Cooking School Sustainability Awards

A cooking school in Chicago is co-sponsoring an award competition with a cooking education advancement organization for cooking schools throughout the country.

Kendall College of Culinary Arts and the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education will award the second 2012 CAFÉ/Kendall Green Award to a cooking school that has demonstrated a commitment to environmental sustainability through the school’s program.

Kendall College of Culinary Arts has a sustainable program of its own and wants to recognize other schools that have taken similar measures to ensure that the next generations of chefs understand the gravity of the movement. The overall message and goal behind the award seems to be to raise awareness of how culinary arts can impact the environment and inspire other cooking schools to take similar measures.

The hospitality program at Colorado State University won the award last year because it had integrated sustainability concepts into all parts of the program. According to CSU’s website, the program operates entirely on a model of sustainability, including growing food for the school’s restaurant. Food that isn’t grown at the cooking school is obtained from local farmers and producers. All food waste at the school is recycled into compost which is then used as a soil fertilizer for their gardens.(CSU also recycles any non-reusable supplies they may need.)

The award comes with a cash prize and free tickets to the 9th Café Leadership Conference in June. The duo is now calling for applications for the award and will select a winner at the first of May. Cooking school programs will be considered based on innovation and how well the school’s program for sustainability trains students to understand the impact and significance of sustainable cooking practices. Judges will also evaluate how well a cooking school’s sustainability initiative can be implemented at other institutions.