Kendall College and the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) presented the 2012 CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award to Seattle Culinary Academy, a division of Seattle Central Community College, June 23 at the CAFÉ Leadership Conference in San Antonio.
Chef-instructor Keijiro Miyata, CEC, CCE, AAC, accepted the award on behalf of Seattle Culinary Academy from Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, HAAC, vice president of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and the Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts.
“Seattle Culinary Academy was one of the first culinary schools in the nation to offer formal coursework in sustainability, highlighting the value of local and seasonal sourcing,” Koetke says. “The program is exceptional because it integrates health and environmental sustainability throughout the educational experience.”
Believing and teaching that chefs are gatekeepers of the food system, Seattle Culinary Academy’s efforts to embed sustainable principles and practices into its curriculum began in 2000. Today, sustainable food-system practices are part of mandatory coursework for students enrolled in culinary arts and specialty desserts and breads.
Additionally, students learn how to plant, tend, and harvest two acres of donated land, with harvested produce incorporated into menus at school. The school also maintains a plant-science lab/green house, teaches nose-to-tail butchery and food-preservation skills, and operates a GMO-free kitchen.
“We embrace and integrate sustainable practices into our curriculum to positively impact our students and the environment,” says Linda Pal Chauncey, Seattle Culinary Academy’s associate dean. “It is my hope that our success will inspire others—especially those at public institutions who have felt constrained by budgetary cuts similar to ours—to move forward on sustainability initiatives so crucial to the development of culinary students and the health of our food system.”
Seattle Culinary Academy joins past CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award recipients Johnson & Wales University’s Charlotte, North Carolina, campus (2009); Technology Center of DuPage (2010), Addison, Illinois; and Colorado State University’s hospitality-management program (2011).
The CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award is the first-ever national award to recognize secondary and postsecondary culinary-arts and baking/pastry programs for their commitment to sustainability. Selection criteria are based on the integration of sustainability into educational programs and/or operations, and the objective of the award is to build the body of sustainability resources in foodservice education. The winning program also receives a $1,000 cash prize.