Kathleen Hassett, assistant chair of the International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, accepted the Brightwater Green Award on behalf of the college’s program while Chef LJ Rush, Guildford Technical Community College, Jamestown, NC, received the Brightwater Food Entrepreneurship Award at the 15th annual Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education’s (CAFÉ) Leadership Conference held at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte on June 20.
The awards, sponsored by Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food, were open to foodservice training programs in secondary and postsecondary schools across the United States.
The Brightwater Green Award recognizes culinary programs that promote and incorporate sustainability efforts as part of the curriculum and operations. The International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach is housed at Horry Georgetown Technical College in a new 30,000-square-foot facility that features a hydroponic green house, outdoor vegetable garden and kitchen, and the building is pending approval of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver designation.
Additionally, the curriculum supports Smart Recycling, a comprehensive composting program; is implementing the James Beard Foundation Creating a Full Use Kitchen sustainability courses; and actively participates in the James Beard Smart Catch program. Culinary students additionally are exposed to locally-grown, seasonally-available foods at the school’s community-supported farmers market held every Thursday.
The Brightwater Food Entrepreneurship Award rewards culinary programs that teach and/or encourage entrepreneurship. Chef Rush earned the award for his 16-month Mobile Catering and Food Truck Management diploma program, the only mobile food truck program in North Carolina and one of a few nationwide. Students receive hands-on training in The Green Machine, Guilford Technical Community College’s mobile food truck learning lab.
The program focuses on the skills required to operate a small business including: marketing through social media, advanced culinary skills, proper food safety and sanitation procedures, menu design, as well as other culinary skills required for catering and foodservice preparations.
Each college received a $1,000 grant from Brightwater and a commemorative plaque. Additionally, the programs were awarded a complimentary registration for a representative to attend CAFÉ’s 2019 Leadership Conference held on June 20-22.