Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ocean County Vocational Technical School student wins top award at Dessert Wars competition

At Branches restaurant in West Long Branch, New Jersey on May 24, OCVTS student Ashley Johnson received the Top Student Award at the Dessert Wars competition. Johnson assisted team coach, OCVTS pastry arts instructor, chef Dennis Melia, in creating the sugar show piece for the event. Chef Joe, basic foods instructor, Barry Ward, an adult evening school student, and Johnson worked long hours after school to learn the basics of sugar with chef Melia.

Melia says, "The techniques that I shared with my students were the result of the great masters classes that the French Pastry School provided for culinary instructors at the FENI Summit in February in Chicago. All of the students involved worked really hard and prepared desserts, artisan chocolates and petit fours for a thousand guests."

The proceeds were donated to the The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. The event was sponsored by 94.3 the Point radio station.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ProStart® high school culinary students to benefit from McCormick For Chefs® $10,000 donation to NRAEF

McCormick For Chefs®’ $10,000 charitable contribution to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ProStart program will support students as they pursue their dreams of a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry.

The check presentation included the McCormick For Chefs team, ProStart Students and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation board members
As a national ProStart partner, McCormick For Chefs® demonstrated its commitment by donating $1 and providing red wristbands and stickers to every attendee who had their badge scanned at the company’s National Restaurant Association Show booth.

Phil Kafarakis, vice president of McCormick For Chefs®, said, “ProStart plays an important role in helping set high standards for the industry and for culinary professionals. We applaud and fully embrace any efforts that support and help real students pursue their passion for flavor and culinary adventure. Our $10,000 donation further confirms McCormick For Chefs®’ dedication to partnering and growing the ProStart program. This initiative is one more way McCormick & Company gives back to the communities in which it operates, instilling its Power of People™ philosophy.”


Friday, June 24, 2011

Walla Walla Community College culinary arts Student Kristin Swaggart wins ACF’s Be Like "Mike" Contest

Kristin Swaggart of Kennewick, Wash., a culinary-arts student at Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla, Wash., was named winner of the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) Be Like “Mike” contest and will shadow ACF National president Michael Ty, CEC, AAC, at the 2011 ACF National Convention, July 22-26, in Dallas. Airfare, accommodations and a full registration to the convention will be provided.

Swaggart was selected as winner of the Be Like “Mike” contest from four other semifinalists. Eligible applicants had to be either a first-, second- or third-year full-time culinary student enrolled in a degree-granting culinary program at a university or college, or an apprentice in an American Culinary Federation Education Foundation apprenticeship program; an ACF member; and at least 18 years old. Entrants had to submit a signed letter of endorsement from their department chair and/or school/apprenticeship director, as well as a 500-word essay describing why they aspire to be a culinary leader and how shadowing Ty at the 2011 ACF National Convention would help them reach their goal.

Swaggart, a member of ACF Northwest Wine Country Chapter, is pursuing her Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences Degree in Culinary Arts from Walla Walla Community College. She recently participated in ACF’s Western Regional Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl as a member of the Walla Walla Community College team. While the team did not claim the regional title of this “Jeopardy”-style tournament that tests students’ culinary knowledge, they represented their school and ACF chapter well against the other six competing teams.

The following applicants were semifinalists in the contest: Sierra Grden of Walla Walla, Wash., a student at Walla Walla Community College, and a member of ACF Northwest Wine Country Chapter; Ryan Manning of Burke, Va., a student at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Richmond, Va., and apprentice at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, Va., and a member of ACF Virginia Chefs Association; Alijose Prieto of Davie, Fla., a student at McFatter Technical Center, Davie, and a member of Fort Lauderdale ACF Inc.; and Amy Ramirez of Roseville, Calif., a student at Institute of Technology, Citrus Heights, Calif., and a member of ACF California Capital Chefs Association.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Women Chefs & Restaurateurs seeks nominations for 2011 Educator of the Year

Madison, Ala.-based Women Chefs & Restaurateurs is now accepting nominations for the annual Educator of the Year Award. Recipients will be honored during the Women Who Inspire Awards Gala on Sunday, November 6, 2011, during the 2011 WCR National Conference in Cambridge, Mass.  

This award recognizes excellence in culinary education and honors a woman whose dedication to teaching is making a difference to the culinary community. Former recipients are Brigid Flanigan (2010), Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester; Peggy Ryan (2009), the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, Chicago; Louise Hoffman (2008), New York City College of Technology; and Eve Felder (2007), The Culinary Institute of America, Singapore.

A committee of culinary professionals will evaluate all entries and select the finalists for WCR's 2011 Educator of the Year based on the career and accomplishments of each nominee. WCR members will select the award winner from among finalists. Nominees do not have to be members of WCR to be eligible, and anyone may nominate a candidate. 
Click here to make a nomination.

For your nomination to receive full consideration, please provide complete and thorough answers to all questions included on the online form. WCR will contact you if additional materials are needed to support your nomination. Materials such as press kits will not be considered. Do not send photos of the nominee; otherwise, she will be disqualified.

All nominations must be received no later than Friday, July 1, 2011, to be considered.

For more information or questions regarding a specific individual's eligibility, contact WCR at (877) 927-7787 or

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

French Pastry School's Jacquy Pfeiffer 2011 Pastry Hall of Fame inductee

On Monday, June 6, 2011, Dessert Professional Magazine held their 18th annual awards ceremony honoring the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America in New York City, with KitchenAid as a sponsor to the event. Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder and academic dean of student affairs of The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College, was awarded the "Top Ten" honor in 1996 and again in 1997. This year, Pfeiffer was the 2011 Pastry Hall of Fame inductee.
Jacquy Pfeiffer (second from left) with his wife Rachel Beaudry (far left), and directors of the acclaimed documentary, Kings of Pastry, which features Pfeiffer, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
Chef Jacquy's efforts include co-founding The French Pastry School with Chef Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F. After establishing the 24-week L'Art de la Pâtisserie, Professional Pastry and Baking Program, they went on to create the 16-week L'Art de Gâteau, Professional Cake Decorating and Baking Program, which began in August, 2010; and most recently, the 8-week L'Art de la Boulangerie, Artisanal Bread Baking Course, which saw its inaugural course begin on May 31, 2011.

2011 Top Ten Pastry Chefs of the Year (left to right): Antonio Bachour, Ron Paprocki, Tariq Hanna, Oscar Ortega, Jerôme Landrieu, Yoni Morales, Sylvain Leroy, Jean-François Suteau, Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez, and Francisco Migoya.
This year's Top Ten Pastry Chefs include Antonio Bachour, executive pastry chef, Quattro at Trump Soho, New York, NY and Solea at W South Beach, Miami; Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez, pastry chef, PRINT at the Ink Hotel, New York, NY; Tariq Hanna, pastry chef and owner, Sucre, New Orleans, LA; Sylvain Leroy, pastry chef and technical advisor, Paris Gourmet, Carlstadt, NJ; Francisco Migoya, associate professor, The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY; Jerome Landrieu, pastry chef and director, Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy, Chicago, IL; Yoni Morales, executive pastry chef, Ark Las Vegas Restaurant Corp., Las Vegas, NV; Oscar Ortega, pastry chef and owner, Atelier Ortega, Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Ron Paprocki, executive pastry chef, Gordon Ramsay at The London, New York, NY; Jean-Francois Suteau, executive pastry chef, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A.C.F. chapter, The Windy City Professional Culinarians, to host Third Annual Summer BBQ & Burger Throwdown

The Chicago chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), The Windy City Professional Culinarians, along with Consumers Packing Company, are co-hosting the Third Annual Summer BBQ & Burger Throwdown on Monday, June 20, 2011 from 6:00pm - 9:00pm.
At the event, teams representing Chicago-area culinary schools will compete in a test of creativity and skill. The winning team will be awarded year long bragging rights to the "Best Burger" as decided by a panel of celebrity judges and an award of $500. Past winners are Technology Center of DuPage (2009) and Dominican University (2010). Attendees will vote for their favorite and the winner of the "People's Choice" award will win $250.

In addition to sampling all of the teams' burgers, an assortment of fruit, vegetable and green salads, and light appetizers will be available. And, to cap off this great evening, guests will enjoy a selection of desserts and ice cream.

Water and soft drinks are included, as are an assortment of beers and some unique cocktails for attendees with proof of age.

There will also be a 50/50 cash raffle. The owner of the winning raffle ticket will receive 50% of the raffle ticket sales. The other 50% will be used to support the ACF Regional Culinary Team.

Please register at by June 17. Tickets are $25 for members, professionals and guests who register online by June 17; $15 for students with ID who register online by June 17; and $35 cash-only tickets will be available at the door the day of the event. The location of the event is as follows: Consumers Packing Company, 1301 Carson Drive, Melrose Park, IL 60160.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sullivan University chefs develop healthy Derby recipes for Louisville schools

During the week of May 2, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) celebrated the 137th Kentucky Derby with nutritious versions of traditional Kentucky dishes as part of Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools initiative. Sullivan University chef instructors Cynthia Chandler and Katie Payne developed four recipes for light versions of popular regional foods, and JCPS students enjoyed the meals while learning about healthy eating habits.

The dishes developed for the JCPS were Derby Burgoo, Spring Fruit with yogurt mint sauce, Pimento Cheese and Country Ham Accent Wraps and Chocolate Mint Brownies. Some of the modifications used to make these items healthier included using apple sauce to sweeten the brownies, including extra vegetables and lean meats in the burgoo and using whole grain tortillas and canola mayonnaise in the wraps.



Monday, June 6, 2011

Kendall College student wins first-ever scholarship from Michelin

Kendall College School of Culinary Arts student Uyen (Nina) Nguyen won the Michelin Scholarship for Culinary Excellence. The scholarship program is sponsored by Michelin, publisher of the world-renowned restaurant rating systems and guide. Nguyen received a $5,000 culinary scholarship and a stage at her choice of the chef judges’ establishments; she chose an externship Eric Ripert's Le Bernadin in New York City. The student competition, hosted by Kendall College on May 23, was evaluated by top Chicago chefs - and Ripert, who was a surprise celebrity guest chef - whose restaurants are featured in The MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2011.

Twelve students each prepared one of five famous dishes from legendary Chicago restaurants using their own methods and techniques. The contestants chose dishes from restaurants recognized by Michelin in The MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2011: The Purple Pig (Bib Gourmand), Blackbird (one Michelin star), NAHA (one Michelin star), Spiaggia (one Michelin star) and Avenues (two Michelin stars). 

Nguyen, a 23-year-old international student from Vietnam, prepared her rendition of Pig’s Tails Braised in Balsamic from The Purple Pig. She will graduate from Kendall in December 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management and already received her associate degree in Culinary Arts in September 2010.

Judging the dishes were Jimmy Bannos and Jimmy Bannos, Jr., of The Purple Pig and Heaven on Seven; Curtis Duffy of Avenues; Paul Kahan of Blackbird; Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia; Carrie Nahabedian of NAHA; Christopher Koetke, executive director of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and vice president of Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts; and Eric Ripert of New York City’s Le Bernardin, one of only nine restaurants in the United States to hold three Michelin stars. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Culinary School of the Rockies and Culinary Academy of Austin officially launch as the Auguste Escoffier Schools of Culinary Arts

The first two Auguste Escoffier Schools of Culinary Arts have launched in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas. The schools incorporate the methods, principles and systems of Auguste Escoffier, while addressing contemporary culinary trends from around the globe and putting a unique focus on seasonal foods, farm-to-table, and sustainable practices. Both schools offer professional Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts programs, as well as Home Cook classes for the culinary enthusiast.

Chef Mark Dowling, VP of academics and executive chef at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, in the school's new uniform
 “I cannot think of a better springboard for students’ careers,” said Chef Mark Dowling, vice president of academics and executive chef at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, “than learning the methods, recipes, and the philosophy of the man who in many ways is responsible for modern cuisine.”

The Culinary School of the Rockies (CSR) and the Culinary Academy of Austin (TX) were purchased last summer by Triumph Higher Education Group of Chicago who formed an affiliation with the Auguste Escoffier Foundation and Museum in France and with Michel Escoffier, great grandson and president of the Foundation. Michel Escoffier serves on the national advisory board for the Auguste Escoffier Schools of Culinary Arts, and will assist in building a cadre of world-class chef advisors to their programs. Students will have the additional benefit of getting context and history directly from the Escoffier family.

The Auguste Escoffier schools integrate the best of CSR and CAA programs with a more comprehensive focus on the principles, methods, recipes and quality standards of Escoffier. The unique farm-to-table externship at the Boulder location, for example, will also be implemented in Austin, subject to regulatory approvals. The externship allows students to directly experience where their food comes from, and how much effort goes into growing and producing organic produce, free range meat and poultry, and other foods.