Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kendall College's Hedeker Joins Chicago Lights Urban Farm’s Board

Kendall College is pleased to announce that Heidi Hedeker, MA/MSW, CEPC, a baking & pastry instructor and assistant professor in the School of Culinary Arts, has joined the advisory board of Chicago Lights Urban Farm in Chicago. Hedeker, who has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago, has worked with Urban Farm since 2009 to develop and deliver educational programming for families in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood as well as students enrolled in nearby schools.

Chicago Lights Urban Farm empowers youth and residents in the neighborhood to have access to affordable, organic produce and nutrition education as well as increased economic opportunities through workforce training and microenterprise development. The farm helps families learn about healthy cooking, and provides programming for children and youth to learn about urban agriculture.

“Urban Farm represents a vibrant community effort that gives children and their families a true appreciation of where foods come from, as well as the positive effects of seasonal, fresh, naturally produced foods on growing bodies—and the environment,” Hedeker says. "This project has really validated the role of small metropolitan farms, and I am glad to be able to teach children how to value themselves and gain independence as they work to transform a city lot into their own corner grocery store."

Hedeker’s contribution to Urban Farm and its educational programs includes assistance from students enrolled in Kendall’s School of Culinary Arts’ Nutrition Club, who do nutritional analysis of the recipes. Hedeker teaches participants at the Farm about the use and benefits of organic, locally grown produce in cooking. Through her relationship with Urban Farm, she has also “adopted” Edward Jenner Elementary Academy of the Arts and ChicagoQuest, a new Chicago International Charter School, as part of the Chefs Move to Schools initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move!, a program focused on solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. Hedeker works with the schools’ teachers, parents, nutritionists and administrators to help educate children and show that nutrition can be fun.

“Chef Hedeker’s commitment to serving the community sets a powerful example for our students,” says Renee Zonka, RD, CEC, CHE, dean of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts. “Her engagement with Urban Farm furthers Kendall’s commitment to teaching responsible sustainability and sound nutrition principles. Her real-life application of melding both concepts assists Kendall College in generating socially and environmentally responsible professionals while contributing to the vibrancy of the community.”

For more information on Chicago Lights Urban Farm, its programs and volunteer opportunities, visit For more information on the Chefs Move to School initiative, visit

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tilapia Shows Largest Consumption Gain in NFI Top 10 Seafood List

Americans ate 20% more tilapia in 2010 than they did in 2009, propelling it from the No. 5 spot to the No. 4 spot with the single largest gain in consumption on the National Fisheries Institute’s (NFI) latest Top Ten Seafood List.

Other impressive gains saw pangasius jump 14% to claim the No. 8 slot, up one from last year. And while cod remained at No. 7, it gained 11% over 2009.

The Top 10 White Fish Consumed in 2010 (pounds per capita)

1. Shrimp, 4.0
2. Canned Tuna, 2.7
3. Salmon, 1.999
4. Tilapia, 1.450
5. Alaska Pollock, 1.192
6. Catfish, 0.800
7. Crab, 0.573
8. Cod, 0.463
9. Pangasius, 0.405
10. Clams, 0.341

“If you look at the numbers from 2008, 2009 and now 2010, keeping in mind population growth, we’re hopeful that we’re beginning to see seafood consumption steadying, a trend that makes it poised for gains,” says NFI president John Connelly.

This year’s list contains some anomalies, including a National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) recalculation of 2009’s total pounds per capita that changed to 16 lbs from 15.8 lbs. There was also a slight reduction in clam consumption on the 2009 list.

The 2010 Alaska Pollock numbers appear to show a drop of 18% when compared to the 2009 list, but about half of that decline is actually due to a new export category that identified previously uncounted exports. The balance was due to a reduction in imports and a sharp increase in surimi exports. Also, pollock-fillet exports increased, reflecting the continued strong demand for pollock fillets in Europe, as it remains the most popular seafood item in Germany.

L’Academie de Cuisine Announces Professional Pastry Arts Program, Evening Session

L’Academie de Cuisine, Gaithersburg, Md., will offer an Evening Professional Pastry Arts Program beginning March 26, 2012. “Due to the success of the Evening Culinary Program and the wide demand for trained pastry arts graduates, L’Academie has launched an evening professional pastry-arts program that is based on LAC’s daytime program, a Washington, D.C., training ground for some of the area’s most highly acclaimed pastry chefs,” stated Chef Francois Dionot, founder and director of LAC. 

The Evening Pastry Arts Program is specifically intended for individuals who are passionate about making a career change and becoming a pastry chef, but must continue to work during the day. Classes will run three evenings during the week from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., for a total of 20 hours per week. The program includes lecture, demonstration and hands-on teaching techniques.

Classes are divided into three phases: Phase I (18 weeks) provides students with pastry fundamentals, building the theoretical foundation and technical skills necessary to become a successful pastry chef. Phase II (18 weeks) provides advanced kitchen training to enhance the students' overall understanding of the professional kitchen and encourage the development of a realistic attitude toward work in the pastry industry. Phases I and II run for nine months total with a one-week break in-between. For Phase III, students work a paid externship in a fine-dining restaurant, catering company, hotel or bakery. For more information, visit

ACFEF Grants Accreditation to 53 Culinary Programs in United States, Philippines and Peru

Fifty-three culinary programs in 23 educational institutions across the United States and in the Philippines and Peru received programmatic accreditation by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF) Accrediting Commission in July. 

Initial ACFEF programmatic accreditation was granted to 15 culinary programs and 38 accreditations for culinary programs were renewed. Upon renewal, 18 of the programs were recognized by the ACFEF Accrediting Commission as exemplary, symbolizing the highest in educational standards. The award is presented to programs that have proven consistent compliance with all ACFEFAC accreditation requirements in the last two site visit reports, along with excellent management of the program. 

“The Accrediting Commission evaluates faculty, curriculum, facilities, student services and administrative capability to ensure that the programs promote successful student outcomes,” says Rob Hudson, CEC, CCE, AAC, ACFEF Accrediting Commission chair. “We are proud to recognize these programs as ACFEF accredited.”  

To view the complete list of newly accredited and accreditation-renewal programs, visit

Chilean Hass Avocados Launches 2011 Culinary Student Recipe Contest

The Chilean Avocado Importers Association (CAIA) invites culinary students across the country to sharpen their knives, show off their skills and come up with their most creative avocado dish for a chance to win up to $1,000. The annual Culinary Student Recipe Contest runs from September 15 through December 15, and provides budding chefs with the opportunity to create their own original dish using nutritious and versatile Chilean Hass Avocados, which are in prime season from September through February.  

“This contest gives culinary students a terrific hands-on outlet to utilize the skills they have acquired and let their talents shine,” says Maggie Bezart, marketing director. “Chilean Hass Avocados are an ideal ingredient for any recipe because they are delicious, packed with nutrients and not limited to any one area of the menu. We are eager to see what delicious dishes these exemplary students create this year!”

Recipes will be judged based on originality, taste and ease of preparation. The grand prize winner will be awarded $1,000, and two runners up will be awarded $250 each. Winners will be announced no later than January 16, 2012.

Contest entries must serve 12 and include at least three Chilean Hass Avocados. The recipes must also include all the ingredients in order of use, quantity of ingredients with weight and/or measure, full directions for preparation and portion size.

Students can submit their entries by email or regular mail, and are required to include their name, address, school, email address and phone number, a statement about how their recipe would function on a menu, and a brief biography.

To be eligible, entrants must be enrolled in a professional culinary program. Students can submit as many recipes as they like, but only one prize will be awarded per student.

For more information on the 2011 Chilean Hass Avocados Culinary Student Recipe Contest, visit:

The Culinary Institute of America Announces Creation of Industry Leadership and Advancement Division

The Culinary Institute of America has announced the creation of a new organization within the college, the Industry Leadership and Advancement Division, to integrate the CIA's thought leadership and institutional support initiatives. Co-led by Victor Gielisse and Greg Drescher, the division will be responsible for CIA industry leadership, corporate relations, alumni relations, strategic partnerships, conferences, new media and consulting services.

"At a time of major changes within our country and the food world we serve, this new organization will bring attention to the innovative programs and thought leadership the CIA provides,” said Dr. Tim Ryan, president of the CIA. "The Industry Leadership and Advancement Division will more fully demonstrate how CIA teaching and research add tremendous value to our industry and society."

Victor Gielisse, CMC, will now serve as the vice president of Advancement & Business Development for the CIA's new Industry Leadership and Advancement division.

Gielisse will serve as the vice president–Advancement & Business Development for the new division. He formerly served as associate vice president for business development for the college, where he directed the college's relationships within the foodservice industry for business development and consulting. Earlier he served as the CIA's dean of culinary and baking and pastry studies for the college's degree programs. Gielisse is one of 66 Certified Master Chefs (CMC) in the United States, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree, a Master of Business Administration (MBA), and a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from The School of Administration and Management of California Coast University.

Drescher will serve in the newly created role of vice president–Strategic Initiatives & Industry Leadership. In his previous role as executive director of strategic initiatives, he was responsible for conceptualizing and developing the CIA's many thought-leadership initiatives for the foodservice and hospitality industries. Drescher was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America in 2005, and the following year he was honored with Food Arts magazine's Silver Spoon Award. In 2007, he shared a James Beard Award for his work in developing the CIA's "Savoring the Best of World Flavors" DVD and Web cast series. Drescher has also served on the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake, which was mandated by the U.S. Congress to make recommendations about reducing sodium in the American diet.

The CIA is pioneering new research, international programs, and other leadership initiatives in the critical areas of health and wellness, sustainability and food ethics, world cuisines and cultures, and professional excellence and innovation. The Industry Leadership and Advancement Division is responsible for directing these programs and gaining the institutional support they require, and it will drive the expansion of thought leadership in these areas through its annual conferences. These include the Latin Flavors, American Kitchens and Healthy Flavors, Healthy Kids conferences at the CIA's San Antonio campus, as well as the renowned Worlds of Flavor® International Conference and Festival held annually at the CIA at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif.

Planning is now underway to bring two of the CIA's strategic initiatives—Worlds of Healthy Flavors, which is held annually in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health, and the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival—to the CIA's Singapore campus in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

For more information about the industry leadership initiatives of The Culinary Institute of America, visit

Wednesday, September 14, 2011



A new cooking techniques DVD from the American Lamb Board includes videos on barbecuing, braising, grilling and roasting. Each segment features cooking technique tips and demonstrations by Chef Christopher Koetke.

Click here to order your free American Lamb Cooking Techniques 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!