The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) recognized professional foodservice-training programs with the 2016 Idaho Potato Commission Leadership Innovation Awards for Excellence in Foodservice Education at the 12th annual Leadership Conference of the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) at Kendall College in Chicago on June 23.

“The Idaho Potato Commission is proud to have supported this program from its inception,” says Don Odiorne, IPC vice president-foodservice. “Innovation is the primary driver of the culinary industry, and is core to teaching at many excellent foodservice-training programs nationwide. This year’s Leadership Awards honor two such programs that—through their retail operations that double as immersion classrooms—exemplify innovation that results in invaluable real-life experience for students.”

The 2016 IPC Innovation Award in the postsecondary (college level) category pays tribute to The Pastry Kiosk and Dining Lab, two foodservice establishments open to the public at the Culinary Institute of New York (CINY) at Monroe College in New Rochelle.

Launched in 2013, The Dining Lab is a critically acclaimed, contemporary, American fine-dining restaurant run entirely by CINY students. The restaurant provides students indispensable experience in à la carte food production and refined service, all while earning them credit toward graduation.

Led by American Culinary Federation-certified instructors with vast collective industry knowledge and experience, students develop the professional, sophisticated skills needed to create memorable dining experiences for guests. The Dining Lab is open three nights a week and offers a seasonal menu.

The Pastry Kiosk, CINY’s student-run café, offers a full lunch menu with gourmet sandwiches on freshly baked breads, quiches, salads and soups. A full pastry case includes decorated cupcakes, mousse-filled cakes, tarts, biscotti and croissants. The Kiosk’s operating hours varying according to the semester schedule, and offers Monroe students yet another opportunity to gain first-hand industry experience.

The Broadmoor Bistro at Broadmoor Technical Center in Overland Park, Kansas, part of Shawnee Mission School District, received 2016’s IPC Innovation Award in the secondary (high school) category for the center’s Broadmoor Educational Bistro Restaurant.

Chefs and educators Bob Brassard, CEC, and Justin Hoffman oversee the 120-seat public restaurant that is 100 percent staffed by students in grades 10-12 who cook, serve and run the bistro’s operations. The menu, which changes every two months, reflects seasonal, playful and casual bistro fare that appeals to all the senses.

Through one of numerous partnerships, Cultivate Kansas City, the hospitality program created a quarter-acre organic, student-run farm that harvests over 10,000 pounds of produce annually—featured on the bistro’s menus and sold to local restaurants.

Applications for 2017 Idaho Potato Commission Innovation Leadership Innovation Awards will post at in August 2016 with a deadline of April 1. Next year’s awards will be presented at CAFÉ’s 13th Annual Leadership Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, June 22—24.

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