The Kendall CollegeSchool of Culinary Arts announces the addition of Austin Yancey, CEC, CCE, PCEC, to its adjunct faculty. A lauded chef and educator, Yancey will be teaching Nutritional Cooking and one of Kendall’s Culinary Certificate courses.
“Kendall College proudly welcomes Chef Yancey to our teaching family,” says Renee Zonka, RD, CEC, CHE, MBA, dean of the school. “Chef Yancey’s wealth of experience and achievement in culinary instruction, professional cooking and formal competition on the global stage—combined with his effusive reach-for-the-stars philosophy and attitude—will continue to advance Kendall College’s distinction as an international leader in culinary education.”
Most recently a culinary-arts instructor at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, Yancey discovered his love of and passion for cooking as a young boy working alongside his grandmother in her Greenville, S.C., kitchen. There, she introduced Yancey to the wholesomeness and pronounced flavors of naturally raised and harvested ingredients years before farm-to-table cooking and eating became the American ideal.
A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Yancey started his culinary journey at Caliterra (since closed), the Saddle & Cycle Club and the Zurich Skyline Suite at Soldier Field.
In 2005, Yancey served as assistant to Chicago’s Rick Gresh, who was part of the selection process for the Bocuse d’Or USA competition. Gresh became Yancey’s coach and mentor and trained him in competitive cooking as well as the nuances of the restaurant industry.
Yancey’s experiences with Gresh and the Bocuse d’Or fueled his drive to succeed in the culinary field. Setting his sights on fine dining in early 2008, he was offered a post at Michelin three star, AAA Five Diamond Alinea as chef de partie under Grant Achatz’ leadership.
In 2009, Yancey returned to his alma mater to teach. While an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu, he organized and mentored the school’s competitive student cooking team that, under Yancey’s coaching, earned numerous medals in culinary events across the nation and abroad and became one of the most popular extracurricular clubs at the Chicago campus.
Yancey was named 2012 Educator of the Year in Academic Leadership by Career Education Corporation, parent company of Le Cordon Bleu schools in North America. Also that year, he received the Chefs of Tomorrow™ grant for professional development, awarded by Chicago-based food-marketing agency Olson Communications to a single culinary or pastry educator teaching in greater Chicago, based on merit. And he finished first in the national “What’s in Your Wok?” cook-off sponsored by Houston-based Riviana Foods, America’s leading rice company and manufacturer of Mahatma®, Minute® and other national rice brands. In 2013, Yancey earned a gold medal as a member of Team USA competing in the Dubai World Hospitality Championship.
Since 2011, Yancey has owned and operated Elite Personal Chefs, LLC, a company that provides personal-chef, private event and corporate culinary services throughout greater Chicago. In addition to teaching his students at Kendall, Yancey continues to pursue competitive cooking opportunities and build on his ACF certifications.
“With hard work, dedication to the craft, and a devotion to the pursuit of perfection, I believe in working tirelessly to constantly refine the quality of my work,” Yancey says. “My passion lies within an innate love for food, cooking, service and tradition. I feel fortunate to be part of this industry filled with its pure and raw emotions of excitement, amazement, intrigue and a never-ending attainment of knowledge.”