Governor Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 758, Academic Sip & Spit into law in front of a packed house at Chicago’s Kendall College on August 24. The legislation will help create jobs and prepare students for culinary-arts and hospitality-management careers. The bill allows Illinois hospitality and culinary students older than 18 to develop skills in tasting training, providing a better understanding of how to cook with wine and spirits and how to pair the right beverage with appropriate meal offerings. The bill will make Illinois competitive with other states such as California and New York that have wine and beverage programs for first-year students.
Attending the event were Representative Lou Lang, House sponsor of SB 0758; Sam Toia, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association; Marc Gordon, president and CEO of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association; 27th Ward Chicago Alderman Walter Burnett; Kendall faculty, staff and students; and local culinary- and hospitality-industry professionals. Senator Donne Trotter was the chief Senate sponsor of the legislation.
“My thanks to Governor Quinn for signing the bill into law at Kendall College,” says Kendall College president Emily Williams Knight. “Our goal at Kendall College is to prepare students to be leaders in whatever professional career path they pursue by providing a comprehensive educational experience. Within our culinary-arts and hospitality-management programs, this includes proper and responsible alcoholic-beverage training. This law puts Illinois students on equal footing with students in these programs in other states, and helps ensure our graduates are qualified with the skills they need to be competitive once they enter the workforce.”