Friday, June 4, 2021
A Message from Melissa Pedone and Stanton Reed, Interim Presidents, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses
Chef Jennifer Denlinger, professor, culinary management, recently won two awards at the annual conference for the Centers for the Advancement of Foodservice Education. CAFÉ is a trade organization dedicated to culinary instructors and culinary education. Anyone who is in the field of culinary education, or organizations and businesses that want to sponsor culinary educations can belong. They have numerous publications and podcasts that promote the field of culinary education and continuing education opportunities.
Every year there is a tradeshow conference held at a different school with a culinary program. Instructors engage in continuing education, best practices seminars, networking and other sponsored opportunities. For their annual conference, instructors can enter into sponsored awards for their chance to promote themselves, their school and their program.
The United Soybean Board sponsored the 2021 Green Award, which recognizes programs that have efforts towards green initiatives and practices they have. Chef Jenn entered this competition showing the efforts of the composting done from the culinary lab food wastes, efforts to be as paperless as possible and for “zero-food waste,” promotion of seasonality of produce within the culinary lab, among other things.
“Our instructors and lab supervisors embrace the topic of food waste through Value Added Demos with enthusiasm,” Jenn said. “One way we have worked toward helping students understand this problem is through employing a composting system to collect food scraps and other materials, which goes into our gardens. We also recently migrated to wooden tasting utensils, which can then be disposed of in our composting bin. The success of our efforts to reduce food wastes can be shown through the students’ enthusiasm to try new ideas, to participate without question, the SOPs set up throughout the program to reduce food wastes, compost and recycle, as well as their eagerness to learn of new ideas presented as Value Added Demos in class.”
Jenn took a top prize in the competition.
Secondly, Sysco sponsors an Educator of the Year Program. The category is deviated between secondary and postsecondary educators and focuses on the efforts of culinary educators. Jenn entered this competition to showcase the active learning practices and activities in the culinary lab classroom. She was recognized as the runner up of the postsecondary educators for efforts in the culinary classroom. Some of the successful practices she employs in the culinary classroom and lab have been written up and published in their monthly publication “Gold Medal Classroom.”