The latest applications in culinary-arts instruction and theory, as well as cooking alongside master chefs, a master baker and a master cheesemaker, marked the fifth-annual Leadership Conference of the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ), June 11-13, 2009, at Johnson & Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts in Denver. The event brought together more than 120 culinary deans, directors and program chairs of colleges nationwide.

Chef Martin Yan, host of the 26-part series “Martin Yan’s China” on American Public Broadcasting, keynoted this year’s conference with a demonstration and instruction on teaching global cuisines. Certified master chef Edward G. Leonard, executive chef of Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., and former manager of ACF Culinary Team USA, presented “You Eat with Your Eyes” on prevailing cuisine, plating and service trends. Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, an associate professor at New York University, keynoted the second day of the conference with “Master the Mastery in Teaching.”

General and breakout sessions focused on topics of critical importance to curriculum leaders, including new curriculum concepts, mind-mapping solutions to prevailing issues in culinary-arts education, delivering successful 50-minute classes, teaching and learning via the virtual classroom, best practices in culinary-arts education, maximizing effectiveness of educational resources by commodity groups, and an update on American Culinary Federation certification and accreditation.

Educators and programs honored at this year’s Leadership Conference included:

•2009 CAFÉ Leadership Award sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission. Robert Bifulco, Remington College, Dallas
•2009 CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award. Paul Malcolm, Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte
•CAFÉ Scholarships sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission. Herve Guillard, California School of Culinary Arts, Pasadena; Tammy Johnson-Newman, Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) High School; Kathy Libby, Afton (Okla.) High School; and Colin Roche, Johnson & Wales University, N. Miami

“CAFÉ is proud that its annual Leadership Conference not only fulfills its mission of linking foodservice education with the foodservice industry, but also provides a platform for leadership development in this fast- and ever-changing discipline,” says Mary Petersen, CAFÉ’s founder and executive director.