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Guest Speaker: CAFÉ Wants Your Best Practices in Sustainability Teaching!

13 February 2015

The deadline to submit your entry in the 7th-annual CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award program is April 1.

By Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, HAAC

The Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) are accepting applications for the 2015 CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award.

Sustainability, once dubbed the “wave of the future” for the foodservice industry, is the reality today.

The CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award, which since its inception has been sponsored by Kendall College, is the first national award to recognize high-school and professional culinary-arts and baking/pastry programs for their commitment to practicing ecological sustainability on campus and/or integrating innovative teaching of sustainability in the curriculum.

Kendall has dedicated itself to sustainability in its classrooms and operations since 2005, and even more gratifying than the value we’ve reaped on our own campus has been the privilege of sharing our knowledge with other educators and learning from them. That is the impetus behind the CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award.

All secondary and postsecondary culinary-arts and baking/pastry programs in the United States, whether diploma- or degree-granting, are eligible. While more than one program may be awarded, a single outstanding program will receive a $1,000 cash prize plus complimentary registration to the 11th-Annual CAFÉ Leadership Conference, June 18-20, 2015, in Niagara Falls, N.Y., where this year’s award will be presented.

According to Mary Petersen, founder and president of CAFÉ, the winning program will be selected for its level of innovation; perceived impact on students’ understanding of sustainability practices and their importance; and the ease with which elements of the program can be implemented in other programs nationwide.

Last year’s award went to Miami Culinary Institute (MCI) at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus in the heart of downtown Miami, Fla., and culinary instructor Ana Plana.

MCI blends technology, sustainability and culinary education to set the pulse of Miami’s cuisine and food culture. The eight-story institute is an architectural and engineering marvel that focuses on exceptional space utilization and generating a limited carbon footprint. Meanwhile, students are offered a curriculum steeped in green-sustainable food and energy technologies.

Miami Culinary Institute joins previous Green Award recipients Cascade Culinary Institute, Bend, Ore., and Metro Tech High School, Phoenix (2013); Seattle Culinary Academy (2012); Colorado State University’s hospitality-management program (2011); Technology Center of DuPage, Addison, Ill. (2010); and Johnson & Wales University’s Charlotte, N.C., campus (2009).

Full award criteria and application information is available by clicking here or visiting and finding the info under the Scholarships/Awards tab. Applications must be postmarked no later than April 1, 2015, and the selected recipient(s) will be notified by May 1, 2015.

For more information about Kendall College’s sustainability initiatives, visit



Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, HAAC, is vice president of Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts and the Chicago-based Kendall College School of Culinary Arts.