals, won local, district and national contests to qualify for the WorldTeam. He scored at least 500 out of 600 in his field to win.
Medallion of Excellence Award winner Craig Growney**

WorldSkills offers similar competitions every two years across 45 occupational areas including autobody repair, hairdressing, cabinetmaking, plumbing, refrigeration and welding. Competitors must be under the age of 23. For more information, visit

**Photo courtesy of Lloyd Wolf, SkillsUSA

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Robert Morris University announces dates for Fine Dining Series

The Institute of Culinary Arts at Robert Morris University (RMU) Illinois is proud to present its fourth annual Fine Dining Series, open to the public. The dinners featuring the culinary expertise of our renowned chefs and students. Each event has a prix fixe menu with five courses, with a $40 donation per person. Reservations are required and space is limited. Non-alcoholic beverages are served but corkage service is available. Dinners start promptly at 6:30 p.m.; guests should arrive no later that 6:15 p.m. The dinners are held at the main RMU campus in downtown Chicago, 401 S. State Street, and at the Orland Park campus, 82 Orland Square.

In the fall, the featured dinner is called "A Bountiful Harvest" and will be held on Saturday, Sept. 26BOOKED!, at the Chicago campus and on Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Orland Park campus. This dinner will include the colors and textures of fall's harvest with garden-fresh herbs and vegetables planted, cultivated and harvested by RMU culinary students. Everything on this menu is organically grown.

Future dinners include:
  • "A Taste of America"--Orland Park campus, Saturday, Nov. 7
  • "Kuchnia Polska (Polish Cuisine)"--Chicago campus, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010; and Orland Park campus, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010
  • "Vive La France! (French Cuisine)"--Chicago campus, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010; and Orland campus, Feb. 27, 2010
  • "Mangia Bene! (Italian Cuisine)"--Chicago campus, Saturday, April 10, 2010; and Orland Park campus, Saturday, April 24, 2010
  • "Taste of the Islands"--Chicago campus, Saturday, May 15, 2010; and Orland Park campus, Saturday, May 22, 2010

Visit for more information or to register to attend a dinner.

Monday, September 21, 2009

NRAEF board adds three officers

The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) named three officers to the Board of Trustees for the September 2009 to December 2010 term. William ("Bill") L. Hyde Jr., principal of Abacus and Jasper's Restaurant Group, was named the new chair of the board.
Bill Hyde, a 37-year restaurant industry veteran, takes over as NRAEF board chair.

Carlton Curtis, vice president of industry affairs for the foodservice and hospitality division of Coca-Cola North America, was named vice chair.
Carlton Curtis, the NRAEF's new vice chair, has been an employee of The Coca-Cola Co. since 1972.

And Xavier Teixido, owner of Harry's Savoy Grill, was named board treasurer.
Xavier Teixido, NRAEF board treasurer, was chairman of the National Restaurant Association from 2002 to 2003.

"As outgoing chair, I am very proud of the accomplishments of the NRAEF this past year and am pleased to announce the new officers of the NRAEF Board of Trustees that will continue to grow and build the NRAEF going forward," said past NRAEF chair Linda Bacin in a statement. "Under their experienced leadership, the NRAEF will continue to enhance the prominence of the restaurant industry through public service, education and community engagement."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hudson County Community College adds new opportunities for Hospitality Management studies

Beginning this fall, Hudson County Community College (HCCC) in Jersey City, N.J., is expanding its Hospitality Management associate's degree offerings to include three new, specialized courses of study: Hotel and Restaurant Management, Entrepreneurship, and Travel and Tourism. Classes will be offered in day and evening sessions, on weekdays and on Saturdays and Sundays, to accommodate students’ work and personal schedules.

All three program degree options build upon the college's acclaimed Hospitality Management studies, and include 21 credits of general education courses plus 300 hours of practicum (on-site training in some of the area's finest hotels, restaurants and conference centers) and 300 hours in an externship (supervised working and learning in an industry environment). Classes such as Introduction to the Hospitality Industry, Principles of Accounting, Principles of Management, and Hospitality and Travel Law are at the core of all three program degree options.

"The structure of our Hospitality and Culinary Arts courses provides our students with a real advantage for finding work after they complete their studies, in that they have received instruction from industry professionals coupled with hands-on, in-the-field experience," HCCC president Dr. Glen Gabert said in a press release.

The Hotel and Restaurant Management Course provides instruction in: Culinary for Hospitality; Front-Office Operations; Fundamentals of Food and Wine; Restaurant Operations Management; and Food, Beverage and Labor Cost Control.

The Entrepreneurship Program also includes classes in: Culinary for Hospitality; Principles of Macroeconomics; Innovation, Creativity and Market Research; Franchising; Introduction to Entrepreneurship; and The Urban Entrepreneur.

The Travel and Tourism Program includes classes in: Principles of Macroeconomics; Event Planning in Travel and Tourism; Information Systems in Hospitality and Tourism; Culture and Geography; and Tour Marketing, Sales and Promotion.

For more information, visit

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ACF and Clemson's free nutrition resource focuses on healthful cooking

Most Americans consume 10 times more salt than needed each day, and less than 10 percent of the U.S. population meets the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) suggested nine to 12 servings of daily fruits and vegetables. Learn more about healthful cooking techniques and easy ways to cut back on the amount of fat and salt used in your dishes in this month's issue of "Culinary Nutrition News," provided by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Chef & Child Foundation and Clemson University at

Also included in this month's article is a list of suggested fat substitutions, such as replacing sour cream with plain low-fat yogurt or vegetable oil with applesauce. In addition, authors describe how to "cook by color" and how to make nutritious meals appeal to children.

The American Culinary Federation's Chef & Child Foundation and Clemson University have partnered to offer a series of monthly "Culinary Nutrition News" articles. Written by experts, articles will bridge the nutrition gap for chefs by providing up-to-date research information. Articles are free, and are posted on ACF's Web site,, the first Monday of each month.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

AACC hospitality program earns accreditation

Anne Arundel Community College's Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Tourism (HCAT) Institute received accreditation for its Hospitality Business Management program from the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration. The commission awarded a seven-year initial accreditation to the college's new Hotel/Restaurant Management (HRM) associate of applied science degree option in Hospitality Business Management.

This accreditation is in addition to the American Culinary Federation's Exemplary Program accreditation award in 2008 for the HRM Culinary Arts Operations degree program. Only 14 postsecondary schools in the country have earned both accreditations. For more information on the HCAT programs at Anne Arundel Community College, visit

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tasting and cookbook signing with chef Joho at CHIC

For Chicagoans in the mood for a small taste of Paris, chef/restaurateur Jean Joho will appear at the Le Cordon Bleu School's Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (CHIC) on Sept. 17 for an intimate tasting and book signing for his newest cookbook, The Eiffel Tower Cookbook--Capturing the Magic of Paris. Joho is responsible for Chicago's Everest and Brasserie Jo restaurants as well as Eiffel Tower Restaurant, which sits atop the Eiffel Tower replica at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Chef Jean Joho of Everest and Brasserie Jo in Chicago and Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Las Vegas

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the chef and sample some of the modern French recipes found in The Eiffel Tower Cookbook. The event takes place from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. outside the bookstore of CHIC's main campus. For more information, visit

Monday, September 14, 2009

Washburne brunch to benefit Women Chefs & Restaurateurs

To support the education and advancement of women in culinary fields, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR) will host At the Table Chicago, a multicourse brunch on Oct. 4 at the Washburne Culinary Institute at Kennedy King College in Chicago. The event will showcase the talent of local women chefs including Kocoa Scott-Winbush, chef/owner of Kocoa's Kitchen in Chicago. Students will assist the chefs in preparing the dishes. The brunch also will include a selection of wines from wine sponsor Five Rivers Wines in Hopland, Calif.

The event will benefit WCR's scholarship and internship programs. For more information or to reserve a table, visit or send an e-mail to

Friday, September 11, 2009

International Culinary Tourism Association announces resources for Certified Culinary Tourism Professional program

Students of the International Culinary Tourism Association's Certified Culinary Tourism Professional Program are now able to listen to recorded interviews from industry professionals who are able to give them first hand information about the ins and outs of the culinary tourism industry. Included in these interviews are such culinary tourism professionals as:

For more information on the CCTP program, visit

Thursday, September 10, 2009

USA Rice introduces teaching tool for chef educators

The USA Rice Federation has introduced "U.S. Rice in the Culinary Classroom: A Complete Guide for Food Educators and Professionals," a rice curriculum for culinary educators. The tool includes all the essential information for teaching culinary students how rice is grown; its role in foodservice operations and international cuisine; and how to properly select, cook and handle rice.

The learning tool is divided into four modules that include objectives, lesson plans, activities, topic content and review and quiz questions. Educators can use each module individually to complement their own syllabus or together to form a complete curriculum. The tool also includes PowerPoint presentations on with video clips from cooking demonstrations.

"U.S. Rice in the Culinary Classroom" and the accompanying PowerPoints can be downloaded from

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

DePaul University opens hospitality school

DePaul University in Chicago opened the doors to its School for Hospitality Leadership at the university's College of Commerce on Sept. 9. The curriculum includes hotel, wine and casino management courses.

The college received a $7.5 million gift last fall from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to establish the school, which will prepare students for management jobs at hotels, restaurants, convention and tourism ventures, spas and related leisure industries. The school is offering an undergraduate major in hospitality leadership this fall and plans to introduce additional majors, an international study program and a hospitality research center in the future. Chris Roberts, director of the School for Hospitality Leadership, took the helm of the school in July. Roberts has 20 years of hospitality experience.

Other new faculty members include Misty Johanson, who comes from the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University; Michael Lynch, director of loyalty marketing and market research for Lettuce Entertain You's 65 restaurants; Barry A.N. Bloom, principal of Abacus Lodging Investors LLC, a private equity firm focused on hospitality industry investments; and adjunct faculty member Mary Beth Leone, who worked for 18 years in hotel and tourism management.

For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New book helps hospitality professionals identify trends

Amid a time of continued economic uncertainty, a new book published by the American Hotel & Lodging Association's (AHLA) Educational Institute will help hospitality industry executives anticipate trends that are likely to affect the hospitality and travel industry. Hospitality 2015: The Future of Hospitality and Travel, by Marvin J. Cetron, Frederick DeMicco and Owen Davies, offers a primer of business forecasting and details 55 specific trends and how they likely will affect restaurants, tourism, airlines, the cruise industry, meetings and expositions in the next several years.

The book is available from AHLA's Educational Institute. For more information, visit

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sullivan U presents chef Daniel Orr with Distinguished Visiting Chef award

Sullivan University's National Center for Hospitality Studies presented chef and cookbook author Daniel Orr, of FARMbloomington in Bloomington, Ind., with the Distinguished Visiting Chef award at an award presentation on Aug. 27.
(l to r) Sullivan University NCHS director Tom Hickey presented chef Daniel Orr with the Distinguished Visiting Chef Award. NCHS Professional Catering Department chair Kimberly Jones and Culinary Arts Department chair Allen Akmon were on hand with congratulations.

To read more about Chef Orr and the Distinguished Visiting Chef series at Sullivan in a previous Online Tool Kit post, click here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Team Navy wins first-ever Military Chef Grill-Off Challenge

Team Navy took first place in the inaugural Coca-Cola Military Chef Ultimate Summer Grill-Off Challenge, hosted by Coca-Cola North America, and The Culinary Institute of America. The event, which took place Aug. 30 at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., called on top military chefs from four service branches to compete in a grilling competition and incorporate Coca-Cola products into their recipes.

(second from left to right) The Navy Team celebrates a victory: CS2 Paul Brown, CSCM Eddie Galit, CS1 Michael Hanford, CS1 Lynval Weise, CS1 Michael Edwards, CS1 Christy Gay and consumer winner Maryann Post.

Team Navy was led by Petty Officer First Class Michael Edwards, who currently is the associate chef for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Other Navy team members included Master Cheif Petty Officer Eddie Galit, Petty Officers First Class Christy Gay, Michael Hanford and Lynval Weise, Petty Officer Second Class Paul Brown and military consumer winner Maryann Post. The winners received a Coca-Cola Summer Grilling Championship belt and a week of ProChef classes and certification by the CIA.

August 2009 CET digital edition online

The digital edition of the August 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 online-exclusive articles on educational culinary tours and teaching math skills.

To access the August digital edition, click the icon below.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Washburne pastry chef receives grant from food marketing agency

Laura Vaughn, pastry chef-instructor at Washburne Culinary Institute in Chicago, received a $1,500 grant from Olson Communications' second annual Chefs of Tomorrow initiative, a grant program open to culinary educators throughout metro Chicago.

(from l to r): Sharon Olson, Olson Communications; grant winner Laura Vaughn; and Rachel Tracy, Olson Communications

A jury consisting of Dr. Albert L. Furbay, retired founder of Kendall College School of Culinary Arts; Michael Garbin, CEC, AAC, executive chef of Union League Club of Chicago; and Judith Dunbar Hines, director of culinary arts and events for Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs selected Vaughn as the winner. She will use the grant to purchase the $1,500 entry to the World Pastry Forum to take place June 30 to July 6, 2010, in Phoenix.

Olson Communications, in celebration of its 20th anniversary in 2008, has committed to offering up to $20,000 in new grants to Chicago's high school and college level culinary educators through 2012 through the company's Chefs of Tomorrow program.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

FENI announces expanded pastry programming for 2010 Summit

Craving to improve your baking, pastry or chocolate skills? The Foodservice Educators Network International (FENI) has expanded the pastry programming for the 12th annual FENI Educators Summit, to be held Feb. 12 to 15, 2010, in Chicago.

The French Pastry School and co-owners Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sébastien Canonne, MOF, will host the program, offering a total of 11 courses taught by its award-winning instructors. These classes will give FENI attendees a range of topics at varying skill levels:
  • The Art & Skill of Fondant
  • Chocolate Tempering and Chocolate Decorations
  • Sugar Pulling and Blowing
  • Special Occasion Cakes
  • Chocolate Showpieces
  • Gum Paste Flowers
  • Artisan Breads
  • Petits Fours
  • Chocolate Tempering and Chocolate Candies
  • Wedding Cake Piping and Decorating
  • Designing Showpieces
For complete details on the pastry program, visit And don't forget to register by October 1st, 2009, to receive the early-bird discount of just $525 total!

About The French Pastry School
The French Pastry School has proven to be one of the best in the world in its quality of education and the positive impact it has had on the food industry. Graduates of the full-time program, L'Art de la Pâtisserie - The Professional Pastry and Baking Program, have successfully achieved careers in the pastry industry, either working for other top professionals around the world in five-star hotels, high-end restaurants, catering businesses, bakeries and pastry shops, or starting their own businesses.

The French Pastry School will also offer a full-time 16-week certificate program, L'Art du Gâteau - The Professional Cake Decorating and Baking Program beginning August 2010.

The school offers year-round Continuing Education classes as well, from three to five days in length for pastry professionals as well as food enthusiasts covering all aspects of pastry, confectionery and baking. Information about all programs may be found at

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

CIA releases traditional Italian cookbook

In celebration of the Italian love of food and family, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in August released A Tavola! Recipes and Reflections on Traditional Italian Home Cooking, by Gianni Scappin and Vincenzo Lauria.

A Tavola!, from publisher Lebhar-Friedman, is a compilation of the authors' favorite recipes from several regions of Italy, inspiration from their experience in U.S. restaurant kitchens and food they have tasted in their travels. Chapters cover such topics as small dishes, soups, pizzas, breads, polenta, pasta, main dishes, desserts and aperitifs. For more information visit