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Spuds of Creativity at 2013 CAFE/Idaho Potato Commission Innovation Awards

Anastasia Schuchman / July 31st, 2013

In June, the Idaho Potato Commission awarded four innovative educators at the ninth annual Leadership Conference of the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education in Miami. The four educators were recognized at the 2013 CAFE/Idaho Potato Commission Innovation Awards for unique and creative projects within their culinary classroom.

Receiving first place for their Edible Landscape Project is Colin Roche and Bruce Ozga from Johnson & Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts, North Miami campus. The project, which took off in 2010, teaches culinary students the importance of working with food in its natural form. The Edible Landscape Project replaces landscaping around campus with edible plants and fruit trees, also showing students the importance of the farm-to-fork movement. Roche and Ozga also have a community garden and greenhouse launching this fall. The clever pair received a cash award of $1,500 from the Idaho Potato Commission as well as full registrations to CAFE’s 2013 Leadership Conference.

Annmarie Chelius, a chef/instructor at Atlantic Cape Community College in May’s Landing, New Jersey, and Bill Franz, an assistant professor in the hospitality management program at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, both had creative and fresh ideas that landed them as runners up. Chelius engineered a web-based video, where she stars as a rapper named “The Queen of Lean.” The premise of the video is to bridge the gap between baby boomers’ and millennials’ different learning styles while teaching them course objectives in pastry techniques and ingredient usage.

Franz takes a student-becomes-the-master approach in teaching with his student-staffed and operated Aspen Grille restaurant. Students who complete training in the restaurant move on to teach incoming students. Second place awarded Chelius and Franz complimentary registration to the Leadership Conference and up to $500 in reimbursed travel expenses.

“From making farm-to-table a reality to harnessing technology as a teaching tool,” says Don Odiorne, IPC vice president-foodservices, “thinking outside the box leads to new ways of learning, greater understanding of fundamentals, and breakthroughs in process and application.”