Friday, January 29, 2010

HCCC offers subscription dining program

The Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Foundation has created a subscription dining series to raise scholarship funds for qualified students. The series of eight four-course luncheons will be available this spring for a $995 membership fee. The menus--which will include soup, appetizer, entrée and dessert for four people--will be planned and prepared by the executive chef and a team of culinary professionals who teach at HCCC's Culinary Arts Institute. Funds collected will go toward financing the education of qualified students at HCCC.

For more information on the HCCC Foundation Subscription Dining Series, click here for a PDF.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Florida Tomatoes kicks off 21st annual student chef contest

The Florida Tomato Committee is seeking entries for the 21st annual Fresh Florida Tomato Contest. Full- or part-time students enrolled in a professional culinary program in the U.S or Canada are invited to create an original recipe for an appetizer, salad, salad dressing, main dish, side dish, sandwich, sauce or baked good in which fresh field-grown tomatoes are the main ingredient.

Recipes will be prejudged by individual schools and judged on a national level based on taste, visual appeal, originality, ease of preparation and prominence of tomatoes in the dish. The student winner will receive $2,000 and the winning supervising instructor will win $250. Entries must be submitted no later than April 23. The winners will be announced on June 25. For more information or to download the contest kit, visit

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CIA to host Bocuse d'Or USA finals

On Feb. 5 and 6 the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) will host the American finals of the Bocuse d'Or competition at its main campus in Hyde Park, N.Y. The winner will represent the United States at the 2011 Bocuse d'Or International Culinary Competition taking place Jan. 25 and 26 in Lyon, France.

Five CIA graduates are among the 12 finalists selected by the Bocuse d'Or USA Foundation to participate in the competition: Luke Bergman, The Modern, New York City; Michael Clauss, Daily Planet, Burlington, Vt.; Mark Liberman, Roxy's, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Christopher Parsons, Catch Restaurant, Winchester, Mass.; and Percy Whatley, The Ahwahnee, Yosemite, Calif.

Admission to watch the competition is free. Following the competition, visitors may attend an awards dinner, which will host top culinary guests. For ticket information and reservations, visit

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

RAM Education Foundation names Dionot board member

Patrice Dionot, co-owner and administrative director of L'Academie de Cuisine, was appointed member of the board of the Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation (RAMEF) for a two-year term. Dionot will help RMAEF in its goal to improve the hospitality industry workforce through promotion of the ProStart culinary and restaurant management program.

Dionot, the wife of L'Academie de Cuisine founder Francois Dionot, has been with L'Academie since its beginning and oversees both the professional and recreational cooking schools. She previously was chair of the culinary trust for the International Association of Culinary Professionals and has served on the boards of The Marriott Hospitality Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., Les Dames d’Escoffier and the national board of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Exciting dining options in Chicago for the FENI Summit

12th Annual Foodservice Educators Network International (FENI) Educators Summit
February 12 to 15 in Chicago

Delicious dining
Chicago is a foodie haven with nationally recognized, cutting-edge dining--and thus the perfect location for the 12th Annual FENI Summit! Since the FENI Summit falls over Valentine's Day weekend, we suggest you make your evening restaurant reservations now to ensure you can dine at your top picks! For suggestions, check out Yelp, Open Table or Chicago magazine's "The Hot List."

One great option is located in our host hotel, the Hotel Allegro: At 312 Chicago (312-696-2420), chef Luca Corazzina whips up his fresh and local take on contemporary Italian cuisine--like salsiccia d'agnello (grilled house-made lamb sausage with apple mostarda and watercress) and pappardelle with slow-braised pork shoulder, porcini mushrooms and Parmesan.

A few of the items at our silent auction on Saturday of FENI (Feb. 13, from 9 a.m. to noon) are restaurant gift certificates! Read on to whet your appetite and get ready to bid for a good cause, the For the Love of Chocolate Scholarship Foundation for pastry arts education.

Atwood Café (donated by Kimpton Hotels). At the corner of Washington and State streets in the historic Hotel Burnham, visitors can experience fine-dining and homemade desserts in the rich Art Deco atmosphere of Atwood Café. The café offers diners executive chef Heather Terhune's contemporary interpretations of classic American cuisine, from grainy mustard white wine-braised rabbit and Chinese five spice pan-seared duck breast to fried fresh peach pie and warm tart cherry dumpling with lemon curd gelato. Located at 1 W. Washington Street, Chicago. Open daily. Reservations are accepted. Call (312) 368-1900 or visit

South Water Kitchen (donated by Kimpton Hotels). Even if you're not from Chicago, you'll instantly feel like a Midwesterner when you step into the warmly lit, intimate atmosphere at South Water Kitchen. Executive chef Chris Lateano hopes to make diners feel at home with his playful, Midwestern take on regional American cooking. He offers items such as grilled bavette steak with blue cheese custard potatoes, potted chicken liver paté with house-made peach mustard and pan-roasted arctic char with crispy pretzel dumplings. Located at 225 N. Wabash Ave. Open daily. Reservations are accepted. Call (312) 236-9300 or visit

Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants (donated by the French Pastry School). Whether you're craving seafood and steaks with a view, Milanese-style risotto and pasta, classic American fare right on bustling Rush Street or wood-fired pizza, veal and uniquely Italian pasta dishes in the heart of Little Italy, Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants can satiate you. Tantalizing restaurant selections are located throughout Chicagoland to suit almost any taste and budget. Restaurant concepts include Tavern on Rush, Tuscany, Phil Stefani's 437 Rush and Riva on Navy Pier. For more information, visit

And just a friendly reminder to make your reservations at the Hotel Allegro (800-546-7866) by this Friday (Jan. 29) to receive the special FENI Summit room rate of $109 per night! Mention "FENI Summit" when reserving.

Almost Famous Chef Competition expands search

The eighth annual S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition is under way as international culinary students vie for a spot in the finals competition, taking place March 5 to 8 at the Culinary Institute of America-Greystone in Napa Valley, Calif. This is the first year S.Pellegrino has expanded its search outside the United States and Canada to include culinary students from Italy, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

In February, S. Pelligrino will name the 11 regional winners to be flown to the finals. They will compete in three categories: The Mystery Basket, The Signature Dish and The People's Choice. The overall winner will win the title of Almost Famous Chef, up to $20,000 in prizes and a paid apprenticeship from one of the participating chef judges. This year's judges include Rick Moonen of RM Seafood in Las Vegas, Ralph Pagano of and celebrity chef Nick Stellino. Last year's winner, David Awad (pictured, below, at the 2009 S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef final competition), is currently working at Alto in New York City, which recently received a Michelin star.
For more information, visit or

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jo Daviess Carroll and Wilco students win Illinois ProStart Invitational

At the 9th Annual Illinois ProStart Student Invitational at Kendall College in Chicago, the student team from Wilco Area Vocational Center won the culinary competition and the student team from Jo Daviess Carroll Area Vocation Center won the management competition. Both teams will go on to compete in the National ProStart Student Invitational competition, which takes place April 30 to May 2, in Overland Park, Kan.

Each first place team member was awarded more than $12,000 in scholarships to culinary colleges including: Cooking & Hospitality Institute of Chicago, Culinary Institute of America, Illinois Institute of Art, Johnson & Wales University, Kendall College and Washburne Culinary Institute. Overall, more than $100,000 in scholarships was awarded to students. The program, which was hosted by the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF) and sponsored by Sysco Foodservice--Chicago, also included a college fair and cooking demonstrations.

For more information on the IRAEF ProStart Student Invitational visit and click on Educational Foundation.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Naha co-owner speaks at FPS graduation

The French Pastry School (FPS) at City Colleges of Chicago honored the newest graduates of L'Art de la Pâtisserie, The Professional Pastry and Baking 24-week program with a ceremony on Dec. 18, 2009, at The Union League Club of Chicago. Carrie Nahabedian, executive chef and co-owner of Naha Restaurant and Deidra Lewis, interim chancellor of Colleges of Chicago addressed graduates during the ceremony.

"It's up to you to preserve the craft [of pastry]," Nahabedian told students. "Protect everything you have learned; be true to what you have learned, because you learned from the best."

Among the establishments that have hired FPS graduates are The Ritz-Carlton, Charlie Trotters and Per Se. Other graduates have plans to open their own businesses.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

MSU Hospitality receives gift from The Panda Charitable Foundation

The Panda Charitable Foundation is donating a $200,000 gift to Michigan State University's (MSU) School of Hospitality Business to help support the revitalization of the school's culinary business learning lab. The lab will showcase the latest in culinary equipment, sustainable building materials and optimal design concepts.

"This lab helps us further our educational mission: to be the leader in hospitality business education," said Shelley MacMillan, associate director of development for MSU's School of Hospitality Business, in a press statement. "The Panda Charitable Foundation joins our other leadership partners and all the generous donors to this critical project. Together with them, the school can continue to prepare tomorrow's leaders."

The Panda Charitable Foundation was established by Panda Restaurant Group Inc., whose flagship concept is Asian QSR concept Panda Express.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lexington College offers new Event and Meeting Planning certificate

For women looking to develop their skills in event and meeting planning, Lexington College in Chicago is now offering a certificate in Event and Meeting Planning. The program includes five accredited courses completed over the course of one year. The hours can be applied to the Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) designation or toward the bachelor's degree offered at Lexington. No previous college coursework is required.

Courses include Introduction to Meeting & Event Planning, Meeting Planning, Convention and Exposition Management, Special Events and Applied Event Planning. The program is tailored toward busy professionals, as classes meet in a periodic weekend format. For more information, visit or contact Carmen Larios.

Register NOW, pay later for the 12th Annual FENI Summit

12th Annual Foodservice Educators Network International (FENI) Educators Summit
February 12 to 15 in Chicago

Register now, pay later!
Don't miss out on your top choices for Master Classes at the 12th Annual FENI Summit. You can register today by visiting, or by contacting Naurice Olivera (; 312-849-2220, ext. 46). Then FENI will bill you or your school immediately following the event. There is also still time to get the FENI Summit discounted room rate at the Hotel Allegro (800-643-1500). Be sure to mention "FENI Summit" when you call to make your reservation.

Register soon so you can benefit from all of the great FENI Summit events:
• SPEAKERS Celebrity Chef Charlie Trotter and Kendall College's Dean, Chef Christopher Koetke
• Reception and awards ceremony for Educators of the Year
• Poster board presentations on the latest developments in culinary education
• Panel discussion, breakout sessions and roundtable sessions
• Silent auction to benefit French Pastry School's For the Love of Chocolate scholarship foundation
• Info fair and exhibits with products and resources for the culinary classroom
• City of Chicago Culinary Tour and Luncheon (optional; additional fee)
FULL! Green and sustainable tour at Hotel Allegro (optional; free)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Gale Gand to appear at Lexington College event

Gale Gand--acclaimed pastry chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and TV personality--will make a guest appearance and sign her newest cookbook, Gale Gand's Brunch!, at Lexington College's "Taste of Lexington" event on March 11.
The annual event welcomes community leaders, hospitality industry professionals, educators, prospective students and executives of hospitality-related businesses to meet students, faculty and staff, tour the campus and sample hors d'oeuvres prepared by Lexington College students. Money raised at the event will go toward scholarship funds for the next generation of women seeking careers in hospitality.

The event will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at the West Loop campus. For more information, visit

Friday, January 15, 2010

USA Pears culinary contest open to culinary students

Culinary students across the country are invited to submit original recipes for the second annual USA Pears culinary contest. Entrants can submit an appetizer, salad, entrée, dessert or beverage with USA pears as a prominent ingredient for consideration.

Recipes are due no later than Jan. 29. Three finalists will be selected to travel to Portland, Ore., in March 2010, where they will prepare their recipes for a panel of judges. The winner will receive $5,000.

For more information, visit

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kendall to host 9th Annual Illinois ProStart Invitational

On Jan. 16 Kendall College's School of Culinary Arts in Chicago will host 16 teams of high school students from across the state in the 9th Annual Illinois ProStart Student Invitational. The teams will participate in a full day of culinary and restaurant management competition, hosted by the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF) and sponsored by Sysco Foodservice-Chicago.

Students will compete in two events: a culinary competition and restaurant management competition. In the culinary competition, students will have 120 minutes to prepare two identical portions of a three-course meal consisting of a starter, entrée and dessert. Students will be judged on knife skills, method and technique, sanitation and safety, professionalism, presentation, recipe costing, organization and teamwork. In the management competition, teams will analyze a management situation and answer foodservice, hospitality and business-focused questions covered in the ProStart curriculum. The case study requires students to analyze the real-life situations using knowledge and communication skills from the management perspective.

The winning teams from each event will be awarded scholarships to pursue post-secondary education in foodservice and restaurant management, the chance to compete in the National ProStart Invitational taking place April 30 to May 2 in Overland Park, Kan., and additional prizes. For more information, visit

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

NECI appoints new president

The New England Culinary Institute (NECI), Montpelier, Vt., has appointed Robert (Skip) Myers, Ph.D, as president. Myers most recently was president of Daniel Webster College in Nashua, N.H.

Myers will succeed Fran Voigt, who was president since NECI was founded nearly 30 years ago. Voigt, the co-founder of NECI, will remain at the college for the next several years as CEO and will help Myers transition into his new role. The appointment is part of NECI's strategic plan to become more competitive in its field, providing expanded offerings that will include a more traditional college curriculum in addition to food-related courses, more associate and baccalaureate degree options and a larger online presence.
(l to r) NECI co-founder Fran Voigt and president Robert (Skip) Myers

"[NECI] is the place I would like to spend the next 10 years," Myers said in a statement. "And when I become 70, I'd like to remain at NECI, but in a different capacity. I'd like to become a student here."

For more information about NECI, visit

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

HCCC to hold memorial celebration for chef James Crowley

Hudson County Community College (HCCC), Jersey City, N.J., will hold a memorial reception on Jan. 14 in honor of James Paul "Jimbo" Crowley, a former chef-instructor at HCCC who passed away on Dec. 12, 2009.

A Newark, N.J. native, Crowley earned his degree in culinary arts from HCCC's Culinary Arts Institute. He also was awarded the title of Certified Executive Chef and Certified Culinary Educator from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Institute and received his New Jersey teaching certification from St. Peter's College in Jersey City.

During his career, he served as executive chef at Silver Creek Country Club in Hellertown, Pa.; Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains, N.J.; and Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, N.J. He worked adjunct instructor at HCCC from 1995 through 2007 and most recently was a chef-instructor at West Side High School in Newark. Crowley was a board member and past president of the Northern New Jersey Chapter of the ACF, and collaborated with HCCC on several trainings and competitions through ACF.

The reception will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the school's Culinary Arts Institute/Conference Center. There is no charge for admission to the reception, though attendees are encouraged to make donations to fund a scholarship that has been established in Crowley's name.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Announcing an exciting new class for the FENI Summit

The 12th Annual FENI Educators Summit
February 12-15 in Chicago
The premier culinary education event for over 11 years

NEW: CMB-taught Master Class focusing on whole-grain baking

Boost the nutritional content in your baked goods without sacrificing texture or taste! Learn how to put your mainstream products on the whole-grain track, with instruction from Certified Master Baker (CMB) Chef Manfred Schmidtke. FENI attendees will explore how to bring whole-grain nutrition to pastries, cookies, pizza and laminate dough applications using Ultragrain®, the revolutionary, all-natural whole wheat flour with the look, taste and texture of refined white flour.

Sunday, Feb. 14, 1:45-4:45 p.m.
Explore Whole-Grain Baking with a Certified Master Baker
Chef Manfred Schmidtke, CMB, CEPC, Lincoln Culinary Institute
Sponsored by ConAgra Mills

For more information or to register for the FENI Summit, visit TODAY!

About Chef Manfred Schmidtke
Manfred Schmidtke, CEPC, CMB, developed his passion for baking began at a young age in a small town in Northern Germany. He pursued an apprenticeship in baking and pastry in Germany from Master Pastry Chef Karl Menke. After successful completion of his apprenticeship, Schmidtke expanded his culinary horizons by traveling the globe to gain extensive baking and pastry experience in cities such as London, Jakarta, Rome, Sydney, New York and Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, he was executive pastry chef for the William Penn Inn Country Club and later opened his own European-style pâtisserie. Several years later, Schmidtke relocated to South Florida and became a pastry chef-instructor at Florida Culinary Institute (now the Lincoln Culinary Institute) in West Palm Beach. He has since been promoted to Department Chair of the International Baking and Pastry program. Schmidtke's accomplishments include achieving the title Certified Master Baker in 1997, receiving a leadership award in industry service in 1999 and attaining the title of Certified Executive Pastry Chef through the American Culinary Federation in 2003.

ICTI World Summit: Calling all academics

The International Culinary Tourism Institute (ICTI) is accepting submissions from academics who want to present their culinary tourism industry research at the 2010 Culinary Tourism Thought Leadership World Summit taking place Sept. 18 to 23 at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

ICTI is seeking research relating to culinary tourism, wine tourism and industry trends. It can be completed research, current research or research that will be completed by September. The selected applicants will discuss their findings during 30-minute presentations on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21 during the summit.

The deadline is Jan. 30. Click here for more information.

Friday, January 8, 2010

CA Wild Rice: It's time to Rumble

Chefs in training are invited to compete in The California Wild Rice Rocks My World Recipe Rumble, a recipe contest featuring wild rice and wild rice blends. The contest, sponsored by the California Wild Rice Advisory Board (CWRAB), is open to culinary students and culinary professionals living in California and Nevada.

A total of $5,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the winners. The recipe categories are starters, salads and sides. Prizes will also be awarded for best recipe photo. The grand prize winner will receive $1,500.

Submissions are due no later than Feb. 28, and CWRAB will announce the winners by March 31. For more information including entry forms, visit

Thursday, January 7, 2010

RCF announces two new scholarships

The Research Chefs Foundation (RCF), the educational outreach arm of the Research Chefs Association (RCA), has added two new scholarships to be funded by CuliNex LLC. The CuliNex Organic and Natural Foods Culinology Scholarship is a $4,000 higher education scholarship for qualified individuals who show interest in developing organic and natural foods. The CuliNex Certified Research Chef (CRC) and Certified Culinary Scientists (CCS) Scholarship will provide financial assistance in the form of up to two $550 scholarships in 2010 for qualified professionals who meet the certification eligibility criteria. These scholarships are funded by Mark Crowell, CRC, who founded CuliNex in 2005.

"Education is at the heart of the RCA's mission," Crowell said in a statement. "My career has benefited greatly from Culinology and I hope these scholarships will encourage students to pursue a Culinology degree and career. ... I want to encourage members already practicing Culinology to take that extra step to increase their competitiveness. Certification credentials have proven invaluable to me in sending a strong signal of professionalism to employers and the development community. Lastly, I am hopeful this gift will spur others to support the RCF's mission in providing financial assistance to qualified students and professionals."

For more information or to apply, visit

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

'Culinary Nutrition News' sets '10 resolutions

In the January issue of "Culinary Nutrition News: Nutrition Resolutions for 2010," nutrition experts discuss important nutrition topics for the new year. The three-page article, presented by the American Culinary Federation Chef & Child Foundation (CCF) and Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., is now available for download at

The article outlines several topics that include nutrition for the baby boomer generation, healthful cooking and nutritional ingredient substitution and balancing the plate. The authors also share the results from a 2009 nutrition survey of ACF chefs.

The February “Culinary Nutrition News” article will be posted online Feb. 8. Visit for more information.

Attain your New Year's Resolutions at the 12th Annual FENI Summit!

12th Annual Foodservice Educators Network International (FENI) Educators Summit February 12 to 15, 2010

New year, new goals!
It's that time of year again when we all make resolutions. Perhaps your goal is to bring avant garde techniques into your classroom. Or find new inspiration in international cuisines. Or master advanced baking and pastry skills. Or learn new ways of connecting to and motivating your students.

Our goal at Foodservice Educators Network International (FENI) is to help you attain yours. Attend the 12th Annual FENI Educators Summit next month to reach your goals in professional development and continuing education--including earning CEUs--through FENI's offerings of more than 30 Master Classes by acclaimed educators and world-famous culinarians!
Charlie Trotter, chef/owner of Charlie Trotter's restaurant in Chicago, will speak at FENI on "Lessons in Leadership."

You won't want to miss out on all these great FENI Summit events:
  • SPEAKERS Celebrity Chef Charlie Trotter and Kendall College's Dean, Chef Christopher Koetke
  • Reception and awards ceremony for Educators of the Year
  • Poster board presentations on the latest developments in culinary education
  • Panel discussion, breakout sessions and roundtable sessions
  • Silent auction to benefit French Pastry School's For the Love of Chocolate scholarship foundation
  • Info fair and exhibits with products and resources for the culinary classroom
  • Green and sustainable tour at Hotel Allegro (optional; free)
  • City of Chicago Culinary Tour and Luncheon (optional; additional fee)
Make the first step toward achieving your goals in 2010: Visit TODAY to register. Master Classes are filling up fast, so don't delay!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Goodwin College adopts NRA Solutions' ManageFirst program

To better prepare its students for management careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry, Drexel University's Goodwin College has adopted the ManageFirst program offered through National Restaurant Association (NRA) Solutions. The ManageFirst program focuses on the essential topics to train students in real-world skills for management in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry. NRA Solutions provides an exam for each guide topic, and students who pass each exam receive a customized certificate.

The ManageFirst Program includes 10 competency guides published by Pearson Education, exams, certificates, a new ManageFirst Professional (MFP) credential, scholarship opportunities and support activities. It also includes ServSafe Food Safety and ServSafe Alcohol certifications. For more information on the program, please visit

Monday, January 4, 2010

Florida Strawberries recipe contest now open

Culinary students nationwide are invited to compete for a total of $6,000 in cash prizes in the first Florida Strawberries--A Taste of Summer All Winter Long Recipe Contest.

Entries are due by Feb. 28. The categories for entry are starters and salsas, salads, sweets and best photo. For entry forms, rules and frequently asked questions, visit The contest is sponsored by the Florida Strawberry Growers Association (FSGA) and Taste of the South magazine.

JWU expands baking and pastry program

Johnson & Wales University (JWU) has expanded its baking and pastry program and added a new textbook. As more foodservice establishments require employees have crossover culinary and baking skills, JWU added courses to its baking and pastry program such as fundamental skills and techniques and artisan bread work to give pastry students more experience with basic cooking skills and artisan bread production skills. In addition, all foods prepared by students are now free of trans fats, and the program offers new focuses on health, wellness and nutrition.