Kendall College and the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) presented 2013 CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Awards to two culinary-arts training programs during a June 20 reception at CAFÉ’s 9th-annual Leadership Conference for foodservice educators in Miami, Fla.
Cascade Culinary Institute (CCI) at Central Oregon Community College in Bend received this year’s award. CCI’s Jungers Culinary Center, which opened in late-2011, was built to Earth Advantage gold-certification standards. Successful management of day-to-day operations includes composting, recycling and use of green chemicals for ware washing. Additionally, CCI’s public restaurant and student training lab, Elevation, focuses on locally sourced produce, proteins, cheeses, and grains.
“Even more impressive is the institute’s creation of one of the nation’s first culinary-arts certificates in sustainable food systems,” says Christopher Koetke, vice president of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and the Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts, who oversaw evaluation of award entries. “Students earning the certificate learn current industry standards of sustainable restaurant practices via a pioneering curriculum that includes applied growing and raising of farm plants and animals, applied harvesting and food-preservation principles, farm-to-table, and sustainable-cuisine practices, and even a 200-hour internship in farming and regional agriculture.”
According to Gene Fritz, director and executive chef of CCI, the new Sustainable Food Systems for Culinary Arts Certificate delivers instruction that directly relates to the theoretical aspects of sustainability within the restaurant industry and beyond. Through the National Restaurant Association’s Conserve Sustainability Education Program, students gain critical understanding of energy conservation and operation assessment with the objective of positively influencing practices throughout their careers in foodservice.
“The overarching goal of this unique certificate is to educate future culinarians who will serve as both industry leaders and innovators in sustainability from a food-sourcing and operational perspective, while cultivating future chefs who are committed to environmental stewardship with positive economic outcomes,” Fritz says.
This year marks the first that a runner-up culinary-training program received a CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award: Metro Tech High School in Phoenix. “Through a grant from the Science Foundation of Arizona, Metro Tech has launched many ‘ecotech’ projects such as a sustainable garden and orchard, rainwater harvesting, aquaponics, a riparian habitat, recycling, and water-bottle refilling stations,” Koetke says. “The school also opened Sustainable Table Café, a fully operational eatery featuring local, sustainable foods prepared by culinary-arts students. These are remarkable achievements for any formal culinary-arts training program, but are particularly noteworthy for a high school.”
As 2013 recipient of the Green Award, CCI received a cash prize of $1,000. Both CCI and Metro Tech High School received engraved plaques and complimentary full registrations to CAFÉ’s Leadership Conference.
The annual CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award, sponsored by Kendall College, is the first national award to recognize secondary and postsecondary culinary-arts and baking/pastry programs for their commitment to sustainability and teaching its tenets. The objective of the award is to build the body of sustainability resources in foodservice education. Selection criteria are based on the integration of sustainability into educational programs and/or operations.