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 or

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

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

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 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

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

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

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 or at

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

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 and at

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 3, 2010

National Food Safety Education Month kicks off with training tools and posters

September is National Food Safety Education Month. This campaign from the National Restaurant Association focuses on the importance of food safety education for the restaurant and foodservice industry, while raising awareness of the industry's commitment to food safety. The theme of this year's National Food Safety Education Month is "High-Risk Customers: Serve Your Fare with Extra Care."

The program offers five weeks of free training materials, available for download at The weekly training activities and posters can be used to supplement existing in-unit food safety training. All materials reinforce the theme and focus on the special needs of children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weak immune systems.

The curriculum for National Food Safety Education Month is broken down into five weekly themes, with each theme stressing a different aspect of food safety and high-risk customers. These themes cover topics such as recognizing high-risk customers, children and food safety risk, foods to avoid, minimum internal cooking temperatures and food safety risk factors.

All NFSEM materials are based on the National Restaurant Association's ServSafe food safety training and certification program. The materials communicate food-safety concepts efficiently and all the activities can be completed in less than 10 minutes.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

RMU instructor awarded 3rd annual Chefs of Tomorrow grant

Laurette Stefani, chef-instructor at Robert Morris University's Institute of Culinary Arts, was selected to receive a $1,500 grant from Olson Communications' Chefs of Tomorrow initiative. The third annual grant was given in honor of the grant program's 20th anniversary.

(l to r) Rachel Tracy, Olson Communications; Chefs of Tomorrow grant recipient Laurette Stefani; and Sharon Olson, Olson Communications

Stefani used the grant to help fund an educational immersion trip through the Northern California's Bay Area and Napa Valley. For more than a week in August, Stefani biked through Healdsburg's boutique olive estates, wineries and chicken co-ops, and toured Hog Island Oyster Co. in Tomales Bay. She sampled freshly made salumi at chef Paul Bertolli's Fra' Mani in Berkeley; participated in a tea ceremony at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center on Muir Beach; tasted goat's-milk cheese, yogurt and kefir at Redwood Hill Farm in Sonoma Valley; and shopped for produce at Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco.

"My grandparents exposed me to the sweet taste of freshly picked basil from the garden, the waft of homemade bread being baked in the oven, and the communal event of making ravioli at the kitchen table," Stefani said in a statement. "Since I became an instructor at Robert Morris University, I learned that many of our students did not have the same opportunities I did. Processed cheese supplied their lunches, while dinners came from a microwavable carton. There is no connection to the food, and no respect for its origin or maker. As an educator, I want to teach them that there is more to cooking than what you can prepare out of a box."

Chicago-based Olson Communications founded Chefs of Tomorrow in 2008 to fund grants to high school and postsecondary culinary educators.

Check back on Online Tool Kit later this month for Laurette Stefani's journal of her educational immersion in Northern California.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

MSU Hospitality presents two Lifetime Achievement Awards

During the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (I-CHRIE) Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University (MSU) Alumni Association presented its annual Lifetime Academic Achievement Award to Dr. Frank D. Borsenik and professor William E. Spaulding, both MSU alumni.

Borsenik taught a range of courses in MSU's School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management from 1957 to 1974, and served two times as acting director. He has published several books, articles, published proceedings and professional papers and hosted seminars as well. Active in the industry as a consultant to numerous corporations and hotel groups and in the academy as president and chairman of the board of I-CHRIE, Dr. Borsenik was honored for his many contributions to and lifetime achievements in hospitality education.

Spaulding was chair of the department of Hotel, Restaurant & Resort Management at Northwood University, Midland, Mich., for nearly 30 years--during which time he taught 14 different subjects, guided the curriculum, built the alumni base, advised students, traveled on study-abroad programs, set up internships and mentored students. He also has been active in a number of professional organizations, and helped found the Michigan Chapter of CHRIE (MI-CHRIE) in 1977. A member of the Michigan Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association, he also served as a board member for the Michigan Lodging & Tourism Association.

Both men were honored during a breakfast ceremony breakfast ceremony, held July 29 at La Concha Resort.