Guest Speakers

Jul 11, 2020, 11:41

Guest Speaker: Above-the-Fold Restaurant Marketing

Monday, 07 January 2013 17:40

guest_jan13Physical structure and location are no longer as important as the ability to promote a good food product through both traditional and innovative means. Beyond pop-up restaurants, touch-screen ordering and food trucks, what’s next on the horizon?

By Douglas D. Stuchel, MAT, CHE

The restaurant business has traditionally relied on word-of-mouth advertising as a method of marketing and driving repeat business. Usually, this exchange has resulted directly from conversations between friends/acquaintances who have recently dined at a particular facility.

We are, however, rapidly becoming a society that uses such mobile applications as Urbanspoon, Foodspotting and OpenTable to guide us to restaurants based on the opinions and recommendations of people we do not know and, most likely, will never meet.

It used to be said that if you had a bad meal at a restaurant you would tell approximately 10 friends about the experience. Today, a bad online review can reach hundreds of potential customers in real time, influencing their dining decision and immediately impacting a restaurant’s bottom line.

Guest Speaker: Where Retirement Living Meets Five-Star Dining

Sunday, 02 December 2012 00:09


After years of working hard and plenty of time spent “doing life,” retirees have earned their break. Chefs at Beacon Hill at Eastgate in Grand Rapids, Mich., uniquely meld their talents with the culinary wonders of the region and the desires of residents.

By Timothy England, CEC, AAC

It been said time and again that life begins at retirement. For many this means a time for travel, investing in family, perhaps even taking up a new hobby, or reengaging in an old one. It may mean new experiences with your bride or a time to dance with your groom again. Perhaps it is a friendship that needs nurturing or a time for your soul to rejuvenate with regular exercise.

Retirement has long since passed the time of boring days at home with little or nothing to do; menial tasks that fill the time but do little to engage the mind. With all the possibilities for adventure and new discoveries, retirees these days are known to be setting out on a new life that takes them far beyond the routine of their long, hard working years and into a world of fresh starts and checking things off that lifelong “bucket list.”

Guest Speaker: Gathering around the Kitchen Podium

Sunday, 04 November 2012 02:47

guest_nov12An English professor expresses his hope for the culinary-arts students he teaches: that they will see how public speaking translates to everyday interactions.

By Scott Palmieri, Ph.D.

With dreams of becoming the next Thomas Keller or Alice Waters, freshmen who must enter my Communication Skills class at Johnson & Wales University are often far from enthused. As my colleague, Bill Lenox, reminds me, when they go home for Thanksgiving and are asked by their loved ones to wow the family in the kitchen, they are left to explain that they were behind a desk or podium for most of the fall.

For the university, this is a source of pride, as they receive a well-rounded education. However, how do I, an English professor, relate my subject to future culinarians? After 11 years teaching English courses to culinary and baking-and-pastry students, I have learned to speak their language better while bringing them into my world.

Guest Speaker: The Organic Food Controversy—Challenging Nutrition, Flavor and Sustainability

Tuesday, 02 October 2012 20:14

guest1_oct12According to the author of a new book, Demystifying Food from Farm to Fork, the benefits of organic foods are not justified by their cost.

By Maurice Hladik

In 2009, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a similar report, Nutritional Quality of Organic Foods: a Systematic Review, which reached a similar conclusion. The later research was conducted by the University of London on behalf of the British government. Both these were meta-analyses, meaning the highly qualified teams gathered numerous research papers on both sides of the argument before concluding that when it comes to nutrition, farming is farming. The approaches by organic farmers, which differ from their conventional brethren, had little or no impact on nutrition.

These results are hardly surprising when one considers that nutrition is dependent on a host of issues, starting with the variety of the plant or animal. For example, hard red spring wheat has higher protein content than soft winter wheat, and Jersey cows tend to produce milk with higher butterfat content than black and white Holstein Friesians. Then there are a slew of other factors, including the maturity of whatever is grown at harvest, length of time in storage, the variables of humidity and conditions in transport, plus many more. Whew! With so many factors influencing nutrition, it isn’t surprising that a handful of farming practices would make little difference.

Guest Speaker: Staff Meal—It’s All about Team

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 20:02

guest_june12Says this career educator, whether students in your program have a practice restaurant or not, teaching respect for the staff meal and how it contributes to a sense of team will follow your graduates to the kitchens that they work in and eventually run.

By Paul Sorgule, MS, AAC

I just finished watching the United States Girls Gymnastics Team complete an impressive collaborative win. What was most impressive was not their individual athleticism (incredible), but more importantly how they worked together, felt together, supported each other and fed off of each other’s strengths. This is such an impressive feat that I naturally began to think about how this same energy and working philosophy could be imbedded in a culinary-school curriculum. The significance of team is what it’s all about.

I had the privilege many years ago of participating as a member of the 1988 U.S. New England Culinary Olympic Team, an experience that changed my entire outlook on life and my profession. We became a family and learned through trial and error to build on each other’s strengths and accept and help each other with our weaknesses. Yes, we very successful in the Frankfurt “Olympics,” but more importantly we discovered what it meant to get past teamwork and move on to “team.”