Kendall College and the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) presented the 2015 CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Awards to two high school hospitality programs during a June 18th 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. 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 the 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 that 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 time since the award’s founding in 2009 that a runner-up award was presented: Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center in New York. 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.”
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.