Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Culinary Institute of America Celebrates Grand Opening of CIA Singapore

The Culinary Institute of America, in collaboration with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and Temasek Polytechnic, recently hosted 200 guests for a celebration in anticipation of the grand opening of the CIA Singapore. The event included tours of the college's new 30,000-square-foot teaching kitchens, and marks the opening of the college's fourth campus—its first international location.

Present for the grand opening were (l. to r.) Edmond Khoo (deputy principal, Temasek Polytechnic), Professor Tan Chin Tiong (president, Singapore Institute of Technology), Dr. Tim Ryan (president, The Culinary Institute of America) and Ng Yat Chung (chairman, Singapore Institute of Technology).

The bachelor's degree program in Singapore will build students' command of global product knowledge, professional skills, and in-depth understanding of the culinary and catering professions. The program will also cover more advanced areas of study such as revenue management and marketing for the foodservice and hospitality industry. Culinary and service skills will be honed through hands-on learning and projects in the state-of-the-art kitchens and public restaurants at the CIA Singapore campus.

The new degree program is available to graduates of polytechnic institutions who have earned their diplomas in Hospitality & Tourism Management, Leisure & Resort Management, or Culinary & Catering Management, as well as to other hospitality, tourism, and culinary diploma program graduates.

"By establishing a campus in the heart of Asia's 'culinary crossroads,' the CIA will be able to provide greater access to its gold-standard culinary education services, and this degree program is starting at a time of promising growth in the Singaporean tourism industry," explains Dr. Ryan.

The first class of bachelor's degree students will start at the CIA Singapore in January 2011. For more information about the CIA's first campus in Asia, please visit www.ciachef.edu.sg.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Candy Wallace Joins Culinary Advisory Committee of The Art Institute of California-San Diego

Bringing nearly 40 years of dedication to the foodservice industry, Candy Wallace, founder and executive director of the American Personal & Private Chef Association (APPCA), has accepted the invitation to serve on the culinary Program Advisory Committee of The Art Institute of California-San Diego for a one-year term.

The Committee is a sounding board for the industry, ensuring that the program follows industry standards and teaches relevant curriculum with industry-utilized kitchens and certified chefs meeting the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) standards of excellence for accreditation.

Wallace's many accolades include Entrepreneur of the Year from both the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) and the Cordon d’Or - Gold Ribbon International Culinary Academy Awards. For her career-long support of and contributions to formal culinary training in the United States, she received a Medallion of Excellence from the Foodservice Educators Network International (FENI) and will be emceeing its upcoming annual conference February 18-21, 2011 in Chicago.

For more information, or to register, visit the FENI website or contact Naurice Olivera at 800.229.1967 x46 or nolivera@talcott.com.

Friday, November 19, 2010

State of the Plate '10 links both sides of supply chain

Hundreds of farmers, distributors, restaurant professionals and culinary students gathered at the Harold Washington Library Center and Robert Morris University in Chicago on Nov. 17 to discuss sustainable meat and why to buy it at State of the Plate 2010.

Sponsored by the Green Chicago Restaurant Co-Op, FamilyFarmed.org, Green City Market, Kendall College and multiple chefs and advocacy groups, the conference helped link together both sides of the sustainable meat supply chain.

(l to r) Chicago Dept. of Environment commissioner Suzanne Malec-McKenna gives the morning welcome address while Dan Rosenthal, co-founder of the Green Chicago Restaurant Co-op and president of The Rosenthal Group (Sopraffina Marketcaffé, Poag Mahone's and Trattoria No. 10) looks on.

Robert Kenner, writer/director of the documentary, "Food, Inc.," provided the opening keynote speech. The event featured a morning sustainable meat roundtable that highlighted the methods, challenges and opportunities surrounding the U.S. production of sustainable meat, the public health and environmental concerns, and emphasized ways to combat food safety issues at the production level. The afternoon session featured a panel of sustainable farmers to discuss products and methods and distribution strategies. The event culminated in a reception with sustainable food prepared by chefs and culinary students and a special viewing of "Food, Inc."

For more information, visit www.stateoftheplate2010.com.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

RMU students win Cabot Creamery scholarships

Two Robert Morris University culinary students recently won $500 scholarships from Cabot Creamery Cooperative, a Vermont-based cheese company.

(l to r) Mark Wroczynski, Culinary Society advisor with finalists Rachel Murphy, Orland Park Campus; Michael Barry, Chicago campus; Stephanie Gatton, Orland Park Campus; Dustin Heilmann, DuPage Campus

Rachel Murphy, a student at the RMU Orland Park campus, won with her cheddar and chicken stuffed red pepper dish. Dustin Heilmann, a student at the RMU DuPage campus in Aurora, won with his recipe for beer-battered chile relleno. Twelve students competed against each other in a contest that called for recipes using two categories of Cabot cheese: Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar and Cabot Sharp Cheddar.

For information, visit the website at www.robertmorris.edu.

Friday, November 12, 2010

'Cake Boss' to be recognized at HCCC Foundation gala

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Foundation will host the 13th Annual Holiday Extravaganza Fundraiser on Dec. 2 at the HCCC's Culinary Arts Institute/Conference Center. At the event, Carlos' Bakery owner and star of the TLC reality show "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro will be honored with the Sixth Annual Distinguished Community Service Award.

The award is presented to community members who work to improve the quality of life for the people of Hudson County. In addition to the recognition Valastro (pictured, above) has brought to Hudson County because of his show, he maintains his family's practice of donating zeppoles to St. Joseph's Church, Jersey City, and baking St. Anthony's loaves for St. Francis Church, Hoboken. He is also an honorary board member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Proceeds from the event help fund students' scholarships, faculty-development programs and the school's physical expansion. For more information, visit www.hccc.edu.

KeHE CEO honored at Lexington benefit

Over 600 people attended Lexington College's "Building Scholarships for Service" Benefit, held Nov. 2 in honor of Brandon Barnholt, president and CEO of KeHE Distributors. The event, held at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, raised $450,000 in scholarship funds for Lexington students.

(l to r): Mai Martinez, CBS Channel 2 co-anchor and master of ceremonies for the event; Stewart Reich of Hanson Fago; Brandon Barnholt of KeHE Distributors; Rita Cuddihy of Marriot International; Chris McCarthy of Acosta-NS Sales, Dr. Susan Mangels of Lexington College; and Adam Levitt of The Hain-Celestial Group

The event celebrated Barnholt for his leadership in the foodservice and hospitality industry, as well as his and KeHE's continued support of the College. Since 2008, KeHE has partnered with Lexington through a strategic marketing curriculum that brings food industry representatives into the classroom to assist with learning and product development.

(l to r) Lexington student Karina Ramirez ('11), Brandon Barnholt and Lexington student Nicole Kline (’12)

Lexington College is the world's premier all-women's hospitality management degree-granting college based in Chicago. Visit www.lexingtoncollege.edu/preview/.

NRA voices support for culinary student aid at hearing

At a public hearing held by the U.S. Department of Education on Nov. 5, National Restaurant Association (NRA) vice president of labor and workforce policy Angelo Amador voiced the NRA's support for the availability of student aid for culinary arts programs. The proposed rules would set new standards to determine whether students in certain postsecondary educational programs, including the culinary arts, will remain eligible to obtain student financial assistance. Amador made the following statement on behalf of the industry:
"Culinary arts programs are critically important to the restaurant industry. These postsecondary education programs teach students the skills necessary to build a career in today's restaurant and foodservice industry. They also help place tens of thousands of students in jobs every year.

"Attacks on the culinary arts programs would have a very negative impact not just on our industry, but on the overall economy. We strongly urge the Department of Education to continue supporting these for-profit institutions so their students can continue building successful careers."

For more information, visit www.restaurant.org.

Dumante student recipe contest winners announced

Dumante has announced the winners of its recipe contest at Kendall College School of Culinary Arts in Chicago, which took place Oct. 25. Kendall student Tyler Burns won first place in the cocktail category for her Dumante spumoni martini, which blended Dumante, vodka and pistachio gelato that was poured into a glass drizzled with chocolate and garnished with cherries and rose petals. Kristine Antonian took first place in the dessert category for her pistachio cardamom soufflé with Dumante chocolate sauce and ice cream.

(l to r) Kendall student Tyler Burns, first place winner in the cocktail category; and Kristine Antonian, first place winner in the dessert category pose with their scholarship checks.

Students were asked to submit cocktail and dessert recipes showcasing Dumante. Both first place category winners received a $750 scholarship and a $250 gift card. Second place winners won $250 and third place winners received $100.

For more information on Dumante and recipes, visit www.dumante.com.

The importance of edible gardens

by Andrew Hewson, CCC, SAIT Polytechnic

Editor's note: This article is a continuation of "Culinary ago literacy" (page 7) from Chef Educator Today's Winter 2010 issue.

The entrance to the Jackson Henuset Memorial Culinary Garden at SAIT Polytechnic

In cooking, as in life, there is a first time for everything. Great cooks and chefs draw upon their "first-time" food memories to inspire them to create. Walking through a farmers' market and seeing all the fresh seasonal items, smelling the earth on new potatoes, the fruity perfume of ripe peaches or that bright, distinctive aroma of fresh picked dill: These are the sights and smells that get the creative juices flowing in a chef's mind.

But where did this inspiration start, and where did these food memories come from? Are certain people born with a food gene that triggers when they walk through a farmers' market and inspiration hits them?

Part of our role as chefs and educators is to create an environment for those first-time food memories so our students have a baseline to build from. Certainly the priority is to provide students with a solid foundation in the skills of the trade. They need to know the language of the kitchen, how to control a knife, poach a piece of fish or braise a tough cut of meat into a succulent dish. In order to create these food memories, chef educators need to start with the building blocks, the raw materials of our trade: food.

With a growing urban population accustomed to fast-food, our students have become disconnected from their food sources. In postsecondary institutions, we need to take a lead role in not only teaching the fundamental skills of the culinary trade but in teaching what "real" food is and where it comes from.

The beginnings of educational edible gardening
In 1995, through the Chez Panisse Foundation, chef Alice Waters started The Edible Schoolyard at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, Calif. This school-garden project has gone on to inspire hundreds if not thousands of similar projects across North America. It has also lead to a partnership with The Center for Ecoliteracy where they have developed curriculum resources for secondary schools to adopt when teaching children about food and the environment.

One of the goals of the Edible Schoolyard is connecting children with gardens, thus educating them as to where healthy, nutritious food comes from. By involving the students in preparing, serving and eating the food they are "awakening their senses and encouraging awareness and appreciation," according to Edible Schoolyard's mission statement.

The same benefits must also apply in a postsecondary institution that teaches aspiring cooks. Part of a cook's training is tasting what they cook in order to "awaken their senses," but in order to be aware and truly appreciate food, students must be connected to the agrarian process. That is where incorporating edible garden curriculum through culinary agro literacy comes in. (To read chef Hewson's article on culinary agro literacy, visit www.chefedtoday.com/digital.htm.)

The author and chef-instructor Simon Dunn breaking ground on the new garden at SAIT Polytechnic

Tips and resources

In our first season of growing at the Jackson Henuset Memorial Culinary Garden at SAIT Polytechnic, we saw a tremendous positive response from the students. Those who never had a garden created their own first-time food memories while others recalled fond memories of being in a garden as a child. Students are now learning to identify food as it is growing rather than simply "picking" from a grocery store shelf.

Andrew Hewson, CCC, is a chef-instructor at the School of Hospitality and Tourism at SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Want to learn even more about edible gardening? Attend the FENI Summit Master Class!

Friday, November 5, 2010

MSU hospitality school honors J. Alexander's

The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University honored J.Alexander's Restaurant as its Industry Partner of the Year at the school's 32nd annual Career Expo on Nov. 2. J. Alexander's chairman, president and CEO Lonnie Stout II delivered the keynote address and accepted the award at this year's Career Expo.

The hospitality career fair has honored one company each year since 2002, recognizing the companies that have a close relationship with the school. The organizations actively recruit students for internships and graduate placements, provide guest speakers in the classrooms, sponsor school activities and events, help fund elective courses, and offer property tours and accommodations as well as student scholarships.

Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., J. Alexander's Restaurant operates 33 restaurants in 13 states. J. Alexander's recruiters have served on Career Expo professional development panels and have come to campus to meet and interview students. The company's managerial internship program has launched the careers of many hospitality business students into full-time positions.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kendall Culinary Curiosity Exhibition launches interactive website

The Kendall College Charitable Trust on Nov. 4 unveiled an interactive website, www.culinarycuriosity.org as a companion to The Culinary Curiosity Exhibition of nearly 250 culinary, bakery and confectionery artifacts displayed throughout Kendall College.

A Culinary Curiosity Exhibition display case near the entrance at Kendall College*

The collection was donated to the Kendall College Charitable Trust by Chicago residents Melvin and Janet Mickevic. The late Melvin Mickevic, a food scientist and entrepreneur, engineered innovations in food-processing technologies and production methods. The exhibition, curated by Vicki Matranga, includes 12 themed displays throughout the college, such as "Fire and Heat," "Liquid Refreshments," "Bakers' Secrets" and "Farm to Fork." The tools in the collection range from agricultural implements and commercial equipment to items used by home cooks over many generations.

More than 130 items from the exhibition are featured on the website, along with descriptions and videos about their manufacture, origin and use, as well as the solutions they provided in the era during which they were used. For more information, visit www.culinarycuriosity.org.

*Photo courtesy of Eric Futran/Chef Shots

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Student winners of America's Best Raisin Bread Contest announced

The California Raisin Marketing Board has announced the winners of its third annual America's Best Raisin Bread Contest, a competition that recognizes aspiring and working bakers for their skills. The 38 professional and student finalists who advanced to the second round prepared their breads for a panel of judges at the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan, Kan., Oct. 14 to 16. The four student winners (pictured, below) are:
The winners will receive a five-day California vacation with visits to the Culinary Institute of America, Yosemite National Park and the San Joaquin Valley. For more information, visit www.calraisins.org.

Artisan Co-Grand Prize winner Chee Her

Artisan Co-Grand Prize winner Oprah Davidson

Commercial Grand Prize winner Kacy Charlesworth

Breakfast Grand Prize winner Katrina Snelgrove

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

EGBOK Mission to host Chicago fundraiser

Everything’s Gonna Be OK (EGBOK) Mission, an international nonprofit organization that provides educational and vocational training for young adults looking to become hospitality professionals, will host a fundraiser on Nov. 11 at Primitive in Chicago. Hors d'oeuvres and wine will be served at the event, which will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. The event also will feature a wine and art silent auction.

EGBOK Mission's current project works with underprivileged young adults in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and plans to launch a similar program in Chicago in 2011. For more information, visit www.egbokmission.org.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bradley named CIA's board chairman

Richard Bradley, chairman of Bradley Holdings Ltd., was elected the 16th chairman of the board of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at the college's annual meeting on Oct. 14. Additionally, chef Thomas Keller and Martin Sutter were appointed to the college's Board of Trustees.

Bradley (pictured, above) has served as chairman and president of Victoria Station as well as owner-operator of 105 restaurants in the U.S., Canada, and Japan. Bradley Holdings invests in venture capital transactions, commercial real estate, hotels and restaurants. Bradley succeeds Cameron Mitchell, president and founder of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, who served two years as CIA chairman.

Keller holds multiple three-star Michelin Guide ratings with The French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., and Per Se in New York City. He is also chef/owner of Ad Hoc in Yountville, Bouchon in Yountville and Las Vegas, and Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, Las Vegas, and New York City.
award-winning chef/restaurateur Thomas Keller

Sutter is a founding managing director of Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, one of the oldest and largest healthcare-focused venture capital organizations.

Martin Sutter, founding managing director of Essex Woodland Health Ventures

The CIA Board of Trustees consists of 25 highly respected leaders in the foodservice industry and business world.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Midwest State of the Plate teaches sustainable food production

On Nov. 17 the Midwest's inaugural State of the Plate conference will take place in Chicago to educate chef-instructors, students and foodservice professionals about creating a more sustainable food supply. The one-day event will take place at Harold Washington Library and Robert Morris University's Institute of Culinary Arts.

The conference aims to help those in the foodservice industry better understand the current model of meat production and the differences among various methods, farmers and distributors. It will feature local farmers and Midwest companies that serve the industry.

For more information or to register, visit www.stateoftheplate2010.com. Sponsors and supporters include the Green Chicago Restaurant Co-op, Green City Market, Family Farmed, Kendall College, Robert Morris University and Chefs Collaborative.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Changing the perception of the 'college cafeteria'

Contributed by Marsha Lynch, The Dining Room at Gardiner Point Residence Hall, Sullivan University

Since the moment in the 1978 film "Animal House" when John Belushi's character yelled, "Food fight!" the concept of the college cafeteria has been cemented in the American psyche. Acres of dingy linoleum featuring ranks of communal trestle-tables with bench seating. Bland, poorly cooked food glopped onto compartmented plastic trays by grouchy matrons in hairnets and polyester. Mystery meat; cold, gray vegetables; lumpy mashed potatoes topped with lumpier gravy; and lots of green Jell-O.

Sullivan University in Louisville, Ky., has broken the stereotype with its new $7 million facility, The Dining Room at Gardiner Point Residence Hall. Sullivan is home to the National Center for Hospitality Studies (NCHS), one of the leading culinary arts and hospitality management schools in the country. The Gardiner Point Residence Hall, a converted fully flagged and operating hotel situated near Sullivan's main campus, its College of Pharmacy and the Sullivan College of Technology and Design campus, opened in the summer of 2010.

"I saw this 138,000-square-foot hotel resort property overlooking a lake and adjacent to corporate campus of the World Headquarters of Yum! Brands as a wonderful resident hall opportunity," says Dr. A.R. Sullivan, Sullivan chancellor.

With living space for over 400 freshmen students, Gardiner Point is a state-of-the-art university residential facility that includes a large fitness center, onsite convenience store, gaming rooms, a heated swimming pool, a movie theater, a mezzanine level filled with computer study kiosks--and then there's The Dining Room.

Table with a view in The Dining Room

"We envisioned The Dining Room as a quality restaurant featuring fresh-made food of the highest quality in an 'all-you-can-eat' environment matching the quality of our world-class culinary program. I think we surpassed that quest," Sullivan adds.

Entering The Dining Room from the rear of the marble-floored lobby, one sees yards of granite countertops and seven glass-fronted action stations (much of the cooking is done right in front of the guests). The space has an array of seating choices: banquettes line one wall; two tops, four tops and eight tops are sprinkled across the parquet flooring; a raised area runs along a full wall of mullioned windows overlooking a brick patio filled with wrought-iron tables and chairs, adjacent to a small lake populated by waterfowl. A cozy furniture grouping on a carpeted area faces a large fireplace over which is mounted an equally large flat-screen television. Myriad liquid refreshments jostle for attention from the beverage counter. A large soup and salad bar nestles comfortably as an island amidst the tables and chairs.

There are no polyester-clad food service workers here; the cooks and chefs (a mix of students and graduates who receive wages above the industry standard) wear white chef's jackets and crisp white aprons as they move about the room efficiently, reflected in the expanses of stainless-steel fixtures. The food is served on real china with real flatware.

The pizza station features a chef tossing house-made crusts and loading them with gourmet toppings to be baked in two large ovens with built-in pizza stone floors. An induction-cooking station offers made-to-order eggs and omelets during breakfast or pasta dishes during lunch and dinner. The grill station provides college-student favorites such as burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, grilled cheese sandwiches, potato and sweet-potato fries, fried green beans, fried pickles and chicken wings with house-made hot sauce--not to mention Belgian blueberry waffles and chocolate chip pancakes during morning service.

Pizzas with house-made crusts on display in The Dining Room

There's a steam table section that rotates high-end food offerings three times a day; a deli station with made-to-order sandwiches and a dual panini press; a carving station where a chef carves to-order prime rib, roast turkey, smoked brisket, glazed ham and more, with sauce wells for demi-glace or house-made gravy. An elaborate dessert station is stocked with baked goods and desserts from The Bakery at Sullivan--muffins, breakfast pastries, cupcakes, pies, cakes and cookies. A soft-serve ice cream machine dispenses luscious dessert toppings or cones, if you’re so inclined.

The Dining Room is the realization of the design of chef Tom Hickey, a Culinary Oympics medal winner and director of Sullivan's NCHS; and Scott Stromer, executive director of food and beverage for the Sullivan University System. In addition to The Dining Room, Stromer (formerly a chef for Hyatt Hotels, vice president and corporate executive chef of the Dial Corp., and executive director of food and beverage operations at Michigan State University) manages The Bakery, Julep's Catering, Winston's Restaurant and the Ala Carte Café at Sullivan's main campus with the assistance of multiple department managers and their staffs.

"It was always our plan for The Dining Room to set trends in university food service that others would want to follow," Stromer says. "For instance, the food and baked goods we serve are all house-made, from scratch. In addition, we constantly monitor the residents' eating habits and solicit their input for menu changes. Communicating and even collaborating to some degree with your guests is crucial; you must be focused on their needs. We also strive to be detail-oriented, evaluating and re-evaluating recipe formulations so that we're always improving our menu offerings and exceeding expectations. Our watchwords for profitable growth are 'consistency, color, variety and flavor combinations.'"

(l to r) The author, Marsha Lynch, sous chef at Gardiner Point; Scott Stromer, executive director of food and beverage for the Sullivan University System; and Tyson Long, sous chef for Sullivan University's Juleps Catering, which also has its headquarters at Gardiner Point

But it's not just about the bottom line; it's also about the students. Stromer says he is passionate about the educational component of university foodservice, mentoring and coaching his staff. "Our Sullivan students and graduates who work at The Dining Room are molding the industry," he says,"“and we are always learning something new from one another. It's exciting to watch people grow and develop their cooking and other professional skills on a daily basis."

Marsha Lynch is the sous chef at The Dining Room at Gardiner Point Residence Hall, Sullivan University, Louisville, Ky.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Burpee opens school garden contest

Burpee Home Gardens is now accepting applications for the 2011 "I Can Grow" Youth Garden Award, created to sponsor and support urban school and community gardens in cities across the country.

The 2011 Youth Garden Awards will be presented to established or start-up programs that demonstrate well-developed and staffed plans for a youth-centered educational program, with an emphasis on nutrition and food production, environmental awareness, social responsibility and scholastic integration. The winners will be awarded up to 500 vegetable and herb plants and $2,500 in garden supplies. They also will receive on-site assistance for initial garden layout and installation from Burpee Home Gardens experts, five gallons of Daniels Plant Food sustainable fertilizer, a hose-end sprayer and a Flip camera to document the garden's progress throughout the year.

Educators can visit www.burpeehomegardens.com to download the application and read eligibility requirements. All entries must be postmarked by Dec. 3.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CIA expands San Antonio campus

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has opened its newly expanded third campus in San Antonio, Texas, as part of the school's El Sueño initiative to promote Latino diversity in the foodservice industry.

CIA--San Antonio managing director David Kellaway, CIA president Dr. Tim Ryan and Texas philanthropist Kit Goldsbury at the grand opening event for the college's expanded Texas campus*

The campus expansion includes three new teaching kitchens, two skills kitchens and a special Latin kitchen to support the college's 30-week culinary arts certificate program currently offered in San Antonio. The CIA's San Antonio campus was created in 2007 through a private gift from philanthropist Kit Goldsbury. For more information about the expanded campus, visit www.ciaelsueno.com.

*Photo courtesy of The CIA/Darren Abate

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stratford culinary students win MLA competition

At the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Food, Beverage and Lodging Expo on Oct. 6 to 7, the culinary and hospitality team at Stratford University won a silver medal at the Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) Black Box Competition. They also took first place in the dessert competition. The team from Stratford was the only student team competing. All other teams were made up of professional chefs.

(l to r) Competition judge David Soto, team member Clark Edwards, Stratford coach chef Vaishali Chitnis, team member Perry Baldwin, team member Kortni Benson-Gehlert, event organizer Stephen Edwards and judge and organizer Alan Palmer

The team, led by chef Vaishali Chitnis, included Perry Baldwin, Kortni Benson-Gehlert, Clark Edwards, Craig Baker, Joseph Lipinski, and Daryl Hall.

(l to r) Stratford team members Kortni Benson-Gehlert and Clark Edwards prep the MLA Black Box Competition menu

At the MLA Black Box Competition, each team was given one hour to create a menu from 18 mandatory ingredients and 10 optional mystery ingredients that included an appetizer, main course and dessert to be presented to a panel of judges. The Stratford team's menu included: lamb chop with salad Napolean, Wagyu beef and crab surf and turf, and wine-poached pear entremet.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sullivan students help at Alltech World Equestrian Games

Students from Sullivan University's National Center for Hospitality Studies (NCHS) supported visiting and local chefs during the Cookin' in the Bluegrass Celebrity Chef Dinner Series at the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games. (Pictured, left: Matthew Williams, chef ambassador, Sullivan University NCHS, VIP Kitchen for Maker's Mark)

Thirty students from the school's Lexington campus cooked at the dinners, which included such visiting celebrity chefs as John Besh, Frank Brigtsen and Mike Lata. The series, which took place Sept. 25 to Oct. 10, was presented by the James Beard Foundation.

For more information, visit www.sullivan.edu.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Koetke receives inaugural Pathfinder Award for sustainability

At the 2010 Chefs Collaborative Sustainability Awards Dinner on Oct. 4, Christopher Koetke, MBA, CEC, CCE, dean of Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and vice president of the Laureate International Universities Centers of Excellence in Culinary Arts, received the organization's inaugural Pathfinder Award for raising awareness of the importance of sustainability in the foodservice industry. (Pictured l to r: Cathleen Mandigo, Anolon Cookware; Christopher Koetke; and Chefs Collaborative executive director Melissa Kogut)

The Pathfinder Award recognizes leaders who are catalysts for change in the food industry beyond the kitchen. Koetke was chosen from among a group of nominees including Felede Bauccio of Bon Appétit Management Co., Palo Alto, Calif.; Karen Jurgensen of the Seattle Culinary Academy; Jon Rowley of Taylor Shellfish Farms, Seattle; Lyndon Virkler of New England Culinary Institute, Montpelier, Vt.; and Alec Webb and Megan Camp of Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, Vt.

For more information, visit www.chefscollaborative.org.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Delcastle students win first in The Farmer and The Chef competition

At the third annual The Farmer & The Chef fundraiser/competition in Wilmington, Del., last month, Delcastle High School culinary students took first place along with their farm-partners Blair View Farm and Kalmar Farm. Their winning recipe was Blair View Farm tilapia with Kalmar Farm vegetables.

The competition paired up local chefs with local farmers to create tasting samples for attendees using the farmers' product. All proceeds from the event--which was presented by March of Dimes, the New Castle County Buy From Your Neighbor Program and the Delaware Department of Agriculture--went to March of Dimes.

This was Delcastle's third year participating, after taking third place overall at last year's competition. Visit www.cooksandbakers.com for more information.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CIA pastry instructor third in U.S. selections for World Chocolate Masters

Stephen Durfee, pastry chef-instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, St. Helena, Calif., took third place in the U.S. national selections for the 2011 World Chocolate Masters competition. The two-day chocolate showpiece and chocolate dessert competition took place during the International Baking Industry Exposition and was organized by Barry Callebaut.

Sylvain Bortolini, assistant executive pastry chef at the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas, took first place and was named U.S. National Chocolate Master 2010. Bortolini will represent the United States at the World Chocolate Masters competition in Paris next fall. Frederic Loraschi, chocolatier and owner of Chocolat Frederic Loraschi, Hummelstown, Pa., won second place and a special award for "Best Tasting."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 'Culinary Nutrition News' tackles foodborne illness

From eggs to spinach to peanut butter, common kitchen ingredients can easily be contaminated, leading to foodborne illnesses. The October issue of "Culinary Nutrition News: Preventable Foodborne Illnesses?" explains causes of foodborne illness, examines several recent cases and offers chefs tips on how to avoid an outbreak. The article, presented by the American Culinary Federation Chef & Child Foundation (CCF) and Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., is now available for download at www.acfchefs.org/CNN.

Author Margaret Condrasky, R.D., CCE, of Clemson University, outlines common types of bacteria that cause foodborne illness and how they are transmitted, from raw or undercooked meat to contaminated water. In addition, the article offers foodservice professionals tips on how to avoid contamination, such as wash hands, utensils and cutting boards before and after contact with raw meat and use a food thermometer.

The American Culinary Federation's Chef & Child Foundation and Clemson University partnered in May 2009 to offer a series of monthly articles designed to bridge the nutrition gap for chefs by providing up-to-date research information. Upcoming topics include genetically modified foods and quality carbohydrates.

Monday, October 4, 2010

L'Academie named one of top 53 businesses in Maryland

The Gazette of Politics and Business selected L'Academie de Cuisine, Gaithersburg, Md., as one of the 53 most exceptional businesses and organizations in the state of Maryland. The award program, now in its third year, was created by The Gazette P&B to acknowledge the top 53 Maryland businesses and organizations based on criteria such as annual revenue and employee growth, noteworthy product or service innovations, community service efforts, how they've weathered the economic downturn and how they've portrayed themselves as good places to work.

L'Academie de Cuisine was recognized for its exceptional growth during the last three years as well as its community service programs including cooking classes and dinners, collaboration with Montgomery County Public Schools, American Heart Association--Hearts Delight event, Best Buddies International, DC Central Kitchen--Capital Food Fight, Heart of America Foundation--Sweet Charity, Share our Strength--Operation Frontline, innovation in developing an evening professional culinary arts program, and expanding the scope of recreational cooking classes based on the economy of the past few years.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Calif. grapes recipe contest: One month left!

The deadline is approaching for the The California Table Grape Commission's 2010 Foodservice Chef's Recipe Contest. Chef-educators have until Nov. 1 to submit entries featuring California grapes to recipecontest@grapesfromcalifornia.com.

The top three winners will each receive cash prizes and national publicity for their recipes. Suggested categories include starters, small plates, entrées, salads, sides and desserts.

For contest rules and entry forms, visit www.grapesfromcalifornia.com.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Winners of Chicago amateur pie contest announced

At the third annual Amateur Fruit and Raisin Pie Competition, hosted by Pastry Chicago and the California Raisins Marketing Board, Carla Cubert (pictured, left) was named the winner with her rhubarb and golden raisin pie. Cubert's pie was selected from 20 submitted by pastry enthusiasts who turned out for the Sept. 18 contest at Whole Foods in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood.

While judges sampled entries, chef Della Gossett of The French Pastry School demonstrated a fall-inspired recipe for pear and mincemeat pie. Following Gossett's demonstration, Andrea Spring, winner of the 16th Annual American Pie Council competition also demonstrated sharing her winning recipe for chocolate walnut raisin pie (find her winning recipe here).

Sandy Bierlein won second place with her creamy raisin and apple pie, and third place went to Renee Ortega for her apple spice pie.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MFHA presents interactive career showcase at ECU

On Sept. 22 and 23, the Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance (MFHA) presented its Showcase of the Stars event at East Carolina University. Showcase of the Stars is an interactive career exploration event that promotes career and business opportunities in the restaurant, foodservice and lodging industry.

(l to r) Gerry Fernandez, president of MFHA; and participating panelists Brooklynn Luedke, college recruiting manager for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts; Clayton Dyson, franchise owner and operator for Chick-fil-A; Tia McDonald, program manager for Aramark Education; Robin Lowe, vice president of quality assurance for Golden Corral; and Leslie Wood, senior talent acquisition manager for Aramark

Professionals from various segments of the food and hospitality industry participated in a panel discussion about career opportunities in their companies. Panelists discussed students' employment needs and answered questions about internships and scholarships.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

National Restaurant Association partners with Aspen University for online restaurant management degree

Building on its range of career-building training programs, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) has partnered with Aspen University on a new undergraduate degree in foodservice operations and management. This collaboration provides undergraduate degree-seeking individuals an affordable education that focuses on restaurant business administration and front-of-house operations. The NRA is committed to developing careers for the industry's nearly 13 million employees.

"The comprehensive restaurant operations and management degree at Aspen University was developed specifically to fit the workforce characteristics of our industry," Mike McCallum, NRA's chief strategy officer, said in a press release. "The degree is flexible, entirely online, very affordable, and incorporates the association's existing educational programs, including ServSafe and ManageFirst. By obtaining this degree, students and restaurant workers can build strong foundations for their foodservice careers in our industry of opportunity."

Employees at NRA member organizations receive a 50 percent discount on tuition and pay only $90 per credit hour when seeking a bachelors of science in foodservice operations and restaurant management at Aspen University. Additionally, federal financial aid is available for students who qualify.

Aspen will donate 15 percent of all collected tuition to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) to support scholarships to students, professional development for teachers and mentorship.

The degree incorporates the NRA's well-established training programs and certifications--ServSafe Food Safety, ServSafe Alcohol, ManageFirst and the Foodservice Management Professional--transferred into the degree as credit, or earned as requirements of the degree program. Association member organizations with their own training programs will be able to submit their curricula to Aspen for evaluation of course credits.

Aspen University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The Accrediting Commission of the DETC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. For more information, visit www.restaurant.org/careers/education/schools/aspen or www.aspen.edu.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lexington College to honor KeHE CEO at scholarship benefit dinner

Lexington College will honor Brandon Barnholt, president and COO of Kehe Distributors, at the Annual Scholarship Benefit Dinner. The event will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. The evening's event raises scholarship funds for the next generation of women leaders in the hospitality industry.

Barnholt and Kehe Distributors are a strong supporter of Lexington due to the organizations' shared values. Since 2008, KeHE has partnered with the college through an innovative, strategic-marketing curriculum that brings food-industry representatives into the classroom to assist with learning and product development. The goal of this cutting-edge course is to provide students with practical examples that characterize current hospitality trends. Students gain knowledge from vendor representatives, as well as developing and testing custom recipes using KeHE vendorproducts. As a business leader concerned with developing future industry professionals, Barnholt sees great potential in investing in this learning opportunity.

The event will raise $500,000 for 70 scholarships. Ninety-five percent of Lexington College students need and receive some scholarship support from this fund. For more information, visit www.lexingtoncollege.edu.

Friday, September 24, 2010

IACP calling on cookbook submissions

The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) is seeking entries for its 25th annual Cookbook Awards program. Authors and publishers have until Oct. 29 to submit their books.

IACP has added two new awards categories this year: Food Matters for books that focus on the importance of food choices on our bodies and the planet, and Judges’ Choice for an entry that has not otherwise been recognized as a finalist or winner, as selected by the Cookbook Awards Executive Committee.

The 2011 finalists will be announced in March, when IACP members and the general public will be invited to vote on their favorite book from the category finalists for the People's Choice award. Winners will honored at the Awards Gala during the IACP Annual Conference in Austin, Texas, June 1 to 4.

For guidelines, eligibility, category descriptions and entry forms and a list of past winners, visit www.iacp.com.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chefs prepare for test of a lifetime

Twelve chefs from across the country will convene in the kitchens at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Hyde Park, N.Y., Oct. 23 to 30 for the American Culinary Federation's (ACF) eight-day Certified Master Chef (CMC) exam.

The last CMC exam was held four years ago. There are currently 60 CMCs and 12 Certified Master Pastry Chefs (CMPC) in the United States. In order for chefs to apply for the CMC exam, they must show documentation that they are a Certified Executive Chef or Certified Culinary Educator, provide two letters or recommendation from current CMCs and meet rigorous education and experience requirements. The practical exam is administered in eight segments: healthy cooking, buffet catering, classical cuisine, freestyle cooking, global cuisine, baking and pastry, continental and northern Europe cuisines and market basket. Each category is graded in two parts: kitchen skills and presentation, and tasting. The minimum passing score for the entire exam is 75 points out of 100.

The 2010 CMC candidates are:
  • Brian Beland, CEC, executive chef, Country Club of Detroit, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association
  • Daniel Dumont, CEC, vice president of culinary/corporate chef, Ocean Properties Ltd. Hotels and Resorts, Portsmouth., N.H.; ACF Piscataqua Chapter
  • Randall Emert, CEC, CCA, executive chef, Great Oaks Country Club, Rochester, Mich.; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association
  • Jason Hall, CEC, executive chef, Hammock Dunes Club, Palm Coast, Fla.; ACF St. Augustine Chapter
  • Shawn Hanlin, CEC, executive director, Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Coos Bay, Ore.; ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon
  • Shawn Loving, CEC, CCA, department chair/instructor, Schoolcraft College Culinary Arts Department, Livonia, Mich.; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association
  • Robert Mancuso, CEC, executive chef, The Country Club, Chestnut Hill, Mass.; ACF Epicurean Club of Boston
  • Jonathan Moosmiller, CEC, executive chef, Genesee Valley Club, Rochester, N.Y.; ACF Professional Chef/Cooks Association of Rochester
  • Alan Neace Sr., CEC, AAC, culinary instructor, Midwest Culinary Institute, Cincinnati
  • Richard Rosendale, CEC, executive chef, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs; ACF National Chapter
  • Brian Sode, CEC, AAC, executive chef, The Bear's Club, Jupiter, Fla.; ACF National Chapter
  • John Thompson, CEC, executive chef, Minneapolis Club, Minneapolis; ACF Minneapolis Chefs Chapter
For more information about the 2010 CMC exam, visit www.acfchefs.org/cmcexam. ACF will announce which chefs earned the CMC designation on its website Oct. 30.

CIA to open Singapore campus

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), in collaboration with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and Temasek Polytechnic, has announced that it will begin offering its bachelor's degree program in culinary arts management in Singapore in January 2011.

The new degree program is available exclusively to graduates of polytechnic institutions who have earned their diplomas in hospitality and tourism management, leisure and resort management, or culinary and catering management, as well as to other hospitality, tourism, and culinary diploma program graduates. Temasek Polytechnic worked with the CIA to design a new 30,000-square-foot educational facility that includes three professional teaching kitchens. The new campus building will be completed in October.

The CIA has selected chef Eve Felder (pictured, above, courtesy of The CIA/Keith Ferris) to be the managing director for The CIA, Singapore. Chef Felder is a CIA graduate who has served the college over the past 16 years in various teaching and administrative capacities, most recently as associate dean of culinary arts. Prior to returning to the faculty of her alma mater in 1994, Felder was the chef at Chez Panisse Café in Berkeley, Calif., where she worked closely with chef Alice Waters.

For more information, visit www.ciachef.edu.sg.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gersten named Kendall College president

Kendall College in Chicago has named Dr. Karen Gersten, interim president since March, as its president. Gersten, who has been with Kendall for three years, formerly was provost of the college.

Prior to joining Kendall, Gersten spent more than 20 years at Roosevelt University in Chicago, most recently as associate provost for academic programs and distance learning. Gersten earned her Ed.D. in education from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, and her Master of Education and bachelors from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Click here to read Gersten's article about assessment in culinary education from the summer issue of Chef Educator Today.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Chef's Academy expands to Morrisville, N.C.

The Chef's Academy, the culinary division of Harrison College in Indianapolis, has announced its new campus location in Morrisville, N.C. The academy is scheduled to open in August 2011.

Jayson M. Boyers, who was recently named regional president (read about it here), along with a team culinary specialists and college administrators selected the Triangle location from more than 20 cities across the country. The Triangle campus will be the first Chef's Academy outside its original market in Indianapolis. The Chef's Academy is currently undergoing the process of accreditation through the state of North Carolina.

For more information, visit www.thechefsacademy.com.

Monday, September 20, 2010

James named conti professor at Penn State
School of Hospitality

The Penn State School of Hospitality Management (SHM) has named Everette James, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, as the conti professor of hospitality management in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development, starting in the spring semester of 2011.

As a top health regulator, James leads the state agency that regulates all of the commonwealth's hospitals, nursing homes and managed care plans; operates sixty state health centers; and carries out numerous disease prevention and control programs. He has led statewide efforts to improve nutrition environments in school cafeterias and vending machines. He also created the Active Schools program, which works with schools to engage children in daily physical activity.

Conti professors supplement Penn State SHM faculty with industry knowledge and expertise, serve as advisors to the director of the school and interact with students in educational forums. They visit the school to present guest lectures in hospitality management. For more information, visit www.hhdev.psu.edu/shm.

Friday, September 17, 2010

NRA seeking speakers for '11 Show and IWSB

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) is calling on restaurant and hospitality industry experts to submit speaker proposals for the 2011 NRA Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB). The events will feature more than 80 education sessions on industry hot topics aimed at helping foodservice professionals grow their businesses.

Those interested can send proposals under five categories: jobs and careers, profitability and entrepreneurship, food and healthy living, sustainability and social responsibility and technology. Proposals are due before Dec. 1 and may be submitted online at www.restaurant.org/show or at www.winespiritsbeer.org.

NRA Show 2011 will take place May 21 to 24 at Chicago's McCormick Place. IWSB will be held in conjunction with the NRA Show May 22 to 23.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

WCR seeks Educator of the Year nominations

Women Chefs & Restaurateurs is now accepting nominations for the annual Educator of the Year Award. The deadline for nominations is Sept. 28.

The award honors a woman whose dedication to teaching is making a difference to the culinary community. A committee of culinary professionals will evaluate all entries and select WCR's 2010 Educator of the Year, based on the career and accomplishments of each nominee. Recipients will be honored during the 2010 National Conference Women Who Inspire Awards Gala on Nov. 7 in Pasadena, Calif.

Click here to make a nomination.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ecole de Cuisine Pasadena to host Couscous Festival

Ecole de Cuisine Pasadena, a culinary school specializing in French international cuisine in Pasadena, Calif., will host the First Annual Couscous Festival Oct. 16 and 17 at the Chefs Center of California to educate professionals and gourmets about North African and Mediterranean cuisines.

Special guest speakers include Mediterranean and North African food expert Paula Wolfert, Clifford Wright, author of Little Foods of the Mediterranean (Harvard Common Press, 2003) and A Mediterranean Feast (William Morrow Cookbooks, 1999), and Faye Levy, author of The International Jewish Cookbook (Warner Books, 1991).

For more information, visit www.couscousfestival.com.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Healthy Dining launches restaurant nutrition resource

In partnership with the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and founding sponsor American Express, Healthy Dining launched an online nutrition resource for foodservice called "Restaurant Nutrition: News & Insights for the Foodservice Industry."

"Restaurant Nutrition: News & Insights" features a variety of content on nutrition issues affecting the industry today, with topics such as complying with new menu labeling regulations, reducing sodium, calories and fat, improving the healthfulness of kids' meals, offering a gluten-free menu, and capitalizing on growing wellness trends. The new resource also features weekly interviews with industry executives and marketing and culinary leaders. The first interview is with NRA president and CEO Dawn Sweeney.

"Restaurant Nutrition: News & Insights" can be found at www.healthydiningfinder.com/operators and at www.restaurantnutrition.com.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Online extras for Autumn CET

New CIA podcast examines food industry jobs

In the latest "Insight from the Inside" podcast, Culinary Institute of America (CIA) instructor and author Irena Chalmers and CIA career development manager Ron Hayes discuss the exciting possibilities for people who want to make a career in food and hospitality.

Chalmers is the author of Food Jobs: 150 Great Jobs for Culinary Students, Career Changers and Food Lovers (Beaufort Books, 2008), which won a 2009 World Cookbook Award. In the podcast, she explains that the possibilities are endless when it comes to finding a job in the food industry for those who have the passion. "The food world is constantly changing and expanding," she says. "The diversity of jobs really is a question of looking into one's own heart and saying, 'What would I really love to do?'"

Hayes, a 2002 CIA graduate, says he didn't see himself with a "food job" of helping others find their niche. "I'm now working with a lot of people who graduated in the mid-'90s who are at a point in their career where [they say], 'I've elevated myself. Now where do I go from here?'"

"Insight from the Inside" features CIA graduates with exciting jobs in the food industry. Past podcasts have featured industry names including Grant Achatz, Nate Appleman, John Besh and Charlie Palmer. To download the 23-minute podcast featuring Chalmers and Hayes, visit www.ciachef.edu/podcasts/#jobs.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Chef's Academy names regional president

The Chef's Academy, the culinary division of Harrison College, has named Jayson M. Boyers regional president. Boyers (pictured) is charged with heading up both the Indianapolis and Triangle, Ind., campuses.

Before joining The Chef's Academy, Boyers most recently was a disbursement specialist at American United Life Insurance Co. in Indianapolis.

For more information about The Chef's Academy, visit www.thechefsacademy.com.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kendall dean teaches educators about sustainability

During the American Culinary Federation (ACF) National Convention last month in Anaheim, Calif., Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, dean of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and vice president of culinary arts for Laureate International Universities network, presented a sustainability master class to foodservice educators. The class was designed to help educators integrate sustainability throughout their curriculum and operations to make sustainable practices integral to their students' daily lives.

Christopher Koetke, dean of Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, addresses attendees of sustainability master class during the ACF National Convention

The class featured units on teaching energy and water conservation, waste stream reduction, green building and the complexities of sustainable food. The interactive session included group activities and several exercises that educators can adapt to their own classroom, including an energy and water audit of a commercial kitchen, learning games that increase interest and enthusiasm and specific activities for each area of sustainability.

Kendall College launched its sustainability education initiative for working foodservice professionals and educators in 2008 and is an official educational partner of the National Restaurant Association's Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability initiative.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 'Culinary Nutrition News' examines organic claims

Organic. Natural. Local. Sustainable. These terms are ubiquitous in the foodservice industry today, though there is still plenty of confusion about what they truly mean. The September issue of "Culinary Nutrition News: Organic, Natural, Local and Sustainable: Trends or Mainstays?" helps define the terms, explains the different types of organic classification and offers examples of restaurants leading the movement. The article, presented by the American Culinary Federation Chef & Child Foundation (CCF) and Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., is now available for download at www.acfchefs.org/CNN.

In the article, author Dr. Margaret Condrasky, R.D., CCE, of Clemson University, discusses the pros and cons of conventional vs. organic farming and gives examples of organic fruits and vegetables that you should consider purchasing, including bell peppers and celery, because they have little or no protective skin, and apples, nectarines and peaches because they are plagued with pests and are exposed to more pesticides.

The American Culinary Federation's Chef & Child Foundation and Clemson University partnered in May 2009 to offer a series of monthly articles designed to bridge the nutrition gap for chefs by providing up-to-date research information. Upcoming topics include genetically modified foods, medicinal herbs and spices and quality carbohydrates.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

LCB Austin student wins Chilean Hass Avocado recipe contest

Juan Duboue, a student at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts--Austin, Texas, won the first-ever Chilean Hass Avocado recipe contest for culinary students. Students from across the country sent in a range of avocado recipes suitable for foodservice, from appetizers to desserts, entrées to snacks.

Duboue's $1,000 winning recipe was a Chilean Hass Avocado Charlotte (pictured, below), made from avocado slices fitted into a ring and filled with avocado mousse and a mousse of smoked salmon, goat cheese and roasted garlic, with black bean ancho chili sauce, black tobiko pico de gallo and red corn tortilla chips.

Second place and $750 went to Ayanna Johnson, a student at L'Ecole Culinaire, Memphis, Tenn., for her avocado bites recipe. Third place went to Nick Furlan, a student at Le Cordon Bleu--Las Vegas, for his recipe for avocado poppers. For more information, visit www.chileanavocados.org.