Kendall College and CAFÉ Announce 2015 Green Award Recipients

Kendall College and the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) presented 2015 CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Awards to two secondary (high school) hospitality programs during a June 18 reception at CAFÉ’s 11th-annual Leadership Conference for foodservice educators at Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Among dozens of submissions from secondary and postsecondary programs nationwide, Kent Career Technical Center in Grand Rapids, Mich., received this year’s top award. According to chef-instructor Sarah Waller, who teaches advanced baking and pastries at Kent, the $1,000 grant from Kendall College will help fund the high school’s goal to become the first water-bottle-free secondary school in Michigan.

“Equally impressive is that the hospitality program at Kent maintains teaching kitchens that are committed to ecological sustainability,” says Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, HAAC, 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. “All students in the program are instructed in successful water conservation, recycling and reducing the school’s carbon footprint. From installing solar panels to generate clean energy to eliminating the use of Styrofoam containers, this program has instituted sustainable practices into every phase of the curriculum.”

This year marks only the second since the awards’ founding in 2009 that a runner-up award was presented: Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center in Batavia, N.Y. Instructor Nathan Koscielski (“Chef K”) began working with the center’s animal-science department to teach culinary students how animals are raised and processed for food, and to impress upon them that people “are what they eat.” Beginning with raising chickens from hatch to slaughter, the program later incorporated turkeys, ducks and hogs.

“Chef K has worked hard to shape his program after the farm-to-table model,” Koetke says. “He also heavily believes in the quality of ingredients used, which has driven his passion for creating a sustainable campus.”

Says Koscielski, changes to the curriculum that speak to sustainability have resulted in innovations on campus menus, as well as generated student competitions and special events that feature foods raised by future cooking professionals.

Faith Jennetta, CEPC, coordinator of 2010 Green Award recipient Technology Center of DuPage’s Culinary, Pastry Arts & Hospitality Management program in Addison, Ill., presented this year’s awards in Niagara Falls.

As 2015 CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award recipients, both Kent Career Technical Center and Genesee Valley Educational Partnership received engraved plaques from Kendall, as well as 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, baking/pastry and hospitality 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.

Kent Career Technical Center and Genesee Valley Educational Partnership join previous Green Award recipients Miami Culinary Institute in South Florida (2014); Cascade Culinary Institute, Bend, Ore., and Metro Tech High School, Phoenix (2013); Seattle Culinary Academy (2012); Colorado State University, Fort Collins (2011); Technology Center of DuPage, Addison, Ill. (2010); and Johnson & Wales University’s Charlotte, N.C., campus (2009).


Brent T. Frei
(847) 882-5499