The Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) announces the 2021 Culinary Education Award recipients. Ten secondary and postsecondary culinary instructors were recognized for their innovation, leadership, sustainability efforts, entrepreneurship, technological abilities and community outreach.

“We are proud to honor this year’s award recipients for their hard work and dedication to teaching culinary arts,” says Mary Petersen, CAFÉ president. “Especially this past year with all the pandemic-related changes to education, these leaders demonstrated resilience and grit as they rose to the challenge of delivering a top-notch culinary education. Congratulations to all the award winners.”

Each award is co-sponsored by CAFÉ and a foodservice industry partner. “Our industry sponsors help CAFÉ fulfill its mission to link culinary educators with the foodservice industry. Their thoughtful partnerships and tireless support are critical to CAFÉ’s success,” Petersen said.

All honorees received commemorative plaques, cash prizes and complimentary full registrations to CAFÉ’s 2022 Leadership Conference to be held next June in Portland, Maine.

The 2021 Culinary Education Award recipients are:

Entrepreneurship Award, co-sponsored by Kendall College National Louis University

The winner is Elizabeth DeRose, Frederick Community College, Frederick, Md.

Innovation Award, co-sponsored by Idaho Potato Commission

The winner is Wook Kang, Kendall College National Louis University, Chicago.

Green Award, co-sponsored by United Soybean Board

The winner is Dr. Jennifer Denlinger, Valencia College, Kissimmee, Fla.

Postsecondary Educator of the Year Award, co-sponsored by Sysco Corporation

The winner is Rich Grigsby, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Fla.
The runner up is Dr. Jennifer Denlinger, Valencia College, Kissimmee, Fla.

Secondary Educator of the Year Award, co-sponsored by Sysco Corporation

The winner is Mary Elise Chonko, Chesterfield Career and Technical Center, Midlothian, Va.

Community Outreach Award, co-sponsored by Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

The winner is Remy Robert, New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI), New Orleans. Honorable mention to the Southern Smoke Foundation, Houston.

Technology Award sponsored by Mercer Culinary

The winner is Debbie Bates, Lancaster High School/Stanbery Career Center, Lancaster, Ohio.
The runner up is Ezra Eichelberger, Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York. 

CAFÉ Champion Award

The winner is Paul Sorgule, MS, AAC, and Harvest America Ventures LLC President, Saranac Lake, New York.

Industry News, Non-Commercial