Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NCHS alumnus joins The Bakery at Sullivan University

Sullivan University's National Center for Hospitality Studies (NCHS) hired alumnus Robin Richardson as head chef and manager of the school's retail bakery, The Bakery at Sullivan University.

After earning her degree from Sullivan University in 2009, Richardson (pictured) joined the team at Desserts by Helen in Louisville's Highlands neighborhood. At The Bakery, she will offer customers full-size cakes, cake by the slice, pies and expanded lunch selections alongside classic favorite pastries and candies.

"It is so exciting to be returning to my alma mater to run The Bakery at Sullivan University," Richardson said in a statement. "Baking is my outlet for creativity, and I am happy to share my inspiration with our wonderful customers."

Monday, August 30, 2010

BCA announces 7th Global Food and Wine Experience

The BCA will hold its 7th annual Global Food and Wine Experience for chefs, wine merchants and food connoisseurs on Sept. 30. More than 75 culinary students will be working side by side with industry professionals at the event to prepare and unveil the latest trends in cuisine. (Pictured right, BCA student chefs learning plating and presentation techniques from a guest mentor chef.)

Event highlights include a culinary sampling from select restaurants paired with winemakers, distributers and outlets from around the world as well as restaurant chefs displaying gourmet tastings with help from culinary students.

The BCA is a national, nonprofit organization devoted to the enhancement of professional and educational opportunities for people of color in the foodservice and hospitality industry. The event, titled, "Diversity in Food and Wine", will take place at the Prince George Ballroom in New York City. For more information, visit www.bcaglobal.org.

Friday, August 27, 2010

ACF presents Russman with True Spirit Award

The American Culinary Federation's (ACF) Chef and Child Foundation selected Nancy Russman, director of culinary arts at Jefferson Community and Technical College, Louisville, Ky., to receive the 2010 True Spirit Award. The award is presented once a year to a person or ACF chapter that has demonstrated extraordinary efforts to aid children.

Russman (pictured, above) received the True Spirit Award in recognition of her dedication to educating children about healthy eating. When she isn't teaching, Russman works at local nonprofit organizations such as the Family Scholar House, New Directions Housing and Home of the Innocents. She recently published a cookbook for children entitled Chef Nancy's Kids' Club Cookbook (2009, Butler Books).

"I feel so honored to receive this award, but there is still much work to be done," Russman said in a statement. "Our children are facing an epidemic which we must face head on. I've seen firsthand that teaching children to eat healthy not only benefits their health, but also their self esteem and self worth. I consider it my mission to make sure that happens."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Club Foundation announces Perdue scholarship winners

The Club Foundation has selected three recipients for the 2010 Joe Perdue Scholarship: Gabrielle Forte, University of Delaware; Mark Krebs, University of Wisconsin--Stout; and Shawn Quella, University of Wisconsin--Stout. Each student will be awarded $2,500.

The scholarship program was created for students seeking managerial careers in the private club industry who are currently attending an accredited, four-year college or university. Since its inception in 1988, the Club Foundation has awarded more than 150 Joe Perdue scholarships totaling more than $260,000. For more information, visit www.clubfoundation.org/stuscholar.html.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ACF selects Culinary Youth Team USA

After several days of hot- and cold-food competitions, the American Culinary Federation (ACF) has selected a team of students from the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute at Southwestern Oregon Community College, Coos Bay, Ore., to represent the U.S. in international culinary competitions as ACF Culinary Youth Team USA. The tryouts took place during the 2010 ACF National Convention in Anaheim, Calif., Aug. 2 to 5.

ACF Culinary Youth Team USA (l to r): Maddie Cutts, Brittney Cummings, Edalyn Garcia, Reilly Meehan and Alfonso Mendoza

ACF Culinary Youth Team USA--which is made up of students Maddie Cutts, Brittney Cummings, Edalyn Garcia, Reilly Meehan and Alfonso--will represent the U.S. through 2012 in international competitions, including the 2012 Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung or "Culinary Olympics," taking place in Erfurt, Germany. The team will be managed by Alex Darvishi, CEC, AAC, executive chef at Houston Country Club.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

HCCC named to 'Military-Friendly Schools' list

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) was chosen from a list of 7,000 higher education institutions nationwide to be named to the "Military-Friendly Schools" list. Fifteen percent of the nation's higher education schools are chosen to make the list by the G.I. Jobs Military Friendly Schools team.

(l to r) William J. Netchert, chair of the HCCC Board of Trustees; Nelson Vieira, director of admissions; Willie Malone, enrollment records assistant; Paula P. Pando, vice president for the North Hudson Center/Student Affairs; Glen Gabert, president of HCCC; and Peter Vida, associate dean of enrollment services

In order to be named to the list, schools must welcome American military veteran, active-duty and reserve students and must provide military students with flexibility in their classes, access to financial aid and gains such as an ongoing campus veterans' program and credit for service.

"All of us here at the college consider it a privilege to serve the men and women who have played such an enormous role in protecting our country," said Glen Gabert, HCCC president, in a statement. "Hudson County Community College has always been a military-friendly school, and we are very happy to be officially recognized for that."

A baaaack to school special for ewe:
Order your FREE American lamb carcass and cuts DVD today


A new DVD from the American Lamb Board reviews the breakdown of a lamb carcass, showing primals, subprimal and popular foodservice cuts. The DVD also includes videos on how to create a BRT lamb leg roast, how to fabricate a leg of lamb and how to french a rack of lamb.

The DVD is accompanied by step-by-step lamb fabrication sheets.

Click here to order your free American Lamb Carcass, Cuts and Fabrication DVD.
Additional materials such as posters, recipe booklets and more are also available from the American Lamb Board. Order your free culinary educational materials today!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Barry Callebaut announces cacao competition

Barry Callebaut is calling on all culinary students and professionals to submit their best recipes using the Cacao Barry brand in the 2010 L'art du Chocolatier Challenge. The grand prize in the student category is $3,000 in cash, $500 in Cacao Barry product and a feature in a renowned culinary publication.

Contestants have until Nov. 30 to submit up to 10 recipes incorporating Cacao Barry chocolate at www.lartduchocolatier.com Barry Callebaut will select finalists in both the student and professional categories to be flown to Chicago to recreate their recipes at the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy the week of Jan. 10, 2011. For official contest rules and entry form, visit www.lartduchocolatier.com.

Friday, August 20, 2010

FCCLA competition winners announced

Three Illinois high-school students coached by Kendall College's School of Culinary Arts won first place at the national Culinary Arts Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) competition during the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America's (FCCLA) 2010 National Leadership Conference at Kendall College in July.

Three-student teams representing 36 states created a menu of tomato and asparagus salad with mozzarella and vinaigrette; Maxwell Street-style pork chop with onions and roesti potatoes; and a fresh fruit tart. This year's winning team, coached by Kendall chef-instructor Michel Coatrieux, was made up of Collin Bumberculled of Lockport Township High School; Brian Francis of Lyons Township North High School, LaGrange; and Alex Tondu of York High School, Elmhurst. In addition to their gold medals, Kendall College offered the three first place students up to $42,000 each in scholarships for a four-year BA in culinary arts (or, up to $3,500 per term).

The STAR event recognizes students enrolled in high school occupational culinary arts/foodservice training programs for their ability to work as a team to produce a quality meal using foodservice tools and techniques. For more information about STAR or FCCLA, visit www.fcclainc.org.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pastry Chicago calling on all pastry and culinary students

Pastry Chicago's third annual amateur fruit and raisin pie competition, sponsored by the California Raisins Marketing Board, will take place Sept. 18.

Black raspberry apple pie, the 2009 first place winner by Chelsey Torres, graduate and current chef assistant of The French Pastry School

Current pastry and culinary students as well as amateur bakers are invited to register for the pie-making competition. Local pastry shop owners will join Pastry Chicago in judging the pies. Additionally, a master pastry chef/instructor from The French Pastry School will be demonstrating a tart recipe.

For more information or to register, visit www.pastrychicago.org.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Extended Q&A with Bay Arenac ISD Career Center's Andy Bacigalupo

Editor's note: A portion of the following Q&A was featured in the "School lunch makeover" article (page 22) that appeared in the Spotlight department of the Autumn 2010 issue of Chef Educator Today.

As food prices rise amid shrinking school budgets, administrators have struggled in recent years to keep their food bills down while still meeting federal nutrition requirements to maintain lunch subsidies. Enter the chef--no stranger to tight finances, lack of space and equipment, with high standards for quality. This summer, First Lady Michelle Obama invited chefs nationwide to take part in the launch of Chefs Move to Schools, an initiative calling on chefs to "adopt" schools in their community and help revamp their lunch programs and make nutrition education a priority.

Chef Andy Bacigalupo, ProStart culinary instructor at Bay Arenac ISD Career Center for the past nine years and father of three, was among the guests at the White House launch on June 4. He has recruited a task force of approximately 40 high school culinary students to help him start a nutrition education initiative stretching across 21 elementary schools in and around Bay City, Mich., for the coming year. Bacigalupo recently spoke to CET about his ambitious plans for school lunch.

Chef-instructor Andy Bacigalupo (back row, third from right) and Bay Arenac ISD Career Center culinary students gather with their Chefs Move to Schools elementary schoolers, parents, vendors, farmers and administrators.

CET: How did you and your students get involved with Chefs Move to Schools?
Bacigalupo: Last year, our class of 110 students and myself were featured on the "Dr. Oz Show," where I accepted a no-salt challenge to reduce or eliminate salt in my diet ... and teach my students how to substitute other ingredients for salt in cooking. So we made our educational restaurant [Blooming Chefs Restaurant] salt-free. For an entire year, we eliminated salt from our diets and replaced it with fresh herbs, citruses and different spices that didn't have salt, which turned out to be extremely successful for the restaurant and for my own personal health. ...

The [American Cuilnary Federation] then asked me to get involved with Chefs Move to Schools, which has everything to do with educating young people from kindergarten stage up to high school level about the importance of nutrition, where food comes from, from seed to plate, how to use local vendors and local farmers in creating our meals [and making] healthy choices. We picked about three culinary students from each of our sending schools to represent a task force [of 40 students], which is going to spread out into all of their home schools. We are trying to start a pyramid of health where we have students mentoring students. Our students are going to go into elementary and middle schools to talk about nutrition and healthy foods the kids would like to see in their school store and cafeteria. We're holding seventh and eighth grade Iron Chef competitions in a local theater where my brother is director. ... We will hold town meetings where we are going to have parents, foodservice workers, adminstration and students all attend to start the ball rolling on this project.

CET: Do you think schools' resistance to the program is because they already have a system in place, or do they think it's too expensive?
Bacigalupo: I think it's both. Because if you look at it, 98 cents to $1 [per student lunch] is not a whole lot. Chefs could look at that dollar and say, "Hey, I can do a lot with that dollar," and that's why I think Michelle Obama went to chefs because we can be creative.

She told us, "It’s not going to be met with open arms. This is going to be met with some resistance from foodservice workers." They've done the same thing for year after year, so they're going to be resistant to change. What we're hoping is to work slowly and get one or two of these schools that are really on board and really passionate about the change. A lot of these workers have been in the school system for 20 or 30 years and they have a set way of doing things, so it really is going to have to be subtle. ... But it's going to be a lot like when we had to quit smoking in restaurants, or when laws about seatbelts or drunk driving came into place. All these things happened after years and years of problems. Now the problem is childhood obesity. And now we have to do something about it.

Bay Arenac ISD Career Center culinary students perform a puppet show to help educate elementary school kids on nutrition.

CET: So your job is essentially to come in and retrain the school's foodservice staff to create these healthier meals, right?
Bacigalupo: This is where I come in. I will massage the administration and foodservice workers. My students are going to mentor the young kids--students mentoring students. The political part is going to be the administration. We have 98 cents to feed the students, so administrators are going to look at it as, "I don't want to screw my budget up." So what I am going to have to do is come in and demo affordable items like a potato pizza, for example, where we take roasted potatoes, tomato sauce and low-fat cheese. You could do lettuce wraps, stir-fries, fresh salad bars--all these things they resisted in the past. It seems like salad bars are always two or three arm lengths away [from] students. They're never promoted and always perceived as a pain by foodservice workers. When we did our survey, [the students] said they wouldn't touch their salad bar. It never looked fresh. So that's an area where I need to come in, because I don't think the administration would take the students seriously. But their voices will be heard because they're going to help with the requests from the kids.

That's partly why we’re going to hold town meetings. We are going to hold two of them and invite parents because the parents want nutritious food for their kids as well. We are going to demo how easy it can be for foodservice workers, but we are going to move slowly because we don't want to upset all the work that’s been done. So if we get one or two things in to start--maybe a meatless Monday or other creative things that go along with whatever they have in-house so they don’t have to buy a bunch of new things, that would be great. But maybe it will show them some ideas that might be just as easy and very nutritious.

CET: How are you introducing kids to some of these healthier items they may not be as familiar with if they grew up eating fast food? Did you offer taste tests?
Bacigalupo: That's exactly what we did [with the no-salt challenge] last year. Kids love French fries. So we took one ingredient, one mineral--salt--and we omitted it. And it was such an amazing result. The kids' palates became more in-tune to the flavor of food.

When we caramelized butternut squash, a lot of kids said, "This is what butternut squash tastes like?" Compared to the gobs of butter, salt and brown sugar they were throwing on it before, they could taste the food. It's introducing them to new ways of doing things, new products and it still tastes good, but it's better for you! And the kids truly want nutritious things. When we did our survey, it was truly amazing how many wanted fresh fruit available, how many wanted a fresh salad or fresh sandwich. The top choice was fresh fruit smoothies. We polled over 600 kids, and 450 wanted fresh fruit smoothies.

Chef Bacigalupo (center) at a local farm with Bay Arenac ISD Career Center students and elementary school students.

CET: What would you say are your one-year and five-year goals with Chefs Move to Schools in your community?
Bacigalupo: As I said, our goal is to start a pyramid of good health and nutrition education awareness. Within this year, we want to have 21 schools talking about nutrition. We want our task force to hit all their home schools and get out to at least 21 different elementary schools starting in all their communities. It is a lot of community involvement as well. A lot of our kids are coming from farms up here in Michigan. A lot of the local vendors we use buy from these local farmers. So it's all a big chain. We're buying local, they're buying from local farmers. ... And that's all a part of what [Michelle Obama] is talking about. She wants after-school programs, she wants kids during the summertime to be able to find a meal. She doesn't want people to go hungry, she wants people to eat healthy. She wants awareness in the community, with parents, administrators and foodservice workers awareness. She wants it to start with us, the chefs.

This year, we want this task force in full place and we ultimately want to set the benchmark for the nation. We want to challenge other schools to be as passionate as we are about what we're doing. And there are a lot of people out there who are passionate about this project. I witnessed it firsthand at the White House. I couldn't believe I was rubbing elbows with these people. I was in awe, but I am totally on board, and I have a great group of kids who are passionate about it as well. ... We're hoping to set the benchmark for the rest of the nation, and our community awareness is going to rise. ... I've got twin boys at home [who] are 5 and a baby girl [who] is 3. And this has everything to do with these kids. This is totally a part of history, and it's about changing the way our children our being fed in these schools.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

AI International Culinary Schools hatch cage-free egg policy

The International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes is switching to serving only cage-free eggs in its student-run restaurants. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), cage-free hens are able to walk, spread their wings and lay their eggs in nests, which the organization says offers significant benefits to the animals.

"The International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes has demonstrated that being an innovative culinary leader involves taking animal welfare and sustainability seriously," said Kristie Middleton, corporate outreach manager of The HSUS' factory farming campaign, in a statement.

For more information, visit www.humanesociety.org.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sullivan University awards scholarship to Salvation Army culinary grad

On Aug. 5, Sullivan University awarded a scholarship to Jackson Hodges, a graduate of the Salvation Army Culinary Training Program program in Louisville, Ky.

Hodges, the current sous chef at K.C.'s Sunday Best in Louisville, received a full scholarship by Sullivan University chancellor Dr. A.R. Sullivan to Sullivan's National Center For Hospitality Studies (NCHS), where he will pursue an associate degree in the Culinary Arts Program. The scholarship, valued at more than $46,000, includes tuition, assistance in obtaining a Pell Grant to cover personal expenses, mentoring by Sullivan University chef-instructors and lifetime employment assistance through the University's Career Services department.

(l to r) Jackson Hodges is awarded the Sullivan University scholarship from Sullivan chancellor A.R. Sullivan

"We were looking for a candidate who not only excelled within the program, but also someone who used their newfound culinary skills in a positive way after they graduated," said in a statement Sullivan University chef-instructor Sam Mudd, who was part of the group that selected Hodges for the scholarship. "Jackson started his first restaurant job as a line cook and was promoted to sous chef within nine months. We're excited to work with him at Sullivan University and help him reach the next level of his promising career."

Friday, August 13, 2010

ACF honors nation's best in culinary education at National Convention

On the final day of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) 2010 National Convention held Aug. 2 to 5 in Anaheim, Calif., chef-educators, culinary industry professionals and foodservice establishments were honored for their contributions to the foodservice industry.

Among the notable winners in the field of culinary education were:
ACF National Chef Educator of the Year Jeffrey Brown

For a complete list of awards and winners as well as a full recap of the 2010 ACF National Convention, visit www.acfchefs.org.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

JWU pastry chefs, students star in TLC reality show

On Aug. 16, TLC aired "Extreme Food Sculptors," a program on food sculpting that included the unveiling of an 18-foot-high sculpture made completely out of bread by baking and pastry faculty and students at Johnson & Wales University (JWU)--Providence.

Last February, a television crew from Stone & Co. Entertainment came to campus to film chef Ciril Hitz, department chair of the International Baking & Pastry Institute at the JWU College of Culinary Arts and his team as they constructed the 700-pound abstract sculpture. It was made up of 1,000 separate components that were each glazed, painted, baked and sculpted before the finished sculpture was assembled with the help of a forklift.

Chef Mitch Stamm (center, left), chef Ciril Hitz (center, right) and the JWU team assemble the epic bread sculpture while TV crews look on

In addition to Chef Hitz and his team, the Aug. 16 episode of "Extreme Food Sculptors" followed two other food artists--an executive pastry chef in Arizona and a master fruit and vegetable carver in Mississippi. Visit www.tlc.discovery.com for the upcoming TV schedule.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CIA instructor tapped for World Chocolate Masters U.S. selections

Stephen Durfee, pastry chef-instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif., is one of seven of the country's leading pastry chefs and chocolatiers selected to compete in the U.S. selections for the 2011 World Chocolate Masters event in Paris. The competition, organized by Barry Callebaut, will take place Sept. 27 and 28 during the International Baking Industry Exposition in Las Vegas. The contestants will make Aztec-inspired sculptures out of gourmet chocolate.

The winner of the U.S. selections competition will advance to the 2011 World Chocolate Masters, where he or she will compete against culinary artisans from approximately 20 other countries. (Pictured, right, Lionel Clement, former chef chocolatier at the Wynn Las Vegas, was the last U.S. National Chocolate Master.)

The other six pastry chefs joining Durfee in this year's U.S. selections competition are:

CIA grad Brandt wins Allure of the Seas Culinary Challenge

Maureen "Molly" Brandt, Culinary Institute of America (CIA) graduate, won the Allure of the Seas Culinary Challenge and a one-year paid contract to be the chef de cuisine of 150 Central Park onboard the Allure of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

Maureen "Molly" Brandt plates her dishes during the final challenge

Brandt was one of six chefs--all CIA graduates--to be a finalist in the challenge, a contest open exclusively to The CIA's alumni network. The six chefs participated in a two-part final challenge at the college's Hyde Park campus in New York on Aug. 5 and 6, where they prepared a three-course meal for a panel of judges from Royal Caribbean and The CIA. The panel also interviewed the finalists.

(l to r) Frank Weber, vice president, food and beverage operations, Royal Caribbean International; Maureen "Molly" Brandt; Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, hotel operations, Royal Caribbean International; and Ron DeSantis, director, CIA consulting, The CIA

Brandt's winning dish consisted of chilled lobster with fennel, carrots, citrus, caviar and tempura battered lobster; Provencal lamb loin with Dijon potato purée, ratatouille, pattypan squash and olive tapenade; and pistachio cake with whipped rosewater crème fraîche and carbonated raspberries.

For more information, visit www.allureoftheseas.com.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Napa River Grill Culinary Cup raises $35k

The Napa River Grill Culinary Cup, a golf scramble on Aug. 2 to benefit the Kenneth Black Memorial Scholarship Fund, raised more than $35,000. The scholarship fund will be awarded to a student at Sullivan University in pursuit of a culinary arts degree.

(l to r) Shane Hall, general manager of Napa River Grill; JD Rothberg, managing partner of Napa River Grill and Wild Eggs; Lisa Mines, Kenneth Black's mother; Emily Walz, Napa River Grill's concierge and special events director; and David Malthaner, executive chef of Napa River Grill

The Napa River Grill Culinary Scholarship Fund was created in 2003 to help young people in pursuit of a degree in culinary arts. After Black--a Sullivan University alumnus and sous chef at Louisville, Ky.-based Napa River Grill--was killed in a motorcycle accident on April 23, the scholarship was renamed in his honor.

"My family and I are overwhelmed by the love and support we have received from the wonderful people at Napa River Grill and Wild Eggs," said Lisa Mines, Black's mother, in a statement. "It is comforting to know that my son's memory will live on through this scholarship fund."

Seeking culinary arts director


Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma City, is under construction on a 34,000-square-foot school of culinary arts and is seeking a culinary arts director. This individual will be involved in all aspects of opening, staffing and operating this state-of-the-art facility.

Work in an environment where:
  • you can share your knowledge and experience of the culinary profession;
  • you will have an integral role in the program planning and design and curriculum development for a facility consisting of eight instructional kitchens and an a la carte kitchen as part of our teaching restaurant; and
  • excellence, innovation and continuous improvement are fostered and where respect and appreciation for "employees as our greatest asset" are part of our core values.
Francis Tuttle Technology Center, located in northwest Oklahoma City is one of the finest technology centers in the nation. Access our Web site at www.francistuttle.edu for information about the school. Annual Salary: $60,000 to $70,000. Comprehensive Benefit Package to include paid health and dental insurance and 100 percent contribution into the Teachers Retirement System of Oklahoma. Relocation costs are not covered.

Primary Function: Will provide leadership, coordination and supervision for the school of culinary arts. This individual will also play a prominent role in the local culinary industry and is expected to have national connections within this industry.

Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in Culinary Arts or advanced industry-related certifications required. Must have a minimum of five years of culinary experience with at least three years recent experience in a managerial capacity or as an executive chef with supervisory responsibilities. Instructional and supervisory/managerial experience with a culinary educational institution preferred. Must hold or qualify for an Oklahoma Secondary Vocational Teaching Certificate.

Apply Today: Website: www.francistuttle.edu/discover/jobs for additional information and application. Or contact Human Resources at (800) 722-7799, ext. 4331, to obtain application and extended job description. EOE

Job closing date: August 16, 2010

Submit completed application and resume to:
Francis Tuttle Technology Center
Human Resources
12777 N. Rockwell Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73142-2789

Bill Allen, Director
Personal Services Programs
(800) 722-7799, ext. 4333 · (405) 717-4333

Monday, August 9, 2010

IRAEF awards $64k in scholarships

The Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF) awarded more than $64,000 to 46 Illinois students to further their education in the foodservice and hospitality industry July 24. The scholarships were awarded at a morning ceremony at Café 300 in Chicago.

Group photo of the 46 scholarship winners and sponsors

Annually, the IRAEF awards scholarships to high school and undergraduate culinary students pursuing post-secondary education in foodservice (culinary) and hospitality management programs, some of whom are ProStart alumni. The IRAEF's Scholarships & Mentoring Initiative has provided more than $1.5 million in scholarships to qualified students since 1973.

Student winners pose with Michael Rotondo (center), chef de cuisine at Charlie Trotter's

Friday, August 6, 2010

Career Search: Starting a job search

by Irena Chalmers

Editors' note: "Career Search," a column exploring of the vast range of culinary careers awaiting culinary graduates, appears in each quarterly issue of Chef Educator Today. For the Autumn 2010 issue, CET has split "Career Search" into two parts. Look for the remainder of this column later this month in CET's digital edition, at www.chefedtoday.com/digital.htm.

For many of us, determining what to do next in our careers can be rife with uncertainty and doubt. Luckily, the food industry is full of jobs if you take the time to look around.

You could think about becoming a private chef for a movie star, a sports hero or a television anchor. A private chef is not the same thing as a personal chef. A chef can also earn $80,000 per year--tax free--working on a luxury yacht, cruising the Greek Islands. The perks here are: there is no rent to pay, no car payments to make and there are plenty of people to sleep with every night.

Recipe developers working for NASA come up with ideas for dinner for astronauts. They can also find employment with food companies and restaurant chains and supermarkets. Recipe testers check the accuracy of recipes for magazines, cookbook authors and food processors. Recipe developers are not the same thing as recipe testers.

A food lover with a vibrant palate and the ability to write well but with no formal culinary degree may find happiness as a restaurant critic or restaurant biographer.

Perhaps, you could consider a career as: a literary agent, a cheese shop owner, a food and travel writer, an artisanal bread baker, a wedding cake designer, a food photographer, a bed and breakfast owner, a food entrepreneur, investor or a teacher. There are more jobs opportunities to explore than you may have imagined.

As former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, famously observed: “There are known knowns: These are things we know we know. There are known unknowns: These are things we know we don't know. There are unknown unknowns: These are things we don't know we don’t know."

Whether you are interested in science or supermarkets, in engineering or accounting, human relations or writing, in traveling or staying at home, there is a job in the food field for you. Better yet, you can dream up something that had never been done before and make it happen. After all, the food world involves history and geography, science and technology, economics and finance, art and design, marketing and publicity and literally dozens of other disciplines. Your task is to decide which path to take.

I came across a lovely quote from Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh. He said, "Promise me you'll always remember you are braver than you believe and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

And do you remember Dr. Benjamin Spock, who comforted generations of anxious mothers by saying, "You know more than you think you do."

You can start your journey to find a new career by imagining you are Santa Claus. Make a list of all your qualifications. What have you done so far? Where have you been. What have you learned? Who do you know? The last thing on this list may be the most important.

Fill several sacks with all this information and pile them on the sled. Rewrite your resume. Compose a cover letter. Have a new photograph taken. Put on your Santa's suit frame of mind. Climb into the driver's seat and take the reins of the reindeer. They will run neck and neck with one animal getting his nose ahead with a surge of hope, and the other falling a little behind as his stomach churns with fear. Whichever gains the ascendancy will determine the road you take.

As Suze Ormand tells us: "You own the power to control your own destiny."

Now I have one more piece of advice. "Illegitimi non carborundum," which freely translated means, "Don't let the bastards get you down."

Irena Chalmers is a columnist for Chef Magazine and a Culinary Institute of America faculty member. Her latest book is Food Jobs: 150 Great Jobs for Culinary Students, Career Changers and Food Lovers. Visit www.foodjobsbook.com.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

FENI Summit 2011 unveils Culinary Tours!

The Foodservice Educators Network International (FENI) is pleased to introduce our exciting lineup of Chicago Culinary Tours taking place Monday, Feb. 21 on the final day of the 13th annual FENI Educators Summit!

Attendees will have their choice of the following tours:
  • Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy tour. Visit Chicago's premier training center for chocolate artisans and professionals who want to learn the latest trends, techniques and recipes in chocolate production, flavoring and decoration.
  • Chicago Chinatown tour and luncheon (in conjunction with the City of Chicago, who brought you 2010's Chicago Cultural Tour and luncheon at the South Shore Cultural Center). Tour the bustling streets of Chicago's storied Chinatown neighborhood and visit the stores, markets and bakeries for a taste of Little China. Cap off the morning with lunch at an authentic Chinatown restaurant.
  • Chicago museums tour and luncheon (in conjunction with the City of Chicago). Experience some of Chicago's rich and thriving culture with a tour of the museums that have achieved international acclaim. Stops could include The Field Museum and The Art Institute of Chicago (museums TBA). Lunch will be provided.
Dining tours require additional fees
For registration questions, contact Naurice Olivera
nolivera@talcott.com • (800) 229-1967, ext. 46

Visit www.fenisummit.com.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chan named dean of Cornell hospitality school

Chris Chan has been named the dean of the Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management (CNI), as well as professor of accounting at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

Chan is currently an associate professor of accounting as well as assistant dean and director of MBA programs at the University of Hong Kong. At Cornell, Chan will provide academic, intellectual, strategic and administrative leadership as well as further elevate the CNI brand in Asia. He also will direct CNI's 12-month master of management in hospitality program and strengthen corporate relations. Chan, who will be based in Singapore, will begin his duties in November.

The Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management is an alliance between the Cornell School of Hotel Administration and the Nanyang Technological University's Nanyang Business School. For more information, visit www.cni.ntu.edu.sg.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

AI Cincinnati culinary program accredited by ACF

The associate of applied science in culinary arts program at the International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Ohio--Cincinnati has been accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation's Accrediting Commission.

Culinary or foodservice programs that are accredited by the ACF have been reviewed against established standards. In order to receive ACF accreditation, The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Ohio--Cincinnati underwent a self-evaluation and hosted a visit from the ACF accreditation team earlier this year.

"Accreditation by the American Culinary Federation is a significant milestone for our culinary program," said Paul Resetar, interim academic director for AI Cincinnati's culinary program, in a statement. "Through earning this prestigious distinction, we have provided our students and graduates with a universally recognized acknowledgment of our commitment to excellence in culinary education."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Drexel culinary student wins Fresh Hass Avocado recipe contest

Students in Drexel University's Hospitality Management, Culinary Arts and Food Science programs competed for cash awards at the June 3 Fresh Hass Avocado Student Recipe Competition in Philadelphia. Jessica Leung, a junior in the Culinary Arts program, took first place and $750 with her avocado plantain trio.

Student winner Jessica Leung with her winning dish

Food Science major Zack Goldstein won second place and $500 for bacon wrapped avocado served on fried corn tortilla. Chris Paul's Haitian revolution maki and Rob Fournier's Pacific summer rolls tied for third place, with each student taking home $125.

(l to r) Drexel student winners Chris Paul, Jessica Leung, Zack Goldstein and Rob Fournier

Renowned cookbook author and Emmy Award-winning TV host of "Christina Cooks!" Christina Pirello joined Drexel faculty and staff to judge the 12 semifinalist recipes. For more information about Drexel, visit www.drexel.edu.