Chicago, USA—October 12, 2010—Christopher Koetke, dean of Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, and vice president of the Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts, was honored in Boston on October 4, 2010, at the Chefs Collaborative Sustainability Awards Dinner. Dean Koetke received the organization's inaugural Pathfinder Award for his dedication to raising awareness of the importance of sustainability in the food industry.
The Pathfinder Award recognizes leaders who are catalysts for change in the food industry beyond the kitchen. Chefs Collaborative is a nonprofit network of chefs, located in the United States, which fosters a sustainable food system through advocacy, education and collaboration with the broader food community.
"Dean Koetke is so deserving of the Pathfinder award," said Melissa Kogut, Chef Collaborative's executive director. "Through his tireless outreach efforts across the country, he has helped chefs embark on their own sustainability journey, educators integrate sustainability into their curricula, and students train to be a transformative force in making sustainability mainstream throughout the foodservice industry."
With Dean Koetke's guidance, Kendall College launched its sustainability program in 2005. In 2007, the school was honored with the Green Award presented by Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI), the first ever presented to a culinary-training program. In 2008, Kendall expanded its sustainability commitment to provide education to the broader foodservice industry and was named an official educational partner of the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability initiative in 2009. Today, Dean Koetke is recognized as an expert on sustainability, and is in demand as a speaker at industry conferences across the country.
Dean Koetke was chosen from a distinguished group of nominees including Felede Bauccio of Bon Appetít Management Company (California,) Karen Jurgensen of the Seattle Culinary Academy; Jon Rowley of Taylor Shellfish Farms (Seattle); Lyndon Virkler of New England Culinary Institute (Vermont); and Alec Webb and Megan Camp of Shelburne Farms (Vermont). All are highly respected leaders within their respective areas of foodservice, culinary education and food production.
"This honor was unexpected, but gratefully accepted," said Dean Koetke. "At Kendall, we began our sustainability journey about five years ago. Today, it is a cornerstone of our mission and integral to both our curriculum and operations. We are proud to be able to share our knowledge and that of other experts through our national outreach program."
Dean Koetke has taught at Kendall College School of Culinary Arts since January 1998 and was named dean in 2005. Earlier this year, he added the title of vice president of the Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts. Kendall College is a member of Laureate International Universities, which comprises 22 campuses teaching culinary arts in nine countries, including Brazil (Universidade Anhembi Morumbi and Universidade Potiguar,) Jordan (Royal Academy of Culinary Arts,) Malaysia (INTI Education Group,) and Mexico (Universidad del Valle de Mexico,) among others. The Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts was founded, with Kendall at its helm, to ensure that Laureate's culinary programs deliver a superlative quality of education featuring outstanding curriculum and best practices, while highlighting the rich culture and cuisine of each country/region.
Certified by the American Culinary Federation as an executive chef (CEC) and culinary educator (CCE), Dean Koetke is a board member of the NRA Conserve Action Council, American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission, Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, International Foodservice Editorial Council, and a founding board member of the Greater Midwestern Foodways Association. In 2009, he was named Cooking Teacher of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Dominican University (River Forest,Il.), a bachelor of arts degree in French literature from Valparaiso University (Valparaiso, In.) and a scholar degree from Christ College, Valparaiso University's honor's humanities college.
About Kendall College
Kendall College, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2009, offers undergraduate degrees in early childhood education, business, culinary arts and hospitality management. Current enrollment is approximately 2,400 students. The school occupies a stunning "Riverworks" campus near downtown Chicago. Kendall College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), www.ncahlc.org, 312-263-0456. Kendall's School of Education is accredited by the Illinois State Board of Education for its certification preparation program that leads to Illinois Type 04 Teacher Certification. Kendall College is a member of the Laureate International Universities network. For more information, visit www.kendall.edu.