GMC Breaking News

Aug 9, 2022, 21:38

Renee Zonka, Managing Director of Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, Inducted into Les Dames d’Escoffier International

news1_july10Renee Zonka, RD, CEC, CHE, managing director and associate dean of the School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College, has been inducted into the Chicago chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), an organization of woman leaders in the food, beverage and hospitality industry.

Induction into LDEI is by invitation only. Named for legendary French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer Georges Auguste Escoffier, Les Dames d'Escoffier inspires women to develop their leadership skills in culinary professions.

LDEI, established in 1986 and based in Louisville, Ky., has more than 1,500 members in 27 chapters across the United States and Canada. Through chapter fund-raising efforts, nearly $4 million has been awarded in grants and scholarships and other philanthropic endeavors that support women in their career goals and provide funding for community-based services.

“Kendall College is extremely proud that Renee has achieved the distinction of membership in such a venerable and prestigious society as Les Dames d’Escoffier,” said Christopher Koetke, MBA, CEC, CCE, dean of the School of Culinary Arts and vice president, culinary arts, of Laureate International Universities network. “Being selected for induction speaks to the excellence she exhibits daily in her roles as a culinarian, educator and dietitian, as well as her generous commitment to assisting others realize their dreams.”

Zonka holds a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition from Loyola University in Chicago and an M.B.A. from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. Prior to joining Kendall College in 2007 as associate dean, she was a lecturing instructor at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and a chef instructor at the Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago. She was promoted to managing director of Kendall’s School of Culinary Arts in April 2010, retaining her role as associate dean.

Zonka was named Registered Young Dietitian of the Year by the American Dietetic Association and Educator of the Year by the ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians. She is a Certified Hospitality Educator through the American Hotel and Lodging Association and a Certified Executive Chef through the American Culinary Federation. In 2009, she launched a nutrition concentration in the School of Culinary Arts’ bachelor’s program at Kendall College. Zonka is a regular consultant and speaker and in demand as an author on topics that promote the critical relationship between culinary and nutrition.