Three foodservice educators were honored as the best in their field in the 2017 CAFÉ/Sysco Corporation Educator of the Year Awards presented at the 13th-Annual Leadership Conference of the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on June 22.

Sysco, the world’s leading foodservice distributor, is in its third year of supporting this annual national award that acknowledges the tremendous industry contributions of foodservice instructors. The recipients—who received endorsements from their administrators, program and industry colleagues, and former and current students—are professional culinarians with celebrated commercial work experience prior to teaching.

This year’s honorees are:

2017 CAFÉ/Sysco Corporation Educator of the Year—Jeffrey Miller, PhD, CEC, CCE, associate professor and coordinator, hospitality-management program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Runner-up—Toni Lynn D’Onofrio, PhD (ABD), chef/instructor, Westchester Community College, Westchester, N.Y.

Runner-up—Frank C. Costantino, EdD, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, dean, School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts, the Culinary Institute of New York at Monroe College, New Rochelle

“The importance of education is inarguable. It is the very vitality of nearly every profession,” says Britney Jerome, corporate chef of Sysco Columbia in South Carolina.

“Though we read about skilled, disciplined, ingenious chefs in magazines, watch them on television and proudly cheer them on social media, the educators from schools notable and humble alike who trained those skills, sparked that genius and nurtured those minds of curiosity and innovation are almost always overlooked. Sysco recognizes the immeasurable value of culinary educators, especially at this time when the hospitality industry is suffering a shortage of skilled, passionate individuals.”

As the 2017 CAFÉ/Sysco Corporation Educator of the Year, Miller earned a $1,500 grant. All three educators received a commemorative plaque from Sysco Corporation and complimentary full registration to the 2017 CAFÉ Leadership Conference, June 22-24 at the newly constructed International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach (part of South Carolina’s Horry Georgetown Technical College system).

“It is Sysco’s privilege, as a member and supporter of our communities, to sponsor the Educator of the Year Award,” Jerome says. “And it was my personal joy—as a daughter and granddaughter of educators—to be gifted the opportunity to present it to the outstanding recipients at the CAFÉ Leadership Conference.”

Industry News, Non-Commercial