Guest Speakers

Mar 25, 2017, 18:40

Guest Speaker: How I Would Change the World through Food

On its 80th anniversary, Kendall College’s president envisions a future in which everyone worldwide with a passion for food may pursue their dreams to cook professionally.

By Emily Williams Knight

Kendall College’s School of Culinary Arts exists to create agents of change, not only in Chicago and the Midwest, but across the country and globe. We teach people with a passion for food how to put that passion in play in ways that extend far beyond creating convivial social experiences for people.

Our graduates have the power to greatly enhance a community’s health and well-being. They leave our campus with ardent commitment to serving and protecting the environment that sustains us. These newly minted professionals, trained in the art of culinary and the business of securing and preparing high-quality food for others, can also help alleviate that which keeps populations worldwide adequately fed yet severely malnourished.

Given the immense potential of trained culinarians to bring significant, positive change to all corners of the planet, we in the United States and many other nations are fortunate that a relatively newfound respect for chefs coupled with increasing love of and fascination with all things culinary extends throughout our respective cultures—making it easier to enact real, worthwhile change.

Guest Speaker: Students Today

Although some instructors might feel threatened or intimidated by having to adapt to accommodate the needs of an ever-diversifying student body, consider that change can be good, benefit the student and ultimately make teaching and managing the classroom a lot easier.

By Bradley J. Ware, PhD, and C. Lévesque Ware, PhD

The student landscape today is drastically different than in the past. Classes are made up of an increased number of students who have new and unique needs and a variety of views and opinions concerning their role in the classroom and that of the instructor.

More and more students are culturally diverse, have learning disabilities, live with visual and hearing impairments, and require more personal attention. Educators who adapt their teaching methods and strategies to best accommodate these diverse groups will have the greatest degree of success in motivating students to learn.

Culturally Diverse Students
There are many outside forces that can influence the overall success of foreign and multicultural students. Behaviors that are culturally linked such as a lack of eye contact, non-participatory behavior, a disregard for personal space, or the failure to respond to questions might be misconstrued by instructors as poor preparation or a lack of interest. Students who are first-generation college students might experience the pressure to succeed in an environment with which they are not familiar. They may at times feel like outcasts and honestly believe that they do not belong or fit into the college scheme of things. Students who have English as a second language also have the added burden of limited comprehension and might find it difficult to adjust to the academic rigor that college demands.

Guest Speaker: Education Is Power

And with power comes responsibility, says this Hoboken chef, restaurateur, author, businesswoman and Latin cuisines historian.

Dr. Maricel E. Presilla, a culinary historian, author and chef specializing in the foods of Latin America and Spain, reminded graduates of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) they are following a tradition of excellence, and with it carries responsibility. Presilla was commencement speaker at the college’s Hyde Park, N.Y., campus on July 3.

“Keep your sharp knives at hand, but hold onto the wooden spoon,” Presilla told 61 recipients of associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. “A wooden spoon becomes one with the food. It also represents the collective wisdom of grandmothers and home cooks everywhere.”

Presilla is president of Gran Cacao Company, a Latin American food research and marketing company that offers cacao educational programs and premium heirloom cocoa beans. She is also chef and co-owner of two restaurants—Cucharamama, featuring artisanal South American cooking, and Zafra, a pan-Latin restaurant with an emphasis on the cuisine of Cuba, both in Hoboken, N.J. In 2010, she opened Ultramarinos,a gourmet Latin American market, bakery, chocolate shop and cooking atelier in Hoboken. 

Guest Speaker: Logo Literacy

Are you branding your program, public foodservice outlets and catering services effectively? Start with a great logo, which informs branding and drives business.

By Dan Antonelli

Starting or growing a business is an exciting, frustrating, rewarding and arduous experience. It involves many considerations and a careful use of precious resources. In today’s marketplace, establishing a powerful and memorable brand is essential for any company’s success and, while most experts agree what branding is, few give the logo its due respect.

In my experience, a logo sets the stage for all of your strategic messaging. A logo is not just an equal part of a brand, like most experts would indicate. Like a bicycle wheel with many spokes, your branding spokes need to be connected to one central hub. Think of your logo as the hub for your brand and all other iterations of that logo as your spokes.

Logo Design: Look Before You Leap
As discussed, a professional logo serves as a solid foundation for your brand. A great logo conveys expertise, establishes a brand promise and creates an expectation for quality. While many business owners wouldn’t give a second thought to buying a $99 logo, there are some major points you would do well to consider before diving in.

First, make sure it is clear in the logo architecture, because you don’t have the luxury of years of brand recognition to get people to associate your name with your product or service. Likewise, you don’t have the large advertising budget required to brand generic icons that don’t help consumers understand the nature of your business.

Guest Speaker: Attending the NRA Show? Where to Go for the Best Deep-Dish Pizza

For those visiting Chicago for this year’s National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, mouths water and palates yearn for one of the City of Big Shoulders’ culinary claims to fame. And among pies, four take the cake.

By Marriott International, Inc.

While our restaurants at Chicago hotels offer excellent options, visitors who have the time to venture out should indulge in the original Chicago deep-dish pizza.

Like the foundation of a fine building, the crust is essential to creating a pizza that is usually 2 to 3 inches in depth. The dough contains cornmeal, an ingredient unique to Chicago-style pizza. When the crust is baked, it’s as flaky and buttery as pie crust, yet thick enough to support mounds of cheese and toppings.

With the crust firmly in place, next comes the cheese, and lots of it. Over 1 pound of mozzarella is common. Unlike other pizzas, Chicago calls for sliced cheese, not grated. Amazingly, the crust is so deep there is still room for heaps of toppings.

Perhaps puzzling to the uninitiated, the sauce is on the top of Chicago-style pizza, not on the bottom. Covering the top with a simple, chunky Italian tomato sauce prevents the cheese and toppings from burning while the pizza bakes for about 45 minutes. Rest assured it’s worth every minute of the wait!