Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Our very own Jennifer Denlinger, professor, culinary management, recently received the 2020 Southeast Region American Culinary Federation Chef Educator of the Year recognition.
To be selected as Chef Educator, applicants must submit an in-depth application that includes letters of recommendation, professional development activities in the field of education, an original lesson plan with supporting documentation and a record of providing a meaningful educational experience for students. A committee then selects the winner for each region.
“I am truly honored and blessed to be recognized for doing something that I love and hold so dear to my heart,” said Jenn upon receiving the accolade. “I was only able to gain such achievement with the support and eagerness to learn by my students.”
She added the award is also important to her because she feels as a chef she never stops learning.
Jennifer Robertson, executive dean, Poinciana Campus, said Jenn is very deserving of the award.
She credited Jenn’s work in helping get Poinciana’s Culinary program off the ground after its kitchens opened in 2017 as well as growing it. She also mentioned Jenn’s efforts to encourage and support student internships and make sure students succeed in the classroom and are on track to graduate.
Jennifer also praised Jenn for coming up with the idea of creating food prep kits for students who were close to graduating to ensure there was no disruption to their plans. This effort was significant, as it involved putting together boxes of ingredients and accompanying recipes that students were instructed to pick up to then produce culinary creations at home.
“We are extremely proud of all the work that Chef Jenn has done at the Poinciana Campus,” said Jennifer. “In student feedback surveys at the end of the semester, they expressed a great deal of appreciation for the support that they received.”
The American Culinary Federation (ACF) was established in 1929 in New York City and is the largest professional chefs’ organization in North America. Now based in St. Augustine, it comprises more than 17,500 members in over 150 chapters across the United States, and is known as the an authority on cooking in America. Its mission is to make a positive difference through education, apprenticeship and certification, while creating a fraternal bond of respect and integrity among culinarians.
Chef Jenn is a member and vice president of the ACF’s Central Florida Chapter, which was also awarded the 2020 Southeast Chapter Achievement Award. Both of the honors will be brought forth to contend for the national title.