The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) recognized four educators in the 2013 CAFÉ-Idaho Potato Commission Innovation Awards at the 9th-annual Leadership Conference of the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) in Miami in June.


“From making farm-to-table a reality to harnessing technology as a teaching tool, thinking ‘outside the box’ leads to new ways of learning, greater understanding of fundamentals, and breakthroughs in process and application,” says Don Odiorne, IPC vice president of foodservice. “The Idaho Potato Commission is proud to support these extraordinary educators.”


Two educators from Johnson & Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts, North Miami campus, received the top award. Dr. Colin Roche, CEC, CCE, CHE, FMP, department chair and assistant professor, and Bruce Ozga, CEC, CCE, CHE, dean of culinary education, won with the Edible Landscape Project. The first phase of the project, which launched in 2010, replaced existing campus landscaping with various edible plants and spice and fruit trees such as cinnamon, mango, banana, and citrus. Phase two, to launch this autumn, will erect a community greenhouse and garden. The project not only exposes culinary students to foods in their natural forms, but also supports the growing global farm-to-fork movement.


For their first-place recognition, the duo received a cash award of $1,500 from the Idaho Potato Commission and full registrations to CAFÉ’s 2013 Leadership Conference.


Two runners-up each received a complimentary registration to the Leadership Conference and up to $500 in reimbursed travel expenses.


Annmarie Chelius, CCE, CWPC, CHE, a chef-instructor at Atlantic Cape Community College, Mays Landing, New Jersey, sought an effective teaching vehicle to reach two disparate generations—Baby Boomers and Millennials—that exhibit highly different learning styles. Realizing that both groups rely on smartphones, Chelius stars in her own Web-based videos as a rapper, “The Queen of Lean” and other characters, entertaining both audiences while meeting course objectives for training in pastry techniques and ingredients usage. Additionally, students are instructed to make their own videos for the course focusing on fundamental baking/pastry techniques. Students’ videos are graded highest on effective information delivery, with points awarded for production creativity and attention to such communication skills as voice clarity and eye contact.


Dr. Bill Franz, PHR, assistant professor in the Hospitality Management program at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, received a runner-up award based on several innovations including the student-staffed and operated Aspen Grille restaurant, where students who complete a training module train incoming students about to embark on that module. Franz also sends students in his purchasing classes to perform on-the-ground case studies with various food producers in the state, following the process from production to table and reporting back to the rest of the class about what they learned.


Additionally, the Idaho Potato Commission awarded scholarships to foodservice educators to attend the 2013 CAFÉ Leadership Conference based on their use of technology to enhance the curriculum. Two recipients, each receiving a complimentary conference registration and up to $300 in reimbursed travel expenses, were Melanie Stamper of Jessamine Career & Tech, Nicholasville, Kentucky, and Cary York, East Jessamine High School, Nicholasville.

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